in N out burger topped with lettuce

copycat in-N-out burger (whole30, paleo)

Get ready for a good time because this in-N-out burger is fantastic! Full disclosure, I’ve never eaten at an in-N-out but I can’t think of what would top this!

This in-N-out burger starts with a juicy, flavorful burger, enveloped in a crisp lettuce wrap and topped with a melt-in-your-mouth sauce, sweet caramelized onions, fresh dill pickles and tangy mustard!
BOOM!

Even better, this sucker uses whole, nutrient-dense foods with no sugar! BONUS! I am always looking for ways to reduce my refined sugar/flour intake and this recipe does exactly that.

Often times loaded burgers like this include sauces or condiments with hidden sugars. Not this baby!

The ingredients chosen in this recipe have no added sugar. This means you will walk away from this meal feeling completely satisfied and energized from nutritious, delicious food. If you’re looking for help with sugar binges, check out my post on ingredients to help avoid sugar binges.

close up shot of in N out burger

how to make an in-N-out burger

The caramelized onions and sauce can be made ahead of time and stored which make this a fast weeknight meal!

I used grass-fed beef for the burgers because it has more omega-3s which are anti-inflammatory. Feel free to swap with your meat of choice.

You can cook the burgers by grill, griddle, skillet or broiler. Typically I like to grill burgers but it’s 20 degrees outside so broil it is!

overhead picture of in N out burger

how to caramelize onions

Caramelized onions are one of those magical ingredients that can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Here are the steps which can be done ahead of time. I like to make big batches of these to keep in my fridge. Then I throw them on salads, omelets or in marinades.

  • Start with sliced onions and olive oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. You want a big pan so the onions have room to do their thing. Make sure you have plenty of sliced onions because they’re going to shrink down significantly when caramelized.
  • Add some sea salt. This will draw out the moisture. As they cook, they’ll first get soft, then juicy. Then, this concentrates and they begin to brown, or caramelize, making them sweet and delicious. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir occasionally and enjoy the process. Give the pan a shake every once in a while.
  • Keep cooking until the onions are tender and a deep golden brown (20-30 minutes).
in N out burger on plate

how to make in-N-out burger sauce

The ingredients in the sauce have no added sugar. Feel free to make any substitutions with staples you may already have in your pantry or fridge.

First, grate the Vidalia onion which will add some natural sweetness to the sauce. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Note, if you don’t have relish, dice some dill pickles and throw them in.

in N out burger close up with avocado

assembling your in-N-out burgers

Lay a lettuce leaf on the plate, add the burger, sauce, caramelized onions, pickles and tomatoes. Add any other toppers like avocado slices, bacon or bacon guacamole. Top with a 2nd lettuce leaf. Enjoy!

Pair your burgers with loaded roasted potatoes with bacon and avocado sauce, herb roasted sweet potato fries or sautéed green beans with shallots and garlic for a delicious meal.

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in N out burger on tray

copycat in-N-out burger (whole30, paleo)

  • Author: Karen

Description

This in-N-out burger is a thick, juicy burger, enveloped in a crisp lettuce wrap and topped with a melt-in-your-mouth sauce, sweet caramelized onions, fresh dill pickles and tangy mustard! Such a good time!


Scale

Ingredients

For caramelized onions:

  • 4 cups sweet Vidalia onion, sliced (about 4 small onions)
  • 2 tablespoons oil, olive, grape-seed, avocado or coconut
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 

For burger sauce

  • 1/2 cup paleo mayonnaise, such as Primal Kitchen brand
  • 1/4 cup paleo ketchup, such as Primal Kitchen brand
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar-free Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup sugar-free dill relish
  • 1 tablespoons grated sweet Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon Valentina hot sauce (or to taste), or another sugar-free hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

For the burger

  • 2 pounds grass-fed ground beef, formed into 8 quarter-pound, ultra-thin patties
  • 8 teaspoons of sugar-free yellow mustard, such as French’s brand
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, outermost leaves only (23 per burger) 
  • 1 small white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick 
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, sliced (optional)
  • 8 slices sugar-free dill pickles, or more if desired 
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To caramelize onions:

  1. Start with sliced onions and oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add sea salt. Stir occasionally and enjoy the process. Give the pan a shake every once in a while.
  2. Keep cooking until the onions are tender and a deep golden brown (20-30 minutes).

Make the sauce

  1. While the onions are cooking you can make the sauce and prep the burgers. For the sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. This step can also be done early and stored in the fridge (which gives the flavors extra time to meld together!)
  2. Form the burgers into (8) 1/4 burgers.
  3. Preheat your grill, griddle, skillet or broiler to high heat. While this 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.
  4. No matter what you’re using to cook the burgers, cook burgers for about 4 minutes on each side for a medium-well temperature.

Build the burgers

  1. 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.

in-N-out burger
pinterest image for in-N-out burger

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