That famous cheeseburger everyone loves is transformed into a delicious Big Mac Cheeseburger salad without all carbs! It even has the special sauce!
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❤️ Why You'll Love this Big Mac Salad Recipe
- All the same flavors of the Big Mac cheeseburger made into a low carb salad
- Served with "special sauce" dressing
- Perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner
- Ready in just 15 minutes
Did you know you could have the flavors of your favorite childhood fast-food cheeseburger right in your own kitchen and with just a few simple ingredients? You can! And it's easier than you can imagine.
This Big Mac Salad is low carb but is so big on flavor, your whole family will be asking for it! And you can feel great about making it for them too, because it's made with all fresh ingredients and is a healthy weeknight dinner option!
Crisp lettuce with perfectly seasoned ground beef is topped off with homemade Thousand Island dressing that gives this low carb salad incredible flavor!
🛒 What's in a Big Mac Bowl
- Grass-fed ground beef
- Romaine lettuce
- Grape tomatoes
- Dill pickle slices
- Cheddar cheese
- Red onions
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
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🔪 How to Make a Big Mac Salad
Heat a skillet to medium heat and add in the ground beef. Add salt and pepper, then cook until meat it has browned.
Drain and set aside, while you assemble the salad.
To Make the Big Mac Salad Dressing
Take the Thousand Island dressing and add in the mustard and smoked paprika.
Whisk until well combined.
In each salad bowl, add in the lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, red onions, ground beef and pickles.
Top with the dressing, toss and serve.
☑️ Storage Instructions
Store leftover Big Mac Salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days. If you know you will have some leftover salad to store, I would not dress that portion of the salad and store the dressing separately in an airtight jar. This will keep the lettuce crisp longer.
🔄 Substitutions and Additions
- If you prefer, you can use sugar-free sweet pickles in place of the dill chips.
- The homemade Thousand Island Dressing is really the key for this Keto salad and it's super easy to make, but if you’re in pinch, you can buy sugar-free Thousand Island and use it as a quick alternative. Be sure to add the smoked paprika and mustard to it so it will can have that signature special sauce flavor.
- Get creative with the ingredients to change things up. You can use any of your favorite lettuce, cheese or ground meats that you’d like. It’s such a versatile salad, so go ahead and make it your own!
- Want to increase the fat even more, add some chopped bacon! It adds a very nice smoky flavor.
- I used grape tomatoes in this salad, but you can use any tomato that you like. If your local grocery store carries them, baby heirloom tomatoes are really delicious and will add even prettier colors to this Keto salad.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make Keto Cheeseburger Salad in Advance?
You can prepare the ingredients in advance then assemble it when you're ready to serve it. This low carb salad is meant to be served with warm ground beef but you can prep ahead to make things easier.
To meal prep for this salad, have your lettuce washed and cut up, grate the cheese, chop your tomatoes and pickles and put them in airtight containers and place in the fridge. You can make the Keto Thousand Island several days in advance if you'd like.
You can even cook the seasoned meat in advance, just place it in the fridge, then reheat it in microwave the next day. When you're ready to make the salad, you'll have everything you need ready for you.
Is Thousand Island Dressing the Same as Big Mac Sauce?
No, it's very similar but not identical. In this recipe, I use my Thousand Island Dressing as the base for the sauce, then add smoked paprika for a little smokiness and mustard for tanginess. I have found this to be the perfect blend.
How Do I Store Leftover Low Carb Cheeseburger Salad?
As I am sure you've experienced, leftover salad will get soggy and the lettuce wilts. But, you can store the leftover ground beef, Thousand Island sauce and chopped veggies separately and just assemble a new salad the next day.
You can keep leftover cooked beef and Keto Thousand Island in airtight containers for up to several days and have it on hand for when you're ready to use it.
Don't limit the Thousand Island dressing to just salad! You can use it over any burger or these Bacon Cheeseburger Bites.
What Kind of Lettuce is in a Big Mac?
The typical Big Mac is made with shredded iceberg lettuce. In this take on a Big Mac made into a salad, I chose to use romaine lettuce since it's more nutritious. I also shredded it thinly, to give it that same texture.
How Many Carbs are in Big Mac Salad?
There are only 3 grams of carbs in each serving of this Big Mac Salad recipe, compared to the 44 grams of carbs in a traditional Big Mac. That's a huge savings and you still have all the same great flavors to satisfy your cravings!
What are the Benefits of Grass fed Beef?
You'll probably notice in my other Keto ground beef recipes, just as in this Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad, I mention my preference for grass-fed beef over grain-fed. I made the switch years ago to grass-fed and here are some of the reasons:
- The omega 6-3 ratios in grass-fed beef are far superior to grain-fed beef. This has numerous health benefits that you can read all about in this article.
- Compared to grain-fed, grass-fed beef contains more B-vitamins, thiamin and riboflavin.
- Grass-fed is higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which are essential for Keto and low carb diets.
- Grass-fed beef is free of the hormones and chemicals that grain-fed cattle are fed daily.
- Beef reflects the flavor of what it's fed. That is why regular grain-fed beef usually has a bland flavor that requires a lot of seasoning. In comparison, grass-fed beef fed from pastures will have a more rich and complex flavor.
🍽️ More Keto Ground Beef Recipes
- Easy Taco Casserole
- Beef Stroganoff Casserole
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Poblano and Cheese Stuffed Meatloaf
- Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole
- Baked Southwest Skillet with Chipotle Cream
- Instant Pot No Bean Chili
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
Big Mac Cheeseburger Salad
- Heat a skillet to medium heat and add in the ground beef. Add salt and pepper, then cook until meat it has browned. Drain and set aside, while you assemble the salad.
- Take the Thousand Island dressing and add in the mustard and smoked paprika. Whisk until well combined.
- In a large salad bowl, add in the shredded lettuce, ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, tomatoes, sliced pickles and red onions. Top with the dressing, toss and serve.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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*Originally published on April 28, 2020, updated on August 17, 2023 with new photos, improvements to the recipe and helpful tips.