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Dips

Nice work agent. 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. See if Todd has hacked your favorite dips here. New recipes added every week.

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    Swiss Chalet Dipping Sauce

    Swiss Chalet is one of the biggest Canada-based restaurant chains, with over 200 stores, and it’s the place our northern neighbors go when they want delicious rotisserie chicken and ribs. At one time there were a few Swiss Chalet restaurants in the U.S., but the last of those closed in 2010. So if you want to taste the food from Swiss Chalet and you live in the States, you’re out of luck—unless you do some food hacking.

    Fortunately, the Canadian chain makes a few of its products available to purchase outside of the restaurant, including its most sought-after recipe: the dipping sauce. The famous dipping sauce is used on the chain’s popular chicken, fries, and rolls, and the instant version of the sauce comes in 36-gram envelopes, but even those are tough to find in the States. Luckily, I found some on eBay and got to work.

    An instant mix like this sauce powder is often tough to copy since many ingredients in the packet are hard to find in supermarkets. For this hack though, I found Knorr tomato bouillon cubes to be incredibly useful. These cuboids of concentrated flavor contain many of the ingredients we need for a great Swiss Chalet dipping sauce recipe, including tomato powder and chicken fat, both of which can be found in the original sauce packet.

    After you pulverize the bouillon cube into powder, combine it with the other ingredients in a small bowl, and you’ve got an instant dry blend that can be converted into a flavorful sauce in minutes, just like the real thing.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa

    I’ve yet to taste a better habanero salsa at a quick-service Mexican chain than the one made daily at Qdoba Mexican Eats. Yes, it is very spicy, but the simple combo of fire-roasted habanero, tomatillo, and garlic is not as fiery as you might expect from a salsa that includes so much habanero in it.

    And that’s exactly what makes Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa so good. Because the habanero peppers are roasted, and the seeds are removed, you can enjoy the complex flavor of the habanero without your taste buds being numbed by the heat. A good salsa should enhance your food, not upstage it.

    You can roast the peppers in your oven or by holding them over the high flame of a gas stove with a skewer until the skins have charred to black. Resting the blackened peppers in a covered container for a few minutes will help to steam the skins, and they will wash off easily under cold water. 

    How about using this salsa to spice up some Qdoba Grilled Chicken Adobo? Ger my recipe here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kobe Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse Shrimp (Yum Yum) Sauce

    For years, I’ve been hearing about a delicious seafood dipping sauce at Japanese steakhouses called "shrimp sauce" or "yum yum sauce." Research revealed many independent Japanese steakhouses with "the best sauce," but it was the name of an 11-unit chain called Kobe Ichiban in Central Florida that came up most often.

    When I next found myself in Orlando, Florida presenting some cooking demos at a home show, I dropped in on Kobe Ichiban for dinner and there it was: the light orange creamy dipping "yummy" sauce that everyone was raving about. It was sweet and sour and salty and creamy, and it tasted amazing on the shrimp—as well as on everything else.

    I poured some into some small plastic storage bags I had with me (always come prepared!), then popped them into a cooler for the long trip back to Las Vegas, where, in the underground lab, a clone for this much-requested delicious dipping sauce was finally completed. Now, you can enjoy homemade Yum Yum Sauce anytime.

    Find more of my copycat recipes for famous sauces here.  

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    Terry Ho's Spicy Yum Yum Sauce

    The most famous recipe from Terry Ho’s Hibachi Express chain of fast casual Japanese restaurants located in Georgia and Alabama is the secret orange sauce served alongside every meal. In 2012, Terry bottled his famous Yum Yum sauce, claiming on the label that it’s “the best sauce ever” and is “good on everything.”

    I chose to hack the kicked-up spicier version of the sauce since it had more character than the milder original version, but if this version is too hot for your taste, reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper and pepper sauce.

    Use my Terry Ho's Spicy Yum Yum Sauce recipe below to easily make the sauce at home. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, and then let it rest in your refrigerator. After about 30 minutes, you’ll have a cup of the delicious creamy stuff to use on shrimp, chicken, steak, or whatever you want.

    Find more of my copycat recipes for famous sauces here.  

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Ruby Tuesday Queso Dip

    Menu Description: "Smooth and spicy cheese dip. Served with unlimited crisp tortilla chips."

