The objective of the present study was to document the food, energy and macronutrient contribution of out-of-home prepared foods in school-going adolescents in Cotonou (Benin) and compare the food, energy and macronutrient intakes of low and high out-of-home consumers. We used a cross-sectional study with 24 h dietary recalls on two non-consecutive school days to collect food intake data. Low and high consumers were defined respectively as subjects whose percentage of daily energy intake from out-of-home foods was in the first and the third terciles of the sample distribution. The setting was twelve secondary schools in Cotonou with 656 adolescents aged 13–19 years. Out-of-home prepared foods contributed more than 40 % of the daily energy, fat, protein, carbohydrate and fibre intakes and of the daily weight of food in the adolescents. They were highly present at breakfast and as afternoon snacks in high consumers, providing respectively 94 and 82 % of the energy intake of high consumers at breakfast and as afternoon snacks. Low consumers ate more fruit and vegetables and cereal grain products than high consumers whereas high consumers consumed more sweet energy-dense foods. Both categories had a diet poor in fruit and vegetables (hardly one-fourth of the recommended 400 g) and high in fat. We concluded that out-of-home foods are important in the diet of urban school adolescents in Benin. Therefore, they should be investigated in depth and taken into account in the development of interventions to promote healthy diet and lifestyles in adolescents.