Copycat Animal Style Fries Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Cook: 25 min.
With this easy copycat recipe, you can enjoy In-N-Out animal style fries whenever the craving strikes.

Updated: Feb. 28, 2024

If you live near an In-N-Out, we’re eternally jealous of your fast food good fortune. If you 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 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.

Ingredients for Animal Style Fries

  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Yellow mustard
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola oil
  • Onions
  • Frozen french fries
  • American cheese


Step 1: Make the secret sauce

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Once combined, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to caramelize the onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown, about 30 to 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 to 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 2 minutes.

Editor’s Tip: Don’t walk away! Keep a close eye on the fries and cheese to ensure they don’t burn.

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.

Animal Style Fries Tips

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 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.

Copycat Animal Style Fries

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield 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 fried potatoes
  • 12 slices slices American cheese


  1. Combine the first 7 ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, until serving. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook and stir until softened, 6-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook until deep golden brown, 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cook French fries according to package directions. Preheat broiler. Place cooked fries on a baking sheet; top with cheese slices. Broil 2-3 in. from heat until cheese is melted, 1-2 minutes. Top with onions; drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 302 calories, 20g fat (4g saturated fat), 11mg cholesterol, 661mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein.

Animal fries are messy, cheesy comfort food, an Americanized version of Canada's poutine. Be sure to allow enough time to get the onions good and browned. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen