Special Diet - Created Date : 29.9.2019




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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.

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. If that’s your thing, another good one to try is bacon cheeseburger salad in the summer or keto cheeseburger casserole in the winter.

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!

Disclaimer: Big Mac may be a registered trademark. This recipe is my interpretation of a similar dish, but is not to be construed as an endorsement of the company or having been endorsed by the company. There is no affiliation between myself and the company. Trademark remains the property of its owner and is used here only to describe the product.


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.

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.

Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the ground beef. Toss with dressing.

Recipe Notes

Video Showing How To Make Cheeseburger Salad:

Click or tap on the image below to play the video. It's the easiest way to learn how to make Cheeseburger Salad!


Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.




Total Carbs3g

Net Carbs2g



Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Carb count excludes sugar alcohols. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.

More Low Carb & Keto Support!

If you want to know more about how to start a low carb diet, want to substitute sweeteners, need a food list, or need support, check these guides:

I have been making this every so often for about 2 years. I only just got smoked paprika because I could never justify getting it for just a single recipe. It totally changes the dressing, in a good way. It reminds me a little more of 5 Guys sauce now. I like the smoked better but regular paprika for color was also nice.

Wow! So delicious. I cut up an actual hamburger patty since it was hamburger night and it was fabulous. I omitted the tomato and added grilled onion, just personal preference. Can’t wait to make this again.

This was fabulous!! I’ll make it again and it will be even better next time because I made a few mistakes!

Warning to those substituting w/*liquid* monk fruit.. I only added a 1/2 tsp to start, but holy cow, that made my dressing SO sweet, it was almost sickly sweet! I should have just tossed it and started again, but I added vinegar and more paprika. Even it out, and it came out okay. I would steer clear of the liquid version, even 1/4 tsp would be too sweet (it’s good for cocktails and coffee at least!)..

Also, I think prepared yellow mustard is KEY here. I assumed I had some, and for some crazy reason didn’t… So I used dried mustard instead… nope, not the same, guys…

Despite my mistakes, I still tossed it up and I’m lovin’ it ;)! I will make it again!

This is one of our favourites… just realized that I had all the fixings in the fridge so I took out some hamburger from the freezer to make tonight! Dress it up with sauteed muschrooms, pickled jalepenos… whatever you like on a burger. Love love love it… such a treat on KETO.

I made this tonight for the third time. This time I added onions because well, onions come on a big Mac (I figure you omitted them out of personal taste lol). I know they add a few carbs but I’m not too concerned because it’s not like I’m eating an entire onion lol. This time I also thought of the sesame seed on the bun angle and added some “Everything but the bagel” seasoning.

I also used chopped deli roast beef because I have a problem with ground meats. I hope you don’t mind my taking artistic liberties with your amazing recipe. I just like to play ??

We love this salad. A friend came to visit and she is Keto. She made this for us for dinner one night. I’ve been making it ever since. Made a double batch and brought it to work this past week and it was a big hit. Simple recipe with big taste.

What exactly does the vinegar do? I ask because the makes me nauseous. But looking forward to trying it, I need a burger in my life and if this will help I’m all for it. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

This was fantastic! The dressing is spot on (I did use sugar-free sweet relish in the dressing instead of pickles) and I used more seasonings on the ground beef to make it taste more like a cheeseburger. Otherwise followed your recipe.

Claussen pickles have a great crunch which I found to be a nice addition to the salad reminiscent of the crunch of croutons.

OMG! This salad is the best salad I have had in a long time. Made it for dinner last night and couldn’t wait to have left overs for lunch today. It was easy and fast to make and the dressing tastes exactly like the sauce on a Big Mac. This is going on my regular low carb rotation!

I am eating this salad right now & it is SOOO good! This will definitely be a recipe that I will make over & over again. All of my kids loved it too, ages 2, 4 & 6. I added avocado & boiled egg to mine. The dressing is spot on ??

My husband LOVES this. He is not low carb and eats whatever he wants. I have to shred/mince pickles so my teen son does not realize pickles are in it and skip sweetener of any kind. My husband want this at LEAST once a week ??

