Recipe Review

Cheeseburger Salad with Special Sauce Dressing Is a Low-Carb Version of a Drive-Thru Treat

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If you take the bun off a cheeseburger, it’s really not that far off from being a salad, if you think about it. Tweak the proportions a bit so you have a big bowl full of lettuce and a pile of traditional burger toppings like tomatoes, onions, and pickles, and suddenly that hamburger patty is totally transformed. In this version, In-N-Out’s famous special sauce even inspired the dressing, so you get a low-carb version of the fast-food favorite, with loads of vegetables instead of the bun. 

Making the salad itself is simple. It’s basically just cooking some hamburgers, then arranging them on a bed of lettuce instead of a bun. Cook each patty in a skillet over medium-high heat until they’re crisp and brown on the outside and cooked to your desired degree of doneness in the middle. Melt a slice of cheddar over each patty. When the burger is done, slice each one into strips, but you can leave them next to each other so it looks like a whole patty if you prefer the look. 

Fill your plate or salad bowl with chopped romaine lettuce, then top that with sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, and sliced pickles. Put the sliced burger patties on top of each salad. 

The “special sauce”-inspired dressing really sells the idea of this salad. Whisk together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pickle relish, olive oil, ketchup, red wine vinegar, garlic and onion powder, and a bit of paprika. (To make the whole salad keto-friendly, use sugar-free ketchup.) 

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and it’s ready to eat right away. Every bite will have a little bit of burger and a lot of toppings, which is perfect for anyone who thinks the bun is the least interesting part of the burger. 

Get the recipe: Cheeseburger Salad with Special Sauce Dressing from Platings and Pairings

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

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