Red Lobster Menu Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Red Lobster has a broad menu of seafood favorites and more that aim to please. Still, there are a few simple ordering hacks that allow you to make the most of their offerings. For example, did you know there is a secret drink menu? Or that several of Red Lobster's sauces taste beyond-delicious when slathered onto the famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits? From building your own sandwiches to swapping out ingredients and creating inventive dishes, there's quite a lot you can play around with. Once you know where to look and who to ask, hacking Red Lobster's menu is easy.

We combed through TikTok posts, food blogs, customer reviews, and more to create a list of the best Red Lobster menu hacks and ordering tricks you'll definitely want to try the next time you stop in for a meal. We also examined the menu and considered what ingredient substitutions make the most sense based on the restaurant's specific dining options. Keep reading to discover what we learned so you can take full advantage of everything the chain offers — even if it's not explicitly listed on the menu. Once you read about these menu hacks and how yummy they can be, something tells us you'll wish you knew about them sooner.

The complimentary Cheddar Bay Biscuits are unlimited — so don't hold back

Red Lobster has amazing lobster feasts and endless shrimp, which just got more endless, but the Cheddar Bay Biscuits are quite possibly the most iconic dish offered. They are perfectly seasoned, soft, doughy, and enjoyed by many. Best of all, they are complimentary. There's a policy about how many biscuits to give the table at a time, but you can have as many as you like. While you've definitely been served a basket of tasty biscuits when you visited, what you may not have known is that they are actually bottomless.

You can keep the biscuits coming the whole time you are dining at Red Lobster and it won't cost you a thing — even if you take them to-go at the end of your meal. So don't hold back. Indulge to your heart's content. It almost sounds too good to be true, but we assure you, it is not. Even if you fill up on bread, you can enjoy a few bites of your meal and take the rest home for later.

It's no wonder Cheddar Bay Biscuits are so popular. Not only do they bring a basket of them to every table, so everyone who's ever been has had the option to try them, but they sell a boxed mix in grocery stores. People love them so much that they want to be able to make them at home and they do (as have we many times).

Ask for special sauces for your biscuits

Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits are super tasty as is — seriously, they don't even need butter. Still, slathering them with yummy sauces only makes them better. Lucky for us, Red Lobster has a couple of sauces in particular that are more than up for the job.

The piña colada sauce, which is typically served with the Coconut Shrimp, is a perfect complement paired with Cheddar Bay Biscuits. There's something about how the coconut and pineapple flavors blend with the savory elements of the biscuits that make people swoon. (One TikTok user claims it is the best life hack.) Another recommendation is to order the scampi butter for the biscuits, and that seems like a no-brainer. Obviously, melted butter, garlic, and herbs are going to turn any biscuit into a drool-worthy delight.

Another sweet sauce that tastes amazing on the biscuits is the strawberry sauce used on the cheesecake. Combining strawberry jam and biscuits is nothing new, but pair it against the cheddar flavor and you've got a mind-blowing flavor fusion. Proof of this can be found on TikTok where one woman added dessert sauce to her biscuits, and she loves it so much that she can barely talk. Instead, she makes noises of enjoyment that say it all. Admittedly, she has raspberry sauce, but due to a recent menu change, they now offer strawberry (it'll be just as yummy though).

You can order the onion string garnish as an appetizer

Red Lobster serves a couple of dishes that come garnished with crispy fried onions, like the Crispy Brussel Sprouts and the Sesame-Soy Bowl. While these dishes are great overall, the onions on top really steal the show. In fact, these thin, crispy onion strings are so good that we wouldn't be surprised if you desired more than the small amount included on the dishes. You may even want to order them as an appetizer or side dish, and fortunately, you can.

While the crispy fried onions are not listed on the menu as an individual food item (they are just a garnish), Red Lobster can easily accommodate a request for them to be served alone as an appetizer or side dish. All you have to do is ask your server. If it's possible, they'll likely be more than happy to oblige this special request. Then, you can add heaps of them onto anything you order and enjoy them dipped in ketchup, cocktail sauce, piña colada sauce, or whatever you like. Red Lobster may not have onion rings, but you can easily hack the menu to enjoy something similar, or maybe even better.

