Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (2024)

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- By Michelle Minnaar
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There aren’t many fast food items that gain the sort of cult status as In-N-Out Animal-Style fries!

Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (1)

Crispy golden brown French fries with heaps of caramelized onions, slices of American cheese and a big serving of delicious In-and-Out sauce. What’s not to like?

Products you need for this recipe

  • Air fryer – if you’ve never used an air fryer, now’s the time to invest. They really are amazing. A cleaner, healthier way to fry, it’ll become an essential part of your kitchen
  • Large frying pan – you’ll need a quality heavy duty frying pan to fry the caramelized onions
Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (2)

Copycat In-N-Out Animal-Style Fries

A widely known secret among In-N-Out fans is the special upgrade to their French fries. Animal fries are not even on the menu. They’re on the “secret menu.”

Just say the words “Animal-Style fries” to the employee and you’ll be served up with a helping of fries so good you’ll be In-N-Out and back again.

How about making up your own batch at home? Let’s make our own little secret menu shall we? My homemade animal fries are so easy to make and taste just like the real thing.If you want something to go with your fries try out this Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe or these bacon cheeseburger sliders!

So, let’s bring a little slice of the West Coast into your kitchen shall we?

Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (3)

What are Animal-Style Fries?

Animal French fries are the famous fries from the In-N-Out Burger American fast food restaurant. They’re a mouth watering combination of golden brown French fries, American cheese and onions.

The mixture of the crispy French fries, the melted cheese and the sweet caramelized onions is out of this world! It’s no wonder these are such a cult favorite.

The final sauce on top is the magic secret sauce. Check out my very own homemade recipe – see the opening paragraph of this blog. That’s right… I’ve cracked their secret sauce!

Best of all, it takes literally a minute to make this sauce and it’s so easy to put together – in fact, you’ve most probably got all the ingredients in your kitchen.

Why do they call them “Animal-Style” Fries?

The original premise of In-N-Out Burger was all about beautiful simplicity. The fast food joint’s menu covered the basics and still does to this day.

In-N-Out flexes with the best of them though. Their not-so-secret “secret menu” allows customers to go rogue and mix things up.

The most popular secret style on this alternative menu is “Animal-Style,” which upgrades standard French fries and burgers to a different level.

The legend has it that the term goes all the way back to the original In-N-Out restaurant in Baldwin Park, California. Sometime in the early 1960s, a group of kids would hang out in the car park, always ordering their fries smothered in melted American cheese and grilled onions.

The In-N-Out staff knew them as a rowdy bunch, a little wild and carefree. Rather than remembering their order every time, one of the head employees at the time told them to ask for it “Animal-Style.”

What are the best fries to use for Animal-Style fries?

Frozen French fries work just fine. The key to this recipe really is the sauce and the toppings, so easy to cook no-fuss frozen French fries are ideal.

You can, of course, make homemade French fries, if you have the time.

What’s the best way to cook Animal-Style fries?

There are several ways to cook your French fries for this recipe. My tip? Go with an air fryer.

Air fryer Animal Fries

Animal Fries cooked in an air fryer will be perfectly golden brown, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Deep fried Animal Fries

While not quite as light and crispy as air fried Animal fries, deep fried French fries will still end up golden brown, crispy and delicious.

Oven cooked Animal Fries

Oven cooked fries are a whole lot healthier than the fried kind. Still, what you gain health-wise you lose in taste and texture.

Can you get Animal-Style Fries without onions?

Well, technically it’s the addition of onions and cheese that make these French fries “Animal-Style.”

That said, it’s your kitchen and your rules, so you can do whatever you want! You won’t get any In-N-Out employees rapping on your door to give you the third degree. So, if you aren’t a fan of caramelized onions, leave them out.

Can you get Animal-Style Fries without cheese?

Absolutely! Again, it’s not strictly “Animal-Style” without onions and cheese. If you want to leave out the cheese, go ahead!

Are Animal-Style Fries vegan?

No, they are not vegan. However, Animal fries without cheese and without the mayo in the sauce ARE vegan. Use a replacement for the mayo in the sauce – you can get great plant-based mayonnaise alternatives online.

Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (4)

What to serve with Animal-Style fries

Want to do it In-N-Out style? Go for an Animal-Style double double burger. Fry or grill up a couple of your favorite burgers, add pickles, grilled onions and extra helping of In-N-Out sauce.

You could always go rogue and serve up your luscious Animal fries with something a little bit different. Here are some more mouth watering recipes that would make a perfect match for these fabulous fries.

