Loaded with bacon, cheese, dill pickles, and tomatoes and topped with a ground beef pattie, this cheeseburger salad is packed with flavor!It’s just as tasty as your favorite burger, but it just happens to be low carb.
The secret that sets this recipe apart from the rest is that instead of just browning ground beef, you actually make patties and sear them in a hot pan. It’s a small step that most recipes skip, but trust me, it adds so much flavor!
Not only does this main dish salad taste amazing, its ready in about 20 minutes. It makes a hearty lunch or dinner any day of the week. Say goodbye to boring salad forever!
BIG MAC SALAD RECIPE
A few years ago I was at Black Bear Diner with my cousin and she recommended the bacon cheeseburger salad. I was a little leery about salad with dill pickles on it, but after one bite I was hooked! I love it so much that I order it every time I go.
They actually serve their salad with a thousand island dressing, but I’m a ranch girl, so I always have it with ranch dressing. My homemade keto ranch dressing is THE BOMB! I think my daughter would drink it if I’d let her. Just kidding. I think.
For more of a big mac flavor, you can use homemade or store bought thousand island salad dressing, which is similar to special sauce used at McDonalds. Then it really does have all of the flavors of a big mac, but without the bun. (Of course, I think it’s even better, because -hello bacon!)
Since starting on my keto journey last year, this has been one of my favorite last minute meals. I make individual hamburger patties and freeze them in ziplock bags.
Because they are thin, they thaw really quickly. Works great even on days when you forget to plan ahead. 🙂
HOW TO MAKE BIG MAC SALAD KETO
This salad is naturally low in carbs, so you don’t have to make any changes to fit it into a low carb or keto diet. Of course if you don’t care about carbs, you can add some croutons to the top.
- PREP – Cook and crumble your bacon; set aside. To save time, you can use pre cooked bacon bits. I always keep them on hand!
- GROUND BEEF – For best flavor, you want to make your ground beef into patties. Hamburger crumbled and browned in a skillet just doesn’t have that great flavor from being seared. Season your patties, and cook them over medium high heat till the edges are nice and dark brown. After they are cooked, cut them into bite sized pieces.
- VEGGIES – Chop your lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. (And any other veggies that you want to add, like avocado and onion.)
- ASSEMBLE – Arrange your lettuce and greens on large plates. Top with tomatoes, pickles, bacon, and cheese. Add chopped hamburger patties and dressing right before serving.
See that lovely searing on the hamburger? So delicious! A cast iron skillet works great for getting that wonderful color and flavor, but you can also use a non stick skillet in a pinch.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS?
I definitely recommend that you eat this salad fresh. If you know you will have leftovers, don’t assemble the salad or it will get soggy. Store the ingredients separately and assemble it the next day.
For the hamburger patty, I recommend under cooking it the first time around, then reheating it in a skillet when you are ready to serve it. Otherwise it will be dry and overcooked.
CHEESEBURGER SALAD VARIATIONS:
- Instead of using ranch dressing like I do, use Thousand Island, or even a honey mustard dressing. If you are counting carbs, make sure you use a sugar free dressing.
- I like using a mix of romaine and spring mix, but you can use iceberg, butter lettuce, or any salad greens of your choosing.
- Love onions? Toss some sliced red onion, yellow onion, or even green onions on top of your salad.
- It is also really tasty with some sliced or diced avocados.
- If you prefer, feel free to use ground turkey or chicken in place of the ground beef.
- Add croutons or even make your own croutons with hamburger buns.
- Love a kick? Use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar, and top your salad with some sliced or diced jalapeno peppers. You could even sprinkle your hamburger patty with red pepper flakes before browning.
- I usually pan sear my burgers, but of course they would also be amazing grilled!
MORE EASY GROUND BEEF RECIPES:
LOW CARB FAVORITES:
- Keto Cheeseburger Soup
- Blender Chocolate Mousse
- Keto Lemon Pound Cake
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
- Keto Cheddar Biscuits
BACON CHEESEBURGER SALAD RECIPE
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 8 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
- 8 cups spring mix
- 8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved (about a cup)
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
- 2 ounces crisp bacon, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- 8 ounces dill pickle, sliced or diced (about 2 pickles)
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- I keep pre cooked bacon on hand, but if you don't have it, you will need to cook your bacon.
- Form ground beef into four patties. Sprinkle each with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Brown in a skillet over medium high heat till well seared on the outside and cooked to your liking.
- While patties are cooking, chop the lettuce, tomato, and pickles; set aside. Shred cheese and set aside.
- Toss together the chopped romaine and spring mix and divide between four large plates. Top each salad with tomatoes, pickles, bacon, and cheese.
- Chop the patties into bite sized pieces and place on top of the salads. Serve with dressing.
Different dressings will change the net carbs, especially if they have hidden sugars. I like using my homemade keto ranch dressing so I know it's low in carbs.