This easy to make main course salad tastes very much like that iconic fast-food burger it's named after.
This big mac cheeseburger salad will cure your burger craving, but with a healthier twist, and without waiting in line at the local burger joint.
If you're a lover of big mac sandwiches, then you probably want to call me out on an ingredient that I added to my main course salad that isn't on a traditional golden arches burger.
How well do you know the double-decker burger? Can you spot the rogue ingredient in this burger salad recipe?
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making this big mac main course salad is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the "jump to recipe" button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe.
The ingredients for making big mac salad:
**Note - The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned
- ground beef
- salt and pepper
- dill pickles
- Romaine lettuce
- cheddar cheese
- grape tomatoes (optional)
- sweet pickle relish
- smoked paprika
- garlic powder
- prepared yellow mustard
- sesame seeds (optional, I forgot to add mine)
Kitchen tools and equipment needed:
- large skillet
- wooden spoon or spatula
- chef's knife
- cutting board
- cheese grater (optional)
- measuring cups and spoons
- large salad bowl
- salad tongs
The rogue ingredient?
What can I say? I happen to love tomatoes on my burgers so I added them to my copycat big mac salad recipe.
If you want to be fully traditional in the making of your burger salad, please feel free to leave the tomatoes on the cutting room floor.
But, since eating has almost as much to do visually as it does with taste, then keep the tomatoes in the bowl, and on the salad.
That pop of red really livens up the appearance of this salad, and makes it a main course salad that is very hard to resist!
Who remembers the catchy big mac slogan from years ago?
Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun...and tomatoes! LOL
No. No tomatoes, sadly. But in my opinion, they should have figured out a way to add them to the burger, and the poem. Just sayin'
The easy instructions for making a big mac salad:
- In a large skillet, brown 1 pound of ground beef.
- Add dehydrated minced onion to the beef along with salt, pepper, and chopped dill pickles.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- To make the special sauce (aka dressing), in a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, ketchup, smoked paprika, and yellow mustard.
- To assemble the salad, chop 2 heads of romaine lettuce and layer it into a bowl.
- Top the lettuce with the ground beef mixture, the special sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes (optional), and croutons.
- Serve immediately.
How long will this salad keep in the refrigerator?
This big mac salad is best when eaten the same day it's made. Because then you'll get the temperature contrast from hot (from the ground beef), to cool (from all the other ingredients).
Also, once made, the croutons may get soggy in the refrigerator so I recommend eating this main course salad right away after making.
Can the components of this salad be made in advance?
Sure thing! But, as I mentioned earlier, it's best not to assemble the salad until just before you're ready to eat.
However, feel free to prep the romaine lettuce, shred the cheese, cut the tomatoes, and mix the dressing (stored separately in a covered container), and keep those items in an air-tight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
You can also prepare the ground beef mixture and store it in the refrigerator if you'd like to have all the prep work done in advance.
Then, when you're ready to serve, just reheat the burger component in the microwave, and assemble the remainder of the cheeseburger salad as stated above.
Additional main course salad recipes:
- Chef's Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen
"A chef’s salad isn’t something only to be eaten at restaurants. You can easily make this Best Ever Chef’s Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing at home with all the great add-ins and flavor you love!"
- Rainbow Quinoa Salad from Greedy Gourmet
- Corn and Black Bean Mexican Quinoa Salad from Girl Heart Food
- Potluck-Worthy Cuban Salad from The Good Hearted Woman
- Grilled Coffee Crusted Flank Steak Salad from Girl Carnivor
- Rubbed Kale Salad with Berries (pictured below) from (yours truly) Kudos Kitchen
"This kale salad with berries is a deliciously healthy side dish or main course that takes only minutes to prepare. It’s chock full of Mother Nature’s healthiest ingredients and then topped with a homemade vinaigrette which has just the right amount of tang to complement the hearty kale."
- Panzanella Salad from Cristina's Cucina
- Mediterrane Salad with Chicken from The Rising Spoon
- Black Bean Taco Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas from Veggie Inspired
- Big Mac Burger Salad with Croutons (pictured below) This is the place!
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Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today's easy main course big mac cheeseburger salad.
Big Mac Burger Salad
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1½ tablespoons dehydrated minced onions
- ½ cup chopped dill pickles
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grape tomatoes halved (optional)
- 1 cup salad croutons
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- ¼ cup ketchup
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1½ tablespoons sesame seeds optional, not shown
- In a large skillet brown the ground beef over medium/high heat until no longer pink.
- Stir in the dehydrated onions, chopped dill pickle, salt, and pepper. Stir well.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- In a medium bowl whisk the mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, ketchup, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and yellow mustard.
- In a large bowl, layer the romaine lettuce, ground beef mixture, special sauce, shredded cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, croutons, and sesame seeds (if using).
- Serve immediately.
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's fast and easy main course recipe for Big Mac Cheeseburger salad as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
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I never realized Big Macs don't have tomatoes on them, lol. BUT I totally agree - tomatoes are a must on a salad. Can't wait to dig in!
I love this lower carb alternative to a burger. The dressing is so tasty!