Monday, June 21, 2021

Clearman's Cheese Spread Copycat Recipe

Copycat Clearman's Cheese Spread

One of the restaurants our family used to go to way back in California the 1970s and 1980s was Steak 'N Stein. All I remember is that the decor was mostly red, and that they served the most delicious cheese bread in the world -- a slice of sourdough with a garlicky, cheesy, somewhat greasy spread that also had a little bit of a spicy bite to it. Mmm. 

My mom found the spread at the grocery store, and every summer when we would visit my parents from our new home in Iowa, Mom would make lots of this cheese bread for me and my kids. Now that Mom and Dad are gone, and our visits to California are not quite the same, I thought it was time to try out this copycat recipe on

After reading the reviews, I made a couple of adjustments, and I have to say, even if this isn't exactly the recipe, it's close enough, and it's delicious. If you do make this, be sure to find (or make) some real tangy sourdough bread on which to spread this if you want a more authentic, nostalgic experience.


Clearman's Cheese Spread Copycat Recipe
Adapted from

  • 1 cup margarine, softened/room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-6 drops Tobasco sauce
  • 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1.5 ounces grated Romano cheese
  • 1.5 ounces grated/powdered Parmesan cheese
  • Slices of real sourdough bread (don't know yet how many slices this will make)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the margarine, garlic powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and Tobasco sauce until completely combined and fluffy, if possible. (You can also use a regular hand mixer if you don't have a stand mixer.)
  • Fold in the cheeses.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spread a generous layer of the cheese spread on one side of a slice of sourdough bread.
  • Bake at 425 for about 5-7 minutes and then turn on the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly and bread is as browned as you like it.
  • Allow to cool a bit before eating.
  • Refrigerate leftover cheese spread for later use.

Makes about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of cheese spread

Refrigerated leftovers


  1. I have been eating this cheese bread for over 70 years. Clearman's steak and stein inn(Pixo Rivera, calif) was the first formal restaurant I was ever taken to by my parents in the early 50s. It is a real pleasure to finally know how to recreate this wonderful spread.

    1. Ah! I'm so glad I was able to share it with you! Hope you're loving the recipe!

  2. I can't imagine this recipe being that close because the spices aren't the same. There's no paprika in the real thing, and this recipe doesn't have vinegar, molasses, anchovies, tamarind, or cloves. I'm still trying to find a close dupe. *sigh*

  3. Have you tried this recipe yet? It might be a good springboard for you to experiment and find something closer to the exact recipe. Then maybe you can share that with me. :)


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