With this easy copycat recipe, you can enjoy In-N-Out animal fries whenever the craving strikes.
If you live near an In-N-Out, we’re eternally jealous of your good fortune. If you’re on the East Coast and can only order a Double Double on vacation, then you know the value of a good copycat In-N-Out recipe. This recipe for In-N-Out animal style fries is no exception.
Part of its not-so-secret secret menu, animal style fries are one of the chain’s top sellers. Keep reading to satisfy your In-N-Out craving with this easy homemade version. No cross-country road trip required!
What Are Animal Style Fries?
Animal style fries are In-N-Out’s version of cheese fries. Perfectly golden fries get piled high and smothered in melted American cheese, grilled onions and special In-N-Out sauce. In short, they’re messy, cheesy, and comfort food at its finest.
How to Make Copycat Animal Style Fries
This recipe makes 10 servings.
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 package (32 ounces) frozen french fries
- 12 slices American cheese
Step 1: Make the secret sauce
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise (try making homemade mayo), ketchup, relish, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Once combined, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Psst: Look familiar? See how this copycat In-N-Out sauce compares to our homemade McDonald’s special sauce.
Step 2: Caramelize the onions
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to caramelize the onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare your fries
While the onions caramelize, cook the fries following the package directions.
Step 4: Melt the cheese
Preheat your broiler with the oven’s top rack positioned 2-3 inches from the upper heating element. Arrange the cooked fries on a baking sheet (if not already) and top with the cheese slices. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 1-2 minutes.
Editor’s Tip: Don’t walk away! Keep a close eye on the fries and cheese to ensure they do not burn. Don’t make these broiler mistakes, either.
Step 5: Assemble with toppings
Remove the cheesy fries from the oven promptly and top with the caramelized onions and prepared secret sauce. Serve immediately and devour..
Tips for Making Animal Style Fries
How do you prepare the frozen fries?
While most frozen fries recommend baking in the oven, there are more options. For a taste most like what you would get at a restaurant, prepare using a deep fryer. Many frozen french fries can also be prepared in an air fryer.
Can you make the fry sauce ahead?
Absolutely! Prepare the animal style fry sauce up to 4 days ahead. Keep refrigerated in an airtight storage container and stir well before using since separation may occur.
What other sauces would taste good on cheese fries?
Next Up: Love In-N-Out? Read up on surprising In-N-Out facts.
Our Best In-N-Out Copycat Recipes
For an easy weeknight dinner, try these juicy burgers. A dollop of chili sauce on top makes them extra flavorful. —Ron Treadaway, Acworth, Georgia
When whipping up something for Father’s Day or the Fourth of July, I go big and tall with this fully loaded, juicy yumburger. —Chase Bailey, Costa Mesa, California
I was planning to grill burgers, and then it dawned on me: How about a cheeseburger salad? The original recipe doesn’t call for a tomato, but it’s awesome here. —Pam Jefferies, Cantrall, Illinois
Where can you get a juicy burger that is so superior to drive-thru fare? Right in your backyard with this delicious bacon cheeseburger recipe. —Jackie Burns, Silverdale, Washington
Sometimes we don’t even bother with a bun for these moist, flavorful onion burgers. Smoked cheese, grilled onions and a special sauce make them out of the ordinary! —Christie Gardiner, Pleasant Grove, Utah
You can also use your imagination to come up with other grilled cheese sandwich ideas, such as chives, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or Italian seasoning, and even a spoonful of salsa. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
These fries are always popular with my meat-and-potatoes bunch. The cheesy seasoning can easily double as a flavorful baked potato topper, too.—Maribeth Edwards, Follansbee, West Virginia
Cool off with a thick and rich treat that will remind you of a malt shoppe! Nothing can beat this strawberry shake recipe. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin