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.
The 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!

McDonald's Cheddar Melt
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
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
For the cheese sauce
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Whisk in the milk and continue whisking for 3 minutes to thicken.
  4. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.
For the onions
  1. Add oil to a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute until tender.
  3. Stir in the teriyaki sauce.
  4. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.
For the burger
  1. 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.
  2. Grill burgers to desired doneness.
  3. Toast buns if desired.
  4. 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)
  1. Place 3/4 cup water, ginger, garlic powder, brown sugar, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. In a small cup or bowl combine 1/4 cup of water and the cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the saucepan.
  3. Heat until sauce is the desired thickness, about 3 minutes. If too thick whisk in a bit more water.

Copycat McDonald’s Hamburger

Just because I don’t eat fast food doesn’t mean I can’t make it at home. The last time I had an original McDonald’s hamburger, I believe Star Wars was just out in the movie theaters. Yep it’s been a while. But you know, this copycat version really brought back memories. It takes just like I remember the original burger to be. Now mine might be a tad larger, but then, so am I. The key to this burger is the seasoning. Make a batch and keep it on hand for any burger, not just this McDonald’s burger.
To make the burger feel even more like the original McDonald’s burger I served it with a copycat of McDonald’s French fries. The fries definitely make you think you just pulled out of the drive-thru at your local McDonald’s, opened the bag, and grabbed and ate a handful of hot fries. Admit it, when they’re hot and crunchy, they’re good. Really good. And a great pairing with this hamburger. Top them all with a copycat of Heinz’s ketchup and you’re set for some good eats!

Copycat McDonald's Hamburger
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
Note: Just like the original, these hamburgers will be very thin which can be a bit challenging to make and cook. Don't be afraid to double the size of the patties.
For the burgers
  • 1 pound ground chuck (use 80/20 for the best results)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onions
  • 10 small hamburger buns
  • 10 hamburger dill pickle slices
  • Ketchup and prepared mustard
  • Wax paper
For the seasoning (makes more than you'll need)
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Accent
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Divide the beef into 10 equally-sized balls. Form into thin patties 4" in diameter and 1/4" thick. Place onto wax paper and freeze for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dried minced onions into a small resealable container. Add enough water to cover by 1". Seal and refrigerate until time to make the hamburgers.
  3. When ready to make the burgers, fire up a grill or heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Working in batches, season the patties liberally on both sides and cook until done.
  5. Toast buns.
  6. Assemble burgers by placing cooked patties on bun bottoms. Add a squirt each of ketchup and mustard, along with a slice of dill pickle and a teaspoon of the re-hydrated onions.
  7. Add the top bun and serve.
For the seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients.

Copycat McDonald’s Quarter Pounders with Cheese

After making a copycat of the Arch Deluxe burger from McDonald’s, I could not stop jonesin’ for a good version of my all-time favorite fast-food burger, the Quarter Pounder with cheese. Simple but tasty. Sure, I might have cheated a bit and actually made a Third Pounder cheese burger, but hey, that just means I had more yumminess!
copycat-quarter-pounders-with-cheeseIt wasn’t until after my teen years that I also became a fan of the Big Mac, which I’ve made at home several times. And now that I think about them, I’m going to have to make them again, and soon. Want an even bigger Big Mac? Try my Big Mac hoagies. Yep, that’s right, all the great flavors of a Big Mac on a big ole hoagie bun. Not into big Big Macs? My Big Mac sliders are perfect for a party.

I like to enjoy a big ole glass of ice-cold homemade Snapple tea with my quarter pounder with cheese.

Copycat Quarter Pounders with Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
For the burgers
  • 2 1/4 pound burger patties (to keep it authentic use pre-made patties from your grocery store)
  • 2 sesame seed burger patties
  • 4 slices American cheese (get the deli style, it's a bit thicker and tastier)
  • Prepared yellow mustard
  • Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 dill pickle slices
For the burger seasoning (makes enough for several burgers)
  • 4 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Accent
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  1. Combine the seasoning ingredients.
  2. Season both sides of the patties.
  3. Cook your patties in a hot skillet or on a griddle.
  4. Top each patty with a slice of cheese.
  5. Toast the buns.
  6. Add the patties to the bun bottoms.
  7. Squirt 5 little dots of mustard around the patties.
  8. Do the same with the ketchup.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of onion and 2 pickle slices to each patty.
  10. Top each patty with another slice of cheese.
  11. Add bun top and serve.

