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How to Make In-N-Out’s Famous Animal Style Fries at Home

How to Make In-N-Out’s Famous Animal Style Fries at Home

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?

Copycat In-N-Out Animal Style FriesTMB Studio

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?

Looking to experiment? Drizzle your animal style fries with copycat Chick-fil-A sauce, spicy jalapeno ranch dip or any one of these other non-traditional fry sauces.

Next Up: Love In-N-Out? Read up on surprising In-N-Out facts.

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