My Whole30-friendly Nomster Burgers are a healthy makeover of the popular mustard-grilled Animal Style patties from legendary California burger chain In-N-Out’s secret menu. They’re ready in 30 minutes and you won’t even have to leave your house to satisfy your fast food burger cravings!

An overhead shot of a Nomster Burger on a bed of lettuce and topped with a crispy fried egg, sriracha, and sliced tomatoes.

You may already be familiar with my Nomster Burgers, as this recipe was featured in the “Not Ready! Emergency Fast Food That Tastes Good” section of our latest cookbook, Ready or Not! I originally created them for my hubby, Henry, because back in college, Animal Style burgers from In-N-Out were one of Henry’s favorite road trip eats. This classic secret menu item comes with extra sauce, grilled onions, and mustard fried directly into the patty. Similarly, my nom-ified ode to Henry’s favorite burger features a mustard-fried patty, but I’ve stuffed it with shallots and topped it with spicy sriracha and a crispy fried egg. Make it and serve it “protein-style” with lettuce leaves for the bun and everyone will be smiling!

A collage of the cooking steps for Nomster Burgers.

COOKING TIPS,  SUBSTITUTIONS, AND SUGGESTIONS

What kind of meat should I use?

I recommend 15-20% fat ground beef for these burgers. The fat gives your burgers more flavor and keeps the patties from drying out. You can definitely use ground lamb, turkey, or bison instead, but make sure the grind isn’t super lean.

No hot shallots!

Make sure the shallots are room temperature (or colder) when you form the patties—otherwise the fat in the ground meat will warm up and the patties will be hard to handle. When I have my act together (which, granted, is not often), I fry the shallots ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to form the patties. If I’m cooking the patties in a hurry on a busy weeknight, I place the cooked shallots in a single layer on a plate to quickly chill the cooked shallots in the freezer or fridge.

No shallots? Just use half a small red, yellow, or white onion! If you hate onions, you can totally leave them out. Your Nomster burgers will still taste great.

Burger frying tips

You can form the patties up until a day in advance and keep them in the fridge—but don’t salt them until you are ready to fry ’em up. Here’s a helpful article from Serious Eats that explains why salting right before frying is best. I also like to flatten the burgers to about a half-inch thickness for quick cooking. My favorite pan for frying burgers is a well-seasoned cast iron skillet because the patties get nicely browned.

How do I find Whole30-friendly mustard?

Whole30-compliant mustard is not super hard to find these days. Most organic brands of mustard—both American and Dijon style—are Whole30-compliant. Just make sure you read the ingredient label to make sure there isn’t any sugar, wine, malt, sulfites, or other non-compliant stuff in it.

The brands I normally buy are Primal Kitchen, Organicville, and Annie’s Homegrown Organic. Feel free to use any type of Whole30-compliant mustard you prefer—or leave it off if you don’t like it!

What should I serve with Nomster Burgers?

I like to serve Nomster Burgers with a big green salad, roasted vegetables (e.g. Whole Roasted Cauliflower), baked sweet potato fries, or Instant Pot Crispy Potatoes. (If crispy potatoes are food without brakes for you, wait until after your Whole30 to eat them!)

Ready to make some Nomster burgers?

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Equipment:

Method:

Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of ghee when the pan is hot. Toss in the finely diced shallots and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and translucent.

Overhead shot of finely diced shallots sautéing in a cast iron skillet.

Transfer the sautéed shallots to a bowl to cool to room temperature. If you want to chill the shallots quickly, put them in a single layer on a plate and pop them into the fridge or freezer until you are ready to form the Nomster Burgers.

A hand holding a shallow bowl filled with caramelized diced shallots.

Divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions. Using your fingers, sculpt each portion into a concave bowl.

A hand holding some raw ground beef that has been formed into a bowl shape.

Tuck about a teaspoon of cooked and chilled shallots into each beef bowl.

A teaspoon of cooked shallots is added to a beef "bowl"

Then, seal up the hole to form a ball.

Two hands are sealing up the ground beef around the cooked shallots to form a ball.

Flatten the balls with your hands to make ½-inch thick shallot-stuffed burger patties. (Make ahead tip: you can store these formed patties in the fridge for up to a day at this point.)

Two hands patting a Nomster burger flat.

When you are ready to fry the Nomster Burgers, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Liberally salt and pepper on one side of the patties.

A hand is sprinkling kosher salt on four Nomster Burgers.