Use dips as a decadent baked potato filling

Red Lobster offers two dip options, Lobster Dip and Crab Queso, and you can hack them both. Actually, there are a couple of ways to hack them, but more on that later. For now, let's talk about how they make a fantastic addition to baked potatoes. You can top baked potatoes with just about anything. You can even make a meal out of baked potatoes with the right toppings, and Red Lobster's dips are a perfect example of this.

To execute this menu hack, simply order a plain baked potato and one of the dips from the starters menu. Make sure your server knows you want them to come out of the kitchen at the same time so the dip doesn't come out first — it is an appetizer after all. When they arrive, spoon the dip on top of your baked potato and enjoy. Whichever dip you choose, the cheesy goodness will leave you wanting more. Chances are you'll still have some leftover dip to enjoy with the tortilla chips it comes with, too. If you aren't terribly hungry, this could easily serve as a light meal all by itself. Plus, there's always the complimentary biscuits.

There's a similar dish on the menu to this hack called the Creamy Lobster Baked Potato. However, it doesn't have any cheese in it, so the dips add another layer of flavor that makes it even tastier.

Swap out tortilla chips with fries for a delicious potato twist

Another way to hack Red Lobster's Crab Queso and Lobster Dips involves a simple ingredient substitution. Typically, the dishes are served with tortilla chips on the side for dipping, but if you swap them out for fries, you won't regret it. People have been topping different kinds of fries with various ingredients for a long time, and the dips at Red Lobster are just more examples of a fantastic way to make loaded fries.

Depending on how the kitchen feels and how busy the cooks are, they may be able to make loaded fries with one of the dips for you. Still, it is probably best to just order one of them as is and ask to substitute the tortilla chips with fries. Then, you can dip the fries, just like you would the chips. Or, you can take it a step further and pour the dip over the fries. Either way, the results are delectable.

If you don't typically like salty foods, you can always ask them to leave it off of the fries. You can't do this with chips, so it is a great hack if you're trying to cut back on sodium. It's not like this makes the dish healthy, but it makes enough of a difference to change the flavor a bit.

Order the Creamy Lobster Baked Potato, but with fries

Similar to substituting fries for chips with Red Lobster's dips, you can also swap out the baked potato for fries with the Creamy Lobster Baked Potato. It is most certainly creamy and delicious, but it isn't cheesy like the dips. Instead, it's made with a buttery beurre blanc sauce. As a result, it isn't quite as heavy. It isn't light by any means, but you're swapping a baked potato for fries, so you can't really expect that anyway.

Another reason this makes a great menu hack is because the creamy lobster topping is dominated by the lobster. As opposed to the dips, you get more of the good stuff and less filler. In addition, the baked potato is considered a side dish, so it comes in a smaller portion than the dips, which are an appetizer. This menu ordering hack makes a good choice if you want to enjoy a range of other menu items without filling up on fries.

Okay, this was the last potato hack, but potatoes are extremely versatile, so there are many ways to dress them up. Red Lobster's yummy seafood creations just so happen to be perfect for potatoes.

Build your own slider-sized sandwiches using menu items and biscuits

There are lots of ways to use Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix at home, but you can also get creative with how you use the tasty biscuits when dining at a restaurant. One of the most inventive Red Lobster menu hacks involves creating slider-sized sandwiches with them.

Since the Cheddar Bay Biscuits are unlimited, you can use them in various ways throughout your meal, and that includes turning them into mini sandwiches with the addition of other food offerings. From building your own po'boy or lobster roll to making a flavor-infused burger, Red Lobster's menu provides lots of tasty options if you want to make the most of the famous biscuits.

To build a po'boy sandwich, order popcorn shrimp and put it between two halves of a sliced biscuit. If that's too dry for your taste, add tartar or cocktail sauce. You can also make a play on a lobster roll if you order a steamed or grilled lobster tail with a side of melted butter and/or mayonnaise. If you're in the mood for a bit of red meat, go for a burger patty, cut it in half or thirds, and turn it into sliders. The menu contains a regular burger served on a sesame bun, but if you can't get enough of the Cheddar Bay Biscuits, why not get the best of both worlds in one tasty dish?

Many dishes can be made gluten-free or without butter to accommodate varying dietary preferences

Lots of the food on Red Lobster's menu is made with butter or gluten, so it may seem like the chain is not accommodating to special dietary needs and preferences, at least at first glance. However, that is not the case. Like many restaurants, they aim to please and many of the dishes can be altered to suit varying needs. That way everyone gets a chance to enjoy themselves — it's just good business.

