Big Mac Salad Recipe [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 6 reviews

Beef Recipes Salads Side Dishes

Cook time Cook time: 10 minutes

Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 10:11 pm

This easy Big Mac Salad recipe is a healthier take on the famous fast food cheeseburger! It is made with cooked ground beef, lettuce, mayonnaise-based sauce, and topped with pickles, and cheese. The ultimate comfort food that is ready in 20 minutes. 

We have the perfect Big Mac Sauce to go with it, and it tastes EXACTLY like the real thing. For more easy summer dishes, try our Cobb Salad, Keto Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, and Shrimp Salad.

Tasty Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad

Big Mac Salad is truly one of a kind and such a delicious meal. It has the distinctive flavors of a cheeseburger but it is much healthier, and also low in carbs. If you want to experience the flavors of McDonald’s comfortably at home than this is the best recipe to make!

It has the classic combination of smoky ground beef, fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and shredded cheddar cheese, all coated in a Big Mac copycat dressing.

Apart from being tasty and healthier, this dish is quick and easy to assemble. You can enjoy it as an easy dinner or as a side dish during the summer barbecue season. 

This is a healthy burger in a bowl that is ready in about 20 minutes from start to finish. In addition, you can easily modify it, and adjust the ingredients per your taste. 

What is in a big mac sauce?

It is one of McDonald’s secret and signature sauces that is made of mayonnaise, mustard, sweet relish, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings. The sauce compliments pretty much any meals very well.

Is big mac sauce the same as a thousand island dressing?

Although both of them are similar in texture and color, they are not the same. Thousand Island Dressing uses tomatoes as the central ingredient which isn’t actually an ingredient in the Big Mac sauce. 

How to make the best Big Mac Salad?

  1. Brown the beef: In a skillet, brown the ground beef for about 4 minutes. Then, add the diced onion, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through. 
  2. Make the sauce: While the ground beef browns, put together the sauce. Simply, mix the ingredients together in a bowl. 
  3. Assemble: Using a salad bowl, start with lettuce at the bottom. Then, add the browned beef, onion, cheese, pickles, and tomato. Drizzle with big mac sauce, and garnish with some sesame seeds and chopped green onions.

Variations of Big Mac Salad:

If you want to mix it up a bit, there are plenty of options and variations for it. Try the following:

  • Other Meats: If you want to make it even healthier and reduce the fat content, then swap the ground beef with ground chicken or turkey. 
  • For a vegetarian version: omit the meat altogether, and instead substitute it with tofu, beans, or vegan meat. 
  • Other veggies: If you are not an onion fan, feel free to leave the onions out. Also, you can add some bell peppers, corn, or sliced cucumbers. 
  • Cheese: Any type of shredded cheese would work great. You can use American cheese, pepper jack, or mozzarella. 
  • Croutons: For a crunchier texture, top it with some croutons or tortilla chips.

Can I make a big mac salad ahead of time?

Yes! You can make it ahead. However, I would recommend not to assemble it until you are ready to serve it. So if you want to save some time ahead, prepare the ingredients, the sauce, and brown the meat.

Then, when you are ready to serve it, simply assemble it together. Also, you could warm up the ground beef by microwaving it for about 1-2 minutes. 

Can I freeze it?

I would not recommend freezing it because the sauce will get soggy. Also, the lettuce would not taste the same when frozen. So, it is best to avoid freezing this dish. 

More delicious Salads:

Recipe Tips:

  • The sauce is one of the main ingredients here and the secret for getting a tasty and authentic flavor. Therefore, I highly recommend using our version of it. You can easily make it in advance and refrigerate it for up to one week. 
  • Try to use leaner ground beef to reduce the fat content and make it less greasy. 
  • Similarly, you can assemble the order of the ingredients anyways you prefer. 
  • If you are a bacon lover, feel free to add some bacon crumbles on top!

Tools used to make this recipe:

  • Nonstick Skillet – I love using a nonstick skillet as it works the best when browning any meats. 
  • Salad Bowl – Any size would work. If you want to make a larger portion, go with a larger bowl.

Big Mac Salad.

Big Mac Salad

This easy Big Mac Salad recipe is a healthier take on the famous fast food cheeseburger! It is made with cooked ground beef, lettuce, mayonnaise-based sauce, and topped with pickles, and cheese.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 850kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


Big Mac Salad:

  • 1 pound ground beef (85-90% fat)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 cup tomato (diced)
  • 1/4 cup pickles (sliced)

Big Mac Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Chopped green onions
  • Sesame seeds


Cook beef:

  • Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high, and once hot add the beef. Breaking it with a spoon, cook it for 4-5 minutes, until browned.
  • Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the onion is softened. The beef should look browned and slightly crispy.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Big Mac Sauce:
  • Whisk all the ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.


  • Add the lettuce to a large bowl, top with the browned beef, red onion, cheddar cheese, tomato, and pickles.
  • Drizzle the big mac sauce on top and garnish with sesame seeds and chopped green onions.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 850kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 134g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 2412mg | Potassium: 1341mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 13592IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 365mg | Iron: 7mg
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Leave a reply

Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert

This Big Mac Salad couldn't look any more perfect!


Alice Saith

This is my go-to comfort salad, made it following your steps and is just like the burger but in a salad form and healthier!) the sauce is just yummy!



This was really amazing! My kids loved it!


katerina @

WOW! This looks like the perfect salad!! I am SO excited to try it out!


Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

Talk about a fantastic salad!! I LOVE everything about this! YUM!!



Love this so much! I grew up eating Big Macs but now a salad is much more my style!



This is such a huge hit at my house!! It was so good!


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