This Big Mac Salad is about to blow you away! Reminiscent of the popular fast-food favorite, this Big Mac Salad is as healthy as they come. This easy low carb lunch is full of wholesome ingredients. It’s Keto, Whole30, and AIP but tastes nostalgic and comforting!
What's in a Big Mac Salad?
Some of my favorite foods are in a Big Mac Salad, like mayo, ground beef, and pickles. Unfortunately, a lot of Big Mac Salad recipes out there are heavy on the fillers and sweeteners and light on the healthy, whole foods. Not this salad!
This Big Mac Salad has two key components – the salad (of course!) and the sauce. Both are equally amazing and nutritious. I paired nutrient-dense veggies like lettuce, onion, and pickles with tasty spices and condiments. Ground beef makes this a substantial meal and the optional cheddar cheese is the perfect topping for a keto-friendly diner.
Is Burger Bowl Salad Healthy?
The way I make it… yes! This Big Mac salad is filled with nutrient-dense ingredients. It also fits perfectly into a range of different diets, like Keto, Whole30, and AIP. It’s the perfect low-carb lunch. Here are some of the super healthy ingredients in this Big Mac Salad:
Are you looking for amazing energy? Want to be satiated for more than a few hours? Choose ground beef! This is the ‘hamburger’ component of this Big Mac Salad. Ground beef is high in super satisfying protein and fat. It’s also got a good portion of your daily requirements of iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Let me be clear: when I talk about pickles, I’m not talking about Vlasic (these aren’t even actually pickled, and they contain food coloring!) I’m talking about traditionally prepared, probiotic rich pickles that you make at home or buy in health food stores. Bubbie’s is a good store-bought brand found in health-focused grocery stores. Aside from that perfectly tangy taste, pickles give you a dose of probiotics. Potassium and Vitamin C are some other pretty amazing benefits.
A lot of people think lettuce is one of those ‘nothing’ foods. No calories, no nutrients, no flavor… but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Romaine lettuce offers a wide array of nutrients like Vitamins C, K, and A as well as folate, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and calcium. How’s that for a ‘nothing’ food?
The white onion is crucial to the Big Mac flavor in this salad! Especially if you're making some of the Whole30 and/or AIP modifications. Even if you aren't a fan of raw onion ?♀️, you'll want to include it in this recipe.
Again–I don’t mean your classic store-bought mayonnaise here (unless it’s Primal Kitchen!) Most store-bought mayo is made with inflammatory oils, flavoring, and preservatives. If you’re okay with eggs, Primal Kitchen mayo is a great shortcut for this recipe.
If you’re following the AIP or can’t tolerate eggs for any reason, take a little extra time to make a batch of this egg-free mayo.
How to Make this Big Mac Salad
This Big Mac salad is quick and easy to throw together. First, brown your ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, sprinkling with salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP) as it browns. This should take about 6-8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Set aside and allow to cool.
Now it’s time to make your Big Mac Sauce! This will act as the dressing for your salad.
Combine all your ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. The consistency should be that of a thick dressing – not so thick that you can’t drizzle it over your salad. Think of the consistency of creamy salad dressings. Omit the sweetener for Whole30, and omit the paprika for AIP (or use the alternative ingredients.)
All that’s left is to assemble your Big Mac Salad! Toss together your lettuce, remaining pickles, ground beef, and onions. Top with cheddar cheese (swap with the dairy free cheese sauce for Whole30 and AIP) and drizzle with your Big Mac Sauce.
How to Store Your Burger Bowl
You can assemble this salad ahead of time, since romaine lettuce will hold up pretty well for a few days. If you pre-assemble your salad or make a few servings, I recommend leaving off the Big Mac Sauce until you’re ready to eat.
I don’t recommend leaving this salad in the refrigerator for longer than 2-3 days because no one likes a wilted salad (plus, it’s too delicious to leave for that long.) You can’t freeze this salad, but you can freeze cooked ground beef and prepare the Big Mac Sauce ahead of time to cut down on prep time.
You'll also love:
- Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos (AIP, Keto, & Whole30)
- Chick-Fil-A Keto Cobb Salad (AIP & Whole30)
- Bacon ‘Cheese'burger Casserole (AIP & Whole30)
Big Mac Salad
Big Mac Sauce
- 3/4 cup Primal Kitchen Mayo, use this recipe for AIP
- 4 tsp mustard, omit or use this for AIP
- 2 tbsp diced pickles or relish
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar free sweetener of choice like Swerve, erythritol, or monkfruit (omit for Whole30)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, omit for AIP
Big Mac Salad
- 1.5 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper, omit for AIP
- 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- ½ onion, cut in half and diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (omit for Whole30 and AIP)
- 1/2 cup sliced pickles
- cherry tomatoes and avocado, optional, omit tomatoes for AIP
- Brown your ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP) as it browns. This should take about 6-8 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Set aside and allow to cool.
- Chop romaine and add to large bowls.
- Combine all your Big Mac Sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. The consistency should be that of a thick dressing. Omit the sweetener for Whole30, and omit the paprika and mustard for AIP (or use the alternative ingredients listed in the notes section).
- Toss together your lettuce, remaining pickles, ground beef, onions, and optional toppings.
- Top with cheddar cheese (replace with this dairy-free cheese sauce for Whole30 and AIP).
- Drizzle with your Big Mac Sauce.