Why We Can’t Get Enough Of TikTok’s Animal Style Fries

By Charlie Colville

3 months ago

Meet the dish TikTok is going wild for

As far as recipes go, fries are pretty hard to mess up – especially when you have a bag of oven chips handy in the freezer. But what if we told you that you could elevate them to fast food level? Here’s how to make animal style fries, TikTok‘s latest recipe obsession.

What Are Animal Style Fries?

A loaded fries dish originating from the West Coast of the US – more specifically, popular fast food chain In-N-Out – animal fries typically consist of crispy chips (or fries, if you’re across the pond) topped with melted cheese, grilled onions and a sauce made up of mayo, ketchup and pickles.

@farahjeats In-N-Out (copycat) animal style fries #easyrecipe ♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

As mentioned, the dish comes courtesy of In-N-Out, which popularised animal style fries with the help of its ‘secret spread’ – aka, the saucy topping that gives the dish its signature flavour. ‘Animal style’ burgers and fries were initially secret menu items at the chain restaurant, although nowadays you can find them on the official ‘not so secret menu’ category on the In-N-Out website. And now, the special menu item has earned itself cult status on TikTok, with content creators recreating the loaded fries recipe using common cupboard ingredients.

But where did the name come from? Lynsi Snyder, one of the owners of In-N-Out, revealed in her 2023 book The Ins-N-Outs of In-N-Out Burger: The Inside Story of California’s First Drive-Through and How it Became a Beloved Cultural Icon that the name actually comes from rowdy customers, who employees (known as ‘helpers’) would refer to as ‘animals’.  Snyder wrote that ‘[customers] would honk their horns while orders were taken’ or ‘leave trash on the lots and play their music extra loud’ – on some occasions they would even get into fights with each other. ‘Good naturedly, the helpers inside referred to them as “animals,”‘ said Snyder.

@anna..paullHow to make animal style fries at home 😩😩

♬ original sound – Anna Paul

Recipe: TikTok’s Animal Style Fries

Fancy giving the dish a go? We’ve compiled some of our favourites to make the ultimate C&TH animal style fries recipe below:


  • 1.5kg potatoes
  • Cheddar cheese (topping)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • A small knob of butter, for frying
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce

  • 120ml mayonnaise (aka, a really big squeeze)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. Make the fries: Peel and chop your potatoes so that they resembled finger-sized pieces. If you’re confident, you can fry chips at home – but for those of us with an oven, you can simply spread the raw chips on an oven tray, toss with oil and salt and pop them in to cook for around 40 minutes. Make sure the chips are evenly spaced on the tray (you might need two trays) and that the oven is set to 200°C. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cover in salt. Set aside.
  2. Make the sauce: Combine your sauce ingredients together in a bowl and whisk until there are no lumps. Set aside.
  3. Fry the onions: In another pan, fry off some onions with butter until the onions have browned.
  4. Build your animal style fries: Once these components are ready, it’s time to build your dish. Start with a layer of fries on your chosen serving surface, then top with cheese (straight from the bag, or melted on the oven tray with the fries for a few minutes), the onions and the sauce. Enjoy!

Featured image: Jarritos, Unsplash