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Good job. You just found 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 for less money than eating out. Todd's recipes are easy to follow and fun to make! See if Todd has hacked your favorite appetizers here. New recipes added every week.

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    It's a simple formula, and a great sauce to have nearby when you're looking for a classic, great-tasting dip for your fondue-cooked shrimp and lobster. 

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    If you like curry, you'll love this sweet-and-sour yogurt-based curry sauce, sweetened with sugar and citrus juices, and kick-up with just a pinch of cayenne pepper. Use this for saucing up your fondue-cooked chicken and shrimp. And it's also pretty good on the vegetables.  

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    It only takes a little bit of port wine to perfectly flavor this great creamy gorgonzola dipping sauce, which tastes great on your fondue-cooked beef and vegetables.

    Find out how to hack the chain's delicious signature cooking style here: Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Slow-simmered meat sauce with tender braised beef and Italian sausage, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta and a touch of alfredo sauce—just like Nonna’s recipe.”

    It’s a mistake to assume that a recipe posted to a restaurant chain’s website is the real recipe for the food served there. I’ve found this to be the case with many Olive Garden recipes, and this one is no exception. The widely circulated recipe that claims to duplicate the chain’s classic Bolognese actually originated on Olive Garden’s own website, and if you make that recipe you’ll be disappointed when the final product doesn’t come close to the real deal. I won’t get into all the specifics of the things wrong with that recipe (too much wine, save some of that for drinking!), but at first glance it’s easy to see that a few important ingredients found in traditional Bolognese sauces are conspicuously missing from that recipe, including milk, basil, lemon, and nutmeg.

    I incorporated all those missing ingredients into this new hack recipe, tweaked a few other things, and then tested several methods of braising the beef so that it comes out perfectly tender: covered, uncovered, and a combo. The technique I settled on was cooking the sauce covered for 2 hours, then uncovered for 1 additional hour so that the sauce reduces, and the beef transforms into a fork-flakable flavor bomb. Yes, it comes from Olive Garden, but this Bolognese is better than any I’ve had at restaurants that charge twice as much, like Rao’s where the meat is ground, not braised, and they hit you up for $30.  

    As a side note, Olive Garden’s menu says the dish comes with ruffled pappardelle pasta, but it’s actually mafaldine, a narrower noodle with curly edges (shown in the top right corner of the photo). Pappardelle, which is the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese, is very wide noodle with straight edges, and it’s more familiar than mafaldine, so perhaps that’s why the menu fudges this fact. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which pasta you choose. Just know that a wide noodle works best. Even fettuccine is a good choice for this Olive Garden braised beef Bolognese recipe.

    This recipe was our #3 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

    And browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.

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    Re-creating the signature cooking style at the country's famous fondue chain required hacking the flavorful simmering broth in which all the proteins and vegetables are cooked. This was tricky since only some of the prep is performed tableside.

    When a server brings out the warm broth to my table it’s already seasoned with a few mystery ingredients. The pot is left alone to heat up on the center burner, and that was the perfect time for me to scoop out ½ cup of the liquid and seal it up in a small jar to take back to home base for further analysis. When the server comes back to the table after five minutes she adds a few more ingredients to the pot: fresh garlic, mushrooms, green onions, Burgundy wine, and black pepper. I take mental notes on amounts and write them into my phone before I forget.

    The server tells me the hot liquid base is vegetable broth, so I’m thinking some Swanson in a can will do. But later, after further taste-testing, I find the real broth in my stolen sample to be more savory than any of the canned broths I tried. I then turned to broth made by dissolving a vegetable bouillon cube in boiling water and found the flavor to be a much closer match to the real stuff I had swiped. It was also cheaper, and I'm okay with that.

    After a few tweaks to the seasoning additions, I had a good clone that could stand up to any taste test. Use this to cook chopped veggies, chicken, beef and shrimp. And if you want the complete experience, you're going to need my hacks for the six dipping sauces. So here you go: Cocktail SauceCurry SauceGorgonzola PortGreen GoddessGinger Plum, and Teriyaki.

    This recipe is designed for a 2-quart fondue pot. If you have a 3-quart pot and would like a bigger fondue party (lucky you), refer to the Tidbits below for that adjustment.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Two lightly fried parmesan-breaded chicken breasts are smothered with Olive Garden’s homemade marinara sauce and melted Italian cheeses. We serve our Chicken Parmigiana with a side of spaghetti for dinner.”

    Chicken parmigiana is a forever favorite, and it's an easy dish to whip up at home, but for it to taste like the Olive Garden signature entree we’ll need to take some very specific steps.

    Olive Garden’s chicken is salty and moist all the way through, so we must first start by brining the chicken. Give yourself an extra hour for this important marinating step. The marinara sauce used on the chicken is an Olive Garden specialty, and no bottled sauce compares, so we’ll make our own from scratch using canned crushed tomatoes and the formula below.

