Animal Style Nachos

St. Louis is getting a Shake Shack! Woohoo! To celebrate, I decided to make ShackBurger nachos—but then I happened to see a Facebook post talking about an In N Out double-double, Animal Style, and I changed my mind. If you're somehow unaware, In N Out and Shake Shack are the two coastal fast-food burger chains that people love because they treat their staff well, they don't buy disgusting meat and produce, and their food is mighty tasty. Here in the Midwest, we've got their fat, trashy cousin, Five Guys.

The main differences that I could discern from an Animal Style burger and a ShackBurger is the mustard-coated burger patty and addition of caramelized onions. Besides that, they're both just meat, bun, lettuce, tomato, "secret sauce". I know that the idea of cooking a burger patty that's been smeared with yellow mustard sounds gross, but it's vital for an accurate taste of In N Out. Even their own website says it: "a mustard cooked beef patty." So don't argue with me.

I have to say, I was quite impressed with the end result. It tastes almost exactly like a I remember an Animal Style burger tasting. I guarantee your friends and family will like you more if you make this for them.


Animal Style Nachos

Animal Style Nachos

Yield: 4-6 | Prep: 25 hour | Cook: 5 Min | Total: 30 minutes




8 oz American cheese
1 T corn starch
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t paprika


4-6 hamburger patties
yellow mustard


3-5 onions, diced
1 T butter


1/2 C mayo
2 T ketchup
1 T yellow mustard
1 T pickle relish
pinch of cayenne
pickle juice


1 c tomato, diced
1 c pickles, diced
1 head of romaine, shaved


Make Ahead

Secret Sauce

Combine mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickle relish, and cayenne in a bowl. Add enough pickle juice (or water) to thin it out enough for easy nacho application. Set aside.

Caramelized Onions

Melt butter in a larger, hot pan. Add onions. Cook until fond forms on the bottom of the pan. Add some water. Continue this for 15 minutes or so until the onions have really melted down into a spectacular onion jam. 


Dice tomatoes and pickles, set aside. Cut romain into thin slices, set aside.

Putting It All Together


Heat a pan or grill. Season both sides of the burger and place in the hot pan. On the side facing upwards, apply a schmear of yellow mustard (I know this is odd, but it’s what In N Out does). After 3 minutes, flip the burgers. Cook mustard-side down another 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and chop into bite sized pieces.


Cover all the plates you’re going to use with chips. Put the burger pieces over the chips.

Put the shredded cheeses and cornstarch in a small pot and mix. Add the evaporated milk and cook on low, stirring with a whisk continuously. Once the cheese sauce has melted, dip a chip in and make sure that the taste of the cornstarch has cooked out. If it’s all good, add the paprika and turmeric (this is just for color). 

Pour the cheese sauce over the burger and chips, then top with tomatoes, pickles, caramelized onions, secret sauce, and romaine.