Okay, be honest, have you ever left a restaurant after having a great meal and thought “I would love to be able to make that at home!”.  We ALL have.  The following article covers many of the popular restaurant favorites. 

These recipes represent the closest to the real thing.  I have recipes from KFC, Chic-Fil-A and Panda Express to everyone’s favorite… Cheesecake Factory. 

Having these recipes on hand is especially convenient when you simply can’t go to your favorite restaurant because of say, a global pandemic!


Bang Bang Shrimp

Ingredients Needed:

  • Milk – 1 Cup
  • Flour – 3/4 Cup
  • Cornstarch – 1/2 Cup
  • Egg – 1 Large
  • Hot Sauce – 1 Teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – 2 Cups
  • Chicken Breasts – 2 Pieces, (cut into 1″ pieces)
  • Canola Oil for Frying


  • Olive Oil – 1 Tablespoon
  • Scallions – 2 (chopped)
  • Ginger – 1/2 Teaspoon (minced)
  • Garlic – 1 Clove (minced)
  • Red Curry Powder – 1 Tablespoon
  • Coconut Milk – 1 Cup
  • Chicken Stock – 1/2 Cup

Start by heating the oil to a temperature of 365 degrees (F) in a pan that can hold all your chicken pieces. While the oil is heating, prepare the coating for your chicken.

Mix together the milk, flour, cornstarch, egg, hot sauce and sea salt in a bowl. Lay the breadcrumbs out on a dish. Using tongs, tip the pieces of chicken into the mixture, and then when wet, roll them in the breadcrumbs until fully coated.

Once the oil is hot, gently place the chicken into the pan and cook for about five minutes. You will want to move the chicken around the pan, so they do not stick.

As the chicken is cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Heat a separate pan to medium heat. Once hot, add your olive oil. The add your scallions, ginger and garlic, and stir and cook for about two minutes.

Once this is cooked down a little, add your red curry powder, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Simmer for about five minutes. You will then want to lower the heat to reduce the sauce.

When the chicken is done cooking, carefully pour the sauce over top and enjoy.


Boneless Buffalo Bites

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken Breasts – 2 (cubed)
  • Flour – 1 Cup
  • Sea Salt – 2 Teaspoons
  • Cayenne Pepper 1/3 Teaspoon (ground)
  • Garlic Powder – 3/4 Teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Egg – 1 (beaten)
  • Milk – 1/4 Cup
  • Buffalo Sauce – 1/2 Cup
  • Garnish with chopped chives
  • Use blue cheese dressing for dipping

Set your air fryer to 360 degrees (F) and preheat by setting the timer for 5 minutes. While your fryer is heating up, you will want to prepare your coating. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the egg and milk with a whisk.

Dip your chicken cubes into the wet mixture. Shaking them off with tongs, roll the cubes into the dry mixture. When all your chicken is coated, place them in the fryer and set the timer for sixteen minutes. You should rotate your chicken pieces every 5 minutes.

Place your buffalo sauce in a large zip-lock bag. When the chicken is done cooking, transfer it to the bag and shake until all pieces are coated with the buffalo sauce. Top with the chives and serve on a plate with the blue cheese on the side.


Buffalo Chicken Wontons

Ingredients Needed:

  • Ground Chicken – 3/4 pound
  • Cheddar Cheese – 1 Cup (shredded)
  • Buffalo Sauce – 1/2 Cup
  • Egg – 1 (beaten)
  • Water – 1 Tablespoon
  • Wonton Wrappers – 1 Package

Set your air fryer to 400 degrees (F) and preheat by setting the timer for 5 minutes. While your fryer is heating up, you will want to prepare your wonton stuffing. In a bowl, combine the chicken, cheese, and buffalo sauce, mixing until everything is evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, mix the egg and water together. This will be used to help seal the wonton before cooking.

Prepare a clean work surface and lay out the wonton wrappers. Add a tablespoon full of the chicken mixture into the middle of each wrapper. Taking the liquid mixture, brush along the edges of the wrapper. Carefully fold the wonton in half and press down on the edges to seal.