If you wish to minimize the amount of butter you consume, the kitchen can usually use vegetable or olive oil. There are also a few things that can be done to remove gluten from dishes, like skipping the fried onions or breading on certain dishes. All you have to do is ask. If the food item you're eyeing doesn't allow for a butter or gluten-free modification, your server should be able to give you some similar options or at least point you in the right direction. Of course, if you have a gluten allergy, you should always let your server know upfront. That way they can ensure the proper precautions are taken in the kitchen so you don't have a negative reaction.

If a previous special is no longer on the menu, ask for it anyway

Red Lobster runs different specials all of the time. So much so, that you may not get a chance to stop in for a new one, like the Baja Shrimp Bowl (pictured above) before it gets replaced with something else. If this happens to you, don't worry. All is not lost.

If you heard about a new tasty special and missed your window of opportunity, or tried and loved a previous special but it's no longer on the menu, ask your server if it can still be made. You might be surprised at how often the answer is yes. They probably will need to go check with the kitchen first, but chances are good that if they still have the ingredients to make the past special you crave, they will be more than happy to serve it to you. If the restaurant is super busy, the kitchen may be less inclined to accommodate requests of this kind, but it never hurts to ask.

Order off the kid's menu for cheap takeout

There's a super-savvy menu hack that allows you to save quite a bit of money when it comes to ordering takeout from Red Lobster: Choose items from the kid's menu. The meals on the kid's menu are much cheaper and there are some pretty tasty options. Not only does this menu have the usual dishes like macaroni and cheese and chicken tenders, but it also features fried fish, grilled chicken, shrimp grilled with garlic, and popcorn shrimp. Most of them come with a side as well.

Depending on which kid's meal you order, it'll only cost you about $7 to $8.50, so there's some serious money-saving potential. Using this hack you can spend less than $20 for two meals, and the best part is that the kid's meals also come with Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Of course, the portions will be much smaller than a typical meal off of the standard menu, but you can supplement with side dishes, an a la carte lobster tail, or even get a third kid's meal if you're feeling ravenous. The only drawback to this menu hack is that it must be reserved for takeout (at least when ordering for adults).

Take a family meal home and create a week of meal planning

If you are someone who likes to meal plan so you have a week of lunches or dinners ready to go, Red Lobster is more than capable of streamlining the process. The Family Meals on the menu are perfect for dividing into single-serve portions to be enjoyed throughout the upcoming week.

Since you don't have to cook any of the food yourself, this option makes meal planning as easy as spending a bit of money, putting the food in separate airtight containers, and storing it in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy it. Consider creating a week's worth of meal prep with the Fish Fry Family Meal that comes with fries, coleslaw, and biscuits for $49.99. All things considered, that's much cheaper than you're likely to spend going out to a restaurant every day, and it saves you a ton of time, too.

In addition to fried fish, Red Lobster's Family Meals include all kinds of tasty offerings. From shrimp served several ways to linguine to other kinds of seafood, there are plenty of unique compilations to pique your interest. Some even come with baked potatoes or salads, allowing you to create well-rounded meals.

Ask about the hidden drink menu for the tastiest cocktails

Red Lobster's drink menu contains an array of flavored margaritas, wines, beers, and a couple of other cocktails, but you don't have to limit yourself to what you see on the page. The bartenders are more than capable of mixing up classic cocktails and more with the ingredients they have behind the bar, as you probably suspected. However, Red Lobster also has a hidden drink menu with a collection of creative cocktails you're unlikely to find at your typical bar. Just like with many of the other menu hacks on this list, all you have to do is ask your server or bartender.

An example of what you can expect from the hidden drink menu is displayed in one of Red Lobster's TikTok videos. It's called Under the Purple Sea and it has a fruity, tart flavor. It also has lots of eye-catching appeal because bright-colored ingredients are layered in the glass. Another hidden bar drink comes to us from a Red Lobster bartender, again via a TikTok video. Dubbed the Nuts 'N' Berries cocktail, it is fruity, creamy, nutty, and wildly different from the other cocktails you find on the regular bar menu.

Next time you visit Red Lobster for a meal, don't sleep on the hidden drink menu. You should also try at least one of the food menu hacks discussed in this article, maybe more. Let the bartenders and cooks show you what they are made of.