This is one of my favorite salads! I vary only a little from the recipe as written. I don’t use any sweetener, I omit tomato and replace with some chopped onion and I use pickle juice rather than white vinegar. I make this very often!

Delicious! I used Turkey instead of Beef, I also melted a couple slices of American cheese over the turkey, added a couple teaspoons of red onion to dressing. This is the best alternative to one of my most favorite burgers! Thank you for sharing. PS. For sweetener I used Powdered Monkfruit. I find this to not have a after taste

Thanks so much for the great recipe. We really enjoyed it, and i was happy it kept with my keto diet. The recipe was well written and easy to follow, while having an element of fun and cheerfullness. Thanks for sharing!

I have tried two different versions of this recipe. That basically means I made two different dressings! THIS is the dressing! I feed three boys and this was an exceptionally easy way to serve salad for dinner. This recipe couldn’t be easier!

I tweaked your recipe a little when I made it today. I basically made my usual salad then I added cooked ground turkey and cheese. He only eats ranch dressing. I also threw in the pickles. Anyway we absolutely love it! Thanks so much for the great recipes!

I can’t wait to try this recipe. My grandchildren love big macs and this will probably interest them too. I think the prices for fast food is way too high for my budget. You can eat at a normal restaurant or dinner for the same price and the food is probably healthier for you in the long run.

Hi! I love this recipe but was wondering if the nutrition serving information included the dressing? If so, If I did not use the dressing…what would be the nutrition servings then? Sorry for the overload, I am new to the keto diet!

Hi Savanna, I’m so glad you love the recipe! Yes, the nutrition info includes the dressing. I don’t have it offhand without the dressing, but you can enter your ingredients into an online calculator if you’re omitting things from the recipe.

I have made this salad several times. My husband and I just LOVE it- It really taste just like a big mac. I keep the sauce separate so left overs dont get soggy plus I double it. My husband likes his meat hot so I keep that separate also. Everything else is mixed. It really is the best keto or not salad ever.

I was very disappointed with this mac sauce. I first tried with lite mayo because I’m on WW. Tasted horrible, so I tried with real mayo and it wasn’t much better. I had such high hopes for this recipe because the reviews were so convincing!! I had this bookmarked for about a month until I could finally get around to buying swerve from Amazon. Now I need to visit McDonald’s to satisfy my craving.

This is the way I make the dressing. I don’t measure, so, put a blob of mayo (I use Dukes), some yellow mustard, and a splash of pickle juice in a bowl. Mix it up, use a lettuce leaf to test the flavor. I think it’s great without a sweetener.

If you want a more “Big Mac” taste, use some thousand island dressing. Or mix it in with the other stuff, and give that a try. Just adapt it to your taste.

Hi Stephanie, Sorry that the dressing didn’t work for you! I’m happy to help troubleshoot if you can be more specific about what seems off to you. Is it the sweetness, tanginess, saltiness, or something else?

So delicious! I made this for the second time tonight! And like many others my man is not a fan of salad but he loves this! Was actually the one that requested it. This time I put the burgers on the grill on a very low temperature for a little while to get the grill taste on them before finishing in a pan. Is delicious as a leftover too!!!

OH MY GOODNESS! This is my first time commenting on a post but this is the BOMB!! It tastes just like a Big Mac but BETTER! THANK YOU for sharing this. Made it tonight and me and the hubby LOVE IT!! I could eat this every night!!

The whole family loved this recipe. I couldn’t get over how much the dressing tasted like Big Mac sauce. As soon as I combined it with the ground beef, it smelled just like a Big Mac. We added some sesame seed, as one review suggested. I love that we can now enjoy a delicious burger without the extra carbs and sugar of the bun!

This was delicious! i just made it for my husband and I for lunch. I loved it and so did he! Big Macs are his favorite and with us doing Keto, it’s not something we’re eating! The only problem I had is, I definitely ate more than a serving!!

Delicious! Thanks so much! I made it with cubes of fried extra-firm tofu instead of the meat, and it was still delicious! Tomorrow for lunch, I’ll try the salad again, but with with egg and avocado! I also sprinkled it with some smoky, salty baked coconut chips I made last week to give it a deeper flavour and some added crunch! So good. Keto takes a bit of creativity for vegetarians, but it’s totally do-able, and this recipe worked really well. Thanks again!!

