Big Mac Salad

Big Mac Salad

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 large salad
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
429 Calories
33g Fat
5g Carbs
26g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 429
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 872mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 185mg 14%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 478mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Anyone who grew up in the '80s knows the iconic jingle "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun." This salad has all the flavor and nostalgia for the classic Big Mac sandwich but without the bun. While this salad is low-carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free, it is 100% delicious.

Ground beef is browned and perfectly seasoned just like a hamburger. It is then tossed with shredded iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, dill pickles, and finely chopped onion to mimic the iconic burger. The warm beef mixture tossed with crisp and cool vegetables makes this salad a unique mealtime experience.

The key to this salad is making a simplified homemade version of the famous special sauce as a dressing. It is still possible to keep this recipe low-carb by using sugar-free ketchup in the dressing.

The final flourish for this salad is a quick garnish of sesame seeds just before serving. Sesame seeds add texture and flavor as well as visual interest, mimicking the bun. If you want to enjoy all the flavor and fun of your favorite cheeseburger in salad form, this recipe is sure to satisfy.

Ingredients

For the Beef Mixture and Salad:

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Special Sauce Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons diced dill pickles

  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup quartered dill pickle chips

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion

  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Big Mac Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef, salt, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink. Set aside to cool slightly while preparing the rest of the salad.

    Beef browning in a skillet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  3. Meanwhile, prepare the special sauce dressing. In a medium bowl combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, diced pickles, yellow mustard, white vinegar, and paprika. Stir to combine or blend in a food processor or blender for a smoother sauce if you prefer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    Dressing ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  4. Assemble the salad. In a large bowl, combine the shredded iceberg lettuce, halved tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, pickle chips, and finely chopped onion.

    Big Mac Salad toppings in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  5. Toss with the cooled ground beef mixture and the special sauce salad dressing.

    Big Mac Salad ingredients in a bowl ready to be tossed

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve.

    Big Mac Salad

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni & Eric Kleinberg

How to Store

While the prepared salad does not keep well, the dressing can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Give it a stir before using.

Recipe Variations

  • If you are short on time, feel free to use prepared thousand island dressing.
  • To dress up the salad a bit, try using heirloom tomatoes and crisp bibb lettuce. Crumbled blue cheese would be nice, too.