    Many who have tried the original say it's the best queso dip they've ever had, so I had to get on the case. Talking to a store manager I found out that the dip is made with American cheese and a little Parmesan, but the rest of the ingredients were going to have to be determined in the underground lab. When I got down there—using the elevator hidden in a fake outhouse in the corner of a vacant lot—I immediately rinsed the dip in a strainer and discovered bits of spinach, onion and two kinds of peppers. The red pepper, which is responsible for the kick, appeared to be rehydrated dry peppers. It looks like they're red jalapenos, but since the red ones can be hard to find I chopped up some red Fresno peppers and the dip tasted great—full of flavor with a nice spicy kick. Just be sure to remove the inner membranes and seeds from the peppers before you mince them up, or your cool dip may end up packing a lot of heat.

    For those who like chili in your cheese dip, check out my copycat Chili's Chili Queso recipe here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 13)
    Arby's Bronco Berry Sauce

    This sweet and spicy jelly sauce comes on the side, in little 1.5-ounce containers, with Arby's battered jalapeno and cheese Side Kickers. But, you know, you just never get enough of the good stuff in those little one-serving dipping packs to use later with your own home-cooked delicacies. And isn't it odd that the sauce is called Bronco Berry when there's not a berry to be found in there? Sure, the sauce is bright red and sugary, but you won't find a speck of fruit on the ingredients list. Nevertheless, the sweet and spicy flavors in my Arby's Bronco Berry sauce recipe make this a great jelly sauce that has many uses beyond dipping quick-service finger foods such as jalapeno poppers, chicken fingers, and eggrolls. Use it as a delicious substitute for mint jelly with your next batch of lamb chops.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.20 (votes: 10)
    Houston's Chicago-Style Spinach Dip

    These days, just about every casual dining chain has its version of this appetizer: spinach and artichoke hearts mixed with cheese and spices, served up hot with chips or crackers for dipping. Making the rounds over the years, I've tried many of them, and most formulas are nearly identical. That is, except for this one. Houston's makes their spinach dip special by using a blend of sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese and Parmegiano Reggiano; the ultimate Parmesan cheese. Parmegiano Reggiano is born in Italy and is usually aged nearly twice as long as other, more common Parmesan cheeses. That ingredient makes the big difference in this dip. So hunt down some of this special Parm at your well-stocked market or gourmet store, and you'll find out why Houston's spinach dip has been one of the most requested recipe clones here at TSR.

    Try my Houston's spinach dip recipe below, and if you're hungry for more great copycat recipes from Houston's, click here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.80 (votes: 5)
    Joe's Crab Shack Blue Crab Dip

    The number one appetizer on Joe's menu is called Blue Crab Dip, but you don't need blue crab to clone it. You don't even need to use fresh crab. For my Joe's Crab Shack Blue Crab Dip recipe below, I used some delicious lump crabmeat from Phillip's Seafood that comes in 16-ounce cans (you may find it at Costco, Sam's Club, Walmart, and Vons) and the dip turned out great. You could also use the crabmeat that comes in 6-ounce cans found at practically every supermarket—you'll need two of them. Just be sure to get the kind that includes leg meat, and don't forget to drain off the liquid before you toss it in.

    Try more of my Joe's Crab Shack copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    T.G.I. Friday's Tuscan Spinach Dip

    Menu Description: "Parmesan and Romano cheeses blended with spinach, artichokes and sauteed onions & peppers. Served with Friday's red & white tortilla chips." 

    Many casual chains have their own version of spinach artichoke dip somewhere on the appetizer menu, but one of the most popular versions is found at this huge national chain. For our clone well use marinated artichoke hearts to contribute the slightly acidic flavor found in the original. The recipe here is a stovetop method, but you can also prepare a version of this dip entirely in your microwave using the technique at the bottom in Tidbits. 

    You'll find a ton of recipes for T.G.I. Friday's best dishes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.19 (votes: 21)
    Fritos Hot Bean Dip

    Re-create the popular bean dip at home in minutes with a food processor: just pour in all the ingredients and fire it up. With my Fritos Hot Bean Dip recipe below, you can duplicate the taste of the popular dip without any added fat. If you check out the label of the real thing, you'll see that there's hydrogenated oil in there. We avoid this trans fat without sacrificing flavor in this home clone that's a healthier choice for dipping. Bring on the chips!

