Big Mac Salad

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With a copycat Big Mac sauce, ground beef, iceberg lettuce, onions, and pickles, this Big Mac Salad recipe has all the flavors of the classic burger, without the carbs. Perfect for a light but filling dinner or lunch throughout the week!

Easy Big Mac Salad Recipe

It’s a rare occasion when I find a salad that the entire family not just begrudgingly eats but actually enjoys and even requests. But this Big Mac Salad checks all of the boxes.

It’s easy to make, full of flavor, healthy, and the family LOVES it. I actually think this might be the first time the boys have ever requested a salad for dinner!

Loaded up with seasoned ground beef, this Big Mac Burger is perfectly filling, while the toppings help keep it low carb and healthy. Not to mention the incredible sauce! You’ll be wanting to add this copycat Big Mac sauce to all of your burgers!

Overhead view of a Big Mac in a bowl

Why You’ll Love This Cheeseburger Salad

This salad has become a regular in our home. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Low carb & filling. Without the bun, this salad is basically a low carb Big Mac. The only carbs come from the dressing, so you can keep this as light as you want it.
  • All the great Big Mac flavors. Between the homemade sauce and the toppings, this cheeseburger salad has all of those great Big Mac flavors.
  • Perfect for meal prep. You can easily prep elements of this salad in advance so you have a quick and easy lunch throughout the week.
Overhead view of Big Mac Salad ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make your low carb Big Mac salad at home!

  • Ground beef – I recommend lean ground beef.
  • Spices – Salt, pepper, and garlic powder season the base.
  • Lettuce – Shredded iceberg makes up the base of your Big Mac salad.
  • Toppings – Just like the classic burger, this salad is topped with diced onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and dill pickles.
  • Sesame seeds – Feel free to sprinkle some sesame seeds over the top of the salad for that classic flavor.

What’s In Big Mac Sauce?

The sauce is what makes a Big Mac a Big Mac so of course it’s an important part of this salad! Big Mac Sauce is very close to Thousand Island Dressing so in a pinch you can use that but here’s what we use for the homemade version:

  • Mayo – Regular mayo is the base of the Big Mac sauce.
  • Yellow onion
  • Ketchup & yellow mustard – Add depth to the flavor profile.
  • Sweet pickle relish – Adds texture plus some flavor.
  • White vinegar – Adds a bit of an underlying tang to the sauce.
  • Paprika & salt – Add some extra flavor.

How to Make Big Mac Salad

Once you discover how easy it is to make a Big Mac in a bowl, you’ll be adding this salad to your regular lunch rotation!

  • Make the sauce. Whisk together all of the Big Mac sauce ingredients. Set aside.
  • Cook the beef. Cook the ground beef over medium heat. Drain the fat then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Assemble the salads. Divide the lettuce between plates or bowls. Top with ground beef, shredded cheese, diced onion, and pickles. Drizzle the dressing over the top and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
A cheeseburger salad topped with copycat Big Mac sauce

Recipe Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips and variations for this cheeseburger salad.

  • Add other toppings. Diced tomatoes would be great on this but feel free to add any other toppings you like too.
  • Try it with ground turkey. To make this an even lighter dish, swap the ground beef for ground turkey. Once it’s seasoned, you may not notice the difference!
  • Make the sauce in advance. The copycat Big Mac sauce does taste better when the flavors have longer to meld, so I recommend preparing the sauce a few hours in advance or overnight if you can.
  • Use Thousand Island dressing. Don’t have the ingredients on hand to make Big Mac sauce? No worries. You can use bottled Thousand Island dressing instead. Just be aware that it does contain a fair amount of carbs and sugar, more than our homemade version!

Can This Big Mac Salad Be Prepped In Advance?

Absolutely! You can easily meal prep this Big Mac salad by making the dressing and cooking the ground beef ahead of time, then assembling for lunch.

It would also a great salad to layer in a mason jar to take to work each day.

Close up of a Big Mac Salad

How to Store Leftovers

  • Ground beef. The cooked ground beef will last for about 4 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Big Mac sauce. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. Just keep it in a sealed container. I recommend a glass jar.

More Salad Recipes:

Big Mac Salad feature
5 from 2 votes

Big Mac Salad

With a copycat Big Mac sauce, ground beef, iceberg lettuce, onions, and pickles, this Big Mac Salad recipe has all the flavors of the classic burger, without the carbs. Perfect for a light but filling dinner or lunches throughout the week!
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup dill pickles
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  • In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, onion,ketchup, mustard, sweet pickle relish, white vinegar, paprika, and salt. Whisk together until all is combined.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, cook ground beef over medium heat until all the ground beef has cooked. Remove from heat and drain the fat from the ground beef. Mix in salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Divide salad between plates, top with ground beef, cheddar cheese, diced onion and pickles. Drizzle salad dressing over salad and top with sesame seeds and enjoy.

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Nutrition

Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1058mg | Potassium: 474mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 482IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 3mg

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