Copycat McDonald’s Arch Deluxe Burgers

Probably no one besides me remembers McDonald’s Arch Deluxe burgers. They were a more grown up burger, launched in the 1990s. They were a flop, but honestly, I’m not sure why. I love making copycat versions of the burger at home. They are your pretty-much-standard burgers, but with a sauce that is totally different than the special sauce you find on a Big Mac.
copycat-arch-deluxe-burgersThe star of the show is definitely the sauce and the special seasoning that McDonald’s uses on all of their burgers, from the Arch Deluxe of old to the classic Quarter Pounder. I always thought that the Arch Deluxe should’ve been a hit (along with the McDLT). Well, I guess I can’t call them all correctly!

After you devour your copycat Arch Deluxe Burgers you’ll want to make copycats of McDonald’s Cheddar Melt and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Trust me.

Copycat Arch Deluxe Burgers
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
For the burger
  • 1 sesame seed hamburger bun
  • 1/4 pound beef patty
  • 1 slice American cheese
  • 1-2 medium thin tomato slices
  • 1-2 lettuce leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped white onion
For the burger seasoning (makes enough for several burgers)
  • 4 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Accent
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
For the special sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Grey Poupon mustard
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
For the burger
  1. Toast the buns.
  2. Season the patty with the burger seasoning from below. Cook as desired.
  3. Top the hot beef patty with the cheese.
  4. Slather the insides of the bun halves with the special sauce.
  5. Add the beef patty to the bottom bun.
  6. Add the tomato, lettuce, ketchup, onion and top bun and serve.
For the burger seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients.
For the special sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients until smooth.

Copycat McDonald’s McRib Sandwich

Now, it has been a long time since I’ve had a McDonald’s McRib sandwich. Years. Decades, actually. But, boy did I eat a lot of them in my younger years. So I was happy to run across this copycat version that really brings back (food) memories.

These copycat McRib sandwiches come out very tender, and very tasty. The great taste is thanks to a fantastic sauce. The sauce is so good that I doubled the ingredients to make a bigger batch, enough to serve over boneless wings (awesome!) later. Even if you don’t make these sandwiches, make the sauce. It’s the boss.

Copycat McRib SandwichThe addition of chipotle peppers to the sauce is what gives it that fantastic smokey flavor, with just a little kick. Real McRib sandwiches are also topped with chopped onion, which I omitted because I felt that there was enough onion in the sauce.

And yes, you need to make some McDonald’s fries to go with your McRib!

Copycat McRib Sandwich
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
For the sauce (which is great on anything!)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers, minced, in adobo sauce
For the sandwich
  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 sandwich rolls
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Chopped white onion
  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering until the sauce is thick, 15-20 minutes.
  6. I prefer the sauce to be chunky, so I used the sauce as it was at this point. If you want a less chunky version, blend the sauce using an immersion blender or transfer (after cooling) to a blender to puree.
For the sandwiches
  1. Preheat a large skillet or Griddler to medium-high heat.
  2. Form the pork into thin rectangular patties that are the size of the buns. Season with salt.
  3. Cook 3-5 minutes on one side then flip and cook until pork reaches 165 F.
  4. Brush pork with sauce and flip. Brush other side with sauce. Cook another 2-3 minutes or until the sauce sets up.
  5. Meanwhile, combine butter and garlic salt and brush onto insides of the rolls. Place rolls butter side up under broil for a minute or two to get a little brown.
  6. Serve pork patties on rolls topped with dill pickle slices and onion, if using.

Copycat McDonald’s Sweet and Sour Sauce

Yep, it tastes just like the stuff you get for your nuggets at the fast food chain. We made a batch of this copycat of McDonald’s sweet and sour sauce for dipping some homemade chicken nuggets. As a teen, and when I was in college, I ate my share of McDonald’s chicken nuggets. I always had them with the sweet and sour sauce, and I wasn’t shy about dipping either. Times have changed. Now I make my own nuggets and sauce.

Copycat McDonald's Sweet and Sour SauceThis sauce freezes well, so make an extra batch and keep some on hand for those times when you want a quick chicken nugget snack with a great dipping sauce.

McDonald's Sweet and Sour Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup peach preserves
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 5 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Place all ingredients except the water into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Stir in the water.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering until thickened.
  5. Serve warm for dipping.