Our favorite copycat recipes

Craving your favorite restaurant food but don’t feel like going out? Check out the HMConnection team’s favorite copycat recipes you can enjoy right at home.



  • 1/2 box penne
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut thin)
  • 1 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 3 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 pt. half-and-half
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese, separated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp. sliced flat-leaf parsley


  1. Cook penne according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and dust both sides with Cajun seasoning until thoroughly coated. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add chicken, cooking through completely, about 5 to 6 minutes for each side. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to skillet, along with half-and-half, garlic powder, salt, pepper and 1/3 cup of parmesan. Stir until combined and remove from heat.
  4. Toss pasta in sauce and divide onto plates. Slice chicken and place on top of pasta. Sprinkle each with remaining parmesan, diced tomatoes and parsley.



  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño (including seeds), diced
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Cut the avocados in half, remove pits carefully and scoop the avocados into a bowl.
  2. Toss and coat with lime juice.
  3. Add salt and mash until smooth.
  4. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix.

Want to make sure your guac is just right? Watch Chipotle’s Executive Chef Chad show you how it’s done!



  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil (can substitute with safflower oil)
  • Corn oil
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted beef stock
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 bag of shoestring potatoes (26 ounces)


  1. Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine ice, beef stock, soy milk and baking powder in a bowl, and mix until combined.
  3. Place fries into the brine and remove after a few seconds.
  4. Put brined fries back into the freezer for 5 minutes.
  5. Drop fries into oil and cook for 2 minutes, or until they reach your desired doneness.



  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 packet Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. freshly grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt


In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients and season with salt.



  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 scoops vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream (optional)


Blend all ingredients, except whipped cream, until smooth. Transfer to serving cup and top with whipped cream, if desired.

CHILI’S is a registered trademark of Brinker International Payroll Company, L.P.; CHIPOTLE is a registered trademark of CMG Pepper, LLC; OLIVE GARDEN is a registered trademark of Darden Concepts, Inc.; MCDONALD’S is a registered trademark of McDonald’s Corporation; STARBUCKS is a registered trademark of Starbucks Corporation; and are not affiliated with Horace Mann.

WBTL-0827 (June 20)

© 2017 Horace Mann Educators Corporation

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