I have made several iterations of Big Mac salad, and without question, this is our favorite. No need to try any others now I found this recipe. It is the dressing that elevates it to greatness. Great recipe! Thank you.

If you keep leftover lettuce with dressing on it, it will probably get soggy. If you want leftovers of this salad I would recommend keeping everything separated (dressing, meat, lettuce, etc.) until you’re ready to eat it.

Made this today but only added a tbsp of sweetener, only because it was my first time using that product and I didn’t want to overdo it. Otherwise, I followed exactly and it was like eating a big mac. No lie. I will absolutely make this again when I’m craving McDonald’s. I’m pretty stoked, thanks!

Made the recipe as is, save for the fact that I was out of paprika and I added diced onion for the onion part of the Big Mac, and for the mustard I used dijon. Tasted a lot like a Big Mac! I love the Big Mac, but can’t stand the bun part, so this was heaven for me! Hubs liked it, too!

This was a huge hit. Hubby usually hates salad had a second helping. I usually don’t like ground beef and I had a second helping. Even my son, who’s a toddler had more. Will definitely be making this again. I may add some onion.

So delicious! Brings back the taste of a Big Mac as if I just had one yesterday, but it’s actually been years! I added just a tiny bit of low-sugar ketchup to the top and it was perfect! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

Hi Ashley, One serving is 1/6 of the recipe. It’s hard to measure since the volume would depend on how tightly you pack it into a measuring cup (and it’s pretty unusual to pack salad into measuring cups anyway). If you reduce the amount to make just 2 servings, one serving would be 1/2 of the whole thing.

I love this and did not miss the buns! I had a couple of leftover burgers I grilled a few days ago, so I used those instead and it was still very tasty. I’m betting it’s even better making the beef fresh.

I crave a Big Mac from time to time. So…I’m making this for dinner and hoping it does the trick! I’ve already made the dressing, without adding any sweetener, and it’s been chilling all day. The dressing tastes amazing! I just know this is going to be a delicious Big Mac Salad!!

Always happy to find low carb options that my hubby will also eat. This one is definitely a winner in our house. We cannot get enough of this and the taco salad. Love your page and recipes, they definitely keep me on track on my WOE ??

Loved this recipe!! Was really good. Ate it again for lunch the next day and the lettuce was still crispy. Can’t say I’ve ever had a Big Mac but I’m newer to the low carb diet, so always looking for ideas. Thanks for sharing.

This was amazing! I’m not in love with the name because we’re not McFans , and I almost didn’t make the recipe. But the comments won me over! We had this for dinner after church Saturday evening. My husband was *dreading* the meal…because we’re not McFans…but one bite in, he declared It’s A Keeper…which is similar to getting a blue ribbon!

I used spinach and didn’t put the pickles in the salad, but did put in bacon. The dressing was the star of the meal. It absolutely made the whole dish! I would never have considered pickles in a salad dressing, but remembered that’s what’s in Russian dressing – which Mr. Picky Palate and I both enjoy.

Thank you for such an easy, fast, delicious recipe, Maya! It’s A Keeper in this home!

Oh my! The name of this salad held no appeal to us, since we are not McFans of the Golden Arches. HOWEVER – this recipe was delicious! The salad itself is pretty much what we normally have, but the dressing was the star of this meal! Mr. Picky Palate – a/k/a My Hubs – was almost sad to try the dish because of the name. We’re just finished the entire meal for the second day in a row (love leftovers!), and his words were:

This doesn’t need a thing. It’s perfect the way it is. Perfectly balanced flavors. The taste is amazing.

Hi, found this through Pinterest, and sure glad I did! Altered some ingredients in the dressing – used 10% fat greek yogurt instead of mayo, pickle juice instead of vinegar, upped the paprika slightly and about half the sweetener (Stevia). It was a hit, and being rotated into our monthly repertoire!! No idea how that changes the macro nutrients, but I did add 2 Tbsp of avocado oil to the pan before frying the beef so I am confident the fat is higher as well, which works well for my keto way of eating.