Swirl 1 tablespoon of ghee in the pan, once it’s hot. Place two patties seasoned-side down in the pan.

A hand is placing a Nomster Burger in a hot cast iron skillet.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top of the patties and fry undisturbed for 3 minutes or until a nice crust forms on the bottom.

A closeup of Nomster burgers frying in a cast iron skillet with salt and pepper on the top.

Spread a teaspoon of mustard on the top of each Nomster Burger.

A spoon is spreading mustard on top of a Nomster burger frying in a cast iron skillet.

Flip the patties over, and cook for another 2 minutes or until the desired doneness is reached. Repeat cooking steps for the remaining two patties.

A cooked Nomster burger is being lifted out of a cast iron skillet with a metal fish spatula.

Serve each burger patty with lettuce and tomatoes. If you’re feeling truly nomstrous, add a crispy fried egg and a generous squirt of sriracha (or ketchup)!

A side view of a Nomster burger on a bed of lettuce, topped with a crispy sunnyside egg, and a squiggle of sriracha.

If you like this recipe, go buy my latest cookbook, Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes By Nom Nom Paleo. In its pages, you’ll find tons of other paleo and Whole30 recipes that’ll scratch that itch for insanely delicious and nourishing meals!

Want more inspiration from my past January Whole30s? Check out my Day 5 posts from 2018 and 2016!


A note to my Nomsters: This is one of a series of daily blog posts I’m writing in the month of January 2019 to help those doing a Whole30 to kick off the New Year. Not sure what the Whole30 is, or want info on how to get started? Read my Whole30 prep post—and then come back to Nom Nom Paleo every single day for recipes to inspire, delight, and sustain you on your Whole30!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Nomster Burgers

4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
These Whole30-friendly Nomster Burgers are a healthy makeover of the popular Animal Style burger from In-N-Out’s secret menu item. They’re ready in 30 minutes and you won’t even have to leave your house to satisfy your fast food burger cravings!

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • Heat a large skillet over medium low heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of ghee when the pan is hot. Toss in the finely diced shallots and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and translucent.
  • Transfer the sautéed shallots to a bowl to cool to room temperature. If you want to chill the shallots quickly, put them in a single layer on a plate and pop them into the fridge or freezer until you are ready to form the Nomster burgers.
  • Divide the ground beef into 4 equal portions. Using your fingers, sculpt each portion into a concave bowl.
  • Tuck about a teaspoon of cooked and chilled shallots into each beef bowl. Then, seal up the hole to form a ball.
  • Flatten the balls with your hands to make ½-inch thick shallot-stuffed burger patties. (Make ahead tip: you can store these formed patties in the fridge for up to a day at this point.)
  • When you are ready to fry the Nomster burgers, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Liberally salt and pepper on one side of the patties.
  • Swirl 1 tablespoon of ghee in the pan, once it’s hot. Place two patties seasoned-side down in the pan. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the top of the patties and fry undisturbed for 3 minutes or until a nice crust forms on the bottom.
  • Spread a teaspoon of mustard on the top of each Nomster burger. Flip the patties over, and cook for another 2 minutes or until the desired doneness is reached. Repeat cooking steps for the remaining two patties.
  • Serve each burger patty with lettuce and tomatoes. If you’re feeling truly Nomstrous, add a crispy fried egg and a generous squirt of sriracha (or ketchup)!

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 38g | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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5 Comments

  1. These were THE BEST, BEST BEST BURGERS I’ve ever had and I’m not kidding!!!! Looooved everything about them! I tried the sweet potato fries too – they tasted really good but were limp. Next time I’m going to try just putting them on an oiled cookie sheet, not touching, on a high temp – with the instructions below with all of the seasonings, arrowroot flour and oil. The ones that cooked the longest and stuck to the pan, kind of, were delicious!!! I’m anxious to try again! Thank you for all of your fabulous recipes! This one will go on my weekly rotation!!

  2. OMG these were soooo good! I gave 2 to my neighbor (we cook for each other) and I was irritated she immediately fed one to the dog, lol. I’m not really surprised, though. So this morning she told me she was sorry she gave it to the dog, because she loved it! I make regular burgers for us all the time and they are good, but these are now my new recipe. Well worth greasing up the kitchen!

  3. 5 stars
    Great tasting burgers! I served them on lettuce with fried onions and sliced tomatoes! Best of all, Michelle’s directions are the best!