    Try more amazing copycat recipes for famous dips here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.75 (votes: 4)
    Rondele Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread

    The real thing found in the deli section of your market is used on crackers, as a dip for raw vegetables, or even as a spread on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Now I've come up with an easy way to duplicate Rondele using a 12-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese—so you'll happily get three times the amount of the 4-ounce original! Just be sure when mixing your version that you don't over mix, or you will destroy the fluffiness of the whipped cheese. The Italian seasoning included here is a dried herb blend (usually marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil) found near the other bottled herbs and spices in your market. I used McCormick brand for this Rondele garlic & herbs cheese spread clone recipe, but any brand should work fine. Since the herbs are dried, the flavor is more subtle than it would be with fresh herbs, even after the dried bits soak up moisture from the cheese. And that's just want we want for a good clone.

    Find more of your favorite famous dip recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.65 (votes: 17)
    Chili's Chili Queso

    Menu Description: "Our appetizing cheese dip with seasoned beef. Served with warm tostada chips."

    Take your chips for a dip in this chili queso that comes to your table in a small cast iron skillet along with a big bowl of tortilla chips. A popular recipe that's been circulating calls for combining Velveeta with Hormel no-bean chili. Sure, it's a good start, but there's more to Chili's spicy cheese dip than that. Use my Chili's Skillet Queso recipe below and toss a few other key ingredients into the saucepan. After about 20 minutes you'll have a great taste alike dip for picnic, party, or game time.

    Now, what's for dinner? Check out my other Chili's copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.
     

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  • Score: 4.79 (votes: 38)
    Olive Garden Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip

    Menu Description: "A creamy hot dip of artichokes, spinach and Parmesan with pasta chips."

    Just about every aspect of the Olive Garden restaurants was developed from consumer research conducted in a corporate think tank by the General Mills Corporation. Restaurant-goers were questioned about preferences, such as the type of food to be served, the appearance and atmosphere of the restaurant, even the color of the candleholders on each table. The large tables and the comfy chairs on rollers that you see at the Olive Garden restaurants came out of those vigorous research sessions.

    I'm not sure if this dish came from those sessions, but according to servers at the Olive Garden, the Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip is one of the most requested appetizers on the menu. The restaurant serves the dip with chips made from fried pasta, but you can serve this version of the popular appetizer with just about any type of crackers, chips, or toasted Italian bread, like bruschetta.

    I've cloned a ton of famous dishes from Olive Garden. See if I hacked your favorites here.



    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Red Robin Creamy Artichoke & Spinach Dip

    Menu Description: "A creamy, cheesy blend of artichoke hearts, spinach, onions, Parmesan and a hint of bacon." 

    Just about every casual restaurant chain has its own version of artichoke and spinach dip, and it's usually one of the top most popular picks from the appetizer menu. Red Robin is no exception, and offers a version of the popular dip that is one of the best of the bunch. The basics of the Red Robin spinach artichoke dip recipe are similar to other formulas, but they mix it up with a little bacon for a hint of smokiness. I like that. I also like that you can easily steam the artichoke hearts, spinach and onion used here in your microwave oven. Combine the tender veggies with the cheese and other ingredients in a saucepan until thick and creamy, then serve it up with your choice of tortilla chips, sliced pita bread, pita chips, bagel chips or crackers.

    Click here to see if I've cloned more of your favorites from Red Robin.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Famous Dave's Smoked Salmon Spread

    Menu Description: "Our own hickory-smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and chipotle peppers makes this a spread worth swimming upstream for. Served with fire-grilled flatbread."

    Famous Dave's is famous for making pork ribs so good you forget you're wearing the embarrassing bib. But before you get your face smeared with BBQ sauce, you may want to kick off your meal with this popular choice from the chain's appetizer column. Start with 4 ounces of the best smoked salmon you can find—it should be very smoky if you want to duplicate the same taste of the original. If you can't find salmon that's smoky enough, I found that adding a little hickory liquid smoke to the mix works perfectly to flavor the spread so that it tastes like Dave's version. You'll end up with twice the amount of spread as the original which makes this a great appetizer for a small party. You can even prepare the flatbread ahead of time, then wrap it up in foil and reheat it in the oven before serving.