Cook the wontons in the fryer for 6 minutes and enjoy.


Chicken Fillet Sandwich

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken Breast – 1 (split in 1/2 and pounded to 3/4″ thickness)
  • Egg – 1 (beaten)
  • Milk – 1/4 Cup
  • Breadcrumbs – 1 Cup
  • Cheddar Cheese – 2 Slices
  • Sandwich Buns – 2 (toasted)
  • Lettuce Leaves – 2
  • Tomato Slices – 2
  • Red Onion Slices – 2
  • Vegetable Oil Spray
  • Chipotle Mayonnaise (optional)
  • Pickles (optional)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

Set your air fryer to 400 degrees (F) and preheat by setting the timer for 5 minutes. While your fryer is heating up, you will want to season your chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Find 3 medium sized bowls and place them in a row on your work surface. Place the flour in the first bowl. Mix the egg and milk together in the second bowl. In the third bowl you will place your breadcrumbs.

Using an assembly line method, you will take a piece of chicken, coat it in the flour, dip it in the liquid mixture, and then coat it with the breadcrumbs.

Repeat this with the second piece of chicken. Before placing the chicken in the fryer, spray vegetable oil on the top of each piece. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, then flip, then cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove the chicken and then setup your fryer to melt the cheese. Set the temperature on the air fryer to 350 degrees (F). Place the cheese on top of the chicken and using toothpicks, secure the cheese to the chicken. Place the chicken back in the fryer, cheese side up, for about 2 minutes.

When the cheese is melted, remove the toothpicks and place the chicken on the toasted bun, along with the lettuce, tomato, and onion. Top with pickles and/or mayo if you want.

Want a WHOLE BUNCH of copycat recipes?! Check out THIS book…



Fried Chicken

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken Pieces – 18 to 20
  • Buttermilk – 1 Cup
  • Egg – 1 (large)
  • Seasoned Coating (ingredients below)

Seasoned Coating

  • Flour – 2 Cups
  • Salt – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Dried Thyme – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Dried Basil – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Dried Oregano – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Celery Salt – 3/4 Teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Mustard – 1 Teaspoon
  • Paprika – 2 Tablespoons
  • Garlic Salt – 1 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Ginger – 1 Tablespoon
  • Ground White Pepper – 3/4 Tablespoon

To marinate the chicken, mix the egg and buttermilk in a bowl large enough to hold all of your chicken pieces. Once mixed, add your chicken and make sure all the pieces are coated with the mixture. Place the bowl in your refrigerator for about thirty minutes.

Once the chicken has marinated long enough, remove from the refrigerator and start to prepare your seasoned coating. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the seasoned coating and mix well.

Take each piece of chicken and make sure it is thoroughly covered with the seasoned coating. Set the chicken aside and let it set up for about twenty minutes.

Set your air fryer to 400 degrees (F) and preheat by setting the timer for 5 minutes. Once your fryer is heated up, place the chicken in and cook for about forty-five minutes, making sure to turn your chicken a few times throughout the cooking process.

panda express logo

Orange Peel Chicken

Ingredients Needed:

  • Chicken Breasts – 2 (large – cleaned and cut into 1″ cubes)
  • Egg – 1 (beaten)
  • Flour – 1 Cup
  • Cornstarch – 2 Tablespoons
  • Salt – 2 Teaspoons
  • Ground Black Pepper -1/2 Teaspoons
  • Orange Sauce (ingredients below)

Orange Sauce

  • Orange Juice – 2 Cups
  • Lemon – 1 (juiced)
  • Soy Sauce – 1 Tablespoon
  • Orange Zest – 1 Tablespoon
  • Ginger – 1/2 Teaspoon (minced)
  • Garlic – 1/2 Teaspoon (minced)
  • Scallions – 2 (minced)
  • Red Pepper Flakes – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Brown Sugar – 1/2 Cup
  • Cornstarch – 2 Tablespoons
  • Water – 2 Tablespoons

In a medium saucepan, mix together all the ingredients for the orange sauce except for the cornstarch and water. Once well mixed, heat over a medium-low setting for about ten minutes.

