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Copycat Recipes

Make your favorite restaurant meals at home.

Have you ever wanted to make something from your favorite restaurant at home but didn’t know how to replicate it?  Maybe you are not sure what all the ingredients are or how long to cook it.  Maybe you think it’s impossible to get the same taste at home.

I recently came across a website dedicated to “copycat” recipes from your favorite chain restaurants.  You can search by restaurant name such as Olive Garden or Panera Bread Company or by the actual menu item.  For example, I love the broccoli and cheddar soup at Panera.  I found the copycat recipe and made it at home.  It was amazing!  I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. 

While these recipes are not the actual recipe from the restaurant (they would never give them up!), they are close copies that have been prepared in a test kitchen and tweaked to match the original.

This is my new go-to site to find Olive Garden’s awesome salad dressing recipe or the Bloomin’ Onion from Outback Steakhouse.  Over 1500 chain restaurant copycats are posted.  The site www.copykat.com is the brainchild of Stephanie Manley who began the website as a way to preserve her family’s recipes for future generations. 

Now you can enjoy your restaurant favorites without leaving the comfort of your own home!   You may even save some “dough” as well!

IHOP Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk

Directions: Place first five ingredients into a bowl.  Add buttermilk, oil and egg.  With a spoon, mix all the ingredients and beat until smooth.  Heat a frying pan or griddle on medium low heat.  Pour a little oil or cooking spray onto pan.  Pour batter to desired size.  Let batter set until small bubbles appear on top.  Flip and finish cooking.  Serve warm with your favorite syrup.  Makes nine 5-inch pancakes. 

Olive Garden’s Chicken and Gnocchi Soup

  • 1 cup chicken breast, cooked and diced (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart half and half
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon parsley
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound potato gnocchi

Directions: Sauté the onion, celery, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat.  When the onion becomes translucent, add the flour and make a roux.  Let the butter and flour mixture cook for about one minute before adding the half and half.  Cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Set aside.  Into the roux, add the carrots and chicken.  Once the mixture becomes thick, add the chicken broth.  Once the mixture thickens again, add the cooked gnocchi, spinach and seasonings.  Simmer until soup in heated through.  Makes eight servings. 

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