Copycat Zax Sauce

It was one of those days where I just needed a bit of a kick of inspiration. It was cold out and I just wanted to eat something out of a box. I didn’t want it to be blah though, so I made a batch of this copycat Zax sauce. Sure, I just dipped chicken fingers in it at first, but after that I used the sauce on sandwich wraps and hamburgers. It’s great no matter what you slather it on. Or dip in it.
copycat-zax-sauceI was going to add some heat, some kick to this copycat Zax sauce, but I talked myself out of it. And I’m glad I did, too. It’s really quite good just as it is.

Oh did I mention you can dip French fries in this too? Why aren’y mayonnaise-based dipping sauces for fries aren’t more popular in the US? It’s such a welcome change from ketchup.

For dipping sauces, try my copycat of Chick-fil-A’s dipping sauce, firecracker dipping sauce or my chili dipping sauce. All are great for dipping my crazy-good chicken fingers.

Copycat Zax Sauce

Course Sauce
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 /4 cup
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using as a dip for chicken fingers, fries, or slathering on a burger or chicken sandwich.

Copycat Dreamland BBQ Sauce

I found a big batch of smoked pulled pork in the freezer the other day. I was going to make one of my ‘usual’ BBQ sauces but this copycat of the sauce at Dreamland BBQ in Alabama has been on my to-try list for a while so I made a few quarts of it.

Visiting Dreamland BBQ (and honestly, just about any BBQ joint) is also on my to-do list, so I can’t vouch for how much of a copycat it is, but I can vouch for how good it is. Not too thick, not too runny with just a hint of heat. It’s a great all-purpose BBQ sauce.
Copycat Dreamland BBQ SauceYou can make this sauce as shown, or play with it to suit your own needs. I was looking for a light red sauce, and that’s exactly what I got. The beauty of a good BBQ sauce like this is you’ve got a great base for your preferences. Want more heat? Add more cayenne. A little sweeter? More sugar. Thicker? Let it simmer a while longer. You can’t go wrong with Dreamland BBQ sauce whether you follow the recipe to a T or use it as a starter for your own version.

This sauce is fantastic on my Backyard BBQ wings.

Copycat Dreamland BBQ Sauce

Course Sauce
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1/3 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup see my note
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  • Note: Dark corn syrup makes for a nice dark syrup with a hint of molasses. For a lighter syrup, use light corn syrup.
  • Place puree and yellow mustard in a large saucepan and whisk until combined.
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  • Keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
  • Note: If you prefer a thicker sauce, combine 1/4 cup corn starch and 1/4 cup cold water and whisk into the sauce as it simmers.

Copycat Jason’s Deli California Club Sandwich

Back in my high school days I worked in a no-name sub shop. I made some mighty darned good sandwiches if I do say so myself. But honestly, nothing I made was as good as this copycat Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich. First, we didn’t make sandwiches on croissants, which give the sandwich such a nice light buttery flavor. And I had no idea then what alfalfa sprouts were. Now I love them on a sandwich, along with guacamole. This sandwich would’ve been a big seller at the sub shop where I worked.
Copycat Jason's Deli California Club SandwichI used a spicy guacamole to offset some of the sweetness of the croissant in my copycat Jason’s Deli California club sandwich. You can use ‘normal’ guacamole instead, or try my copycat of Jimmy John’s avocado sandwich spread instead.

I also could not find alfalfa sprouts at any of the grocery stores near our house. None of them. In fact one doesn’t carry sprouts any more at all. Luckily I found some bean sprouts. They aren’t the same thing as alfalfa sprouts but they did add a similar texture.

Also try my copycat Red Robin BLTA.

Copycat Jason's Deli California Club Sandwich

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 4 croissants halved horizontally
  • 1 pound thinly sliced turkey sandwich meat
  • 1 sliced tomato
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts I substituted bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 8 thin slices sweet onion
  • 4 strips cooked crispy bacon
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 thin slices Swiss cheese

Instructions

  • Divide ingredients between the 4 rolls.

Quick Fix Copycat McDonald’s Chicken Sandwich

I love cooking meals from scratch. But sometimes reality hits and I have to throw something together that doesn’t require a lot of preparation. That’s where this quick fix copycat of McDonald’s chicken sandwich comes in. In less than 30 minutes I get to enjoy a rather tasty chicken sandwich. Heck it even has fresh toppings on it and a rather tasty (but incredibly simple) sauce. Hey, it’s not bad when you’re in a crunch, and I often find myself making little changes to mix things up a bit.
quick-fix-copycat-mcdonalds-chicken-sandwichAdd a little kick to your quick fix copycat McDonald’s chicken sandwich by substituting Tyson’s spicy chicken patties, adding a slice of pepper jack cheese, and adding Sriracha instead of onion powder when making the sauce.

Also try my copycat of McDonald’s addicting French fries.

