Big Mac Salad – Cheeseburger Salad (Low Carb, Gluten-Free)

Big Mac Salad – Cheeseburger Salad (Low Carb, Gluten-Free)

This easy low carb Big Mac salad recipe is ready in just 20 minutes! A gluten-free, keto cheeseburger salad like this makes a healthy lunch or dinner.

 

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My low carb Big Mac salad recipe is like a healthier version of rare childhood memories stopping at McDonald’s. That’s probably not much of an impression for most people, but we very rarely ate out when I was growing up. This included everything from gourmet restaurants to fast food, my parents much preferring home cooked meals.

For the most part, I loved my mom’s home cooked food, too. I won’t lie, though – as a kid, those rare occasions that I got to have “fast food” were a treat.

I’d beg my dad to take me to Burger King or McDonald’s after gymnastics practice, hoping for that rare “yes”. It only came a few times a year, making it all the more special.

I can’t say I blame my parents for leaving the fast food joints to rare occasions, especially knowing what I know now about fast food. My two-year-old has yet to try any, and I hope to keep it that way for as long as possible. There’s nothing wrong with a rare exception for most people, but I think the majority would agree that frequent fast food is far from ideal.

All that being said, there’s no reason you can’t make your own healthier, low carb fast food version at home! This low carb Big Mac salad recipe (or simply, cheeseburger salad recipe) is just that.

What healthier way to enjoy a homemade Big Mac than as a big ol’ salad, right? Seriously, I don’t even miss the bread when I make this one. It’s the classic combination of smoky ground beef, crisp romaine lettuce, juicy tomatoes, rich shredded cheese, and salty pickles… all finished with a creamy-sweet Big Mac copycat dressing.

Oh, and it happens to be sugar-free, low carb, and gluten-free! Yesssss.

I used powdered erythritol to sweeten the dressing, but you can absolutely use any sweetener you like. This recipe isn’t fussy at all, so seriously any sweetener you like will work, whether it’s liquid or granulated. Just adjust to taste until you reach your desired sweetness.

As usual, I kept the entire recipe under 10 ingredients total. (Granted, one is repeated in both the salad and the dressing, and I’m not counting salt and pepper.)

That can be a challenge with salads, since the dressing in itself is often quite a few ingredients, but I managed to keep this one simple enough. And to me, it still tastes just like the famous sauce on a Big Mac… minus any weird ingredients, of course!

In many ways, this low carb Big Mac salad reminds me of my popular healthy taco salad. It’s another transformation of a carb-heavy classic into a lighter salad that’s still packed with flavor and hearty enough to be a meal on its own.

With summer approaching, you’ll want to have meal salad recipes like these on hand. It’s the perfect way to serve dinner with minimal cooking!

SERVINGS PREP TIME COOK TIME
 servings 10 minutes 10 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS
Salad
  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 8 oz Romaine lettuce (or iceberg if desired)
  • 1 cup Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup Pickles (diced)
Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Pickles (diced)
  • 2 tsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp White vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Powdered erythritol (or any sweetener of choice; adjust to taste)
  • INSTRUCTIONS
    1. Cook ground beef in a skillet over high heat. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Stir fry, breaking up the pieces with a spatula, for about 7-10 minutes, until the beef is browned and moisture has evaporated.
    2. Meanwhile, puree all the dressing ingredients in a blender. If dressing is thicker than you like, thin out with water or oil and puree again. Adjust sweetener to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    3. Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the ground beef. Toss with dressing.

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