    If you're craving some ribs, try my clone recipes for Chili's Baby Back Ribs, Roadhouse Grill Baby Back Ribs, or Tony Roma's World Famous Ribs.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur. 

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Cheddar's Santa Fe Spinach Dip

    Spinach dips are a great finger food appetizer and just about every chain has its own version, but Cheddar's has one of the best in the business with a unique, slightly spicy southwestern twist. Four different kinds of cheese are used in this recipe: three are blended into the spinach, then mozzarella is melted over the top just before serving.

    And for speed, we’ll use a microwave oven to quickly defrost the box of frozen spinach so that you’ll have a delish copycat Cheddar's Santa Fe spinach dip on the table in just 20 minutes.

    This way to more cool copycats from Cheddar's.

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  • Not rated yet
    Zaxby's Zax Sauce (Chicken Finger Sauce)

    This combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and spices for dipping chicken fingers was originally created at Guthrie's—the first chain to offer chicken-finger meals—by one of founder Hal Guthrie's kids, and the sauce became a big part of the restaurant's early success. Even though Guthrie's debuted the first version of this sauce, it’s the bigger chicken-finger chains like Zaxby's and Raising Cane's that copied Guthrie’s concept and made the secret recipe iconic.

    Get this recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed", or buy the sauce premade with my Top Secret Recipes Chicken Tender Sauce.

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  • Score: 4.17 (votes: 6)
    Carrabba's Bread Dipping Blend

    When you sit down for Italian-style grub at one of the more than 168 nationwide Carrabba's restaurants, you're first served a small plate with a little pile of herbs and spices in the middle to which the waiter adds olive oil. Now you're set up to dip your sliced bread in the freshly flavored oil. To craft a version of this Carrabba's olive oil bread dip recipe, you'll need a coffee bean grinder or a small food processor to finely chop the ingredients.

    You might also like my recipe for Carrabba's Spicy Sausage Lentil Soup

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 6)
    Baja Fresh Salsa Baja

    You won't find freezers, can openers, or microwave ovens at this national Mexican food chain. Since 1990 Baja Fresh has been serving up great food, made fresh with each order. As you're waiting for your food to come out, that's when you hit up the salsa bar, where you'll find several varieties of delicious fresh salsa, from hot to mild, ready to be spooned into little tubs that you can take to your table or to your car. One of the most popular selections is called Salsa Baja—its medium spiciness, smoky flavor, and deep black color make the salsa unique and mysterious. That is, until now, since I've got a Top Secret formula for you right here. But the recipe wasn't as easy to create as I first thought. I figured the tomatoes would have to be extremely blackened over a hot grill, but I wasn't sure how to get them dark enough to turn the salsa black without the tomatoes getting all mushy and falling apart on the barbecue.

    So, I went back to Baja Fresh before they opened to peer through the window to see if I could catch some hot salsa production action. I waited and waited. After several hours as the lunch rush was beginning to wind down and no fresh salsa was in the pipeline, it was time for extreme measures to get things moving. I went in and ordered 30 tubs of Salsa Baja to go, and that did it. I ended up with a big bag filled with 2 gallons of salsa (thankfully they poured those 8-ounce portions into bigger bowls), and the restaurant went immediately into "salsa red alert" to replenished the now-dwindling salsa reserve. It was perfect. As I was grabbing my bag of salsa, a dude come out from the kitchen with a huge box of tomatoes and placed them all on the grill. I ordered a giant Diet Pepsi and parked myself at a close table to watch the process. That's when I discovered the secret. For super-charred tomatoes they start with firm, chilled tomatoes, that aren't too big or too ripe. I also found out that the tomatoes must start roasting on the grill with the stem-side down. Crafting the rest of my Baja Fresh Salsa Baja recipe was simple...

