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Big Mac Salad

This quick and easy Big Mac Salad has all the flavors of the classic McDonald’s burger but in a big bowl of salad. It’s an irresistibly delicious 30-minute meal!

Turning a Big Mac into a salad may sound like a really weird thing to do (I thought so too at first). But if you’re a fan of the burger, give it a try and see why it’s become my latest salad obsession!

A Big Mac has always been one of my favorite every-once-in-a-while treats. That combination of beef, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and a sesame seed bun is just sooo good!

I’ve seen lots of Big Mac/cheeseburger salad recipes over the years and have always wanted to give it a try. So when I had a craving a few weeks ago, instead of driving to the nearest drive-thru, I decided to make these salads for dinner instead.

Most recipes are geared toward low-carb or keto diets, and so they eliminate the bun. But, being the bread-lover that I am, I couldn’t resist adding back the bun by turning it into croutons.

It’s still less bun, though…you’re splitting just one between two servings (of course, you could always leave it out if you want!).

Well, we couldn’t believe how amazing this salad was, how much it filled us up, and how much it tastes just like a Big Mac. I’ve made it a few more times since because we wanted to enjoy it again!

It’s pretty easy to make, too. The croutons are made in the oven and, while they’re baking, you cook up two cheeseburgers in a pan and chop them up.

Then assemble the salads by putting lettuce in each bowl and topping it with some Thousand Island dressing (homemade highly recommended), onions, cheese, a chopped burger, the croutons, and a little more dressing. Done!

big mac salad in a white bowl with a small bowl of Thousand Island dressing on the side with a spoon in it

Ingredients you need:

  • Sesame seed hamburger bun
  • Olive oil
  • Ground beef
  • American cheese
  • Lettuce (I use romaine, but iceberg can also be used)
  • Onion
  • Thousand Island dressing (see Note below)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Note: I highly recommend making a batch of my Homemade Thousand Island Dressing for this salad. It only takes a few minutes to make, and it tastes so much better than store-bought.

Just keep in mind that the dressing needs to sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to let the flavors blend, so make you’ll have to make it ahead of time (you could even make it in the morning or the day before).

Here’s a look at how to make Big Mac Salad:

2 images; one a graphic of an oven with text that says preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit; the other of a cubed hamburger bun on a wooden cutting board with a knife with text that says cut a sesame seed bun into half inch cubes
2 images; one of the bun cubes on a baking sheet with text that says toss the bun cubes with olive oil on a baking sheet; the other a graphic of an oven with text that says 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 to 15 minutes tossing occasionally
2 images; one of the baked bun cubes on the baking sheet with text that says until golden brown and crisp, let cool; the other of two raw hamburger patties on a white plate seasoned with salt and pepper with text that says meanwhile, form beef into 2 patties, season with salt and pepper
2 images; one of the raw burger patties in a skillet with text that says cook the burgers in a pan over medium heat for 4 minutes; the other of the burgers in the pan with cheese on them and a spatula on the side with text that says flip the burgers and top with cheese
2 images; one of the cooked burgers in the skillet with text that says cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until cooked through; the other of the burgers chopped into pieces on a wooden cutting board with a knife on the side with text that says chop the burgers into bite0sized pieces
2 images; one of lettuce in a bowl with dressing on top with text that says for each salad place lettuce in a bowl, drizzle with dressing; the other of diced onions sprinkled on the salad with text that says sprinkle with diced onions
2 images; one of the salad topped with pieces of American cheese with text that says top with American cheese; the other of the salad topped with chopped burger with text that says top with chopped burger
2 images; one of the salad topped with the burger bun croutons with text that says top with croutons; the other of the finished salad topped with dressing and a bowl of dressing on the side with a spoon in it with text that says drizzle with additional dressing, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • If you’re watching carbs, you can omit the croutons.
  • You can use store-bought croutons instead of homemade.
  • I think homemade Thousand Island dressing is the absolute best on this salad, but you can use store-bought instead.
  • The amount of dressing is just a recommendation based on how I like this salad, but you can add as little or as much as you want.
  • Although a Big Mac has pickles on it, I prefer not to have pickles in my salad, so I leave them out (I get enough pickle flavor from the pickle relish in the dressing). But feel free to add some chopped or sliced pickles to your salad if you want!
big mac salad in a bowl with a fork taking out some of the salad

This salad makes for a great lunch or dinner.

And guess what? Sometimes I even make a batch of Air Fryer Homemade French Fries to go along with our salads. Extra Yum!

I hope you try this Big Mac Salad recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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big mac salad in a white bowl

Big Mac Salad

This quick and easy Big Mac Salad has all the flavors of the classic McDonald's burger but in a big bowl of salad. It's an irresistibly delicious 30-minute meal!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Estimated Calories: 780

Ingredients

  • 1 sesame seed hamburger bun
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pound ground beef, I use 80/20
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices yellow American cheese, divided (keep 2 slices whole; cut the other 2 slices into ¼ to ½-inch pieces)
  • 4 heaping cups chopped Romaine lettuce, or iceberg
  • ¼ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup Homemade Thousand Island Dressing, or store-bought (add more or less to taste)

Instructions

Make the Sesame Seed Bun Croutons:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Cut the hamburger bun into ½-inch cubes.
  • Place the bun cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil; toss to coat the cubes evenly with the oil.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the croutons are golden brown and crisp (they will crisp up even more as they cool). Remove the pan from the oven and let the croutons cool a bit while you finish prepping the salads.
    Note: For the most efficient use of your time, start cooking the burgers while the croutons are in the oven.

Cook the Cheeseburgers:

  • Divide the ground beef in half and form into 2 equal-sized patties about ½ inch thick; season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the burgers in a skillet (any size will do as long as the burgers fit) over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  • Flip the burgers and top each with one whole slice of the American cheese. Continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the burgers are cooked through (160°F internal temperature) and the cheese is melted.
  • Chop the burgers into bite-sized pieces (about ½-inch pieces).

Assemble the Salads:

  • For each salad, place half of the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the Thousand Island dressing.
  • Top each with half of the onions, half of the cut-up American cheese, half of the chopped cheeseburger, half of the croutons, and 2 more tablespoons of the dressing.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • If you’re watching carbs, you can omit the croutons.
  • You can use store-bought croutons instead of homemade.
  • I think homemade Thousand Island dressing is the absolute best on this salad, but you can use store-bought instead.
  • The amount of dressing is just a recommendation based on how I like this salad, but you can add as little or as much as you want.
  • Although a Big Mac has pickles on it, I prefer not to have pickles in my salad, so I leave them out (I get enough pickle flavor from the pickle relish in the dressing). But feel free to add some chopped or sliced pickles to your salad if you want!
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