    While the sauce is cooking, filling your house with its intoxicating aroma, the chicken is breaded and browned. When the marinara is done, top the chicken with the sauce and mozzarella cheese and stick it under your hot broiler until bubbling. 

    Hopefully, everyone at your house is hungry, because the Olive Garden dinner portion is two chicken fillets, and this recipe will yield a total of 4 2-piece servings, just like in the restaurant.  Add a small serving of spaghetti on the side, topped with more of the delicious sauce, for an identical restaurant plate.

    Can't get enough Olive Garden? Click here for more of my copycat recipes. 

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Garlic mashed potatoes are a great side for many entrees, especially when the potatoes are as creamy and flavorful as those at Olive Garden. In our hack, the garlic gets boiled with the potatoes to soften it. When the potatoes get passed through a potato ricer (or mashed) the softened garlic goes along for the ride and gets mashed up too. This way you’re guaranteed to get plenty of garlic in every bite. I settled on cream as the dairy used here after my attempts using milk and half-and-half resulted in thin and runny potatoes. I found that cream adds the perfect thickness and smooth richness to the mashers, and it made the closest duplicate.

    This side goes great with our Olive Garden Stuffed Chicken Marsala copycat recipe.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Creamy marsala wine sauce with mushrooms over grilled chicken breasts, stuffed with Italian cheeses and sundried tomatoes. Served with garlic mashed potatoes.”

    This recipe includes a marsala sauce that even marsala sauce haters will like. My wife is one of those haters, but when she tried this sauce, her eyes lit up, and she begged for more. Great, now I won’t have to eat it alone.

    Not only is Olive Garden's delicious marsala sauce hacked here (and it’s easy to make), you’ll also get the copycat hack for the chain's awesome Italian cheese stuffing that goes between the two pan-cooked chicken filets. Build it, sauce it, serve it. The presentation is awesome, and the flavor will knock their socks off.

    Try this dish paired with my recent free clone of Olive Garden’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes for the complete O.G. Stuffed Chicken Marsala experience.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    For many years this entrée has been a top menu choice at Maggiano's, the 54-unit Italian chain from Brinker, the same company that operates Chili’s Grill & Bar. The $30 restaurant dish consists of three 2½-ounce tenderloin steaks, swimming in a fantastic balsamic cream sauce with sliced portobello mushrooms—and this home version won't hit you in the wallet even close to as hard as the pricey original.

    Cracking this dish required a perfect hack of the sauce, and that came quickly after obtaining some very reliable information from my incredibly helpful server/informant at a Las Vegas Maggiano’s. Let’s call him Bob.

    According to Bob, the balsamic cream sauce is as simple as mixing a sweet balsamic glaze with the chain’s creamy alfredo sauce. So, I first got a sample of Maggiano’s alfredo sauce and figured out how to replicate it. Once that was done I measured increments of balsamic glaze into the alfredo sauce until the color and flavor matched the original. The rest of the recipe was easy.

    This recipe will make two servings of the dish which includes preparation for the tenderloins and sauce. If you’d like to complete the dish as served at the restaurant (as in the photo), add some garlic mashed potatoes on the side, using this hack for Olive Garden Garlic Mashed Potatoes.   

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    “Don’t call them fries,” says KFC about its popular side made with sliced, skin-on russet potatoes. What sets these potatoes apart from all the others is the secret breading made with a similar seasoning blend as the Colonel's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. To achieve the proper crispiness, the potatoes are par-fried, frozen, then fried again until golden brown.

    One important ingredient that completes the flavor is MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive derived from glutamic acid, which is an important amino acid found in abundance in nature, food, and in you right now. Over the last 60 years of study and use, MSG has not only been found harmless in normal amounts, but tests have shown glutamate to be a chemical messenger that benefits gut health, immunity, and brain functions such as memory and learning. In addition to all of that, it imparts a unique savoriness that enhances flavors in other ingredients and makes your food taste amazing. Using MSG in your food is, literally, smart cooking.

    Another important ingredient is ground Tellicherry black pepper. Winston Shelton, a friend of Harland Sanders who sold him his first pressure fryers in Kentucky, is familiar with the Colonel's secret recipe. Shelton saw the ingredients many years ago when Sanders showed him the secret recipe he had scribbled on a piece of paper. While shooting the first episode of my TV Show, Top Secret Recipe, Winston pulled me aside and told me that Tellicherry pepper, a select black pepper from India, is crucial to creating the KFC aftertaste (we caught this moment on camera and you can see it in the show). I conducted a side-by-side taste test with common black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper and discovered he was right. If you want the best taste for your clone you'll need Tellicherry pepper, which you can find online and in some food stores. Be sure to grind it fine before using it.

    For this recipe, just two russet potatoes are all it takes to make the equivalent of a large serving of fried potato wedges, which will be enough for at least four people.

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