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: 5.00. Votes: 2

    The difference between the "deluxe" version of Kraft's Macaroni & Cheese Dinner and the original is the cheese. The deluxe dinner has an envelope of cheese sauce, while the original dinner, introduced to the nation back in 1937, comes with powdered cheese. The original Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner is the most popular packaged dinner product around, and one of the top six best-selling of all dry goods sold in supermarkets—probably because it only takes about 7 minutes to prepare, and a box costs just 70 cents. And who doesn't like macaroni and cheese? But it's the deluxe version—the more expensive version—with its pouch of gooey, yellow cheese sauce, that Kraft  reformulated as a reduced-fat product in 1997. The new version boasts 50 percent less fat and 10 percent fewer calories than the deluxe original, and tastes just as good. So here's a simple clone that requires you to get your hands on Cheez Whiz Light, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, and elbow macaroni. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 cup 
    Total servings–4 
    Calories per serving–290 
    Fat per serving–5g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Led by CEO Leonard Rawls, the Hardee's Company opened its first hamburger restaurant in 1961 at the corner of Church Street and Falls Road in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Hardee's has grown steadily through the years, with a number of well-planned acquisitions: first, the purchase of the 200-unit Sandy's chain in 1972, then the buyout of the 650-unit Burger Chef chain in 1983. The company's latest acquisition was the 1990 buyout of the 648 Roy Rogers restaurants. This latest purchase made Hardee's the third largest hamburger chain in the world, just behind McDonald's and Burger King. With that acquisition, the company claimed to be operating close to 3,800 restaurants in forty-one states and nine foreign countries. 

    Hardee's was the first major hamburger chain to switch to all-vegetable oil to cook its fried products. One of those products is french fries, the most popular item on the Hardee's menu.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The secret to cloning the Colonel's famous gravy at home is to first darken the chicken broth with a roux. Roux is a mixture of flour and oil that is cooked in a saucepan over low heat until it's browned, but not burned. This magical mixture not only colors the gravy for us, but also thickens it. The small amount of oil used here and no addition of drippings will give you gravy that tastes as good as the stuff from the world-famous chicken chain, but with significantly less fat.

    And when you're done with the gravy, you can easily make mashed potatoes that taste just like KFC's with the popular Potato Buds instant potatoes. And fat-free butter-flavored spread adds butter flavor without fat. You're going to love this one.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup potatoes and 3 tablespoons gravy
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–120 (Original–120)
    Fat per serving–2g (Original– 6g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Score: 4.70. Votes: 20

    They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries; a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

    Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Sure, KFC's potato salad is good, but have you ever wondered why they don't sell a fat-free version? It really wouldn't be so tough to substitute fat-free mayo for the regular stuff, then just sweeten it up with some sweet pickle relish and sugar. Throw a few spices in there, some bits of veggies, and the recipe might look something like this.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–5.6 ounces
    Total servings–8
    Calories per serving–90 (Original–230)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–14g)

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    A deserted Kroger grocery store in Richfield, Minnesota, was the site for the first Chi-Chi's in 1976. That was the year restaurateur Marno McDermott got together with ex-Green Bay Packer football player Max McGee to open the first of what would soon become a growing chain of Mexican food restaurants. Today, with around 100 restaurants found mostly in the Midwestern and Eastern states, Chi-Chi's has become famous for its large portions of food, and for the expression, "don't touch the plate, it's very hot!" 

    Alongside many of the entrees served at the restaurant is this sweet side dish. It's sort of like a combination of custard and cornbread, with corn and cornmeal in it. But the original is loaded with butter. That means if you eat just a very small scoop of the tasty corn cake you'll be putting away around a dozen grams of fat. By using light butter or margarine and substituting milk for the heavy cream, we knock those fat grams down to about half of the real thing served in the restaurant. Yet the flavor and texture is just as good.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 scoop
    Total servings–8
    Calories per serving–125 (Original–185)
    Fat per serving–6.5g (Original–13g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Lone Star fries smothered in Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, topped with bacon and served with ranch dressing." 

    Growth by this newcomer to the steakhouse segment has been phenomenal. So far, there are over 160 Lone Stars across the country, most of them in the East and Midwest. There are even four in Australia. The company is the fastest growing steakhouse chain in the country, and if you don't have one near you yet, you probably will soon.

    Amarillo Cheese Fries are made with thick-sliced potatoes. The recipe here is created from scratch, using freshly sliced potatoes. But, if this is one of those days when you just don't feel up to slicing and frying some russets, you can also use a bag of frozen steak fries. Just be aware that those will likely be made from peeled potatoes, unlike the restaurant fries which are unpeeled. I've also included a cool recipe for homemade ranch dressing to dip the fries in, if you decide you'd like to make yours from scratch.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 2

    This recipe was designed specifically for the Dr. Oz Show when I was tasked with creating a healthier alternative to KFC's famous cole slaw. Here's the recipe from the show that duplicates the taste of the original, but with half the fat and almost half the calories of the KFC favorite. 

    Todd's Dr. Oz Clone
    Calories–85 (1/2 cup serving)
    Fat–3g

    Original KFC
    Calories–150
    Fat–6g

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