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You lucky devil. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Get all the best restaurant recipes from Applebee's to El Pollo Loco here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.60. Votes: 5

    Even though Arby's has diversified its menu over the years with toasted subs and deli-style sandwiches on sliced whole wheat bread, it's the thinly-sliced roast beef piled high on hamburger buns that originally made this chain famous. Since roast beef and horseradish go so beautifully together, Arby's created this delicious mayo-based horseradish sauce as a spread for the roast beef sandwiches. It also happens to be great on your homemade sandwiches too, but it just isn't cool to hoard handfuls of those blister packs to take home with you. So, with the help of this secret formula, you can clone as much Horsey sauce as you want. First step: get out the blender. You'll need it to puree the horseradish into the mix so that the sauce is smooth and creamy like the real deal.

    You might also like my Arby's BBQ sauce recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    According to one Chili's spokesperson, "The Guiltless Grill selections are extremely popular. Guiltless Grill was a smash from the start." This clone recipe makes two huge dinner-size portions, just like the restaurant serves. The recipe should even be enough for three, perhaps four—if there's a big dessert coming.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 dinner sized portion
    Total servings–2
    Calories per serving–600
    Fat per serving–15g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Not rated yet

    It was in Los Angeles in 1941 that Carl Karcher and his wife, Margaret, found a hotdog cart on Florence and Central for sale for $326. They borrowed $311 on their Plymouth, added $15 of their own, and bought the brightly colored stand. Although the sign on this first stand read "Hugo's Hot Dogs," Karcher began purchasing more carts, painting on them "Carl's Hot Dog's." In 1945 Karcher opened his first drive-thru restaurant, which he named "Carl's Drive-In Barbecue." In 1956 he opened two smaller restaurants in Anaheim and Brea, California, and used the Carl's Jr. name for the first time.

    With 630 units as of 1991, the chain's trademark smiling star can be seen throughout the West and Southwestern United States, as well as in Mexico, Japan, and Malaysia. The chain has come a long way from the days when Karcher used to mix the secret sauce in twenty-gallon batches on his back porch. Carl's Jr. takes credit for introducing salad bars to fast-food restaurants back in 1977. Today, salads are regular fare at most of the major chains.

    Carl's top-of-the-line hamburger is still the flame-broiled Famous Star, one of several products that has made Carl's Jr. famous. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 7

    You'll find these easy-to-clone mashers served alongside BJ's new Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast (click here for a clone of that dish). But this is a versatile side that can also be served up with all sorts of your home-cooked entrees. You won't need gravy for these rich, flavorful mashed potatoes—just a fork.
     
    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Here's another very popular Denny's creation. This 20-year-old menu item can be easily converted to a reduced-fat version by substituting fat-free cheese and turkey bacon. When shopping for that bacon, I've found that Butterball makes one of the best turkey bacons around—it tastes just like the pork version. Then get yourself some low-fat turkey breast form the supermarket deli counter or prepackaged near the other luncheon meats. A little butter-flavored spray and a hot skillet on the stove, and you're on your way to reducing the fat by around by 60 percent. Now that's super.

    Nutrition Facts

    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–425 / Original–565
    Fat per serving–8.5 g / Original–22 g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    This is a simple little recipe that is healthy and delicious. Along with your chicken order from this fast-growing West Coast chain, comes your choice of side orders. Pinto beans is the most popular choice. But the real thing has some fat that you won't need to include in this light version. And this recipe will give you pintos that taste just like the original, along with a little heat from finely minced jalapeno peppers. Spoon some of these beans into a tortilla along with chicken. Or maybe just serve them on the side.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–96 (Original–145)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–3g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.43. Votes: 7

    When The Dr. Oz show asked me to make a tasty low-fat, low-cal version of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, I wasn't sure it was possible. By reducing fat and calories in these awesome cinnamon rolls I was afraid we would lose too much of the familiar Cinnabon flavor we love. But I believe I found a good balance. See what you think. 

    For this recipe, you’ll need a 9x13-inch pan and a 9x9-inch pan for baking these rolls, plus parchment paper to line the pans. Cinnabon uses Indonesian Korintje cinnamon (they call it “Makara”). Find that cinnamon if you want the best clone, but any cinnamon will still make great rolls. To keep the cinnamon from oozing out of the rolls a natural stabilizer such as xantham gum (or guar gum) works best, but you can also use cornstarch. You can find xantham gum at specialty stores such as Whole Foods. You’ll also need a ruler or yard stick to measure and mark the rolls for slicing, and a serrated knife, such as a bread knife, to slice them. The baked rolls can be frozen for several weeks and reheated in your microwave before serving.

    Original            Todd's
    880 calories    450 calories
    36g fat              12g fat

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    In 1992, to meet the needs of its expanding cutomer base, El Pollo Loco added several different burrio selections to its menu. The burrito combinations were designed to be assembled with several prepared products the chain had been serving from the start. Here are TSR low-fat versions of four of the most popular burritos. The fat savings are significant, since the beans and rice are now fat-free, and the recipes use fat-free tortillas and fat-free shredded cheddar cheese. You may also want to add a salsa of your choice to these burritos. Try my recipes for El Pollo Loco Spanish rice, pinto beans, and skinless chicken.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 burrito
    Total servings–1
    Calories per serving–339 (Original–482)
    Fat per serving–1g (Original–15g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.93. Votes: 14

    Menu Description: "Our non-fat Honey Mustard dressing and non-fat Cheddar/Mozzarella blend give this Blackened Chicken Salad the same great taste as our original with less than 5 grams of fat."

    Applebee's original Blackened Chicken Salad quickly became a favorite, encouraging this popular full-service chain to create a low-fat version of the delish dish. Since most of the fat in the original comes from the tasty honey mustard dressing, this version creates a dressing that tastes just as good, yet has not a single gram of fat. Combine that with fresh lettuce, shredded carrot, a little egg white, non-fat shredded cheese, and a delicious Cajun spice blend which generously coats grilled chicken, and you have a majorly munchable salad which is incredibly easy on the waistline. Who says you need gobs of fat to create a tasty meal?

    Click here for more of my Applebee's copycat recipes. 

    Nutrition facts
    Serving size–1 salad
    Total serving–2
    Calories per serving–420
    Fat per serving–5 g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 12

    As the seasons change so does the menu, at this popular 1064-unit casual restaurant chain. You'll find this item in the "Low-Fat and Fabulous" column during the summer months where it's been a favorite since 1997. As with any salad, the waistline violator is the traditionally fat-filled dressing that's drizzled in gobs over the top of very healthy greens. A tablespoon of dressing is usually around 10-12 grams of fat each. So if we can just figure out a cool way to make the dressing fat-free, we're well on our way to making huge salad—four of them to be exact—with only 12 grams of fat on the entire plate. Most of those grams come from the chicken breast, while the crunchy chow mein noodles pick up the rest. Just be sure to plan ahead when you make this one. The chicken should marinate for a few hours if you want it to taste like the original. Get ready for some big, meal-size salads.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size–1 salad
    Total Servings–4
    Calories per serving–575
    Fat per serving–12g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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