This Big Mac Salad has all the great flavors of your favorite fast food burger, but without the bun! Super easy to make for a really delicious, protein-packed low carb lunch or dinner.
Don’t miss more of our keto recipes, and if you’re not eating keto or low carb, pair this with a McDonald’s shake!
Low Carb Big Mac Salad Recipe
Growing up, we only went to McDonald’s once every few months – it was considered a real special treat. I always got the Big Mac! “All beef patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, on a sesame seed bun.” Yep, still remember the commercial. LOL.
All these years later, it’s still my favorite, but I just can’t handle the calories like my younger self. Sigh. The solution? This Big Mac Salad. It’s super easy to make and tastes just like a Big Mac, but without the bun! Perfect for anyone looking for low carb meals. I’m sort of obsessed with it, eating it frequently for lunch.
This Big Mac Salad recipe has all the elements of a Big Mac Sandwich, minus the bun.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions.)
- Lean ground beef – This gets sautéed into crumbles.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Iceberg lettuce – Shredded, just like on a Big Mac.
- Cheese – A Big Mac uses American cheese slices, but those don’t work well for a salad, so I use shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Onion – Finely diced onion.
- Dill pickles – Finely diced.
- Toasted sesame seeds – As a garnish to the salad, since they’re normally part of the bun.
- Dressing/Sauce – Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, diced onion and pickles, white vinegar, paprika, and salt. (See note below.)
Big Mac Sauce
How to Make a Big Mac Salad
This low carb salad is so easy to make. Here’s brief summary:
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the dressing. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, cover and chill until ready to use.
- Sauté the beef. Brown the beef in a nonstick pan, breaking it up into tiny crumbles, until cooked through and no pink remains. Drain off the fat, then season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Transfer beef to a shallow bowl to cool slightly.
- Assemble. Divide the lettuce, cooked beef, shedded cheddar cheese, diced onion, and diced pickles between 4 salad bowls. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of the Big Mac sauce over each salad and toss to coat. Garnish with a little bit of toasted sesame seeds and enjoy.
Video: Low Carb Big Mac Salad
This salad is super quick and easy to put together, but to make things even easier, you can cook up the beef and prep all the other ingredients ahead of time, so assembly for lunch literally takes minutes. The cooked beef will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container, then just portion out what you need during the week. I like to warm it up just slightly in the microwave. Store the onions and pickles, cheese, lettuce, and beef in their own separate containers. Once assembled, the salad should be eaten right away.
More Salad Recipes:
- Chicken Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Shrimp Wedge Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Ramen Noodle Salad
- Taco Salad
- Asian Chicken Salad
I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Big Mac Salad
For the Sauce/Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons finely diced sweet onion
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Salad
- Nonstick spray
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 1/2 cup finely diced onions
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup finely diced dill pickles
- toasted sesame seeds , for garnish
- Make the dressing: Whisk all the dressing ingredients together. (If it's too thick to drizzle, you can thin it out with just a bit of water.) Set aside while you cook the beef (or cover and refrigerate if using later.)
- Cook the beef: Warm a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, spray with nonstick spray and add the ground beef. Cook, undisturbed for 1 minute, so it can develop a nice brown color. Then sauté, breaking it up into tiny crumbles, until cooked through and no pink remains. Drain off the fat, then season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Transfer beef to a shallow bowl to cool slightly.
- Assemble the salad: In rows, divide the lettuce between 4 salad bowls (about 1 1/2 cups each.) Top with about 1/3 cup beef, the cheddar cheese, diced onion, and pickles. Drizzle about 3 tablespoons of the Big Mac sauce over each salad and toss to coat. Garnish with a little bit of toasted sesame seeds and enjoy.
Reader Questions and Reviews
This was quick to prepare and amazing!!
This is absolutely delicious and tastes just like a Big Mac! I’ve made it about 3 times now and the taste is so satisfying and no guilt about eating fast food! This recipe is a keeper!
This tasted so much like a Big Mac! I loved it, ao did my husband. We don’t have to go to MacDonald’s and feel guilty any more.
I didn’t think a salad could blow my mind, but this really does taste like a deconstructed Big Mac without the bun – it was so good!!
I made this salad for my boyfriend and me this past weekend and it was a huge hit! I’m watching my carbs (he doesn’t have to), and he raved about how I nailed it. Wonderful recipe and I’ll be making this again!
Vegan? Yes! – Let me start with: we made this following the recipe and loved it. Then I alerted three ingredients to make this vegan friendly for a friend. It works. It is a little different and you may want to bump the seasoning for the dressing, but it can be done easily. This also works for someone watching certain fats and cholesterol. Keep in mind that it can change the keto to carb smart depending on products chosen. (Side note: we used sugar free relish in regular recipe for diabetic person). Okay, back to vegan…. We used frozen no-meat crumbles in place of beef. Vegan mayo (avocado type) for dressing, and non dairy vegan cheese shreds. That is all you gotta do. Easy-peasy.
Wow!! it does taste like a big Mac. It is positively delicious kids loved it too.
Absolutely delicious. Close your eyes, and you would swear you were eating a Big Mac!!!
This is the best salad! Tastes just like a Big Mac, satisfying any fast food craving, plus it’s great for meal prepping.