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Three Main Reasons to Copycat a Restaurant Meal

Updated on November 7, 2012

Cost Calories and Contamination

There are a lot of reasons to copycat your favorite restaurant meals at home. The three main reasons that motivate me to knock-off a recipe are cost, calories and most importantly contamination.

Longhorn Steakhouse Outlaw Ribeye Copycat
Longhorn Steakhouse Outlaw Ribeye Copycat


Let's cover contamination first since you might not know what the heck I’m referring to with that one. People with food allergies need to avoid the offending agents at all costs. For instance, if you have a gluten sensitivity like me, it means that you need to avoid gluten at all costs or risk serious physical consequences. Even if your favorite restaurant offers a gluten free menu, there’s always a risk that your food was improperly handled and may have been contaminated with gluten at some point during the preparation.

For instance your gluten free omelet may be cooked on a griddle that had previously cooked pancakes thus contaminating the omelet with gluten. When you make a meal at home you’re in complete control of the food from start to finish. And, most restaurants don’t even offer gluten free options for your favorite foods thus further spurning the need to copycat an item.

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit - A Gluten Free Copycat

Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits have always been one of my favorites so you might imagine how upset I was at the thought that I would never eat them again. But alas after trying out a few recipes I’ve been able to duplicate them very well.


Cost is another huge motivating factor to make a restaurant meal at home. In today's tight economy it's not always possible to enjoy your favorite restaurant meals without breaking the family budget. Using simple cooking techniques make it much simpler than you might imagine to knock-off your favorite restaurant dishes at a fraction of the cost. And if you keep your eyes open for sales and managers specials, your family might feel like they hit the lottery when you bring home those thick juicy steaks at an affordable price.

The Longhorn Steakhouse Outlaw Ribeye Copycat

The Longhorn Steakhouse has always been a favorite of mine as far as large chain restraints go but it’s not the cheapest place to take the family out to dinner. In this recipe video I’ve done a copycat version of their Outlaw Ribeye at 1/3 the cost of the menu price. An old fashioned cast iron skillet makes it easy to get the job done without much effort.


Finally I sometimes copycat a meal at home to save calories. Since I can’t eat gluten I’m often relegated to perusing the menus online for ideas I can make at home. You might imagine how shocked I was when I clicked on the nutrition page for some of these restaurant items and saw some of the whopping caloric totals for my old favorites. When you make a meal yourself it's much easier to keep the calories under control.

Lower Calorie Ruby Tuesday’s Copycat

Ruby Tuesday’s Chicken and Mushroom Alfredo is one of my all time favorites. When I saw that it had over 1200 calories I began to rethink things. Since I needed to copycat the recipe anyway due to my gluten allergy, I figured I could also slash the calories in the process. Alas the Ruby Tuesday’s Chicken and Mushroom Alfredo copycat was born.

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    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      Rest well again soon, Anne.

    • profile image

      IntegrityYes 5 years ago

      I definitely voted up. WHOA!

    • EZ Gluten Free profile image

      EZ Gluten Free 5 years ago

      @Patty Kenyon In today's economy, I need all the help I can get saving money.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 5 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      I love duplicating food that I have had at a restaurant!!! It does save money and it is fun to figure out the right ingredients!!