In-N-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

In-n-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes have all the beefy, cheesy flavor of the California classic without the drive-thru lines. Comes with Special Sauce recipe!

Some of Dinner, then Dessert’s most popular Copycat Recipes are for favorite burgers and drive-thru dinners. If you love reimagined fast food, you gotta check out Big Mac Sloppy Joes next!

In N Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes on plate


In-N-Out Burger wasn’t lying when they coined the catchphrase, “That’s what a hamburger’s all about”. Their beefy, cheesy burgers with layers of fresh ingredients are the California Gold Standard of a quality drive-thru burger.

Have you ever been to an In-N-Out where the lines aren’t to the door? And forget about the drive-thru unless you have a great podcast or book to listen to (and possibly a snack). It’s not that they are slow, they have perfected fast food efficiency. They are just that good (and their following is that strong)!

It doesn’t matter what time you go to In-N-Out or what location, when you finally get through that line and your order is called, you are greeted with a consistently delicious and fresh burger. And if you go, make sure to try a burger Animal Style so you are getting your burger smothered in caramelized onions, cheese, and that amazing Special Sauce.

You can make their Special Sauce at home to have on hand at home for whenever a craving hits. This recipe uses the Special Sauce to add that special flavor in Sloppy Joes, one of the most popular categories of recipes on the site.

In N Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes Ingredients in pan

These In-N-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes are so mouthwateringly good, and so messy in all the best ways. You’ll want to serve some French Fries on the side to sop up all the meat and cheese and sauce so you don’t miss a single bite of this delicious recipe! If you just can’t get enough, serve them as a Double-Double and insert a bottom bun half midway and give yourself an extra scoop of filling.

Stacking order from the bottom up:

Add the reserved sauce to each half of the bun.

  • Bottom Bun
  • Sauce
  • 4 pickle chips
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Meat
  • Cheese Slice
  • Lettuce
  • Sauce
  • Top Bun



  • Brown the Meat: Break up the ground beef into small crumbles by stirring frequently while cooking.
  • Add the Seasonings: Keep stirring occasionally after you add your sauce ingredients so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Assemble: Toast your buns if you prefer before scooping a big spoonful of Sloppy Joe mix onto the bottom bun and covering with the other bun half.

In N Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes sandwich held in hands


  • Casserole: Make this into an In-N-Out Cheeseburger Casserole by following out instructions in Cheeseburger Casserole, substituting the meat mixture and sauce for the ones in the recipe below.
  • Monkey Style: Are you ready to go happily into a food coma? Turn these into a secret menu favorite – Monkey Style. Top your In-N-Out Sloppy Joes with Animal Style Fries and consider yourself inducted into the In-N-Out Expert Club.
  • Protein Style: If you are going low carb, or just want to take a break from buns, serve your Sloppy Joe mix over some iceberg lettuce and use some extra sauce as dressing.


Ingredients: 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup water.

  • Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cover.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and soft, about 30 minutes. (If onions are browning too quickly, lower heat)
  • Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high.
  • Cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 8 minutes.
  • Deglaze by adding ¼ cup water to skillet and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Simmer, stirring, until the water evaporates, about 2 minutes.
  • Store up to 3 days in an airtight container.



  • Serve: These can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  • Store: Transfer your cooled Sloppy Joe mix to an air tight container and store for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • Freeze: Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

In N Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes with special sauce on plate

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In-N-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

In-n-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes have all the beefy, cheesy flavor of the California classic without the drive-thru lines. Comes with Special Sauce recipe!
Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


In-N-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

  • 1 pounds ground beef , 85/15
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

Secret Spread Sauce Recipe

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar


  • Brown your ground beef halfway in your large skillet with the butter, then add in the chopped onions, salt and pepper.
  • Mix the secret spread ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well.
  • Add ¾ cup of the secret sauce to the pan and stir well to combine (reserve the rest for your buns).
  • Cook 1 additional minute then serve on sesame hamburger bun (stacking order in notes below).


Stacking order from the?bottom up:
Add the reserved sauce to each half of the bun.
Bottom Bun
4 pickle chips
Cheese Slice
Top Bun


Calories: 407kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 873mg | Potassium: 433mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 328IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3mg

In-N-Out Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Can I make this into meatballs or a meatloaf ? If so, are there any changes? For example, adding breadcrumbs, adding sauce into mixture before molding, etc. If so, how much?

    Thanks! Love it as is, but want to experiment with no buns

    1. Oooh, that’s a great idea! I’ll add it to my list of dishes to test. I do have a bacon cheeseburger meatloaf recipe on the site that might be a good start when experimenting. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I use to live in Southern California and In N Out was a weekly visit for us. Since moving back to the East Coast I forgot how much I missed In N Out until tonight, it tasted just like I remembered! I’m so happy we can have this anytime we want , I’ll definitely be making this again!

  3. I don’t see the slice of cheese or the pickle slices in the ingredients. Are these going to change the nutritional Information?