While this mixture is cooking, combine the cornstarch and water and mix. Once the sauce mixture is finished cooking, add the cornstarch and water, and return to the heat for another 5 minutes. The sauce will become the consistency you are looking for.

Set your air fryer to 370 degrees (F) and preheat by setting the timer for 5 minutes. While your fryer is heating up, you will prepare your chicken. Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.

Once well mixed, take a second bowl and mix the chicken and egg until all pieces are wet. Toss the wet chicken with the dry mix and make sure all chicken pieces are completely coated.

Cook the chicken in the fryer for sixteen minutes, making sure to rotate the chicken every four minutes. Once the chicken is done cooking, toss with the orange sauce that you made and enjoy.


Chocolate Frosty

Ingredients Needed:
(An Ice Creamer Maker is Needed for This Recipe)

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – 14 Ounces
  • Chocolate Milk – 1/2 Gallon
  • Cool Whip – 8 Ounces

In a large bowl, mix the condensed milk and the chocolate milk, using a whisk to make sure the two liquids are properly blended. Once this is done, you need to fold in the Cool Whip. This is done by taking a spatula and gently rolling the Cool Whip into the liquid until everything is well mixed.

Place this mixture in the ice cream maker and chill, using the directions supplied with the machine. Serve as soon as ready and enjoy.


Philly Cheesesteak

Ingredients Needed:

  • Steak – 1 Pound (cut into 3/8″ slices)
  • Swiss Cheese – 1/2 Pound (sliced)
  • Red Pepper – 1 (cut into 1/4″ strips)
  • Sea Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Black Pepper – 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Grape Seed Oil – 2 Tablespoons
  • French Bread – 1 Loaf (cut into 4 sandwiches)

Start by heating the oil in a frying pan on high heat. When the oil reaches the proper temperature, at the sliced steak in small batches, searing the pieces for 1 minute on each side. When finished, remove the pieces of meat and place to the side.

Using the same pan, add the red pepper strips, then top with the cooked sirloin and cook this for an additional 3 minutes. When done, top with the sliced Swiss cheese. Place a lid on top of the pan to trap the moisture and cook until the cheese is fully melted over the meat and peppers.

Take a spatula and divided the meat into 4 equal portions. Place on the French bread and enjoy.
Filet Mignon

Ingredients Needed:

  • Filet of Beef – 1.5 Pounds (trimmed and cut into 4 steaks)
  • Sea Salt – 1 Tablespoon
  • Freshly Ground Pepper – 1 Teaspoon
  • Grape Seed Oil – 2 Tablespoons
  • Fresh Parsley – 2 Tablespoons (chopped)
  • Butter – 3 Tablespoons

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (F). While the oven is preheating, sprinkle your steaks with the salt and ground black pepper. Get a frying pan that can fit all your steaks and heat the pan over high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, add the oil. After the oil heats up, sear each side of the steak.

When this is done, take the frying pan with the steaks and place it in the preheated oven. Continue to cook the steaks until they reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees (F). When done, remove from the oven and place on a plate. Finish the steaks with the chopped parsley and butter.
Country-Fried Steak

Ingredients Needed:

  • Eye Round Beef – 1 Pound (cut into 2/3″ steaks)
  • Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Pepper – 1.5 Teaspoons (divided)
  • Flour – 1 Cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Milk – 2 Tablespoons
  • Breadcrumbs – 1 Cup
  • Garlic (granulated) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Onion (granulated) – 1 Teaspoon
  • Sea Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Canola Oil (for frying)

Ingredients for Gravy:

  • Butter – 3 Tablespoons
  • Flour – 3 Tablespoons
  • Milk – 2 Cups
  • Chicken Stock – 1 Cup
  • Thyme – 1 Sprig
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon

Place you cut steaks onto a cutting board or flat surface. Cover the steaks with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (or small hammer), pound the steaks until they are about 1/4″ thick.

This will make the meat more tender and easier to cook. Once this is done, season each steak with the salt and 1/2 Teaspoon of ground black pepper.

Preparing your coating by pouring the flour into a bowl or shallow dish. In a bowl, beat the eggs and combine with the milk. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, sea salt, and 1 Teaspoon of ground black pepper and mix thoroughly.

