All the flavors of your favorite McDonald’s guilty pleasure without the guilt! This low carb Big Mac Salad is a tasty protein-packed meal!
I was never really a person who craved salads. Give me a sandwich, a pasta dish, anything but a boring salad. That is until I made this incredible Big Mac Salad recipe! It’s filled with protein, topped with yummy veggies, and is dressed with a copycat Big Mac sauce that is PERFECTION.
Whether you’re looking to cut back on carbs and enjoy a keto-friendly salad that fills you up and tastes delicious or you simply want the flavor of a Big Mac without having to leave the comforts of your house, this easy big mac salad recipe is for you. Oh, and don’t forget to whip yourself up some keto desserts to enjoy after eating your cheeseburger salad!
BIG MAC SALAD
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Do you ever have those days where you just NEED to have some fast food? Like you literally can’t imagine yourself eating anything else and you’ll stop at nothing to get it? I do and I’m not ashamed to admit it haha. For me, my guilty pleasure (aside from a good Starbucks latte) is absolutely a Big Mac from McDonalds.
The greasy burger, the pickles, the cheese, ughhhh DROOL. It’s so so so bad, but so so so good. I am all for indulging myself with this delicious burger every once in a while, but what happens when I crave it all the time?!
If you’re anything like me, then your desire for a juicy Big Mac might come more often than it should. Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered with this delicious Big Mac Salad recipe!
It has all the flavor of the fast food classic, but without the guilt. In fact, this salad is so good for you that it’s even considered a weight watchers big mac salad!
Now any time a craving comes, I can mix up this delicious low carb big mac salad. It satisfies my need for fast food, energizes me with protein, and it tastes incredible!
What Goes in a Big Mac?
Ground Beef – no Big Mac is complete without a classic ground beef patty. Instead of just slapping on a burger patty into your big mac salad, you’ll be browning up ground beef and crumbling it into the salad.
I use very lean ground beef when making this recipe. It helps to cut down on the fat of the dish as well as it prevents the salad from becoming greasy. You could swap out for ground turkey too if you prefer.
Toppings – everyone knows the classic Big Mac jingle “two all-beef patties special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and a sesame seed bun” right? Well don’t fret, this keto big mac salad has ALL those toppings! (Minus the sesame seed bun.) You’ll need romaine lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, cheddar, and red onion.
Tomatoes belong on a burger to me so I added them in. You can keep this classic Big Mac if you want and omit them.
Dressing – that classic Big Mac “special sauce” is the literal icing on the cake to a delicious burger. So, of course, our low carb big mac salad needs an equally delicious dressing to tie it all together! This copycat “special sauce” is super easy to make and is based around mayo, yellow mustard, sweet pickle relish (along with a few extra seasonings to make it taste just like the real stuff).
How to Make a Big Mac Salad
If you think about it, fast food isn’t really all that fast. You have to get dressed (yes, I often stay in my pajamas until lunchtime…SHHHH), get into your car, drive to McDonalds, wait in line…. you get what I’m saying. Why waste all that time if you could have an equally delicious, but guilt-free big mac salad in the comfort of your own home? It’s SUPER easy…
- In a large skillet, brown your ground beef. Add in some salt and pepper to your own taste.
- Next, chop up your big mac toppings: the tomato, onion, pickles, and romaine, and shred your cheese. You could buy pre-shredded, but it some much better if you shred the cheese yourself.
- Now it’s time to whip up your “special sauce” dressing! In a medium bowl, mix up the mayo, relish, mustard, sugar, vinegar, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. The dressing consistency is made to be a bit thicker than a typical salad dressing (to mimic the big mac sauce). If you prefer it thinner, just add a little water to the sauce/dressing!
- Now it’s time to assemble your big mac salad. In your favorite serving bowl, mix together the romaine lettuce, cooked beef, tomatoes, pickles, cheddar cheese, and onion. Top with dressing and serve!
Does Thousand Island Taste like Big Mac Sauce?
One thing that people often get wrong about McDonald’s “special sauce” is that they think it is just Thousand Island dressing. While the two sauces have similar ingredients, they are actually slightly different in taste.
Thousand Island dressing is creamy and tangy and based around mayonnaise and ketchup with sweet pickle relish. Big Mac Sauce is also creamy and tangy but it doesn’t have any ketchup in the ingredients. Instead, it uses mustard, garlic, and paprika, and sweet pickle relish.
The paprika is what gives the sauce its reddish tint. This is why people often confuse it with Thousand Island.
Is Big Mac Sauce Keto Friendly?
This big mac salad dressing is not only delicious and tastes just like the real stuff, but it’s low-carb too! While the Big Mac sauce from McDonalds may not be super keto-friendly (they’ve got plenty of additives in there…), this homemade copy cat sauce is! So, if you’re already eating a keto-friendly diet or you simply want to cut back on your carb intake, this keto big mac salad recipe is for you!
Looking for some more yummy salad recipes?
- Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower
- Easy Wedge Salad
- Winter Spinach Salad
- Wild Rice and Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Cucumber Yogurt Dill Salad
- more MAIN DISH recipes…
Tools used to make this Big Mac Salad recipe
Skillet: you gotta love a good non-stick skillet and this is one of my favorites!!
Salad Bowls: I have searched for years to find the perfect sized salad bowl. You know, big enough for when you want the salad to be your entire meal? This is PERFECT.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 heads romaine lettuce
- 1 cup tomatoes
- 3/4 cup sweet pickles
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 red onion
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Once meat is ready, rinse and chop lettuce, chop pickles and tomatoes, and then peel and thinly slice the onion.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together all the big mac sauce ingredients until combined. If you want to sauce thinner (so you can drizzle it) add 1 tablespoon of water at a time and mix. Repeat until your desired consistency is reached.
- Assemble the salad by placing the lettuce in a large serving bowl, Top with cooked beef, tomatoes, pickles, cheese, and onion. Top with sauce and serve immediately.