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Vegan In-N-Out Burgers

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If you’re a vegan from California and miss an Animal Style Burger, then you gotta make these VEGAN In-N-Out Burgers!

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve eaten my fair share of Animal Style Double Doubles from In-N-Out, and I gotta say, this recipe comes shockingly close to what I remember (my non-vegan neighbor said they were “Spot On!”) In fact, I dare say they are better for a few reasons.

why you’ll dig vegan in-n-out burgers

First, you don’t have to leave your house and deal with the never ending drive-thru line at In-N-Out. Which is actually why I learned to make these years before going vegan. Whenever I had a craving for one, I’d imagine waiting in that line like a sucker, and instead would just whip one up at home!

The second reason is because it’s vegan, which means we won’t get the dreaded “meat sweats” or harm any cows. So that’s a 2-for-1 reason!

And third, like I said before, these are super dang delicious!!

What does animal style mean?

Now although In-N-Out’s menu is fairly simple (they really only make burgers, fries and shakes) there are a few dozen ways you can customize your order. The most famous is Animal Style!

According to local lore, a bunch of hooligan skateboarders in the 1960s liked to order their burgers in a specific way, and the employees lovingly called them animals, thus Animal-Style was born.

When you ask for a burger in this style you get pickles, extra sauce, mustard grilled patties and the beloved grilled / caramelized onions. It truly is one of the best, if not THEE BEST fast food burger out there.

And since In-N-Out does things a specific way, let’s go over just what you need to do to replicate it at home! Oh, and this recipe is also available in my Cookbook: VEGAN FAST FOOD! Check it out if you wanna make more vegan fast food copycats!

What’s the Secret to the Perfect In-N-Out Burger?

Most recipes for homemade In-N-Out make one simple mistake. They make the burger way too big! The patties at In-N-Out are only 2 ounces each. Most recipes online call for patties that are twice that big.

While a bigger burger might be nice in some instances, smaller is actually better when trying to duplicate an In-N-Out burger! So in my opinion, the secret is to make the patties the right size, it makes a big difference!

ingredients for a vegan in-n-out burger

the buns

For the buns, you’re gonna wanna get some squishy white buns. Most commercially available buns in the US are accidentally plant-based, but some are specifically marked vegan.

Go for the smaller buns at the store, they should be about 3.5 inches. Bigger buns will go around 4.5 inches. I have a Vegan McDonald’s video where I go into more detail too!

Burger Patties

Like I said, we are gonna want to make 2 ounce patties for our burgers. You can use something like Impossible or Beyond Meat, or whatever plant-based meat you like.

And if you don’t wanna use store-bought plant-based meat, check out my TVP BURGER RECIPE for a homemade burger patty.

Special Sauce

The sauce we are making is a simple concoction of vegan mayo, ketchup, relish (sweet or dill), garlic powder and worcestershire sauce (vegan of course) and it’s a humdinger of a sauce! I dare you not to lick the spoon after mixing it up!

grilled onions

I’m not gonna lie, it takes a while to grill the onions like In-N-Out. But, it’s totally worth it in my opinion! Plus you’ll have some leftovers for later and can quickly whip some burgers up! Or you can use them on a Patty Melt or Onion Dip!

But if you still don’t wanna go through all that, another good option is the whole grilled onion, which is where you just take a slice of whole grilled onion and top your burger with that! Not as good, but still really dang good, so if you’re short on time or patience, that is a great option!

Fresh Veggies

I don’t usually like tomatoes on a burger, but I think they are necessary in this scenario. Try to get beefsteak tomatoes that are the same size as your buns, that way you only need one slice!

For the lettuce, it has to be crisp Iceberg! No fancy stuff, save that arugula or baby spinach for later!

Pickles

I’ve recently preferred cheap crappy pickles over something like Grillo’s when making these fast food copycat burgers. It just really nails the whole vibe of the burger, so just get some good ol’ neon green dill pickles!

Cheese

I highly recommend using Vegan American cheese if you can! I like the stuff by Follow Your Heart or Violife.

how to make a vegan in-n-out burger

First make the sauce. This is quite easy, you literally just gotta mix everything up and taste for seasoning. Sweet relish seems to be what they use, but I’ve tried Dill and it’s great as well. So use whatever you like!

The grilled onions will take a while. Mine usually need at least 45 minutes – 1 hour. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

But all you really need to do is melt some butter and add some oil to a pan, and grill the diced onions over medium heat until browned to your liking.

For the patties, I recommend weighing out 2 oz of plant-based meat and then rolling into a ball. Then form a patty with a cookie cutter that’s the size of your buns.

Or for something faster, use a burger iron or spatula to smash the balls into patties in between 2 pieces of burger paper.

You can toast your buns however you like, but I prefer a dry toast as I find this keeps the buns from getting soggy.

Add your burger patties to the pan / griddle and season with salt and pepper. Cook them for about 3 minutes, and then right before flipping, squirt them with some mustard.

Then add a piece of vegan american cheese, squirt some water in the pan, cover and melt the cheese for about a minute.

Assemble burger as follows from bottom to top: bun, sauce, pickles, tomato slice, lettuce, burger patties, onions, more sauce, top bun.

Make it as SAUCY as you like!

how to make a flying dutchman?

Recently, an Onion Wrapped Flying Dutchman has been appearing all over my feed. Everyone says it’s delicious but messy. I made one and I agree! If you don’t know, it’s just a double cheeseburger but with grilled onions instead of buns.

The problem is that the onions do a terrible job as buns. So I had the totally wacky idea to just add some buns, and I gotta say, it’s way better! Honestly, I ate them side by side and the one with buns might be my favorite new way to eat a burger!

All you need to do is grill up some whole slices of onions, and a double cheeseburger. Throw the burger patties between the onions, slather some sauce on your buns and then add that Flying Dutchman in between the buns and BAM!

How to make Vegan Animal Fries!

Whipping up some Animal Style Fries is easy! Since you’ll have some leftover sauce and onions, just prepare some fries however you like (I’m lazy so I always opt for some frozen fries and air fry them) and then top with melted cheese, sauce and onions!

To melt the cheese, I will get my griddle hot, then squirt some water on it, throw the cheese on top of the water and then let it steam and melt for about 10 seconds, then quickly scoop it up with a spatula and slide it over the fries! If that sounds confusing I show you how in my video!

Chopped Chilies on a burger?!

If you’re like me you like things spicy! I used to just eat a whole chile before biting into my burger, but apparently you can ask for them to be chopped up and added directly to the burger! I tried it out and it’s good, but I think I still prefer biting a whole pepper first, but if that’s too spicy for you, then chopping them up seems to be a more mild way to enjoy them!

storage

Store leftover sauce and onions in the fridge and use within 3 days. The great thing about this recipe is if you make enough for leftovers, you can whip up a Animal Style Burger in under 10 minutes!

handy dandy video here!

Other Recipes You Will Dig!

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Vegan Double Double Animal Style

Thee Burger Dude
4.70 from 36 votes
Course Burgers

Ingredients
  

Burger

  • Two 2 oz plant based burger patties
  • 2 slices vegan American cheese
  • Tomato slice
  • Iceburg lettuce
  • Dill Pickle slices
  • 1 Burger Bun
  • Mustard

Grilled Onions

  • 3 lbs. Yellow or Brown Onions diced
  • 2 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil
  • Salt
  • Sugar

Special Sauce

  • 1 cup vegan mayo
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp dill or sweet relish
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce vegan
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions
 

grilled onions

  • The most time consuming part of this is grilling the onions, so let's start that before anything else. Add the vegan butter and oil to a pan over medium / medium high heat. Once melted and bubbling, add your onions and stir to coat. Stir it frequently, and after 10 minutes, add in a pinch of salt and sugar, which will help with the flavor and browning.
  • You can try to multitask and grill the onions while you prepare the rest of the burger components, but either way, just keep an eye on them and make sure they don't brown too fast, or even worse, burn! Lower the heat as needed, stir frequently, and deglaze with some water if they stick to the pan. They should be perfect in about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Once they are done, remove from the heat and reserve.

special sauce

  • Make the special sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl, taste and adjust for seasoning and store in the fridge.

burgers

  • Weigh out 2 oz of plant based meat and form your patties to be the same size as your bun, either with a cookie cutter or by smashing them with a spatula in between some burger or parchment paper. Or just do it by hand, whatever you want!
  • Bring a pan up to medium high heat and toast your buns, either in vegan butter or mayo, or do a dry toast like me. Let them rest on a wire rack so they don't steam.
  • Add your burger patties to the pan / griddle and season with salt and pepper. Cook them for about 3 minutes, and then right before flipping, squirt them with some mustard. Flip them, then add a piece of vegan american cheese, squirt some water in the pan, cover and melt the cheese for about a minute. Then remove from heat.
  • Assemble burger as follows from bottom to top: bun, sauce, pickles, tomato slice, lettuce, burger patties, onions, more sauce, top bun.
  • ENJOY!

Notes

Store leftover sauce and onions in the fridge and use within 3 days (5 max, use your nose if unsure!)
Keyword vegan animal style, vegan cheeseburger, Vegan Double Double Animal Style, vegan in n out
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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5 Comments

  1. Made this one tonight. 3rd recipe from here in a row! As a vegan you kind of make this melodramatic “sacrifice” when you start where you think you’ll never have these nostalgic foods or classics again, but then the crazy experience I’m having and why I’m making these back to back is that when you pick up some cooking skills and find recipes like these, you can not only have all that back but actually improve them beyond their previous renditions. I’m really enjoying it so thank you. I made my own buns, didn’t change anything else. Particularly enjoyed the onions.

    1. Awesome, that makes me so happy to hear! And everything you just described was basically what I went through when I first started recreating these with beyond burgers! So glad you dug it!

  2. DUUUDE!!

    Wow, I’m incredibly impressed and super thankful you provided this recipe. Just made them right now and they’re amazing!

    We didn’t make the sauce (definitely will next time) and add some fries. But man oh man, they are good. Looking forward to trying your other recipes, and will share with my vegan and non-vegan friends alike. Many props and thank you again!

  3. THIS WAS AMAZING. I made this version for myself with impossible meat and a regular beef patty for my husband. The sauce was delicious

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