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Sink Your Whole30 Teeth in This 'Animal-Style' In-N-Out Burger Recipe

The In-N-Out burger has a cult-like following for a reason. The meat is seasoned and charred to perfection, then it’s slathered with caramelized onion and an umami-rich special sauce. Finally, it’s garnished with plenty of freshly sliced tomato, lettuce, and pickles to balance out all that richness. Though we love visiting In-N-Out on the regular, it’s not compliant with the Whole30 program. So when a craving strikes, allow our recipe to come to the rescue. Combine our tangy 100 percent Whole30/paleo special sauce with the savory mustard-grilled beef patties. The detail that really will blow you away is the slow-cooked onions which add natural sweetness due to being slowly simmered in coconut oil.

(Recipe via Ashley Bare / Brit + Co; photo via Brittany Griffin/ Brit + Co)

Tiger blood, commence!


  • 5 cups diced sweet Vidalia onion (about 5 small onions) (for Onions)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (for Onions)
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (for Onions)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (for Onions)
  • 1 cup paleo mayonnaise, such as Primal Kitchen brand
  • 1/2 cup paleo ketchup, such as Primal Kitchen brand
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar-free Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar-free dill relish
  • 2 tablespoons grated sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1 tablespoon Valentina hot sauce (or to taste), or another sugar-free hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef, formed into 8 quarter-pound, ultra-thin patties (we used 85 percent lean) (for Burger)
  • 8 teaspoons of sugar-free yellow mustard, such as French’s brand (for Burger)
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, outermost leaves only (2-3 per burger) (for Burger)
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced 1/4-inch thick (for Burger)
  • 1 small white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick (for Burger)
  • 8 slices sugar-free dill pickles, or more if desired (for Burger)
  • kosher salt (for Burger)
  • freshly ground black pepper (for Burger)


Make the caramelized onions. Heat the coconut oil and the grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.

Add the onions and salt; stir to combine. Cook for about 1 hour, maintaining low heat, stirring occasionally. Onions are ready when they have a dark caramel color and have softened significantly. Drain out excess oil, optional. Set aside.

Make the special sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Grill the Burgers. Preheat your grill, griddle, or skillet to high heat. While grill heats up, brush one side of each patty with about 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard then generously season both sides of each beef patty with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

No matter which apparatus you use to cook the burgers, cook burgers for about 4 minutes on each side for a medium-well temperature.

Build the burgers. Use the lettuce leaves as more of a wrap instead of a bun and top generously with onion, tomato, pickles, caramelized onions, and special sauce.

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