I love this salad! I could eat it every day! I added a small handful of diced onion and another small handful of crumbled bacon. Also, toasted a couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry skillet and tossed on top. It was heaven in a bowl!!! Thanks so much for coming up with this! It will be made in our home very often!

Trying this tonight. I saw the nutritional info but I’m wondering if you know how much of the 31g of fat is considered Saturated Fat? I’m trying to calculate the Weight Watchers Smart Point value for this dish. Thanks!

Thank you, Pam! Like you saw, I have the nutrition label posted below the recipe, but don’t have a breakdown of saturated fat. (The link between saturated fat and heart disease was actually disproven – source.) You’d have to enter the ingredients into an online nutrition calculator to get additional info.

Made this tonight and it was super good. Used ground turkey because that was what was on hand and it worked great. Used some Montreal seasoning to make it more “beef” like. I will definitely be making this again.

Hi Sharon, If you’re meal prepping for the week, keep the dressing separate until right before eating. Other than that, store the salad with the lettuce on top. The tomatoes are better cut fresh, but should be okay if you store it with the tomatoes on the bottom.

A Big Mac consists of “two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”. With the exception of the bun, this salad is missing cheese, onion and sesame seeds. Also, Big Macs don’t have tomatoes. For an authentic Big Mac salad you should consider adjusting your recipe accordingly. ??

Hi Leslie, The recipe does have cheese. ?? You’re right, though – I used tomatoes instead of onions, and of course as a salad it’s missing a sesame seed bun. You can certainly add in onions and/or omit the tomatoes if you prefer.

Just thought about this. If you want to go and get GF croutons and add them to the salad! And sesame seeds, like sprinkled on top or get a GF sesame seed bun and leave it out to get a slight bit stale, then chop it up, butter or oil it, and put in oven to be croutons! Ha! That never occurred to me till I saw this comment and then the light bulb came on! Enjoy!!

Hi Carrie, This recipe uses dill pickles since I’m not a fan of the added sugar in sweet pickles, but you can use whichever you like better! You may need less sweetener in the dressing (or even omit it, to taste) if you use sweet pickles in there.

Microwave cooking and nutrition

Are microwaves bad for your health? Almost every American house has a microwave. The convenience they offer is undeniable. However, despite the widespread use of microwave ovens and excellent safety recordings, some people suspect that cooking microwaved food makes it somewhat less healthy by removing foods from eating. Do you cook with microwave? Are microwave foods healthy?

How does microwave cooking work?

Understanding how microwave ovens work can help clarify the answers to these general questions. Microwave ovens cook food similar to radio waves but using shorter energy waves. These waves are highly selective, mainly affecting water and other electrically asymmetrical molecules - one end is positively charged and the other is negatively charged. Microwave ovens cause these molecules to vibrate and rapidly generate thermal (heat) energy.

Are microwaves safe to cook?

Some foods, when they are exposed to heat, from a microwave oven or a normal oven, are broken down. Vitamin C is perhaps the most clear example. However, since microwave cooking times are shorter, cooking with microwave does a better job of preserving vitamin C and other nutrients that are decomposed when heated.

When going to the vegetables, cooking in water takes some of the nutritional values ??because the nutrients flow into the cooking water. For example, boiled broccoli loses glycosinolate, a sulfur-containing compound that can give vegetables the ability to fight against cancer (and many find it distinctive and some find it disgusting). Steaming vegetables - even steaming microwave - is it better? In some ways, yes. For example, steamed broccoli holds more glucosinolate than boiled or fried broccoli.

Are microwaves bad for your health?

The method of cooking, which keeps the nutrients in the best way, is a method that quickly heats, warms food and uses as little liquid as possible. The microwave meets these criteria. Using the microwave with a small amount of water evaporates food from the inside out. It contains more vitamins and minerals than almost all other cooking methods and shows that microwave foods can be really healthy.

But let's not get lost in details. Vegetables are good for you in any way you prepare, and most of us don't eat enough. Is the microwave oven good or bad? Microwave is an engineering wonder, a miracle of convenience - and sometimes advantageous in feeding.

Learn more about safe microwave cooking. See. "Microwave food in plastic: Is it dangerous or not?"

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