Copycat McAlister’s Deli Potato Salad

I could go for a New Yorker sandwich from McAlister’s Deli right now. Boy would that ever be good. And a side of potato salad. Please. Or, I could make a copycat McAlister’s Deli potato salad at home. True, my pastrami sandwich isn’t quite as good as theirs, but this potato salad is. This is easily my favorite. I could sit down with a (large) bowl of this any time and finish it off. The perfect crunch, creaminess, and flavors. This is reminiscent of a classic version, but one that has been amped up. A lot.

Copycat McAlister's Deli Potato Salad

I like to bake my potatoes for my copycat McAlister’s Deli potato salad. Some people (oh, say, like my wife) prefer to boil them. I like them baking because first, I think baking adds more flavor and more importantly, prevents flavor from being lost to the boiling water. I also like how baking keeps the size and shape of the potato. Baked potato chunks are nice and squared. Boiled are round from being bounced around in a torrent of bubbling water. Go baked, I say!

I recently discovered Blue Plate mayonnaise, which I think is the best around. If you can’t find it locally you can pick it up online for a fair price.

Copycat McAlister's Deli Potato Salad
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Copycat McAlister’s Deli Potato Salad

Easily my new favorite potato salad.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword copcyat, potato salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Fridge time 2 hours
Servings 8
Calories 282kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Poke a few holes in each potato with a sharp knife.
  • Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until done as desired. Cooking time depends on the size of the potatoes and how much 'crunch' you want to your salad. I use a bamboo skewer to test for doneness.
  • Remove potatoes from oven and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the vinegar, dried parsley and celery flakes. Set aside to let the dried herbs rehydrate, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  • In a medium bowl combine the red onion, relishes and sugar.
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Chop potatoes into cubes and add to the bowl containing the onion mixture.
  • Gently toss the potatoes to coat.
  • Gently stir in the vinegar and dried herb mixture.
  • Add half of the mayonnaise and stir. If you want a creamier salad add more mayonnaise.
  • Sprinkle with the celery salt.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. If you want, also add more celery salt but be careful. It's strong stuff and can quickly overwhelm the salad. I happen to like it so I added more.
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Serve salad sprinkled lightly with paprika.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 283mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat McDonald’s Big Xtra Burger

There was a time when McDonald’s thought it could take on my favorite fast-food burger, the Burger King Whopper. They up’d the game by making their patties bigger than the one on the Whopper. And of course, they copied the fresh toppings. Well, I’m not sure how long they lasted, but it couldn’t have been long. I love the classics, so I make my copycat McDonald’s Big Xtra Burgers at home. I have to since I can’t get it at the restaurant any more!

Copycat McDonald's Big Xtra Burger

I prefer to cook my burgers ‘smash burger’ style. You don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment or a lot of time to make a copycat McDonald’s Big Xtra burger. Just a hot griddle and a burger press. Any griddle will do, whether it’s on a grill, cooktop, stove or even a standalone outdoor flattop. Just get those patties nice and thin and they’ll cook up perfectly in no time at all. This is my go-to burger making technique no matter what burger recipe I’m following.

Also try my copycat McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with cheese!

Copycat McDonald's Big Xtra Burger
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5 from 1 vote

Copycat McDonald’s Big Xtra Burger

A tasty, bigger version of Burger King's The Whopper.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, McDonald’s
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 595kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Fire up your grill for direct medium-high heat cooking. You can also use an outdoor or indoor griddle or a large skillet on a stove.
  • Form the beef into a patty. Season well with seasoned salt and pepper.
  • Place the patty on the grill. Smash down with a spatula or grill press.
  • Grill the burger for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Make the burger by placing the patty on the bun bottom.
  • Spread the ketchup and mayo onto the top bun.
  • Add the onions and pickles, followed by the lettuce and tomato slice.
  • Serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 595kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 656mg | Potassium: 568mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup

When I was a young kid, barely knee-high to a grasshopper, bean and bacon soup was by far my favorite canned soup. I remember cold days, playing in the snow, only to run inside to a big ole bowl of hot, satisfying soup. Well, a few years later I now enjoy my copycat Campbell’s bean and bacon soup. Same great taste, same great texture, and still as satisfying as ever. This is one great bowl full of deliciousness! And best of all it tastes just like I remember from years ago.

