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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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    It's time to clone America's best-selling brand of instant macaroni & cheese. This recipe is for the "Deluxe" variety of this popular product—that is, the one that comes with an envelope of thick cheese sauce, rather than the dry, powdered cheese. I think the "Deluxe" version, with its two-cheese blend, is the better tasting of the two. Now, with this Top Secret Recipe, you can make creamy macaroni and cheese that tastes like Kraft's original at a fraction of the price of the real thing.

    Try more of my copycat recipes from Kraft here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 4

    This easy-to-clone Chevys Garlic mashed potato dish comes alongside many of the tasty entrees at this Mexican restaurant chain, or it can be ordered up, pronto, on the side. It's a nice homemade garlic mashed potatoes clone to have around since it goes well with so many of your homemade dishes, Mexican or otherwise. Get yourself four large russet potatoes and start peeling, but you don't need to peel all the skin off. Leave a little skin on there for texture. And when you boil the potatoes, toss the whole garlic cloves right in the pot. That way the garlic begins to flavor the potatoes as they boil, and when you mash the potatoes the cooked garlic gets mashed up too.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Here's a hack for a new menu item at Tony Roma's that's served alongside the Carolina Honeys BBQ Salmon. Combine maple syrup, cinnamon and pecans with sweet potatoes and you've got an irresistible side dish just like the popular restaurant side.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    In 1991, the world's largest chicken chain introduced a new logo to better reflect the addition of non-fried chicken products. Kentucky Fried Chicken morphed into KFC.

    One of the chain's classic side dishes is the tasty macaroni and cheese, which has been on the menu for years. Using the light version of Velveeta cheese and some reduced-fat Cheddar, we duplicate the taste while cutting the fat grams in half here in this reduced-fat conversion.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–4.5 ounces
    Total servings–6
    Calories per serving–95 (Original–180)
    Fat per serving–4g (Original–8g)

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

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    Everyone seems to love these delicious mashed potatoes at the "Fresh Mex" Mexican Food chain. Sure, mashed potatoes may seem like a healthy side dish, but when the traditional recipe includes cream and butter, it's easy to consume more than just a few grams of fat in one small serving.

    This fat-crushing hack proves that mashed potatoes don't have to include fat to taste good.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 1/4 cups
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–285 (Original–338)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–9g)

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    When Boston Market first opened in 1989, it was called Boston Chicken. That's because at that time chicken was the only meat served at the chain. But three years later, in 1992, the chain added meatloaf, turkey, and ham, and officially became Boston Market. Yes, a lot of signs had to be changed at considerable expense.

    This popular side dish, which contains three types of cheese, normally has 24 grams of fat per serving. So, for this recipe, we will be using two fat-free cheeses along with regular Provolone, and we'll be able to re-create the taste of the real thing, but with just 25 percent of the fat in the original.

    Nutritional Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–180 (Original–300)
    Fat per serving–6g (Original–24g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite 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: 4.50. Votes: 4

    This copycat Kraft stove top stuffing recipe clones the common 6-ounce box of Stove Top stuffing mix you find in any grocery store. This secret formula duplicates the chicken variety, the brand's most popular version. It's nice to be able to make as much of this as you want prior to the holiday crunch, and just keep it sealed up in the pantry until you're ready to use it. You have enough to worry about deciding which fruits to use in the Jell-O mold. When it's time to cook, it's just a matter of adding some water and margarine, and in 10 easy minutes this stuff is all ready to go.

    Check out my clone recipes for other Kraft favorites here.

    Source: Even More 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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