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vegan animal style fries (in-n-out burger copy cat)

vegan animal style fries_hot for food

For my entry into the first unofficial fast food challenge, I decided to go with the famous and now kinda classic animal-style fries from In-N-Out Burger. The twist is that I’ve never set foot in an In-N-Out! However, my good pals at Doomies in Toronto DO make an animal-style fries dish that I’ve had and it’s delicious. I did think it was slightly weird before eating it, but the combo of ingredients surprisingly works. Now you can easily copy it in your own kitchen, too. Vegan animal style fries for all! 

vegan animal style fries_hot for food

I provided ingredients and instructions for how I made the cheese sauce for this particular recipe (and the method in the video) but I would recommend using the nacho cheese recipe instead and making it ahead of all these other components. Then you can just heat it up again over the stove before assembling the fries!

5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe

vegan animal style fries

Get wild with these cheesy, oniony, ridiculously delicious animal-style fries that are better than In-N-Out Burger's original recipe!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword fast food, french fries, nacho cheese, sauces
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 2
Author Lauren Toyota

Ingredients

shoestring fries

  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

caramelized onions

  • 3 onions, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (or granulated sugar or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

thousand island dressing

  • 1 C vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C sweet green relish
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek chili paste (or substitute a hot sauce)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives

cheese sauce

  • 1 Daiya Cheddar Block
  • 1/4 C unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 2 to 3 tbsp pickled jalapeño brine

Instructions

  1. Wash the potatoes well, but leave the skin on. Preheat your oven to 450°F or 475°F - it kind of depends how hot your oven tends to get!

  2. It's best to shoestring the fries so it's real authentic. I used a mandolin to do so, but you can also cut the fries by hand. Just ensure they're uniform in size so they bake evenly. Submerge the fries in cold water until ready to bake.
  3. Caramelize the onions in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions in butter for 12 to 15 minutes. At this point, they should be starting to get some brown colour throughout. Then add salt and agave or sugar and stir to combine. They will take another 25 to 35 minutes to get a deep golden brown colour. In order to caramelize evenly, only stirring the onions occasionally and adjust the temperature of your burner as needed so the onions don't burn on the edges.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the thousand island dressing by combining all the ingredients together in a jar or bowl and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

  5. While the onions are still caramelizing but have about 10 to 15 minutes left, bake the fries. Remove the fries from the cold water and pat them dry with a tea towel or paper towel. Lay them out onto a large baking sheet and toss the fries in oil, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper using your hands. Then take half of the fries and lay them out onto another large baking sheet and spread them out around each sheet so they have a bit of space between each french fry.

  6. Bake french fries for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

  7. While the fries are baking, prepare the cheese. I cubed the brick and added it to a sauce pan over medium heat. Once it started melting a bit I added small portions of nondairy milk while I stirred it together. You need to stir it constantly. Add in the brine just as it's starting to get smoother. In order for it to get really smooth, I did run it through the blender once it was mostly melted.

  8. To assemble, portion fries into a serving dishes. Drizzle with a generous amount of cheese sauce, top with caramelized onions, then a generous amount of thousand island dressing, then more onions on top. Serve immediately while still hot and use a fork... you're not an animal, after all!

7 comments

  • Dolly 3 years ago

    What size did you use for cutting the fries with the mandoline slicer? Thanks!

    • Lauren Toyota 3 years ago

      the widest?! Oh, No 95 – I don’t know it’s a Benriner Japanese mandolin

  • Lilly Ivory 3 years ago

    Made these fries tonight and let me tell you they were delicious. I used another nacho cheese sauce instead of the block and it was so good. I didn’t have a mandolin so I had to cut these by hand…but I made sure to cut them very even. Also made these in a convection oven on 450 degrees (this is the highest my convection goes) and I cooked them for about 20 minutes.

    Thank you for this recipe it’s a winner.

  • Emma 2 years ago

    Combined the animal style fries with the nachos from another challenge- it turned out so delicious! I used soy ground "beef" and made the animal style sauce and let everyone in my family make their own nacho plate- they all loved it! I especially like the sauce and will definitely be doing it again, probably with fries. Thank you for always giving me so much inspiration and entertainment! As a vegan it can be hard to make cool looking food for non-vegans to really enjoy and get intrigued by, but you always do the most amazing dishes that include something for all types of eaters regardless if they’re vegan or not.

  • Iffat Fauziah 2 years ago

    Can I use ranch instead of thousand island?

  • Michelle 7 months ago

    Sweet baby Jesus, these were good. I made less than half the recipe and only managed to eat about a quarter. They are RICH, but damn, my fat cells are singing.

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