Bite into this Big Mac salad loaded with all of the classic flavors and drizzled with the quintessential Big Mac sauce dressing.
This salad has all of the flavors of the classic fast-food burger, but less of the guilt. Enjoy this salad with extra lean ground beef to save on calories, and omit the croutons to make this keto diet-friendly. Best of all, you can make this salad in less than 15 minutes!
Ingredients you will need
- Lean ground beef - I use 90/10 beef for this dish, but even leaner work well too.
- Worcestershire sauce - Deepens the flavor of the beef.
- Seasonings - Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder all add another layer of flavor to your hamburger.
- Shredded iceberg lettuce - This is the iconic lettuce served with the burger, so it should be your top choice for this salad.
- Mild cheddar cheese- Technically, your traditional Big Mac is served with American cheese, which you are welcomed to use in this salad instead, but mild cheddar has a better texture and flavor for using in a salad.
- Dill pickles - I like the burger slices best, but you can use chopped pickles if needed.
- White onion - I like the crunch of white onion, but sweet onions and yellow onions are good substitutions.
- Sesame seeds - These are the iconic white seeds on the Big Mac bun.
- Croutons - These are optional, but add a nice crunch. Leave them out of the recipe to enjoy a low carb salad.
- Big Mac Sauce - Make your own Big Mac Sauce from scratch with my recipe, or cheat and use Thousand Island Dressing.
How to make it
The only thing needing to be cooked in this recipe is ground beef. As with any time you cook hamburger meat, it is important to brown the hamburger properly to ensure you are getting the maximum flavor. To do so, ensure the beef begins to develop a brown crust as it is cooked, rather than just turning gray.
The ground beef should be served on the salad warm, but it will still taste good if it is made in advance and cooled from the refrigerator.
The salad can either be prepared in separate serving dishes or combined in a large salad bowl. To combine, add the lettuce, ground beef, cheese, pickles, and onion to the bowl to combine. When serving, top with dressing, seeds, and croutons.
How to make Big Mac Sauce
The Big Mac Sauce is what gives this salad its recognizable flavor. If you don't want to mess with making your own sauce, Thousand Island dressing has a similar flavor, but it is important to point out that it is not the same thing.
Your own homemade sauce can be made by mixing together Mayo, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, white wine vinegar, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Tips and Tricks
- A fattier hamburger is best when making burgers or meatloaf. Use 90/10 or leaner ground beef to save on calories without sacrificing flavor in this recipe.
- Thousand Island dressing can be substituted for Big Mac Sauce.
- If you are not planning to eat it right away, keep the beef separate so it can be reheated prior to enjoying the salad.
- The flavor of homemade Big Mac Sauce is best when made a day in advance so the flavors can meld together.
Yes, however, it is best to keep the ingredients separated until you are ready to enjoy the salad. This allows you to reheat the beef and will prevent the croutons from getting soft.
Big Mac Sauce differs from Thousand Island dressing in that tomatoes are used in Thousand Island, but they are not an ingredient in Big Mac Sauce. For this same reason, Big Mac Sauce copycat recipes that call for French dressing as an ingredient are less authentic.
More Salads to Enjoy
Big Mac Salad
Big Mac Salad
- Add ground beef to a medium skillet along with Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook over medium-high heat until well browned.
- Prepare the Big Mac Sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together.
- Assemble the salad by combining the lettuce, beef, cheese, pickles, and onions. Then top with sesame seeds, croutons, and sauce.