Sunday, November 27, 2005


As I believe I have mentioned before, for 25 years, Bill Knapp's was my family's favorite restaurant. I recently came across a number of recipes online, purporting to be from Knapp's. Quite frankly, I was dubious of a couple of them. So I used my kids as guinea pigs and fixed these for Thanksgiving dinner. I was very pleasantly surprised! They were a big hit! These recipes are in fact the real deal! So I am sharing them with you.


1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
2 cps Milk
1/2 cp Butter
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cp Flour
1 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp instant Chicken Bullion granules
6 oz American Cheese

Night before, boil potatoes until easily pierced with fork, approx. 1/2 hour. Chill thoroughly. Next day, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2" cubes. Set aside. Melt Butter in a large sauce pan, add Salt and Flour and blend. Gradually stir in Milk and cook, stirring, till thickened. Add Paprika, Pepper, Bullion and Cheese. Cook, stirring, till cheese melts. Stir in Potatoes. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake, uncovered at 350 for about 1/2 hour, or until top start to get brown and bubbly.

Note: If you double this recipe, it fits nicely in a greased 9 x 13 pan. You can also divide this into individual cassolettes and bake, which is how Knapp's served it.

posted by Mark


  • At 6:46 PM, Blogger tshsmom said…

    WOW, this is how I make Au Gratins. I developed the recipe over 15 yrs of trial and error.
    I peel, slice, and boil my potatoes in the microwave; less mess this way.

  • At 8:31 PM, Anonymous ann said…

    this looks pretty great. might be better for christmas eve than regular mashed potatoes....

  • At 9:48 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said…

    my kids loved them!

  • At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried this recipe and it reminded me of all the good momories with my family eating at bill knapps. Thank You.

  • At 9:51 PM, Anonymous mark said…

    glad you like it!

  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a kid, I loved Bill Knapp's b/c of the comic books they loaned to kids to read. As I grew older, I loved going to Bill Knapp's for the great food and always excellent service.

    Came to your site while searching specifically for Bill Knapp's recipes. Thanks for posting this one. I'll be trying it out tonight!

  • At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Tricia said…

    Any chance you have the recipe for Bill Knapp's cabbage soup? My daughter-in-law raves about it often, but we've never been able to come up with the right version. Thanks from a first-time reader!

  • At 1:12 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said…


    Cabbage soup , along with chicken friccase, is one of the teh recipes i haven't been able to find yet.

  • At 10:49 PM, Blogger bozo said…

    yipee...what a find...I can't wait to make these potatoes. Thanks for the info

  • At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is the closest recipe I've seen online. My parents both worked for the company for over 20 years. I went to a wedding of a family/ B.K. friend and sat next to one of the old CEO's of B.K. shortly after their closing and told her I missed them. This is the "real" way from the vice-pres' mouth:

    (measurements are approximate, depends on quantity wanted)

    1 tablespoon chicken fat
    1 tablespoon flour
    1 cup milk
    1 cup shredded crackerbarrel sharp (important!) cheddar cheese
    about 4 med. potatoes, diced
    1) make a roux with flour & fat. if I don't have fat, butter is darn close.
    2)add milk, bring to boil and thicken for 1 min. Add cheese,stir, & remove from heat.
    3) meanwhile, boil potatoes until tender but still firm and drain.
    4)mix with cheese sauce, top with paprika, and bake around 450 until top is golden.
    This is the real deal, baby!
    Anyone know about their fried chicken? I miss that too!

  • At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Besides the Au Gratin potatoes I really miss Bill Knapps 1000 Island Dressing. Does anyone have that recipe?

  • At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just love all these recipes. Is the cook book still available. I can't wait to tell all my friend. We are from Michigan. Gee

  • At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bill Knapp's made their own 1000 Island Dressing. It did have a unique flavor. It came in a gallon carton from the Commissary in Battle Creek. I remember we use to mix Half & Half (creamer) with it. I think that it stored better without the creamer so we mixed it daily or as needed. I would suggest you look for a recipe that includes cream or Half & Half.

  • At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Do you or does anyone know how to make Bill Knapps original french dressing?

  • At 1:23 PM, Blogger Siesta II said…

    Bill Knapp's chocolate chip cookies were always a favorite of mine. Does anyone have the recipe???

  • At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tried this recipe with the crackerbarrel cheese as offered by another blogger,it was not the same without the veveeta cheese.when using the velveeta cheese the sauce is thicker

  • At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

  • At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The recipe I want is for the sauce on the honey ginger chicken. I am very pregnant and it is all that I can think about. I miss Bill Knapps.

  • At 6:14 PM, Anonymous mark said…

    anon: haven't tried this yet, but It has gotten 5 stars on virtually every copycat recipe site. From the Lansing Journal.

    Source: Janet Geissler; Lansing State Journal, Copyright 2004

    Bill Knapp's Honey/Ginger Chicken marinade

    Chicken breasts or thighs
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 cup apple juice
    2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    2/3 cup soy sauce
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    2/3 cup vegetable oil

    Mix together all marinade ingredients in a blender.

    Pour into plastic zip-top bag with chicken; seal and let chicken marinate overnight in refrigerator.

    Let marinade drip off before cooking (dispose of marinade). Cook on grill, bake in oven or cook over medium-high heat in skillet on stove top. (Cooking time will vary on type of chicken parts and cooking method used.)

  • At 1:34 AM, Anonymous Leatha said…

    Does anyone know the recipe for Bill Knapp's potato salad? Thanks Leatha Spagnuolo
    Email me at squaw


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