If you live in California, I’m going to assume that you’ve had In n Out, because let’s face it, it’s a West coast staple (or at least it should be). With fresh ingredients and a classic menu it’s a favorite among meat eaters and vegetarians alike (or maybe just me? LOL). Being a vegetarian means I no longer order their burgers, but occasionally I would order their grilled cheese or a side of animal style fries. Eating as a vegan makes this impossible, so what’s the best solution? Making them at home of course! This recipe is so easy and tastes almost exactly like the original. Caramelized onions, melted (dairy-free) cheese and (vegan) thousand island dressings on top of a pile of crispy french fries – it doesn’t get better than that. Make these when you’re craving something salty and comforting. We paired them with some Beyond Meat sloppy joes for a meal that was as tasty as it was filling.
One of the best parts of this recipe is the caramelized onions. This is a step that is not to be rushed, though. When caramelizing onions you want to cook them low and slow so that you don’t end up with burnt crispy onions. A little bit of crisp is fine, but burning is never okay. Start the onions when you start the fries. For this recipe, I used a bag of frozen fries from Alexia (love this brand), but you could always get fancy with it and make your own fries as well. Alexia’s Yukon Gold fries were a perfect match to In n Out’s fries in my opinion and were an easy swap to get these babies cooked and into my tummy as fast as possible. You could also make your own thousand island dressing using vegan mayo, but again, I wanted this particular instance to be as quick as possible (I was really hungry, okay!)
It’s always exciting when I can make a copycat recipe of a favorite food from my meat-eating or dairy eating days. I’m currently trying to stay away from dairy products and I am about 2 and a half weeks in. My tummy seriously feels so much better! I don’t think I realized what an adverse affect dairy was having on my insides. This recipe is a great example of how we can survive without cheese, even when we think we can’t. Let me know if you make these fries and if you think they’re close to the original. I’m super happy with how they turned out and I can’t wait to make them again!
Vegan Animal Style Fries
1 bag of Alexia Yukon Gold french fries, or similar, or make your own
Daiya non-dairy cheddar slices, 1 slice per serving
Follow Your Heart vegan thousand island, or similar, or make your own
1 yellow onion, diced
Make your french fries according to the package directions. While the fries are cooking, cook the onion in about 1 Tbsp of heated olive oil (or oil of your choice). Cook the onions slowly over medium heat stirring frequently. You want these to brown slowly to get the best flavor, it will take about 15-20 minutes. Once the fries and the onions are complete, remove the fries from the oven and place desired serving on a microwave safe plate (you could also do this next step in the oven if you prefer). Place one slice of the Daiya non-dairy cheddar on top and microwave for about 25 seconds or until the slice is melted onto the fries. Top with caramelized onions and desired amount of thousand island dressing. Now eat them as slowly as possible to savor every last bit of yummy goodness. Enjoy!