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In-n-Out Cheeseburger Recipe Made Skinny

There is nothing quite like a real juicy cheeseburger!

One of the most popular is at In-N-Out Burger. My family loves their cheeseburger, animal style.  Sounds wild but animal style means the meat is fried with mustard, then pickles, extra spread and grilled onions are added!  Usually a healthier burger made with extra lean ground beef can be dry and tasteless.  Not this skinny one!

I’m adding several ingredients such as grated onions, an egg white and Worcestershire sauce to create a super moist and flavorful burger.  This recipe uses a wheat bun, skinny grilled onions and light cheese.  In-N-Out is famous for their special sauce.  I’ve included a recipe for reduced-fat thousand island dressing to capture the same taste sensations, if desired.

My skinnier burger using a Trader Joe’s Honey Wheat Bun has 422 calories, 10.8 grams of fat and 10 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.  If made using an Oroweat sandwich thin, each burger has 322 calories, 9 grams of fat and 8 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS.


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Grill Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for Burgers:

2 large red onions, cut into slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 pound extra lean ground beef, I used Trader Joe’s extra lean ground beef (96/4)

1 egg white

1 small yellow onion grated, about 1 cup

½ teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

6 slices of reduced-fat cheese, such as Jarlsberg, Swiss, Havarti or mozzarella

6 whole wheat buns, I love Trader Joe’s Honey Wheat Buns, see shopping tip or sandwich thins, see below

Tomato slices

Ingredients for Condiments:

Thousand island dressing, optional, recipe follows




1. To make grilled onions: Place sliced onions on a microwave-safe plate.  Cook for 5-6 minutes in microwave until onions are soft. In a large nonstick pan, add olive oil and heat.  Add cooked onions and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce.  Saute on medium-high heat until onions are very soft and browned, about 8 minutes.  Stir often.  Keep warm or reheat before serving.

2. Lightly oil grill and heat barbecue to medium.

3. In a large bowl, add ground beef, egg white, grated onions, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt and pepper.  Using your hands or a fork, gently mix together.  Handle meat as little as possible–the more you work it, the tougher it gets.

4. Shape mixture into 6 patties.  Form patties as large as the bun since they shrink when cooked.  Place burgers on grill, close lid and cook until NO LONGER PINK INSIDE, turning once, about 5 minutes per side.  If using an instant read thermometer, it should read 160F.  Try not to abuse your burgers by pressing with a spatula, pricking with a fork or turning frequently as precious juices will be lost!

4. Top each patty with cheese during the last minute of cooking.

5. Remove patties and add to buns. Top each with tomato slices and grilled onions.  Let everyone dress their own.  Serve with condiments such as, thousand island dressing, ketchup and mustard.

Makes 6 burgers

Ingredients for The Thousand Island Dressing

⅓ cup Nancy’s Skinny Ranch Dressing or reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup

2 teaspoons pickle relish

1 teaspoon mustard

¼ teaspoon paprika


1. In a small bowl mix together all the dressing ingredients.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes about ½ cup

Skinny Facts:
 for 2 tablespoons dressing
43 calories, 3g fat, 1g protein, 4g carbs, 0g fiber, 171mg sodium, 2g sugar

Food Fact

In-N-Out Burger is a regional chain of fast food restaurants.  They’re located all over the western United States.  In-N-Out was founded in 1948 by Harry and Ester Snyder.  Cars line up in their drive-through all day long!

Calories Cutting and Weight Watchers Points Tip

If you’re looking to cut the calories down from this recipe, try a bun alternative such as Oroweat Honey Wheat Sandwich Thins. These can be found in most large supermarkets.  One sandwich thin has 100 calories, 1g fat and 5g fiber.  They come in several flavors with the same nutrition facts.  You’ll save 100 calories using this sandwich thin versus a Trader Joe’s honey wheat hamburger bun.

Skinny Facts: for 1 burger using a sandwich thin
322 calories, 9g fat, 30g protein, 33g carbs, 7g fiber, 685mg sodium, 4g sugar

Weight Watchers 
(old points) 6 using a sandwich thin
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 8 using a sandwich thin

Prep Tip

This burger can also be easily made using a Panini grill or George Forman grill.  It only takes 4-5 minutes total because both sides of the burger are cooked at once.  Or, prepare in a nonstick pan.  Cook patties on each side about 4-5 minutes.

Weight Watchers 
(old points) 9
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cheeseburger, animal style (not including thousand island dressing) using a Trader Joe’s honey wheat bun
422 calories, 10.8g fat, 33g protein, 47g carbs, 6g fiber, 834mg sodium, 10g sugar

FAT FACTS: for 1 In-N-Out cheeseburger, animal style
480 calories, 27g fat, 22g protein, 39g carbs, 0g fiber, 1,000mg sodium, 0g sugar

Nancy Fox

Nancy Fox is no stranger to the food industry. She founded Mrs. Beasley's, a gift-basket company featuring baskets full of decadent baked goods. It became the "hot" gift to give among the Hollywood community. 
Nancy later opened 2 low fat restaurants called Nancy’s Healthy Kitchen. Her line of reduced-fat cookies were featured on "Oprah's Favorites" gift show. Continuing her passion for cooking and baking Nancy created a recipe website called Skinny Kitchen. Each week she shares skinny recipes, cooking and kitchen tips, food finds and the healthy benefits of many recipes. There’s also nutritional facts and Weight Watchers POINTS on each recipe.

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