THE ORIGINAL COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

Side Dishes

Good job. 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 side dishes here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Rotini, cukes, tomatoes, scallions and vinaigrette dressing on the side."

    On the back of each menu at this popular dinner house chain is the "Hooters Saga"—a tongue-in-cheek tale of the restaurant's origin. The story claims that the chain's founders, referred to as "The Hooters Six," were arrested shortly after opening the first Hooters restaurant "for impersonating restauranteurs (sic). There were no indictments," the story explains. "But the stigma lingers on."

    Even though the "saga" claims the building for the first Hooters restaurant was originally going to be used as a "giant walk-in dumpster," each Hooters outlet is designed to look like a Florida beachouse. And whether it's December or July, day or night, you'll notice the trademark multicolored Christmas lights are always on.

    Since Hooters is more than just Buffalo wings and shrimp, I thought I'd include a clone for a newer item on the menu. You'll love the tasty tri-color pasta salad tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onion, and a delicious vinaigrette. Use this Top Secret version of the pink vinaigrette dressing on a variety of salads or sub sandwiches, or even as a marinade.

    Get your wing fix with my copycat recipes for the wings that made Hooter's famous here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    In the biz, it’s called home meal replacement. And Boston Market was one of the first companies out of the gate to enter into this recently very competitive sector of food service. The company was started in 1989 and offered its special recipe of marinated rotisserie chicken, along with several home—style side dishes. The butternut squash was not one of the company’s first side dish offerings, but has recently become one of the favorites. The light-tasting vegetable, seasoned with nutmeg and sweetened with sugar, is a healthy alternative to more fat-filled fare. 

    According to the nutrition sheet, the chain’s version of this bright yellow side dish has some fat in it-probably from butter. We can make a great fat-free clone of Boston Market’s butternut squash, using Butter Buds Sprinkles to replace any fat, along with the same type of spices that are found in the real thing. 

    Nutrition facts 
    Serving size–½ cup 
    Total servings–4 
    Calories per serving–74 (Original–160)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–6g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Here's a technique for making flavorful butternut squash that's crazy easy. Most of your time will be spent cutting the squash into 1-inch cubes so that you can steam it. Use a sharp peeler to remove the tough skin, then skip on over to the chopping block (but please, no skipping with a sharp knife). You can alternately use a microwave to cook the squash whole (see Tidbits), although I prefer the texture from good old-fashioned steaming. After the squash is cooked, mash it up, mix in the other ingredients, and you've got a great side that fits right in with many meals, especially spicy dishes. Since this squash comes in varying sizes, you may want to start with just 1/4 teaspoon of salt, give it a taste, then add more as needed.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.40. Votes: 10

    This popular pick from Boston Market may be called a side dish, but it tastes more like dessert. With the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter in there, and the oatmeal streusel on top, you will be reminded of sweet potato pie; yet the dish goes great alongside meals as varied as low-key chicken dinners or bigger-key holiday banquets. And the great part is, if you're planning to use this for entertaining, you can make everything but the streusel a day ahead so you won't be stressed at crunch time. Just cover the filled baking dish and pop it in the fridge. Take it out a few hours before you plan to bake it so the casserole can come close to room temperature, then you simply top it off with your streusel and pop the whole thing in the oven.

    Check out my other clone recipes for Boston Market favorites here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 5

    Menu Description: "Thick-cut and coconut breaded, with chili-horseradish and citrus-mustard dipping sauces."

    Track down a couple large, sweet onions, and some shredded coconut for this Island-style twist on golden onion rings. Make 1-inch slices in each onion so that when the slices are separated you end up with at least 16 wide rings. The breading here will be enough for that many rings, although you might be able to squeeze out a few more. I've also got clones here for the diptastic sauces (check out the secret ingredient that gives the citrus-mustard clone its strong orange flavor without thinning out the sauce). When you're done, you'll have an impressive tower of rings that makes a kickin' appetizer or party dish for at least a half dozen of your crazy friends and family folks.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.
     

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 7

    I've never met a macaroni & cheese I didn't like. But there are a few restaurants that push this common side dish to a higher level. I've had mac & cheese made with three or four cheeses, and some that come drizzled with truffle oil. I've had mac & cheese with green pepper in it, and onion, and parsley, and bacon—it all works for me. But at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, it's about the chipotle. The smoky jalapeno flavor sets this one apart from others, and makes this one of the top side dishes at the upscale steakhouse chain. For our clone, we'll start with a cheese sauce made with smoked cheddar. There's some minced jalapeno and green onion in there, plus a little ground chipotle pepper. A nice finishing touch comes from the breadcrumb topping that's made with Japanese breadcrumbs, or panko, which is flavored with more ground chipotle. The pasta shape used at Fleming's is called cellentani, which looks like long corkscrews. You could also use cavatappi pasta which are shorter corkscrews, or just go for the traditional elbow macaroni which can found pretty much anywhere.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 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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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    This special side may not always be on the menu at your local Outback Steakhouse. If it's not, use this Outback Steakhouse sweet potato copycat recipe to satisfy your craving. The butter, sugar and spices added to the baked and mashed sweet potatoes make this dish great with salmon, chicken, turkey, and pork; and it rocks as a holiday feast side. It's so sweet and rich that it could double as pie filling. And just check out the amazing finishing touch: pecans, corn flakes and oats mixed with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon for a streusel-like crunchy topping, that you'll want to eat by the spoonful.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Stir-fried with Sichuan preserves, fiery chili sauce and garlic."

    Here's an easy side dish that you can start a day or two before you plan to serve it. Planning ahead like this will allow the spicy Sichuan mixture some time to pickle in the salt and acids. When you're ready to cook, a high-heat saute is put on the beans, and in less than five minutes you've got yourself an impressive, flavorful side that goes great with a slew of entrees—Asian-style or not.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Baked beans loaded with smoked pork, brisket, hot link and jalapeno peppers."

    David Anderson published a recipe for Wilbur Beans in his cookbook, Famous Dave's Backroads & Sidestreets, but the recipe isn't a perfect clone for the beans that are now served as a side dish in each of the 170 restaurants across the country. For example, the recipe in the book (the same recipe is also found abundantly across the Internet) requires strip steak which is an ingredient not found in the restaurant dish. The barbecue pork and brisket have been left out, and the book recipe requires that you use Famous Dave's barbecue sauce but is not specific about which variety of Dave's sauce to use, nor does it offer a nearly identical alternative if you can't find that particular brand. After several visits to my local Famous Dave's and chatting with the store manager, I gathered enough information to create this recipe with more accurate and specific ingredients, plus alternatives to help you whip up a spot-on clone for a dish that not only do I love to eat, but also that I felt destined to replicate once I saw the name.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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