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Easy Big Mac Salad Recipe (Burger Salad)

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This Big Mac salad recipe is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy ALL the flavors of the classic fast food burger. This recipe for the Big Mac salad is made with crunchy iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, onion, savory ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, and, of course, finished off with the dressing. Enjoy this burger salad with a side of french fries for a familiar and satisfying combo.

If you love main dinner salads like we do, be sure to try our salmon Caesar salad, chicken Caesar pasta salad, fresh and modern Southwest salad, quinoa arugula salad, or crispy buffalo chicken salad next time.

Big Mac salad in a bowl with dressing

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What You’ll Love About a Burger Salad

  • Classic Big Mac flavors
  • Nutritious and delicious
  • Satisfying and filling salad
  • Loaded with protein and produce
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Made with simple ingredients
  • Just 15 minutes prep time
  • Just 10 minutes cook time

Big Mac Salad Ingredients

  • Ground beef – Use your favorite ground beef. If you use a higher-fat content, you may need to drain the beef, but if you use a lighter blend, or grass-fed you may not. I typically buy an 85% lean ground beef for a happy medium. You could also make this with ground turkey.
  • Seasonings – Worcestershire sauce, sea salt
  • Lettuce – Iceberg lettuce is the way to go here for a super-crunchy salad. You could also use crunchy romaine lettuce hearts if you prefer. And if you don’t care about crunch or the classic flavors, you could also use whatever salad greens you prefer.
  • Tomatoes – If it isn’t tomato season, I would use cherry or grape tomatoes for best flavor. If you can get your hands on some decent tomatoes, you could dice up some juicy slicing tomatoes.
  • Onion – Use white onion for best flavor.
  • Pickles – Look for kosher dill pickle “chips” or slices. You will also need some of the pickle juice from the jar for the dressing.
  • Mayonnaise – Use your favorite mayonnaise, which will give the Big Mac salad dressing recipe a creamy flavor and texture.
  • Ketchup – Use your favorite ketchup, if you are anything like our family, you may have a strong opinion.
  • Pickle relish – This will impart sweet flavor to the dressing.
  • Cheese – I recommend shredding your own sharp cheddar. I love and rely on shredded cheese, but this is an instance where shredding your own will result in the best flavor and texture. If you can’t, no worries, but it is recommended!
  • Sesame seeds – These are an optional garnish, but add that familiar crunch to the Big Mac salad bowl.
Ingredients to make Big Mac salad recipe

How to Make Big Mac Salad

This is an overview on how to make a Big Mac salad, the detailed instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

Brown beef. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and cook ground beef, breaking up into crumbles until browned and cooked through.
Browned ground beef in a skillet.
Mix Big Mac dressing. In a small bowl, stir together, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, and pickle juice until smooth. Set aside.
Big Mac salad dressing in a bowl
Prep salad ingredients. While the beef is cooking, thinly slice lettuce, slice tomatoes in half, thinly slice onion, and shred cheddar cheese.
Shredded lettuce on a cutting board
Assemble salad. In a large bowl or plate, layer lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Top with beef mixture and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with sliced pickles and cheddar cheese. Garish with sesame seeds if desired.
Burger salad in a bowl with dressing

FAQs

Is Big Mac sauce just Thousand Island?

Big Mac sauce is similar to Thousand Island, but it’s not exactly the same. Big Mac sauce is made up of mayonnaise, sweet relish, various spices, vinegar, sugar, and plenty of preservatives.

For this healthy Big Mac salad, we’re using our own similar sauce made with ketchup, mayonnaise, and sweet pickle relish. Many copycat special sauce recipes also include white vinegar, yellow mustard, and sugar. Feel free to add any of those additions to your sauce.

What kind of lettuce is on a Big Mac?

Big Macs are made with iceberg lettuce, so that’s what we’re using for this burger salad bowl. You can use other varieties of salad greens, but we love iceberg for maximum crunch and mild flavor.

Is this cheeseburger salad low carb?

You can find the full nutrition stats below the recipe card, but this salad is naturally gluten-free and fairly low-carb – it will of course, depend on your own nutrition needs as there are carbs in foods like tomatoes, onions, and ketchup.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover salad components in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

How to reheat

Reheat ground beef in the microwave or a hot skillet until heated through.

Close up of burger salad

What to Serve with Big Mac Salad Recipe

This cheese burger salad is designed to be a full meal salad, but I also like to serve a few sides along with it, especially when I’m feeding this to the whole family (see below!). Here are a few ideas:

  • French fries or tater tots (frozen or homemade)
  • Breadsticks or garlic bread
  • Roasted carrots
  • Fresh fruit

How to Feed a Big Mac Salad to the Whole Family

I get it, feeding kids can be tough! But following the Division of Responsibility and knowing your job and your child’s job makes it SO much more enjoyable. You’ll be able to feed your kids any meal, which will help ensure that they are eating a variety of nutritious foods – with plenty of play food sprinkled in.

I would recommend serving the salad components separately so everyone can build their own perfect salad. It’s ok if everyone’s look a little different and because teaching kids how to eat healthy is all about the long game, don’t be alarmed if it takes a bit of time for kids to put veggies in their salad! 🙂 Serve the meal with a few items you know your kids will eat, like fruit, milk, and/or bread and butter.

Bowl of burger salad

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Big Mac salad in a bowl with toppings.

More Ground Beef Recipes

If you like this burger salad recipe, you might also like these other recipes with ground beef:

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Bowl of Big Mac salad with fresh toppings.

Easy Big Mac Salad Recipe

  • Author: Emily Dingmann of myeverydaytable.com
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

You’ll love this satisfying Big Mac salad recipe! My burger salad has crunchy iceberg, ground beef, cheddar cheese, and of course, the sauce!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 16 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickles (or more!)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp. pickle juice (from jar)
  • 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef to pan and season with salt and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about 7-9 minutes, or until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain grease if necessary. 
  2. While beef is cooking, prepare other ingredients:
    Wash and thinly slice lettuce.
    Wash and cut tomatoes in half.
    Thinly slice onion. (Or chop, whatever you prefer)
    Mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, and pickle juice.
    Shred cheddar if necessary.
  3. In a large bowl or plate, layer lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Top with beef mixture. Drizzle with dressing and top with sliced pickles and cheddar cheese. Garnish with sesame seeds.


Notes

  • Shortcut: Use pre-shredded cheese. It’s not my favorite in this salad, but it will save some time.
  • Servings: You might be able to get more than 4 servings from this salad, but I like to allot for some extra as we always seem to eat a lot of it! 
  • This salad is pretty filling, but I’d add bread and/or fruit for kids. (See tips above for how to serve this to the whole family.) 

Keywords: big mac salad, big mac salad recipe, recipe for big mac salad, burger salad

Food styling and photography by Loren Runion.

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