Animal Style Fries (In-N-Out Copycat)

5 from 3 votes

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These In-N-Out Animal Style Fries taste JUST like the “secret menu” favorite. In less time than it takes to go to In-N-Out you can enjoy these popular smothered fries at home!

A vertical image of In-N-Out animal style fries
Featured With This Recipe
  1. Ingredients for Animal Style Fries
  2. In-N-Out Secret Sauce
  3. What Cheese is Best For Animal Style Fries?
  4. Making the Caramelized Onions
  5. More Easy Fry Recipes
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Popular Copycat Recipes
  8. How to Make Animal Style Fries
  9. Animal Style Fries (In-N-Out Copycat) Recipe

My husband grew up in California just minutes away from an In-N-Out. If you ask him what he misses most about California, he will tell you it’s 3 things: the beach, Disneyland, and In-N-Out Burger. Thankfully, he’s married to someone who loves re-creating copycat recipes! I have made these fries for him many, many times and he agrees, this copycat recipe tastes like the real deal.

In-N-Out Animal style fries are a cult favorite amongst fast food lovers. Though they are found on the “secret” menu, they are hardly a secret. Animal style fries are In-N-Out’s hand-cut fries topped with melted cheese slices, “secret sauce”, and grilled onions. They are SO good! And the best part? You can be enjoying these animal fries in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients to make animal style fries on a table

Ingredients for Animal Style Fries

  • Frozen fries – Traditional, crispy, or shoestring fries all work great for this recipe. Follow package directions for cooking. If you are feeling ambitious you can make your own fries from scratch.
  • American cheese slices – we like to use Kraft Singles or Velveeta brand
  • In-N-Out Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Onion (white or yellow onion works great)
A spoon dripping with In-N-Out sauce

In-N-Out Secret Sauce

In-N-Out’s special sauce is super easy to make and only take a few ingredients that you probably have in your fridge right now. Here’s what you need:

  • Mayonnaise (Best Foods / Hellmann’s mayo tastes the best)
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Sweet pickle relish
A close up of an In-N-Out French fry with animal style toppings

What Cheese is Best For Animal Style Fries?

In-N-Out uses American cheese for their animal style fries. Of course you can use another type of cheese but then it wouldn’t be In-N-Out style. For these fries we like to use Kraft American cheese or the Velveeta cheese slices. The Velveeta slices melt a little better than the Kraft brand and (in my opinion) taste better, but the Kraft is usually easier to find.

Fries on a pan with melted American cheese over the top

Making the Caramelized Onions

The caramelized (or grilled) onion is really the cherry (well, onion) on top for animal style fries. They are sautéed in butter until perfectly browned and almost crispy. First, finely dice the onion. Next, heat some butter in a large skillet until melted. Add the onion and sprinkle a bit on salt over the top. The salt will help dehydrate the onion and make it more crispy. Sauté the onion until it turns a deep golden brown with dark edges. Watch it closely because it can burn quickly.

A side view of a basket of animal style fries

More Easy Fry Recipes

Craving fries? We’ve got you covered (or should I say “smothered?). Give some of these tasty fry recipes a try!

Read Next: 35+ Best BBQ Side Dishes

Frequently Asked Questions

What are animal-style fries?

In-N-Out Burger offers animal-style fries on its ‘secret menu.’ These fries feature a crispy french fry base topped with melted cheese, ‘secret sauce,’ and grilled onions.

Do animal fries have bacon?

Nope. The animal fries at In-N-Out do not have bacon. Some people mistake the crispy grilled onion for bacon because it is crispy and brown, like crumbled bacon. Now, that isn’t to say that bacon wouldn’t be good on animal fries! It would be a delicious addition.

What is animal sauce made of?

The sauce for animal fries consists of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and relish.

How to Make Animal Style Fries

A top view of animal style fries in a basket lined with checkered paper

Animal Style Fries (In-N-Out Copycat)

5 from 3 votes
These In-N-Out Animal Style Fries taste JUST like the "secret menu" favorite. In less time than it takes to go to In-N-Out you can enjoy these popular smothered fries at home!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 (2-pound) bag frozen French fries
  • 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • pinch sea salt
  • 6 slices American cheese (Kraft or Velveeta brand)
  • ½ cup In-N-Out Sauce

In-N-Out Sauce


  • Prepare fries according to package directions. I like them best when made in an air fryer. If baking, you can bake them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to be ready for broiling them with cheese later.
    A baking pan with French fries
  • While the fries are baking, sauté onions.
    Onions being sautéed in a pan
  • Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions to the pan and sprinkle with salt. Saute until the onions become golden brown with crisp edges. Remove from heat and set aside.
    A skillet with sautéed diced onions
  • Prepare the In-N-Out sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to add to the fries.
    In N Out sauce in a glass dish
  • When fries are heated, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper if you haven't already. Put the fries close together and place the slices of cheese over the top so they cover most of the surface of the fries.
    American cheese layered over French fries on a baking sheet
  • Turn the oven to broil. Place pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese has melted.
    Fries on a pan with melted American cheese over the top
  • Remove the cheese-covered fries from the oven. You can leave them on the baking tray or place them on a serving platter. Add a few scoops of the prepared In-N-Out sauce over the top.
    In N Out fries in a basket with cheese and sauce (no onions)
  • Spoon the cooked onion over the top of the sauce and serve.
    A top view of animal style fries in a basket lined with checkered paper

Nutrition Information

Calories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 721mgPotassium: 115mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 430IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 232mgIron: 0.4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Tastes just like In N Out! My family and I loved it! Instead of using 2 lbs of fries, I used 1 lb which is enough for 3 people and 1 whole onion because we love onion. Kept the same measurement for the sauce (2 lb fries). Will be definitely making this again when I’m craving animal fries!