Big Mac Salad

published Jun 3, 2022
Big Mac Salad Recipe

This low-carb take on the fast food favorite is packed with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion, and even pickles.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook8 minutes

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a Big Mac salad (a gluten-free, keto cheeseburger salad with pickles, lettuce, cheese, and ground beef) in a bowl with utensils sticking out
Credit: Kristina Vanni

This recipe is a great way to enjoy all the flavors of a Big Mac in the form of a salad. Just like the classic hamburger, the key is the special sauce. However, in this recipe the sauce is used as a salad dressing that brings all the elements together. There is seasoned ground beef that is cooked and crumbled to reflect the burger patties and lettuce, and cheese, pickles, and onions are used to bulk up the salad. While there aren’t typically tomato slices on a Big Mac, I added some chopped tomato to the salad for additional color, texture, and flavor. If you love grabbing a Big Mac from the drive-thru now and then, give this salad a try. Everything comes together quickly, so it still feels like a quick and easy dinner — without having to leave your house.

What Is a Big Mac Salad?

A Big Mac salad is all the flavors and textures you love about the iconic Big Mac hamburger. It is a lower-carb version of a Big Mac in the form of a salad.

Credit: Kristina Vanni

What Are the Main Ingredients in a Big Mac Salad?

If you want to know the main ingredients in a Big Mac salad, just remember the iconic jingle “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” Instead of beef patties, ground beef is used. The special sauce is transformed into a salad dressing and the salad is topped with sesame seeds.

What Is in Big Mac Salad Dressing?

The dressing for a Big Mac salad is a recreation of the McDonald’s “special sauce.” It is prepared in a blender using mayonnaise, pickle chips, ketchup, mustard, white vinegar, and paprika.

Big Mac Salad Recipe

This low-carb take on the fast food favorite is packed with beef, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onion, and even pickles.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 8 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2 cup


  • 20

    dill pickle chips, divided

  • 2 tablespoons


  • 2 teaspoons

    prepared yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon

    distilled white vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1 pound

    lean ground beef

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    seasoned salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 medium head

    iceberg lettuce

  • 3

    medium plum tomatoes

  • 4 ounces

    mild cheddar cheese

  • 1/2

    small white onion

  • 2 tablespoons

    white sesame seeds


  1. Place 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 10 of the dill pickle chips, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard, 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon paprika in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. If the sauce is too thick, thin out by blending in pickle juice from the jar as needed. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad.

  2. Place 1 pound ground beef, 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until the beef is cooked through and no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining ingredients.

  3. Prepare the following, adding each to the same large bowl as it is completed: Cut 1 medium head iceberg lettuce into fine shreds until you have 6 cups. Core, seed, and dice 3 medium plum tomatoes until you have 1 cup. Grate 4 ounces mild cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup). Finely chop 1/2 small white onion until you have 1/4 cup. Add the remaining 10 dill pickle chips and toss to combine.

  4. Drain the grease from the ground beef mixture. Add the mixture and the dressing to the lettuce mixture and toss to combine. Garnish with 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds.