24 Copycat Recipes for Your Favorite Restaurant Appetizers
Stick to your budget by making your favorite restaurant appetizers at home. Here’s how.
Inspired by: Red Robin Fried Pickle Nickels
Like deep-fried pickles? You’ll love this un-fried version even more. Dill pickle spears are coated with panko bread crumbs and spices, then baked until crispy. Dip them with ranch dressing for an appetizer you won’t soon forget.—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Don’t miss these McDonald’s copycat recipes.
Inspired by: Buffalo Wild Wings Ultimate Nachos
I modified a nachos recipe I found, and my family loves it! It is now a regular at our dinner table. —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan. For when you do want to eat out, here are the best restaurant deals for your money.
Inspired by: Rock Bottom Ball Park Pretzels
My husband, friends, and family love these soft, chewy pretzels. Let your machine mix the dough, then all you have to do is shape and bake these fun snacks. —Sherry Peterson, Fort Collins, Colorado.
Inspired by: Red Lobster Fried Oysters
I love nothing more than a cold beer and a shucked oyster, so when my partners and I opened Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama, we wanted to add them to the menu. We love making them, we love serving them, and our guests love eating them. —Taylor Hicks, Las Vegas, Nevada. Check out these 11 seafood facts that will change how you eat fish forever.
Inspired by: California Pizza Kitchen Spinach Artichoke Dip
Whenever I go to an event, I’m always asked to bring this hot dip. Five types of cheese make it a standout and oh-so delicious. I love its party-ready convenience— I serve it straight from the slow cooker, so set-up and clean-up are a breeze! —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Inspired by: Maggiano’s Little Italy Bruschetta Bar Tour
You won’t believe the compliments you’ll receive when you greet guests with these warm appetizers. Every crispy bite offers the savory tastes of feta cheese, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. They’re terrific for holiday parties or most any gathering. —Stacey Rinehart, Eugene, Oregon. To spark your next recipe inspiration, check out these dishes professional chefs always order at Italian restaurants.
Inspired by: Benihana Spicy Edamame
Edamame (pronounced ay-duh-MAH-may) are young soybeans in their pods. In our Test Kitchen, we boiled and seasoned them with salt, ginger, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Inspired by: BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Crisp Potato Skins Platter
It’s easy to love these delicious appetizers. They’re nice to serve outside when you invite friends over for a grilled meal. They remind me of the potato skins I have had in restaurants—only better! —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland. Here’s a roundup of the best potato recipes from each state.
Inspired by: The Cheesecake Factory Fried Macaroni and Cheese
I created this recipe for my husband, who loves mac and cheese. He describes this recipe as “unbelievably delicious” because of the crispy deep-fried coating and the creamy richness on the inside.—Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida. This is why the Cheesecake Factory menu is so long.
Inspired by: Noodles & Company Korean BBQ Meatballs
For big parties, I make glazed meatballs and deliver them in the slow cooker. That way they’re spicy, sweet, and ready to eat. —Gail Borczyk, Boca Raton, Florida.
Inspired by: Applebee’s Chicken Quesadilla
This chicken quesadilla recipe has an impressive look and taste with little preparation. The leftover chicken gets Mexican flair from cumin in this fun main dish. —Linda Wetzel, Woodland Park, Colorado. Here are easy Mexican appetizers anyone can make.
Inspired by: Texas Roadhouse Rattlesnake Bites
I got the basic recipe for these fritters from a friend, then I tweaked it for my family’s tastes. It’s one of our very favorite things in the summer. We love them right after they’ve been fried, when they’re still hot and crispy. —Pam Halter, Bridgeton, New Jersey. Check out these eight surprising things you can make in an air fryer.
Inspired by: Olive Garden Stuffed Mushrooms
Heat-and-serve convenience foods are forbidden in the House of Loreto Kitchen, and residents appreciate the “real” food we serve. Everyone reaches for seconds of these tasty morsels. —Judith LaBrozzi, Canton, Ohio.
Inspired by: Carrabba’s Italian Grill Zucchini Fritte
I coat zucchini strips with a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and spices, then bake them until they’re crispy and golden brown. Delicious!—Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin. Here are 12 tips for entertaining in a smaller home.
Inspired by: On the Border Guacamole Live!®
Ever wondered how to make guacamole? Just whip together this delicious blend of your favorite fresh ingredients.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas. This is what happens if you eat avocados every day.
Inspired by: Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp®
I created this recipe for a Cinco de Mayo party, and it was a hit! It’s so easy, yet has a serious wow factor. The creamy dipping sauce mellows out the shrimp’s heat perfectly. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
Inspired by: Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen Cheddar’s Cheese Fries
I came up with this recipe after my daughter had cheese fries at a restaurant and couldn’t stop talking about them. She loves that I can fix them so quickly at home. Plus, the frozen fry packets can be refrigerated and reheated. —Melissa Tatum, Greensboro, North Carolina. Read up on these tips on how to keep your french fries crispy while you drive home.
Inspired by: Bar Louie Loaded Tots
This is an easy, versatile party appetizer that everyone loves. If you can’t find chorizo, ground beef or ground chicken are great, too. Top with anything you like!—Connie Krupp, Racine, Wisconsin.
Inspired by: Romano’s Macaroni Grill Crispy Brussels Sprouts
I always loved Brussels sprouts growing up, so I decided as an adult to bring them home to our family table. I’ve been making them ever since.—Brenda Washnock, Negaunee, Michigan. Ever wondered how Brussels sprouts grow?
Inspired by: P.F. Chang Lettuce Wraps
This recipe is so flavorful and fresh tasting. The teachers and staff at my school love it because it’s fun to put together. —Laureen Pittman, Riverside, California. These are the foods you didn’t know you could grill.
Inspired by: Chili’s Crispy Cheddar Bites
Cheese curds or cubes dipped in flour and beer, then fried, need only a good supply of crinkly toothpicks to turn them into a vanishing act. —Katie Rose, Pewaukee, Wisconsin.
Inspired by: Bennigan’s Cheeseburger Pub Bites™
My girlfriend and I threw an outdoor party for a bunch of friends and these sliders were a hit. We also like to make them for a quick, easy meal. —Kirk Brooks, Tucson, Arizona. Here are 20 other easy finger food ideas that are perfect for a party.
Inspired by: Outback Steakhouse Bloomin’ Onion®
Instead of being battered and deep-fried, this blooming onion recipe is brushed with melted butter and mustard, sprinkled with bread crumbs and seasonings and baked. It’s an impressive-looking appetizer, and the dip can be used for veggies and crackers, too. —Kendra Doss, Kansas City, Missouri.
Inspired by: T.G.I Friday’s Mozzarella Sticks
You won’t believe something this easy could taste so fantastic! Crunchy outside, gooey cheese inside, these mozzarella sticks are a treat all ages will love. Kids could help wrap them, too. —Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin. Next, find out the 35 recipes everyone should know before age 35.