  • Smoked chicken drumsticks – smoked chicken drumsticks are absolutely divine! With a taste and texture that melt in your mouth, you really can’t go wrong
  • Smoked chicken – take it to another level and smoke the whole bird! Serve with Animal-Style fries for a full-on feast
  • BBQ pulled lamb – BBQ pulled lamb burgers are a guaranteed way to bring the house down at your next BBQ. Serve some Animal fires on the side and really them talking!
  • Chicken rissoles – tasty, healthy, quick and easy, this gourmet sandwich is the perfect accompaniment to Animal-Style fries
Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (5)

More All-American favorites

If you’re from the States, these recipes are the perfect way to celebrate the good ol’ US of A! If you’re not, what better way to celebrate the glory of American food than recreating it in your kitchen?

  • Lamb sloppy Joes – is there anything better than a classic beef sloppy Joe? Turns out the answer is yes
  • Smoked beef short ribs – when it comes to smoking, no one does it like the Americans. This US-inspired smoked short ribs recipe is utterly glorious. One taste and you’ll be swooning
  • Apple pie cookies – these little bad boys are unlike any other cookie you’ve had. They are like mini apple pies and taste like a home baked miracle!
  • Pear cobbler – speaking of home baked miracles, this comfort classic is one you do NOT want to miss. It’s surprisingly easy too
  • Tobacco onions – these smoky little beauties aren’t well-known. Yet this is definitely one of the tastiest side dishes that could ever grace the plate at a barbecue. Try them once… you’ll be sold
  • Ranch dressing – creamy and light with great herbal flavours and just the right touch of garlic, this is the classic American salad dressing. Easy, quick and tastes fantastic. As does the vegan version!
  • Buffalo cauliflower wings – a vegan version of the American classic, this is an amazing alternative to Buffalo chicken wings
  • Bubble gum ice cream – what says “American summer” like bubble gum ice cream? A delicious throwback that melts in your mouth, one taste and you’ll be taken back to simpler times
  • Juicer pulp muffins – sustainable cooking at its tastiest and most irresistible. If you like to juice vegetables, don’t throw away the pulp. Put it to use and pack in those vitamins and minerals
  • Peanut butter and jelly ice cream – a tempting taste on the old favorite. Next level PB&J might just make your day. It certainly made mine!
Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (6)


📖 Recipe

Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (7)

Animal-Style Fries Recipe

★★★★★5 from 1 review
  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Print Recipe


Learn how to make an American cult classic, Animal-Style Fries. Famously from In-N-Out, this copycat recipe is an absolute favourite.



French Fries

  • 900g (2lbs) frozen french fries

Caramelized Onions

  • 14g (1 tbsp) butter
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 12g (1 tbsp) brown sugar
  • 3g (½ tsp) salt

In-N-Out Sauce

  • 125ml (½ cup) mayonnaise
  • 45ml (3 tbsp) ketchup
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) sweet pickle relish
  • 6g (1 ½ tsp) sugar
  • 7.5ml (1 ½ tsp) white vinegar


  • 4 slices American cheese


  1. French Fries: Cook the fries according to the manufacturer's directions.
  2. Caramelized Onions: Meanwhile, melt the butter and add the oil to a large frying pan and cook the onions over a medium heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Lower the heat slightly and add the sugar and salt. Stir every now and then.
  4. Continue to cook the onions until they are caramelized. In total, this should take 15-20 minutes.
  5. In-N-Out Sauce: While the onions are cooking, make the sauce. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  6. Assembling the dish: Once the fries are cooked, remove from the oven and immediately top with cheese, arranged in a single layer.
  7. Top the cheese with the caramelized onions, distributing them evenly.
  8. Lastly, top with as much or little sauce as you like.
  9. Serve with burgers. Dig in and enjoy!


  • The quantities and ratios used are completely up to you. You might decide to use only half the amount of onion and sauce, which means you can save these leftovers for another batch of Animal Fries the next day!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: animal-style fries, in-and-out fries, animal fries recipe, copycat in-n-out recipe, in-and-out fries, American fries recipe

Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (8)

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Reader Interactions


    Make my day! - Share your thoughts...

  1. Liam

    Calorific masterpiece!


    • Michelle Minnaar

      Thanks Liam! One of my favourite cheat meals.


Animal-Style Fries: Copycat In-N-Out Recipe | Greedy Gourmet (2024)
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