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Big Mac Salad

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If you are looking for a healthier alternative to the famous Big Mac, this Big Mac Salad recipe is just what you are looking for! It has all the delicious Big Mac flavors without all the carbs. This salad is made up of lettuce, seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, diced onion, pickles, and a creamy, slightly sweet, and tangy Big Mac salad dressing recipe. It’s the perfect weeknight meal when you are craving a Big Mac. 

Big Mac Salad

When I am trying to eat lower carbs there are some things that I miss. One of the biggest things I miss is a Big Mac, which is why I am so excited to share with you this delicious Big Mac salad. It has all the flavors of a traditional Big Mac but is healthier and lower in carbs. In about 30 minutes you will be enjoying this salad satisfying all your cravings! This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled! 

big mac salad

After you enjoy your Big Mac salad, make yourself a Shamrock shake for dessert for the ultimate treat! 

Ingredients

Seasoned Ground Beef

1 lb ground beef (I used grass-fed 85:15 ground beef)

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

3/4 tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp black pepper

¼ tsp paprika

Dressing

½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise (90 g)

2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup

1 tbsp sweet relish

2 tsp Dijon mustard

Salad

8 ounces romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce, shredded (about 8 cups)

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (55 g)

¼ white onion, finely diced (about ½ cup diced)

½ cup pickle slices

1 tbsp sesame seeds

How to make Big Mac Salad

  • Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add in the beef and begin to brown it, breaking it apart and stirring as you go. Once the beef is mostly cooked (after about 5 minutes), drain any excess grease from the pan (if using ground meat with less than 15% fat, you will not need to drain it).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ¾ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of paprika to the pan with the beef. Stir the meat until it is evenly seasoned and finish cooking it. Remove it from the heat once it has fully cooked and set aside.
  • While the meat cooks, you can prepare the salad ingredients. Peel and finely dice the onion and shred the lettuce.
  • Prepare the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and mustard to a small bowl and whisking it together. If your ketchup is unsweetened, you can add a little bit of low-glycemic sweetener to taste but this will not be needed if the ketchup is already sweetened. Set dressing aside.
  • Start to assemble the salads by filling the bowls with a base of shredded lettuce. Top the lettuce with ground beef, a sprinkle of onions, pickles, and shredded cheese. Dress the salad with a drizzle of the creamy Big Mac dressing and then sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately.
Big Mac Salad
Big Mac Salad

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • You will want to be sure to not swap out the ground beef for another protein option when it comes to this salad. This salad was originally made with an 85/15, so you can opt for leaner meat if you choose. 
  • You can use burger patties to make this salad. You can grill the burgers as you would normally, then slice them and place them on the assembled salads and dress them with the Big Mac dressing!
  • You can omit your Worcestershire sauce if you don’t have any on hand or do not like the flavor of it. If you omit it, add a ¼ teaspoon more salt. 
  • You can use your favorite type of mayonnaise if you prefer. 
  • Big Macs always use white onions, but you can swap this out for a yellow onion if you prefer. 
  • Grab your favorite variety of pickles for this salad. 
  • Iceberg lettuce is recommended for the closest taste to a Big Mac. You can also use shredded romaine or spinach for a more nutrient-dense alternative.
  • If not following a low-carb diet, additions like homemade croutons using sesame seed buns or a handful of oven-baked French fries can throw this recipe over the top.
  • If you are short on time, buy pre-shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and a thousand island dressing to get dinner on the table quickly. 
  • Cherry tomatoes, ripe avocado, or crumbled bacon can make great additions even though they are not traditional Big Mac ingredients!
big mac salad

Storage

This salad is best enjoyed right away. 

If you plan to make it ahead of time and serve it later, you will want to put the meat and salad dressing in two separate airtight containers from the rest of the salad. You can then store the three containers in the fridge. This will keep for up to 3 days. When you are ready to enjoy, heat your meat, and then add it to the salad as well as the dressing. 

Is this salad healthier than a Big Mac?

Yes, this salad is healthier than a traditional Big Mac. It is low-carb and contains more nutrients and higher quality ingredients than you would get with a regular Big Mac. This salad also has tons of leafy greens, lots of protein, and healthy fats. 

big mac salad

Tips when Making a Low Carb Big Mac Salad

  • If following a ketogenic diet, consider additional carb sources that may contribute to a higher carb count in this recipe. Ketchup and pickles can be sneaky sources of carbohydrates. Be sure to select low-sugar options for both of these ingredients. Avoid sweet pickles that are brined with sugar and choose a real mayo instead of alternatives like Miracle Whip which contain sugar. The Worcestershire sauce can also be omitted for a slightly lower carb count. If omitting this ingredient, increase the salt to 1 full teaspoon (instead of ¾ teaspoon).
  • If not following a low-carb diet, regular ketchup and sweet pickles can be used. You could also throw in a handful of croutons for a fun addition!
  • If using unsweetened ketchup (like Primal Kitchen brand), you may want to sweeten the dressing to taste. The dressing should only be slightly sweet. You can do this with about 5 drops of liquid stevia or your preferred low-glycemic sweetener for a low-carb diet or about 1 tbsp. of honey if not following low-carb. This will not be needed if the ketchup is already sweetened.
Big Mac Salad pin
big mac salad

Big Mac Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

If you are looking for a healthier alternative to the famous Big Mac, this Big Mac Salad recipe is just what you are looking for! It has all the delicious Big Mac flavors without all the carbs. This salad is made up of lettuce, seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, diced onion, pickles, and a creamy, slightly sweet, and tangy Big Mac dressing. It’s the perfect weeknight meal when you are craving a Big Mac. 

Ingredients

  • Seasoned Ground Beef:
  • 1 lb ground beef (I used grass-fed 85:15 ground beef)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Dressing:
  • ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise (90 g)
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salad:
  • 8 ounces romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce, shredded (about 8 cups)
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (55 g)
  • ¼ white onion, finely diced (about ½ cup diced)
  • ½ cup pickle slices
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add in the beef and begin to brown it, breaking it apart and stirring as you go. Once the beef is mostly cooked (after about 5 minutes) , drain any excess grease from the pan (if using ground meat with less than 15% fat, you will not need to drain it).
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ¾ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon of paprika to the pan with the beef. Stir the meat until it is evenly seasoned and finish cooking it. Remove it from the heat once it has fully cooked and set aside.
  3. While the meat cooks, you can prepare the salad ingredients. Peel and finely dice the onion and shred the lettuce.
  4. Prepare the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and mustard to a small bowl and whisking it together. If your ketchup is unsweetened, you can add a little bit of low-glycemic sweetener to taste but this will not be needed if the ketchup is already sweetened. Set dressing aside.
  5. Start to assemble the salads by filling the bowls with a base of shredded lettuce. Top the lettuce with ground beef, a sprinkle of onions, pickles, and shredded cheese. Dress the salad with a drizzle of the creamy Big Mac dressing and then sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 701Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1065mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g

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