Quick Fix Copycat McDonald's Chicken Sandwich

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the McChicken sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 dash onion powder

Instructions

  • Heat the chicken per package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce by whisking together the ingredients.
  • Toast the buns if desired. Slather both bun halves with the sauce.
  • Add the heated chicken patties, lettuce and tomato (and onion if using) and serve.

Copycat Quizno’s Italian Sub

I used to work just down the street from a Quizno’s. I went there often for lunch. Ok, very often. I loved their toasted bread and great meats and toppings. Now I work from home and I prefer to make my own lunch, so I make a copycat of the classic Quizno’s Italian sub, my favorite item on their menu.

The sweet balsamic dressing and pesto are what really make this sandwich memorable. Even if you don’t follow the recipe for the toppings exactly, make the dressing and add the pesto.
Copycat Quizno's Italian SubI find pepperoncini peppers to be a must-have on a sub. And on a pizza for that matter. I prefer them over pickles. They’re crunchier and tangier and really wake up whatever you put them on.

Also check out my copycat of the Battalion Chief Sub from Firehouse Subs and Subway’s Italian BMT.

Copycat Quizno's Italian Sub

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

For the sandwiches

  • 6 sub rolls or 2 loaves French bread, each cut into 3 equal sizes
  • Sweet balsamic dressing see below
  • Basil pesto I used store-bought
  • 1/3 pound sliced salami
  • 1/3 pound sliced pepperoni
  • 1/3 pound sliced ham
  • 12 slices mozzarella cheese
  • Dried oregano
  • 12 thin slices tomato
  • 12 thin slices onion
  • Green leaf lettuce
  • 1 8 ounce can sliced black olives drained
  • Pepperoncini peppers

For the sweet balsamic dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

For the sandwiches

  • Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  • Split rolls horizontally and place onto baking sheet(s).
  • Brush one cut side of the bread with the dressing.
  • Spread about 1 tablespoon of the pesto onto the other side of the cut bread.
  • Add meats and cheese and sprinkle lightly with the oregano.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and serve.

For the sweet balsamic dressing

  • Whisk all ingredients until well combined.

Copycat Church’s Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

I could make (and eat) ‘fried’ chicken using my Vortex BBQ all day long. It has never let me down. It has never been anything but easy. This copycat of Church’s fried chicken was no exception. Incredibly crunchy skin. Unbelievably moist and flavorful meat. And as easy as coating it, grilling it, eating it. Done.
Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the VortexThere are no tricks or special handshakes that you need to know to get fried chicken right using the Vortex. And although a lot of sites say to rotate the lid every 15 minutes while cooking, I’ve not found that it makes a difference. I don’t over-crowd my grill and I make sure I have a super-hot fire. If you’ve found that rotating the lid is a requirement, let me know but so far, I’ve not had anything but success just keeping the lid right where it is. I also do not flip my chicken while it is cooking. Doing so will result in ‘batter loss’, a bad thing. Just keep it right where it is.

Also try my insanely-awesome proper pub fried chicken, another fantastic recipe for deliciously crispy tasty chicken cooked using the Vortex. You can also use off-the-shelf fried chicken coating to make spectacular chicken on the Vortex. Check out my Kentucky Kernel chicken too!

Copycat Church's Fried Chicken Using the Vortex

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4-8 pieces of chicken I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

For the dry mixture

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1 envelope Italian dressing mix
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

For the wet mixture

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For a crispier coating

  • Vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill with the Vortex BBQ. Let the coals get good and hot.
  • Combine all of the dry mixture ingredients in a pie plate.
  • In another pie plate, whisk together the eggs and water.
  • Working in batches, dip the chicken into the wet mixture, then into the dry mixture.
  • One more time, dip the chicken into the wet mixture and then the dry mixture.
  • Transfer chicken to your grill grate around the Vortex and cook until done, about 45 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the chicken with oil the last 5 minutes of cooking to get a crispier skin.

Copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief Sub

I’ve never been to Firehouse Subs. So, I can’t really say for sure that this is a 100% copycat of Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief sub (then again, I don’t see it on the menu any more). But I can say I thought this was a fantastic sandwich and if the rest of the menu at Firehouse Sub’s is anything like this, I need to get on over there and make up for lost time.

Cheese, horseradish, roast beef and lettuce all on a nice toasted roll. Oh, and the surprise? Crunchy fried onions. Oh yeah.
Copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief SubI’m not as big a fan of horseradish as Anita is, even though it does go very, very well with roast beef. But, since finding The Mustard Man’s Simply Horsey mustard, I’ve become a bigger and bigger fan. Simply Horsey combines just the right amount of horseradish with creamy mustard and bit of mayonnaise. It has the perfect consistency for topping this copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief sub.

Also checkout my copycat of one of my all-time favorite restaurant sandwiches, Subway’s Italian BMT, and my copycat of Quizno’s Italian Sub and of course, my copycat Jersey Mike’s sub too!

