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Skip the takeout and make your Animal Fries at home! Inspired by In-N-Out Burger, this recipe features crispy, golden fries piled high with melted American cheese, caramelized onions, and homemade animal sauce! (A tasty blend of ketchup, relish, vinegar, and mayo!)

I love recreating fast food recipes at home. They have the same great flavor but are made with fresh ingredients! Plus, you can tweak them to your liking and modify the recipe if you have any dietary restrictions. A few more amazing ‘copycat’ recipes to try out next: Cane’s sauce, Chick-fil-A nuggets and Chick-fil-A sauce, or In-N-Out spread.

Copycat Animal Fries Recipe

If you’ve never tried them before, Animal Fries, or animal-style fries, are an In-N-Out staple. The dish consists of fries topped with caramelized onions, melted cheese, and a zesty sauce similar to Thousand Island. This combination is SO good.

I’ll be honest, though. I’m not big on In-N-Out’s fries, so making animal fries at home is always the way to go for me. You have to have golden, crispy fries as a foundation. The nice thing is, too, you can swap out the fries for any kind you like. Waffle, sweet potato, you name it! Then you top them with all of the delicious toppings. Sweet caramelized onions, American cheese, and a creamy, zesty sauce!

Ingredients You’ll Need

This is everything that you’ll need for caramelized onion topping and creamy sauce. Each simple ingredient comes together to create the best flavor! Once you try a bite of these animal fries, you won’t be able to stop.

  • Fries: Frozen or fresh work, but crispy is key! Air fry for extra crunch.
  • Cheese: American melts best, but any melty cheese will do in a pinch. Try cheddar or Colby Jack!
  • Onion: Diced for even caramelizing, cook slow for sweet and golden goodness.
  • Olive Oil: To cook the onions in.
  • Salt & Pepper: Season to taste:
  • Mayonnaise: Creamy base for the tangy sauce.
  • Ketchup: Adds a bit of sweetness to the animal fried.
  • Sugar: So all of the flavors are balanced.
  • Vinegar: Adds a bit of tang that’s so delicious!
  • Relish: Sweet and crunchy pops of flavor.

How to Make Animal Fries

Time to caramelize those onions, crisp up those fries, and create a saucy appetizer that everyone will love! Animal fries are so delicious and always a hit wherever they go.

  1. Prepare Sauce: Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate to meld the flavors while you prepare the fries.
  2. Cook Fries: Cook the frozen french fries according to the directions. I like to use my air fryer because it’s faster and gets the fries nice and crispy!
  3. Caramelize Onions: To caramelize the onions, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and diced onions and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the onions soften. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 5 additional minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Set aside.
  4. Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the cooked french fries in an even layer on the prepared pan.
  5. Melt Cheese: Cover the fries with slices of American cheese on top. Broil for 5 minutes, watching it closely.
  6. Remove From Oven: Once the cheese is melted, then remove the fries from the oven.
  7. Add Toppings and Serve: Top with cooked onions and drizzle on the sauce. Enjoy warm!

Tips and Tricks

Use these tips and tricks to switch up your amazing homemade animal fries!

  • Let Your Sauce Chill: After you’ve mixed up your sauce, let it chill in the fridge. This will help all of the flavors meld.
  • Don’t Overcook: Keep an eye on the cheese as it broils. It can burn pretty easily.
  • More Toppings: Load up your animal fries with crumbled bacon or chopped pickles.

How Long Do Animal Fries Last?

Your animal fries are best served fresh, straight out of the oven. If you want to make some things ahead, prepare your caramelized onions and animal sauce, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. When you’re ready to have animal fries, cook up some frozen fries and then top them with the premade fixings!

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  • Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate to meld the flavors while you prepare the fries.

  • Cook the frozen french fries according to the directions. I like to use my air fryer because it’s faster and gets the fries nice and crispy!

  • To caramelize the onions, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and diced onions and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the onions soften. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 5 additional minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Set aside.

  • Preheat the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the cooked french fries in an even layer on the prepared pan.

  • Cover the fries with slices of American cheese on top. Broil for 5 minutes, watching it closely.

  • Once the cheese is melted, then remove the fries from the oven.

  • Top with cooked onions and drizzle on the sauce. Enjoy warm!

Calories: 542kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 22mgSodium: 1018mgPotassium: 559mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 244IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 164mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.



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