Here's how to make secret menu In N Out Animal Style Fries – top fries with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions & special sauce. They're an exact replica!
Ingredients in In N Out Animal Style Fries
These fries have a pretty short ingredient list even once you factor in the special sauce. Here's what you need to make them (full amounts listed are at the bottom of this post in the recipe card):
- frozen fries – To make this recipe an exact replica of the restaurant's version, use extra crispy, traditional straight cut French fries.
- olive oil
- yellow onions, diced
- shredded cheddar cheese
- dried minced onion
- cayenne pepper
What are Animal Style Fries?
If you're familiar with the In and Out restaurant chain, then chances are, you know all about their loaded fries.
They are crispy French fries with a delicious topping of melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and the restaurant's signature sauce.
How to make this recipe
It's pretty easy to make these animal fries! Here are the steps below:
- Put the frozen fries into the oven so they can bake while you make the rest of the recipe. It will take about 20 minutes for them to cook.
- Meanwhile, caramelize your onions. To do this, place them into a hot pan with olive oil. Cook them over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often until they become very soft and turn a golden brown color. Most of the moisture will evaporate, causing them to become sweet and absolutely delicious!
- While you wait for the onions to cook, grate the cheddar cheese, and whisk the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- About 5 minutes before the end of the cook time, remove the fries from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheese over them.
- Pop the fries back in the oven and continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese melts completely.
- Remove the fries from oven and either leave them on the pan, or place them onto a serving platter. Top with caramelized onions and special sauce. Serve and enjoy!
What is in and out sauce?
Just like McDonald's uses a special sauce on their Big Mac, In and Out sauce is the restaurant's equivalent signature sauce.
It's similar in taste to thousand island salad dressing, but it has a tiny little kick of spice from cayenne pepper. There isn't much, but it's just enough to make the sauce completely irresistible!
Are animal style fries vegetarian?
According to the restaurant, their french fries and onions are cooked in sunflower oil. As a result, they are vegetarian and completely meat free.
However, In and Out animal style fries have cheese on them, and the sauce is made with mayo, which has eggs in it. As a result, unfortunately, this is not a vegan recipe.
Want vegan loaded fries? If you want to make a vegan version of this recipe, it's just two easy swaps! Just use your favourite egg-free mayo and dairy-free cheese instead of traditional cow's milk cheese.
Here are some other substitutions you can make:
- Oil – Feel free to use any neutral flavor oil that you like. Sunflower oil, vegetable, canola, or avocado oil are all great substitutes.
- Mayo – To cut down on the fat a little bit, you can use light mayo or Miracle Whip. You could even swap out the mayo completely and use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead.
- Onions – White onions caramelize beautifully, as do yellow and red onion.
- Cheese – For a different flavour, swap out the cheddar cheese and use any other type of meltable cheese. Pepper jack would be a fantastic substitute!
- French fries – Don't be afraid to try other types of fries! You could use crinkle cut, curly fries, waffle fries, or even potato wedges. Or swap out the russets completely and use sweet potato fries!
Ingredient short cuts
This recipe is pretty quick to make to make as is. But to shave some time off, you can buy In and Out sauce already made.
Another short cut is to use pre-cooked fries, and you can also use pre-shredded cheese or cheese slices to top the fries with. Just be sure to use real cheddar cheese slices if you go this route, not processed cheese slices such as Kraft singles.
Animal Style Fries calories
If you like comfort foods like this, you probably already know that they are usually pretty high in calories. One serving of my Animal Fries recipe has 517 calories, however the restaurant's version has 750 calories so you are saving about 225 calories here.
As mentioned above there are some substitutions you can make to lighten the calorie count such as swapping out the mayo for light mayo or using sour cream/Greek yogurt. You can also use light cheese, or use half the amount of cheese and sauce listed. There are always workarounds to eat the foods you crave while still being able to enjoy the flavours 🙂
Storing leftover loaded fries
If you have any fries left over, I will be surprised – they are really delicious and super addictive! But, if you want to store some to enjoy later, cover them with some aluminum foil and store them in the refrigerator. Or serve them in individual portions in glass meal prep bowls.
You can reheat them in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, but keep in mind that if you have any In and Out sauce on them, it probably won't be as tasty when hot and fresh out of the oven.
More loaded fries
Tools for this recipe
- Store leftover fries in glass meal prep bowls
- Save time and use this pre-made special sauce – it's very similar to the real thing!
In N Out Animal Style Fries
- 1 bag frozen fries
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, diced
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp relish
- 1 tbsp dried minced onion
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1 dash cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 F. Add frozen fries to a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake according to package instructions (usually 10-12 minutes per side).
- Meanwhile, dice onions and fry in a pan with olive oil for 20 minutes until onions slightly caramelize. Then, grate cheese and mix sauce ingredients together.
- Remove fries from the oven about 5 minutes before the end of cook time, and add cheese. Bake remaining 5 minutes until fully melted.
- Remove from oven and top with caramelized onions and special sauce. Serve and enjoy!