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"In-N-Out Animal Style Fries" inspired Baked Potato Halves

The addictive In-n-Out animal style fries made into a convenient and easy side dish, snack, appetizer or your next game day crowd-pleaser!! Baked potato halves are topped with melted cheese, drizzled with a version of In-N-Out sauce and then sprinkled with caramelized onions. 
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 pieces
Author: Maria Doss

Ingredients

Sauce

Caramelized onions:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, small, thinly sliced

Additional ingredients:

  • 6 russet potatoes, small
  • 3 slices American cheese

Instructions

Make sauce:

  • Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make caramelized onions:

  • Heat olive oil in a small non-stick skillet over low heat. Add sliced onions and cook (stirring occasionally), until browned and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Remove onions onto a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. 

Make baked potato halves:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 205 degrees C. Wash and scrub potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Place them on a baking sheet and bake potatoes for about 1 hour or  until slightly soft. (Refer notes for instructions on how to bake potatoes in the microwave). Let potatoes cool before cutting. (This can be several hours ahead).

Few minutes before serving:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (or 230 degrees C). 
  • Slice potatoes is half and place on a baking sheet (skin side down). (Optional step - score the flesh slightly in a criss-cross pattern with the tip of a knife).  Sprinkle some salt and pepper and then place about 1/2 slice cheese on top (tear to fit) of each potato . Place pan in the oven and bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. (refer notes for instructions on how to do it quickly in a microwave)
  • Remove from oven, drizzle some sauce on top and then top with a few caramelized onions. Serve hot.

Notes

To bake potatoes in a microwave: Wash, scrub potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Place 1 -3 potatoes in a microwave safe plate and microwave on high power 5 minutes. Turn over and cook again for 5 minutes or until soft (larger potatoes might take an additional 1-2 minutes). 
To finish in the microwave: Place potato halves in microwave safe plate, top with cheese and microwave on high for 40-60 seconds until cheese melts. 
Sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
Caramelized onions can be ahead and and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 
Baked potato can be made several hours ahead and finished just before serving.