Copycat Campbell's Bean and Bacon Soup

The recipe for this copycat Campbell’s bean and bacon soup calls for a few cups of ham stock. I dunno about you, but I don’t have any ham stock on hand. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever made ham stock. I probably should. But until then I have to take a little shortcut and use ham base. Ham base is something I do have on hand because I found that it makes for the best slow cooker ham and bean soup! It is crazy packed with flavor and is well worth finding in your local grocery store or online!

Copycat Campbell's Bean and Bacon Soup
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Copycat Campbell’s Bean and Bacon Soup

It really is "M'm m'm good."
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, soup
Prep Time 14 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Soaking time 12 hours
Servings 10
Calories 219kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the beans in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover them by 2". Let them soak overnight.
  • Drain the beans and place in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Crumble in the bacon and add the carrots, celery, onion, thyme, garlic, tomato paste, pepper, water and ham stock.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring continuously to dissolve the tomato paste.
  • Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until the beans are tender. About 30 minutes in, taste the liquid and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ladle out 2 cups of the soup into a bowl and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender (working in batches if needed) and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and stir.
  • Stir in the vinegar and liquid smoke.
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Serve hot.

Notes

If you don’t have ham stock you can make your own or substitute water. To make your own, combine 2 teaspoons of ham base with 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the ham base dissolves. Use the liquid as a substitute for the ham stock.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 743mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3294IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper

Sure, you can grab a box of Hamburger Helper from the store and make up a batch of stick-to-your-ribs pasta and burger. It’s the perfect one-dish meal. Or you could make this copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper and do what I did: add more cheese! Ok, no, you don’t have to add more cheese. But you could. Ah, the joys of cooking at home, specially when it’s cold out and you need something to warm you up. This dish fits the bill perfectly.

Copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper

It really can’t get much easier than this copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper. I’ve been known to change it up a bit sometimes. You definitely don’t have to use elbow macaroni, though it is the classic ingredient for sure. Pepper jack cheese makes for a nice change instead of cheddar. A little kick never hurt anyone. Ground turkey or chicken instead of beef are winners, too! So go crazy with it!

Just make sure you do drain the beef (or whatever protein you use) well before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper
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Copycat Chili Cheese Hamburger Helper

Hearty and easy.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, copcyat, pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 346kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks.
  • Drain off any excess fat.
  • Stir in ALL of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cheese.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Cover and continue simmering for 12-15 minutes, stirring often, until the pasta is tender.
  • Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  • Turn off heat and let dish sit uncovered for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it rests.
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 546IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp

Oh me. It was a happy day for the shrimp addict in me. I made copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast coconut shrimp, along with an orange marmalade dipping sauce. The shrimp were incredible. So crispy. The perfect batter. And loaded with fantastic coconut. They were delicious and great on their own. But oh, they weren’t served by themselves. Alongside, the dipping sauce added a unique taste that offset some of that coconut sweetness. The two made for an unforgettable dinner dish.

Copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp

Although the shrimp are the star of the show in these copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast coconut shrimp, I cannot overstate how great the dipping sauce is. It’s somewhat reminiscent of cocktail sauce in that it has a good horseradish flavor. The orange keeps the tropical theme going. And along comes a great mustardy hit. It may sound a bit different, but I assure you, it’s different in a great way. There were no leftover shrimp or dipping sauce.

I used by small Fry Daddy fryer to make this dish. That required me to cook them in batches. For a quicker fry, ensuring that everything is done at the same time, I’d recommend using a larger fryer or Dutch oven.

Copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp
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Copycat Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp

The dipping sauce is addicting. You might want to double the amounts.
Course Appetizer or Main
Cuisine American
Keyword deep-fried, shrimp
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 463kcal

Ingredients

For the shrimp

For the dipping sauce

Instructions

For the dipping sauce

  • Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Note: Also prepare the batter (below) at this time since it also requires 1 hour of resting time.

