Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries are my take on a regional favorite. They’re easy to make for an at-home treat, and you’ll love to dig into them as a side… or even as your main dish!
I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, especially since it seems like I’ve been snacking nonstop for the past year. Fortunately, I’ve stayed on track, but on one recent weekend, I was ready for a cheat day.
I wanted In-N-Out Burger fries!
What are Animal Style Fries? Well, they’re shoestring fries with melted cheese that get slathered in a special sweet-and-tangy spread. Then, caramelized onions are tossed on top.
If you’re up for trying make-at-home fries, try my Sweet Potato Fries with Jalapeño-Onion Ranch Dip. They’re so tasty! Looking for more spud love? Try my Oven-Baked Rosemary Steak Fries with Homemade Ketchup.
When reaching for cheese to make this recipe, I used cheddar. Don’t try to use American cheese slices — you know the ones. Wrapped up in plastic?
Why not? Because that cheese doesn’t melt nicely. Cheddar does. But don’t use the shredded, pre-packaged kind because that doesn’t melt well for this, either. Shred your own. Easy-peasy!
Not familiar with In-N-Out Burger? It’s a regional fast-food restaurant that started in California and has expanded to six other near and near-ish states. They offer a limited menu of fresh and tasty, burgers, fries, and shakes.
They don’t use microwaves, and their burgers and fries are made fresh to order. Their toppings are limited, too – just fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and cheese.
But they do offer their spread for their burgers (and fries, too, if you know about their not-so-secret menu). Ah, that spread! Don’t you just love those special regional or local restaurants with your favorite menu items?
I don’t know if anyone really knows what exactly is in the spread, but it’s delish. I searched around a little, then put together my version of their spread for these Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries.
In my opinion, it’s those lovely caramelized onions that make these fries what they are, and that is super-tasty!
I’m not sure how In-N-Out Burger makes their onions (they called them grilled), but I caramelized the onions for this recipe. Wondering what that entails? Pretty much just a little patience and not much else!
How to Caramelize Onions
Caramelized onions are golden brown and sweet. They’re so lovely and delicious I could almost eat them all by themselves, with a spoon. Lucky for us, we can use the French fries in this copycat recipe as the vehicle to help scoop up and enjoy the onions.
But first: a little patience. Caramelized onions turn sweet and golden by cooking them on low heat for a while. Yep. When you read about how to caramelize onions you’ll always see the reminder to cook them. low and slow.
How to Caramelize Onions:
- Add a large skillet to medium heat. When hot, add some olive oil.
- Reduce the heat to low.
- Add onions to the skillet evenly across the surface.
- Walk away. (Just for a bit.)
- Still the onions occasionally, but not too often.
- Cook the onions until they’re golden. For this recipe, about 20-30 minutes (or a bit longer).
- If you find your onions sticking to the skillet, add a bit of water and use a spatula to scrape them up from the bottom of the skillet.
That’s it. For this recipe I diced the onion very small first, then cooked them. If I were making caramelized onions for a different type of recipe, I probably wouldn’t chop them so small, but maybe keep them in 2-inch strips.
Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries
Did I mention why I decided to make this recipe for Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries? It was because on my cheat day, after waiting in a reallllllly long drive-through line, my order was confused with someone else’s and I didn’t get my animal style fries.
No way was I going to wait in that line again. Was the universe telling me not to have a well-deserved cheat day with fries?!
I was so bummed! That night, my husband did his best to make me an at-home version of the animal style fries. How sweet is he, right? His version of the fries were so good, we decided to try to recreate them. They turned out amazing!
Give these Copycat In-N-Out Burger Animal Style Fries – I know you’ll love them! No lines, no mixed up orders. Just a favorite make-at-home side.
Patricia Conte/Grab a Plate
Yields Serves 4
5 based on 8 review(s)
- 1(16-ounce) bag frozen shoestring-style fries
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (do not use processed cheese singles)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup yellow onion, diced small
- 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 5 tablespoons ketchup
- 2-3 teaspoons sweet relish
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pinch granulated sugar
- Add the fries to a baking pan in a single layer, and cook according to the package directions.
- After adding the fries to the oven, start to cook the onions. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and turn the heat to low. Spread out the onion across the skillet in a single layer.
- Allow the onion to cook for 20-30 minutes or even longer, until golden and brown.
- As the onions cook, you may need to add a bit of water to the skillet (a little at a time) if they seem to be sticking. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the onion up from the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, ketchup, sweet relish, and ground black pepper. Stir well and taste. Add the remaining pinch of sugar if you’d like.
- After the fries are cooked, sprinkle the cheese over the top of them and place back in the oven for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
- Remove from the oven. Transfer to plates.
- Top the fries with the sauce, and add the caramelized onions on top.
You'll love this fun copycat recipe! They're perfect as a make-at-home treat.