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A healthier burger option, this Big Mac Salad has all of the best parts of your favorite burger and is ready in only 30 minutes! A burger patty is topped with American cheese, sliced up over a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce, your favorite toppings, and a homemade Big Mac Sauce.

Love salads? Be sure to try this Napa Cabbage Salad and Chicken Fajita Salad next!

Cheeseburger slaad with a large spoon
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Why I Love This Recipe

  • Cheeseburger Flavor in Salad Form – This Big Mac Salad recipe is the perfect happy medium when you’re craving a burger but want to get some extra greens in too!
  • Big Mac Sauce – Also known as the “special sauce,” the homemade Big Mac Sauce takes the salad over the top and is easy to prep in advance. It’s creamy and tangy, and similar in flavor to Thousand Island Dressing.
  • Ready in 30 Minutes – The only ‘cooking’ involved is cooking the burger patties and toasting the hamburger bun croutons, so this meal-sized salad comes together fast!

Ingredients

A few shortcuts, like using pre-made ground beef patties, make this recipe even easier.

  • Lean Ground Beef Patties – Using pre-made beef patties keeps the recipe easy, but you can also make them yourself from ground beef using this recipe for stovetop burgers.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – Just a few dashes of Worcestershire adds a more complex flavor than just the plain ground beef.
  • Sliced American Cheese – You can swap in a different sliced cheese, but I like the way American cheese smoothly melts.
  • Iceberg Lettuce – Shredded into large pieces. Shredded romaine lettuce or torn butter lettuce would be good substitutes for the iceburg lettuce. 
  • Cherry Tomatoes – You’ll halve the cherry tomatoes or you can use roma tomatoes that are sliced or diced.
  • Red Onion – Thinly sliced.
  • Dill Pickles – Sliced
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese – Feel free to swap in another shredded cheese.
  • Sesame Seed Bun – These are cubed up and baked to form croutons. Or skip the sesame seeds and use a nice Brioche.
  • Spices – Garlic powder and onion powder to make the hamburger bun croutons.
  • Big Mac Sauce – The homemade Big Mac Sauce really adds that burger flavor, but this salad would also be great with ranch, Thousand Island, or blue cheese dressing. The Big Mac Sauce is similar to a Thousand Island dressing, made with mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and paprika.

How To Make a Big Mac Salad

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Cubes of bread in a bowl with a spoon
Toasted bread cubes on a baking sheet.

Make Croutons – Start by getting the oven preheated to 350℉ and toss the cubed hamburger buns with the melted butter and spices. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown, giving a toss about halfway through cooking. Allow to cool.

4 hamburger patties frying in a skillet.
4 hamburger patties with cheese frying in a skillet

Cook Burger Patties – Meanwhile, season the burger patties with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook your burgers to your preferred temp (you can do this in a pan on the stove or on the grill) then top with a slice of cheese in the last minute of cooking. Allow them to cool for a few minutes then slice into strips.

Salad with a cheeseburger patty, onions, tomatoes, croutons and pickles.

Assemble Salad – On a large platter or serving bowl lay out an even layer of the lettuce then top with the burger patty slices and the remaining toppings. Drizzle over the big mac sauce and sprinkle with the burger bun croutons.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is pretty filling on its own, but to round out the meal you can serve some fries on the side like these air fryer frozen french fries or homemade baked french fries.

Storage

Store undressed leftover salad ingredients in the fridge for up to 3 days. I find it best to store the ingredients separately and then assemble right before serving.

Expert Tips

  • Add Bacon – You could add crumbled bacon for a bacon cheeseburger spin.
  • Swaps for Burger Patties – For an even healthier version you can swap out the beef patties for turkey burgers, chicken or a black bean burger.
  • Hamburger Croutons – Bagged croutons can be used in place of the hamburger croutons. 
  • Raw Red Onion – To take some of the bite out of the onion, you can soak the slices in ice water for about 10 minutes while you prep the other ingredients. Drain before serving.
Cheeseburger salad with a gork.

More Salad Recipes

Recipe

Cheeseburger Salad

5
Cheeseburger Salad is a healthier burger option that has all of the best parts of your favorite burger and is ready in only 30 minutes!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Cheeseburger Patties

  • 1 pound Lean ground beef, shaped into 4 equal patties
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices American cheese

Salad

  • 1 head Iceberg lettuce large shred
  • 1 cup Cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ Small red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Dill pickle slices
  • 1 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 batch Big Mac Sauce

Croutons

  • 2 Sesame seed hamburger buns diced into ½” cube
  • 2 tablespoon Salted butter melted
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt

Big Mac Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Grated yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspon Smoked paprika
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Instructions
 

Croutons

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Toss with the cubed hamburger buns to fully coat.
  • Arrange the cubes out on a baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown, tossing half way through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Cheeseburger Patties

  • While the croutons are cooking, season burger patties with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Pan fry or grill burgers over medium-high heat to your preferred temperature; about 3-4 minutes per side. Top each patty with 1 slice of american cheese during the last minute of cooking time. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  • Once slightly cooled, about 3-5 minutes, slice the patties into strips and set aside.

Big Mac Sauce

  • Whisk ingredients together in a small bowl until fully combined. Chill for one hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.
  • Serve on top of burgers, or on your favorite salad. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Salad

  • On a large platter or serving bowl start layering your salad. Arrange lettuce as the bottom later, then top with burger slices and the remaining ingredients.
  • Drizzle the Big Mac Sauce all over the salad and garnish with burger bun croutons. Or, set out all the components and let everybody build their own bowl.
  • Serve immediately. with extra Big Mac Sauce or another dressing on the side.

Notes

Store undressed leftover salad ingredients in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 753kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 38gFat: 56gSaturated Fat: 21gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 2446mgPotassium: 821mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1763IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 517mgIron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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