Copycat Firehouse Subs Battalion Chief Sub

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • French rolls or baguettes
  • Spicy horseradish mayonnaise if you can't find any, just mix a little prepared horseradish with mayonnaise
  • French fried onions
  • Deli roast beef sliced thin
  • Sharp cheddar cheese slices
  • Green leaf lettuce leaves

Instructions

  • Warm the bread as desired.
  • Spread each bread halve with the horseradish mayonnaise.
  • Sprinkle the bottom piece of bread with the fried onions (the mayonnaise will help the onions stick to the bread)
  • Add the remaining ingredients and serve.

Copycat McDonald’s Cheddar Melt

“Bring it back!” “Bring it back!” That’s what a lot of folks are saying when they think about McDonald’s Cheddar Melt, which first came out around 2000, but it wasn’t available for long. But, so far, no luck. That’s when you have to step up and make it at home. And hey, to be honest.. it’s even better than I rememeber!

The real winning flavor on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts is the onion and teriyaki mixture. It compliments the meaty burger and creamy cheddar sauce perfectly. I grilled my burgers because, well, that’s what I do, but you can also cook the burgers in the same pan that you cook the onions.
Copycat McDonald's Cheddar MeltThe cheese and onions are also perfect on hot dogs, so don’t be afraid to double or even triple the recipe. And hey, a dash or two of hot sauce isn’t a bad idea either. But don’t go crazy with it. You definitely do not want to hide the wonderful flavor of the toppings on these McDonald’s Cheddar Melts. Heck, you could just eat the cheese and onion with a spoon!

After enjoying a McDonald’s Cheddar Melt try a homemade Arch Deluxe. It’s crazy good too! If you’re in a hurry you’ll still have time to make a quick fix copycat McDonald’s Chicken Sandwich.

McDonald's Cheddar Melt

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted. butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Pinch each Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the onions

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon teriyaki sauce store-bought or use my homemade version, below

For the burgers

  • 4 burger patties
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns

For the teriyaki sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

For the cheese sauce

  • Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  • Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Whisk in the milk and continue whisking for 3 minutes to thicken.
  • Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

For the onions

  • Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and saute until tender.
  • Stir in the teriyaki sauce.
  • Reduce heat to low until ready to use.

For the burger

  • Season burgers well with salt and pepper. Fire up your grill for direct and indirect cooking. Optionally, you can cook the burgers in the same skillet as you cook the onions.
  • Grill burgers to desired doneness.
  • Toast buns if desired.
  • Assemble burgers by placing patties on buns. Top with cheese sauce and onion mixture.

For the teriyaki sauce.(makes more than you'll need for the burgers)

  • Place 3/4 cup water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • In a small cup or bowl combine 1/4 cup of water and the cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan.
  • Heat until sauce is the desired thickness, about 3 minutes. If too thick whisk in a bit more water.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Wings

Ok, time to fess up. If I was forced to choose my favorite wing sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings, spicy garlic would be it. The BW3 website says the sauce is ‘spicy and garlicky’ and that’s exactly what this copycat of the restaurant sauce is. Same great flavors, same great heat. Lick-your-fingers good.
Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic WingsI so love this copycat Buffalo Wild Wings spicy garlic wings sauce. It’s still Buffalo-sauce like, but with a nice twist making it just different enough but still familiar. The sauce keeps for a bit, so I didn’t hesitate to double the recipe. This sauce is good on grilled chicken or pork wings too.

Also try my copycat of Buffalo Wild Wing’s Parmesan garlic and Thai curry wings.

I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.

Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Wings

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

  • 1 cup Frank's RedHot sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg yolk from a pasteurized egg
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

For the Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Sauce

  • Combine all but the yolk, water and cornstarch in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the egg yolk and water. Whisk in the cornstarch until dissolved.
  • Slowly whisk the mixture into the saucepan.

Copycat Jimmy John’s Avocado Sandwich Spread

Sometimes you just need a little reminder to step outside of your box of usual sandwich spreads and use something you might not think of. This copycat of the avocado sandwich spread from Jimmy John’s is essentially guacamole with a few twists thrown in. It’s fantastic on a sandwich and for that matter, equally as great as a dip for tortilla chips. That’s why I doubled the recipe. Sandwiches and chips. Lunch is done.
Copycat Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich SpreadEvery sandwich needs a little spiciness in my opinion. Which is why I was happy that this avocado sandwich spread includes a jalapeno. Now, granted, it’s a small jalapeno so you’re not going to get overwhelming heat. But you don’t want that kick to be front-and-center. Just there, in the back. Noticed but not overwhelming. This spread is excellent on my copycat of Jason’s Deli California Club sandwich.

Copycat Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich Spread

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 1 small jalapeno pepper seeded, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato chopped
  • 2 medium avocados peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Instructions

  • Place the jalapeno, onion, garlic and tomato into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  • Place avocado into a large bowl. Drizzle with the lime juice and smash with the back of a fork. Transfer to the blender.
  • Add the salt and mustard to the blender and pulse until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.
  • Slather on bread for sandwiches. If you do have any extra spread it makes for a great chip dip!