Place each steak in the flour bowl, coating it lightly with flour on both sides. Then dip the steaks into the egg and milk mixture. Let some of the mixture drip off the steak and then dredge the steak in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated steaks to the side.

Heat a frying pan deep enough to fit your steaks and heat over high heat on your stove top. Fill the pan halfway with the canola oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully lower your coated steaks into the oil, one at a time, and cook until each is golden brown. Set each steak aside when complete.

To make the gravy, take a clean pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and cook for about two minutes, constantly stirring. Once cooked, slowly add the milk and, using a whisk, make sure the milk combines evenly with the butter and flour mixture.

Once fully combined, lower the heat and then add the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper. Cook the gravy on low heat for about twenty minutes.

When the gravy is done, plate your steaks and pour the gravy over and serve immediately.
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BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Ingredients Needed:

  • Baby Back Ribs -2 Full Racks, cut in half
  • Water (to boil the ribs)
  • Garlic (granulated) – 2 Tablespoons
  • Onion (granulated) – 2 Tablespoons
  • Cumin – 1 Tablespoon (ground)
  • Coriander – 1 Tablespoon (ground)
  • Sea Salt – 1 Tablespoon
  • Paprika – 1 Tablespoon
  • Black Pepper – 1 Tablespoon (ground)
  • Barbecue Sauce – 1.5 Cups

Find a pan large enough to fit your ribs. Place the ribs in the pan and add enough water to cover them completely. Place a cover on the pan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower the temperature and cook the ribs for one hour.

While the ribs are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). At the same time, prepare the rib rub by combining the garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, sea salt, paprika and ground black pepper into a bowl and mix thoroughly.

When the ribs are done, remove them from the boiling water, let the excess water drip off, and place them on a baking sheet. Spread the rib rub over both sides of your ribs.

Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the ribs and coat both sides with the barbecue sauce. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Roast Beef

Ingredients Needed:

  • Top Round Roast – 3 Pounds (Bottom Round can be used)
  • Garlic Cloves – 3 (minced)
  • Rosemary – 2 Sprigs (chopped)
  • Kosher Salt – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Olive Oil – 1 Tablespoon
  • Dijon Mustard – 1 Tablespoon

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (F). While the oven is preheating, prepare your rub by combining the garlic, rosemary, salt, black pepper, olive oil and mustard in a small bowl. Once thoroughly mixed, rub the entirety of the roast with the mixture.

Place the roast on a baking pan and place in the preheated oven. Using a meat thermometer, cook the roast until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (F). When finished cooking, remove the roast and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Grilled and Seasoned Rib-eye Steak

Ingredients Needed:

  • Rib-eye Steaks – 2 14 Ounce Steaks (trimmed)
  • Salt – 1 Teaspoon
  • Paprika – 1 Teaspoon
  • Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 Teaspoon
  • Onion Powder – 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Garlic Powder – 3/4 Teaspoon
  • Ground Cayenne Pepper – 1/4 Teaspoon
  • Coriander – 1/8 Teaspoon
  • Turmeric – 1/8 Teaspoon
  • Olive Oil – 2 Tablespoons

Preheat your grill on a high temperature. While your grill is heating up, prepare the seasoning mix by combining the salt, paprika, ground black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, coriander, and turmeric in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Season the steaks with the mixture on both sides. Once seasoned, rub the steaks with the olive oil. Now that the steaks are prepared, grill the steaks until the internal temperature reached 135 degrees (F). Let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
Orange Julius

Ingredients Needed:

  • Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice – 1 Can
  • Milk – 3/4 Cup
  • Cold Water – 1/4 Cup
  • Powdered Sugar – 1/8 Cup
  • Vanilla – 1 Teaspoon
  • Ice Cubes – 2 Cups

Using a large blender, combine all the ingredients and blend on medium speed until smooth. If the ice cubes are not fully breaking up, increase the speed of the blender or use the pulse setting. Pour into a large glass and enjoy.


Inspired to try some of these?!  More will be added over the next few weeks so check back…






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