Vegan Animal Style Fries (Crispy WITHOUT Oil!)

GFGluten Free

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These Vegan Animal Style Fries are a tasty and healthier version of a classic! Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and ready to serve in under 45 minutes.

If you follow any trendy social media “influencer” who lives in California, you have probably seen the famous Animal Style Fries from In-n-Out.

Well friends, I have good news! You (1) don’t have to eat animal products and (2) don’t have to live in California to enjoy them anymore. Because I’ve created a plant based, better-for-you, but STILL drool-worthy version of my own.

Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container

If you’re not familiar with “Animal Style” Fries, they’re actually pretty simple. Just take some crispy, golden fries and top them with caramelized onions and a “Secret Sauce” that’s not-so-secret and is basically a mix of several different condiments.

Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container

These fries are pretty easy to Veganize in general – all you really have to do is sub a Vegan Mayo for the traditional variety in the sauce. However, you all know I try to make things a little healthier around here 😉

My variation of these Vegan Animal Style Fries is still plant based, but is also oil free and relatively healthy for you as well! And let’s be honest – that’s a pretty difficult thing to say about fries.

Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container

This recipe is fairly easy to make, and you could even save yourself some time by making the Special Sauce ahead of time. And I mean….would you rather eat normal fries, or these awesome AND good for you decked out fries?! I think I would choose the latter.

Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container


A Few Final Thoughts:

  • I prefer to make my own fries because (1) it’s SO easy, and (2) it better for you. However, you can use some frozen french fries instead and just make the Special Sauce and Caramelized Onions.
  • You will have leftovers of the Special Sauce…but that’s not a bad thing, in my opinion. It’ll last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, so I guess you’ll just have to make this recipe again? 😉
  • The Caramelized Onions take time…as anyone who has caramelized onions before would know. Trust me, guys…it is worth the wait. Otherwise, they won’t be as tender and sweet!

If you’re looking for more healthy “fast food” recipes, you’ll also love these Crispy Onion Rings and this Vegan Pad Thai!

Finally, if you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl – I love seeing your delicious recreations! 

Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container and hand


Vegan Animal Style Fries (Crispy WITHOUT Oil!)

These Vegan Animal Style Fries are a tasty and healthier version of a classic! Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and ready to serve in under 45 minutes.

  • Author: Caitlin Shoemaker
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x



For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 1 large Yellow Onion
  • 1 ½ cup Vegetable Broth

For The Vegan “Special Sauce”: (makes about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup Silken Tofu
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • 3 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Medjool Dates (or 2 tsp liquid sweetener)
  • 1 tbsp Tamari
  • 2 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp Sweet Relish

For the Animal-Style Fries:

  • 1 batch of Perfect Oven Baked Fries, made with ½ tsp Smoked Paprika (see notes for Air Fryer option)
  • Caramelized Onions, above
  • ½ cup Vegan “Special Sauce”, above


  1. Prep your Fries and get them cooking, whatever method you are using.
  2. Cut the ends off of your Onion and remove the tough outer skin. Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then into half rings that are about ½” thick.
  3. Add a splash of Vegetable Broth to a Medium Pan, then add all of the Onion Pieces. Turn the heat to medium.
  4. Next, Caramelize the Onions. Sauté the Onions as you normally would in the pan, but let all of the Vegetable Broth evaporate. Let the Onions “sit” in the pan for 10-20 seconds without liquid, then “deglaze” the pan using a splash of Vegetable Broth.
  5. Repeat this process until the Onions are caramelized to your liking, or you run out of Vegetable Broth. I used 1 ½ cups of broth in total and my Onions were both soft and deep brown in color.
  6. While the Onions are cooking, prepare the Special Sauce. Add the all of the Sauce ingredients except for the Relish to a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  7. Add the Relish to the blender, and pulse to combine.
  8. To Serve, place the baked Fries in a large bowl or plate, then top with all of the Onion, and a drizzle of Special Sauce. Serve with extra Special Sauce on the Side.


  • To make the fries in an Air Fryer, bake at 400F for 20 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes to cook fries more evenly
  • Tamari may be substituted for Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce (not GF!)
  • White Wine Vinegar has a distinctive acid and sweetness to it, but if you are in a pinch, you can also use Apple Cider Vinegar or Rice Vinegar
  • The Special Sauce leftovers will last well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • Special Sauce inspiration comes from this recipe on The Daily Meal
  • For a more detailed guide on making your own Caramelized Onions without oil, check out this post from Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Vegan Animal Style Fries with Special Sauce in white container

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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    1. Relish is sweet pickles that have been finely chopped up. So you could either get some pickles of your own and chop them up or simply leave them out if you’d prefer!

  1. Living in California, I am guilty of loving the “classic” dish. The sauce looks delicious minus the tofu. What would you recommend using as a substitute for it?

    1. Hi Shannon! You can just sub vegan mayo (that’s what the original recipe calls for), remove the Lemon, and reduce the Salt.

  2. These look amazing but I HATE ketchup 🙁 Is there any chance you could sub for tomato paste or something else instead?

    1. Hi Eloise! You can use tomato paste instead if you would like, but the sauce will still taste of ketchup. That’s kind of the point 😉

  3. OMG!!! this is so amazing! I used to live in southern California back in the day, and I so miss In-n-out!!! this vegan version actually looks better than the original! love that recipe for the special sauce…this is stunning…thank you for this recipe and a trip down memory lane 🙂