For the shrimp

  • To prepare the batter, place the beer, flour and 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes, sugar and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk to combine well. Cover. Let sit for 1 hour.
  • Heat a few inches of oil in a Dutch oven or deep fryer to 350 F.
  • Place remaining coconut in a pie plate or shallow bowl.
  • Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with paprika.
  • Working in batches if needed, dip shrimp into the beer batter, turning to coat completely.
  • Transfer the shrimp to the coconut and roll to coat well.
  • Fry shrimp 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are golden brown, turning them as they cook. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Serve shrimps with dipping sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 498mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Old Spaghetti Factory Meatballs

We both really enjoyed these copycat Old Spaghetti Factory meatballs. To begin with, they were super-easy to make. Second, the recipe makes a good-sized batch of meatballs, perfect for keeping on-hand during the colder months. We actually doubled the recipe so we’d have plenty around for quick dinners or even lunches. Last, they of course taste fantastic! Super tender meatballs with basic, simple flavors. We were able to make these with ingredients we already had on hand. Nothing fancy going on here, just great meatballs!

Copycat Old Spaghetti Factory Meatballs

You don’t have to make the tomato sauce for these copycat Old Spaghetti Factory meatballs if you don’t want to. You can use any tomato-based sauced that you want. Or cream sauce for that matter. The meatballs are great anywhere you need, well, meatballs of course! They are completely cooked when they come out of the oven, ready for pasta, pizzas or sub sandwiches!

Also try my meatloaf meatballs.

Copycat Old Spaghetti Factory Meatballs
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Copycat Old Spaghetti Factory Meatballs

Super tender meatballs with basic, simple flavors.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword copcyat, meatballs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 456kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place onion, garlic, parsley and bread crumbs into a food processor. Process for 30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Break the egg into a large bowl and whisk. Add the water, olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
  • Add the bread mixture to the bowl and stir with a spatula.
  • Crumble in the ground beef. Using your hands, mix thoroughly until the bread crumb mixture is distributed evenly throughout.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Line a large baking sheet with foil. Spray lightly with non-stick spray. Add 1/4 cup to the bottom of the pan.
  • Using an ice scream scoop, scoop a portion of the meat into the palm of your hand and form into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Try to keep the meatballs all about the same size so that they cook evenly. Transfer to the baking pan but do not let the meatballs touch each other.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Using a fork or spatula, break the meatballs lose of the pan if they are sticking.
  • Bake another 10 minutes or until meatballs reach 165 F.
  • Heat the tomato sauce in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper and heat until just simmering.
  • Add the meatballs and cover and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Serve meatballs over pasta with some of the tomato sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 1175mg | Potassium: 757mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 629IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Bubba Gump Far Out Dip

This is not your usual spinach dip. Not even close. Not by a mile. This copycat Bubba Gump Far Out dip is flat-out amazing. So many great flavors, all in each and every bite. Ooey-gooey cheese. Crispy vegetables. This dip doesn’t weigh you down. You’ll want more and more. So, make a double batch or more, specially if you’re taking it to a get-together.

Copycat Bubba Gump Far Out Dip

Make sure you drain your artichokes well before making this copycat Bubba Gump Far Out dip. This dip is on the thick side and it needs to stay that way. Served hot, each bite delivers on taste and creaminess. We’ve eaten at several Bubba Gump restaurants. If we’re in the mood for an appetizer, this is eat. Well, ok, some times I get a shrimp appetizer, but I mean… it’s Bubba Gump, you have to get shrimp!

Copycat Bubba Gump Far Out Dip
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Copycat Bubba Gump Far Out Dip

A fantastic twist on spinach dip!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, dip
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 58kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9" x 9" baking pan with non-stick spray.
  • Combine all ingredients except for the chips and crackers in a large bowl. Mix well. Transfer to the baking pan and cover with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 58kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 499mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat A&W Onion Rings

Describing what I think makes for the perfect onion rings is pretty easy. Nicely seasoned batter that isn’t too thick or too thin. I want to still taste the onion. And of course, there has to be the right bite-through. If I take a bite and half of the onion slides out of the ‘batter tunnel’, I’m just not going to be happy. And (don’t hate me), I have to be able to enjoy the rings without any dipping sauce. Doesn’t mean that I won’t use ketchup or something else, but I want that option. I want the rings to be able to stand on their own. Like these copycat A&W onion rings do.

