In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Skins (Whole30)

In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Skins Closeup Square

Back in the days when I could eat any thing, I could put away an Animal Style cheeseburger and fries. Once gluten free, I perfected the bunless AS cheeseburger-topped fries completely drenched in special sauce. These In-N-Out Animal Style Burger Potato Skins are my Whole30 and Paleo friendly tribute to that delicious fast food meal.

What is In-N-Out?

For my readers that are anywhere Texas or west, you probably think this is a ridiculous question. But I’m sure there are still people in the US, that have no idea what this is plus I have international readers as well. In-N-Out started out in Los Angeles, California. They had burgers, fries, and shakes and that was it. Though they started out at the same relative time and with a very similar menu to Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s, In-N-Out has stayed true to their roots, is still privately owned and has exactly the same menu at a very low cost. The only thing that has changed is the “Secret Menu” which is not so secret.

What are In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Skins?

While there are many things on the “secret menu”, all items are simply iterations of the basic menu of burgers, fries and shakes. Animal Style is definitely the least secretive item on the menu. It is the basic hamburger or cheeseburger topped with mustard sauteed onions and tons of secret sauce. It still has the lettuce, tomato and pickles just like the normal setup for burgers. These potato skins include all the best elements of an Animal Style Burger without the bun or cheese.

What Are Other Items on the In-N-Out “Secret Menu”?

You can find the full “secret menu” here, but here are a few I’ve tried:

  • Animal Style Grilled Cheese
  • Animal Style Fries
  • Cheeseburger, Animal Style and Protein Style (lettuce wrapped)
  • Extra Crispy Fries
  • Mustard Seared Burger Patty

My favorite thing is the Animal Style Cheeseburger with Chiles. Yep, that’s one ingredient that isn’t somewhere else on the menu unless you order them. It adds a little extra heat and tang and once one of our lifelong Cali friends recommended it, we never turned back.

How to Make In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Skins

As a Whole30 Certified Coach, I’m always trying to help my clients and cooking class students truly enjoy food. One way I do this is by developing recipes that are truly flavorful while using nutrient-dense whole foods. As I mentioned, I’ve tried Animal Style Fries and while they are good, they just don’t compare with having the burger right there in the middle of it all. This recipe gives you that full Animal Style burger topped fry experience. Potato skins topped with mustard sauteed onions and crumbled hamburger plus lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and as much special sauce as you want drizzled all over the top. If you are doing Paleo, use Japanese sweet potatoes instead of russets.

For Those Not Doing Whole30

If you’re not doing Whole30, feel free to add cheese to these to make them like an Animal Style cheeseburger.

In-N-Out Animal Style Potato Skins (Whole30)

Craving an IN-N-Out Animal Style Burger and Fries? These IN-N-OUT Animal Style Potato Skins will meet it without ending your Whole30.


  • 4 russet potatoes

  • Special Sauce Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup Whole30 friendly ketchup or Homemade

  • 1/4 cup dill relish or chopped dill pickles

  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard

  • Burger Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef

  • sea salt and black pepper

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard

  • 2 cups chopped iceberg or romaine lettuce

  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes

  • Dill Pickle Slices

  • Green Chiles, optional


  • Bake potatoes until tender.
  • Make Special Sauce
  • Mix together all the ingredients and set aside in fridge.
  • Make Burger MIxture
  • Brown ground beef in a medium skillet and season well with lots of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, leaving behind all drippings. Keep warm in low oven or in warming mode.
  • Cook onion in beef drippings until very soft and starting to brown.
  • Add mustard and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Prepare Potato Skins
  • Cut potatoes in half and remove the middle leaving a 1/2″ shell of potato in each skin. Reserve the potato to add to a frittata or breakfast casserole.
  • Fill the potato skins with ground beef.
  • Top with onions and a drizzle of special sauce.
  • Add some lettuce, tomatoes and pickles to each one and drizzle with more special sauce.


  • For Paleo version, use sweet potatoes instead of russets.
  • For those doing Whole30, make sure your pickles or relish are completely sugar free. I’ve seen dill pickles that somehow have corn syrup in the ingredients.

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