    Find more cool dips and salsa recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 3.94 (votes: 16)
    Benihana Dipping Sauces

    The origin of the name of this chain of Japanese steakhouses dates back to 1935. that's when founder Rocky Aokis father, Yunosuke Aoki, opened a small coffee shop in Japan and named it "Benihana" after a wild red flower that grew near the front door of his shop. Next time you're at Benihana, look carefully and you'll notice that bright red flower has been incorporated into the restaurants logo.

    With most of the cooking performed before your eyes on an open hibachi grill, Benihana maintains a much smaller kitchen than most restaurants, allowing practically the entire restaurant to become productive, money-generating dining space. The limited space behind the scenes is for storage, office and dressing rooms, and a small preparation area for non-cooked items like these sauces. These Benihana dipping sauces will go well with a variety of Asian dishes and can be frozen in sealed containers for weeks at a time. If it's the Benihana Chicken and Steak you crave, you can find my clone recipe here

    Source: "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes" by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.64 (votes: 11)
    Jason's Deli Creamy Liqueur Fruit Dipping Sauce

    When Joe Tortorice and Rusty Coco opened the first Jason's Deli in Beaumont, Texas, in 1976, they could only dream of one day having more than 177 stores in 27 states. The original Jason's Deli menu of 12 items has exploded to more than seventy-five, with many of the awesome sandwich selections paired up with a side order of assorted fruit and creamy liqueur fruit dipping sauce. 

    The super-tasty fruit-dipping-sauce is easily cloned here in my Jason's Deli Creamy Liqueur Fruit Dipping Sauce recipe below. With only three ingredients, my recipe can be customized for those of you watching the fat grams by substituting low-fat or fat-free sour cream. Serve this sauce along with a bowl of your favorite fresh fruit, such as pineapple, strawberries, grapes or whatever happens to be in season.

    Check here for more famous dip recipes. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 37)
    Red Lobster Tartar Sauce

    Here's a clone for the dollop of sweet, creamy goodness that comes alongside your fish entrée at the world's largest seafood chain. My Red Lobster Tartar Sauce recipe produces you a quick and tasty sauce that has the look and flavor of the real thing—and it's only five ingredients! Use the sauce to dress up your next home-cooked fish platter or as a spread on fish sandwiches and fish tacos.

    Find more of my Red Lobster copycat recipes here, like Cheddar Bay Biscuits and Parrot Bay coconut shrimp.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.88 (votes: 17)
    Chili's Salsa

    My super simple Chili's salsa recipe can be made in a pinch with a can of diced tomatoes, some canned jalapeños, fresh lime juice, onion, spices, and a food processor or blender. Plus, you can easily double the recipe by sending in a larger 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, and simply doubling up on all the other ingredients. Use this versatile salsa as a dip for tortilla chips, or plop it down onto any dish that needs flavor assistance—from eggs to taco salads to wraps to fish. You can adjust the heat level to suit your taste by tweaking the amount of canned jalapeños in the mix. 

    Now, what's for dinner? Check out some copycat entrees from your favorite restaurants here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    T.G.I. Friday's Nine-Layer Dip

    Menu Description: "Refried beans, cheddar cheese, guacamole, black olives, seasoned sour cream, green onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips and fresh salsa."

    When the first T.G.I. Friday's opened in New York City in 1965 as a meeting place for single adults, Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post reported that it was the beginning of the "singles age." Today the restaurant's customers have matured, many are married, and they bring their children with them to the more than 300 Friday's across the country and around the world.

    The Nine-Layer Dip is an often requested appetizer on the T.G.I. Friday's menu. This dish will serve half a dozen people easily, so it's perfect for a small gathering. Don't worry if there's only a couple of you—leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Terry Ho's Spicy Yum Yum Sauce

    The most famous recipe from Terry Ho’s Hibachi Express chain of fast casual Japanese restaurants located in Georgia and Alabama is the secret orange sauce served alongside every meal. In 2012, Terry bottled his famous Yum Yum sauce, claiming on the label that it’s “the best sauce ever” and is “good on everything.”

    I chose to hack the kicked-up spicier version of the sauce since it had more character than the milder original version, but if this version is too hot for your taste, reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper and pepper sauce.

    Use my Terry Ho's Spicy Yum Yum Sauce recipe below to easily make the sauce at home. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, and then let it rest in your refrigerator. After about 30 minutes, you’ll have a cup of the delicious creamy stuff to use on shrimp, chicken, steak, or whatever you want.