Copycat A&W Onion Rings

I prefer to use sweet onions when I make my copycat A&W onion rings. Vidalia and Texas sweet 1015s are my favorite. I try to not get the super-large onions because the rings don’t fit into my small deep fryer. If I am using my big fryer or a Dutch oven I can get the monster-sized onions and make hula-hoop-sized rings!

If I’m cooking for a crowd, I’ll break out my big deep fryer. But, if it’s just the two of us, I’ll fire up my Fry Daddy fryer. It’s the perfect size for both of us. It fries everything perfectly. And as an added bonus, it doesn’t use a lot of oil, which saves me money.

Copycat A&W Onion Rings
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Copycat A&W Onion Rings

I prefer to use sweet onions for these rings.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword onion rings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 22kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat a deep fryer or Dutch oven with 3" of oil to 375 F.
  • In a medium bowl combine the tempura mix, onion powder and pepper.
  • Stir in the water.
  • Add most of the beer and stir. You want the batter to be like pancake batter but thinner. Add more beer if you need to make it thinner. If you end up adding too much liquid just stir in some more tempura mix to thicken it.
  • Working in batches if needed, dip the rings into the batter and place in the fryer.
  • Fry 3-5 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  • Season liberally with salt and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 22kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 0.5g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 60mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Quick Fix Copycat McRib Sandwich

This isn’t some highfalutin’ food blog. I can barely afford to keep the lights on half of the time. I gotta cut corners wherever I can to keep this site up and running. So that’s why you’re not going to judge me when I say I really, really enjoyed this quick fix copycat of the McRib sandwich. I mean, you know what? It’s actually yummy! It kinda looks like the real thing and it’s fun to eat!

I should probably email the fine folks at On-Cor to apologize for doubting their products. Their BBQ rib patties look like the real McRib deal, sauce and all!

Quick Fix Copycat McRib Sandwich

You can make 6 McRib sandwiches from a package of On-Cor BBQ Rib Patties. I actually prefer 2 patties per sandwich. I wrote the recipe to use only one per sandwich, but ….. well, use your own judgement. Make sure to get some of the sauce on there, too. The ribs actually come with more sauce then you’d think, plenty enough to heap on deep and that’s a good thing. That helps make these quick fix copycat McRib sandwiches double good!

And whatever you do, do not forget the pickles! That vinegary pickle goodness cuts thru the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.

Quick Fix Copycat McRib Sandwich
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5 from 1 vote

Quick Fix Copycat McRib Sandwich

I actually prefer 2 patties per sandwich.
Course Main
Cuisine American
Keyword copycat, McRib, quick fix
Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 797kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare rib patties per package instructions.
  • Toast the sub rolls if desired. If you are baking the rib patties just add the rolls to the oven the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Place 1 patty on each sub roll bottom and add 1/3 cup of the sauce from the container the ribs came in. Add 2 pickle chips and the top of the bun and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 797kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 2111mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 51IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 23mg

Nutritional values are approximate.

Copycat Freddy’s Burger Seasoning

Chances are, if I have a grill fired up, there’s going to be a smash burger in my near future. They are my go-to quick-and-easy dinner. Simple. Fast. And oh so good. I want my patties to be packed with flavor. This copycat Freddy’s burger seasoning is an absolutely fantastic way to add great flavor to any burger. This stuff is like magic. A little smoky earthiness. A little garlicky and onion-y. Salty sweet. Add a little or a lot to your next burgers and you’ll be happy.

Copycat Freddy's Burger Seasoning

Oops on me, I didn’t have any turmeric for my copycat Freddy’s burger seasoning. No problem. I used dry mustard instead. You’re just looking for something with a little earthiness to it. Cumin would be great too, but my wife is not quite the big cumin fan, so mustard it was.

Also try some Freddy’s fry seasoning and burger sauce!

Copycat Freddy's Burger Seasoning
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5 from 1 vote

Copycat Freddy’s Burger Seasoning

Add a little or a lot to your next burgers and you'll be happy.
Course Burger Sauce
Cuisine American
Keyword burger sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 112kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Keep in an air-tight container until ready to use.
  • To serve, sprinkle on both sides of burger patties just before cooking.

Nutrition

Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 11634mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 1970IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional values are approximate.