    Find more of my copycat recipes for famous sauces here.  

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa

    I’ve yet to taste a better habanero salsa at a quick-service Mexican chain than the one made daily at Qdoba Mexican Eats. Yes, it is very spicy, but the simple combo of fire-roasted habanero, tomatillo, and garlic is not as fiery as you might expect from a salsa that includes so much habanero in it.

    And that’s exactly what makes Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa so good. Because the habanero peppers are roasted, and the seeds are removed, you can enjoy the complex flavor of the habanero without your taste buds being numbed by the heat. A good salsa should enhance your food, not upstage it.

    You can roast the peppers in your oven or by holding them over the high flame of a gas stove with a skewer until the skins have charred to black. Resting the blackened peppers in a covered container for a few minutes will help to steam the skins, and they will wash off easily under cold water. 

    How about using this salsa to spice up some Qdoba Grilled Chicken Adobo? Ger my recipe here

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  • Not rated yet
    Melting Pot Gorgonzola Port Sauce

    It only takes a little bit of port wine to perfectly match the flavor of the Melting Pot Gorgonzola Port 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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  • Not rated yet
    Melting Pot Green Goddess Sauce

    All you need is cream cheese, sour cream, and fresh herbs to make my Melting Pot Green Goddess dipping sauce for your fondue-cooked veggies.

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

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  • Not rated yet
    Melting Pot Ginger Plum Sauce

    It would have been great to find a brand-name plum sauce that is a perfect match to the ginger plum sauce served at The Melting Pot, but after trying several popular brands, none of them was quite right. The sauce that came the closest is made by Lee Kum Kee, and I found the best solution was to use that bottled sauce as a base and transform it into a clone by adding a few other ingredients.

    You'll find that this sweet-and-sour sauce tastes delicious on your fondue-cooked shrimp and chicken. 

    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)
    Melting Pot Teriyaki Sauce

    The Melting Pot sells this thick sauce by the bottle and uses it as a marinade for sirloin in several of the entrées. But there's no need to buy the bottle since you can now whip up an easy clone of your own at home with this new Top Secret Recipe.

    Use my Melting Pot Teriyaki sauce for dipping cooked steak, chicken, and shrimp.

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

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  • Not rated yet
    Melting Pot Curry Sauce

    If you like curry, you'll love this sweet-and-sour yogurt-based curry sauce, sweetened with sugar and citrus juices, and kicked up with just a pinch of cayenne pepper. Use my Melting Pot curry sauce recipe with your fondue-cooked chicken and shrimp. It's also good on vegetables.  

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

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  • Not rated yet
    Melting Pot Cocktail Sauce

    Melting Pot cocktail sauce is a simple formula of ketchup, horseradish and lemon juice. It's a perfect 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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  • Not rated yet
    Zaxby's Zax Sauce (Chicken Finger Sauce)

    This combination of mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and spices for dipping chicken fingers was originally created at Guthrie's—the first chain to offer chicken-finger meals—by one of founder Hal Guthrie's kids, and the sauce became a big part of the restaurant's early success. Even though Guthrie's debuted the first version of this sauce, it’s the bigger chicken-finger chains like Zaxby's and Raising Cane's that copied Guthrie’s concept and made the secret recipe iconic.

    Get this recipe in "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed", or buy the sauce premade with my Top Secret Recipes Chicken Tender Sauce.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Cheddar's Santa Fe Spinach Dip

    Spinach dips are a great finger food appetizer and just about every chain has its own version, but Cheddar's has one of the best in the business with a unique, slightly spicy southwestern twist. Four different kinds of cheese are used in this recipe: three are blended into the spinach, then mozzarella is melted over the top just before serving.

    And for speed, we’ll use a microwave oven to quickly defrost the box of frozen spinach so that you’ll have a delish copycat Cheddar's Santa Fe spinach dip on the table in just 20 minutes.

    This way to more cool copycats from Cheddar's.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Swiss Chalet Dipping Sauce

    Swiss Chalet is one of the biggest Canada-based restaurant chains, with over 200 stores, and it’s the place our northern neighbors go when they want delicious rotisserie chicken and ribs. At one time there were a few Swiss Chalet restaurants in the U.S., but the last of those closed in 2010. So if you want to taste the food from Swiss Chalet and you live in the States, you’re out of luck—unless you do some food hacking.

    Fortunately, the Canadian chain makes a few of its products available to purchase outside of the restaurant, including its most sought-after recipe: the dipping sauce. The famous dipping sauce is used on the chain’s popular chicken, fries, and rolls, and the instant version of the sauce comes in 36-gram envelopes, but even those are tough to find in the States. Luckily, I found some on eBay and got to work.

    An instant mix like this sauce powder is often tough to copy since many ingredients in the packet are hard to find in supermarkets. For this hack though, I found Knorr tomato bouillon cubes to be incredibly useful. These cuboids of concentrated flavor contain many of the ingredients we need for a great Swiss Chalet dipping sauce recipe, including tomato powder and chicken fat, both of which can be found in the original sauce packet.

    After you pulverize the bouillon cube into powder, combine it with the other ingredients in a small bowl, and you’ve got an instant dry blend that can be converted into a flavorful sauce in minutes, just like the real thing.

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    T.G.I. Friday's Nine-Layer Dip

    Menu Description: "Refried beans, cheddar cheese, guacamole, black olives, seasoned sour cream, green onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips and fresh salsa."

    When the first T.G.I. Friday's opened in New York City in 1965 as a meeting place for single adults, Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post reported that it was the beginning of the "singles age." Today the restaurant's customers have matured, many are married, and they bring their children with them to the more than 300 Friday's across the country and around the world.

    The Nine-Layer Dip is an often requested appetizer on the T.G.I. Friday's menu. This dish will serve half a dozen people easily, so it's perfect for a small gathering. Don't worry if there's only a couple of you—leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Red Lobster Tartar Sauce Fat-Free

    Alongside your fish entree served at this huge seafood chain, comes a dollop of delicious tartar sauce. But the sauce served at the restaurant has around 22 grams of fat per two tablespoons. This adds significant fat to an entree that is otherwise so naturally light in fat and calories.

    Using fat-free mayonnaise, we can easily eliminate every bit of the fat in this sauce. The finished product tastes just like the original.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–2 tablespoons
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–25 (Original–200)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–22g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.60 (votes: 10)
    Red Robin Campfire Sauce

    Red Robin is known for great gourmet hamburgers and tasty cocktail concoctions, but the 400-plus-unit chain also serves a huge tower of onion rings that comes with a side of this creamy, sweet-and-smoky dipping sauce. An Internet search revealed a few clues about what might be mixed into this mystery Red Robin onion ring sauce, but the complete culinary conundrum was yet to be solved. A mixture of mayonnaise and barbecue sauce was a good starting point, but with so many varieties of barbecue sauce on the market, I had to figure out which came closest to the flavor of the original Campfire Sauce. So, I went back to Red Robin, obtained a sample of the barbecue sauce they use, and conducted a side-by-side taste test of all the major brands on the market. After more spoonfuls of straight barbecue sauce than any human should consume at one sitting, I finally concluded that Bull's Eye Brown Sugar and Hickory comes the closest to the sauce used at the restaurant. A little more experimentation with this sauce, some mayonnaise and a couple of other ingredients, and I eventually had an awesome re-creation of the delicious dipping sauce that can be served with home-baked onion rings, poppers, French fries, or as a really great hamburger spread. Mission accomplished.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.75 (votes: 4)
    Rondele Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread

    The real thing found in the deli section of your market is used on crackers, as a dip for raw vegetables, or even as a spread on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Now I've come up with an easy way to duplicate Rondele using a 12-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese—so you'll happily get three times the amount of the 4-ounce original! Just be sure when mixing your version that you don't over mix, or you will destroy the fluffiness of the whipped cheese. The Italian seasoning included here is a dried herb blend (usually marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil) found near the other bottled herbs and spices in your market. I used McCormick brand for this Rondele garlic & herbs cheese spread clone recipe, but any brand should work fine. Since the herbs are dried, the flavor is more subtle than it would be with fresh herbs, even after the dried bits soak up moisture from the cheese. And that's just want we want for a good clone.

    Find more of your favorite famous dip recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For over 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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