skip to Main Content

Big Mac Salad

A healthy, low carb take on the Big Mac. Say hello to MacroEd’s Big Mac Salad recipe. All the taste you want with macros to make you smile. A gluten-free, keto and paleo friendly cheeseburger salad like this makes for a healthy lunch or dinner.

big mac salad

Everyone has a favorite food or restaurant that they NEED on bad days.

For some of you, I feel sure that it’s somewhere nice with something fancy.  For me, it’s McDonald’s. My low carb Big Mac salad recipe is like a healthier version of rare childhood memories stopping at McDonald’s. Grabbing a cheeseburger with extra pickles reminds me of good times with my Dad.  It was his go-to and has become mine.  My cousin works for McD’s corporately, and it’s just always been a place associated with good memories for me.

All that said, I’ll be the first to admit that the macro-friendly offerings at McDonald’s are limited…at best.

So when Amber mentioned a Big Mac salad, I was all in.  We have a lot of fun trying to flip old, familiar feel-good foods and this was no exception.  It’s pretty much everything in the Big Mac song exception the sesame seed bun.  (You’re singing it in your head now, aren’t you?  “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”)

Big Mac Salad

As a reference, here’s a comparison of one Big Mac vs. one serving of MacroEd Big Mac salad:

Fat Carbs Protein
 Big Mac  33  44  26
 Big Mac Salad  26 13 33

The Recipe

Big Mac Salad

Big Mac Salad

Yield: 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 50 grams onion diced
  • 2 tbsp dill pickle juice
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded (bagged, shredded lettuce is great here too)
  • 4 oz fast food style hamburger dill pickle slices, diced
  • 1 C mozzarella or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Heinz ketchup
  • 8 tbsp 1000 Island dressing (Marzetti was used when calculating the macros.)
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced


  1. In a medium pan, cook ground beef, onions, mustard, onion powder, and pickle juice until beef is done and onions are translucent.
  2. In a large bowl, add the lettuce, pickles, cheese, ketchup, 1000 Island, and tomatoes.
  3. Add beef mixture and toss well.
  4. Divide into 4 equal servings to keep your macros straight.
  5. If you do this for meal prep, keep the meat mixture and dressing separate from the salad mix until you're ready to serve. Then you can heat the meat without wilting the lettuce. Every salad will be fresh. 🙂



You can tweak the fat number some (if you need to) by adjusting the amount of "special sauce."  You could easily cut it in half and dramatically drop the fat if you needed to.

Gluten Free:  Watch the dressing.  If you can find a GF option there, you should be good.

Vegetarian:  I suppose you could skip the meat or sub for tofu, but I think you'd lose the essence of the Big Mac

Dairy Free: Skip the cheese and sub out the 1000 Island for a dairy free dressing and you're good to go!

As always, you're welcome to use my math in MFP: MacroEd Big Mac Salad

Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 418Total Fat: 26gCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 33g

BIG thanks to Amber for this awesome creation.  Show us your version by using #getmacroed on social media.  It makes my day to see my recipes in your kitchen and you never know when I might feature one of yours!

All the best,


Affiliate links keep the lights on around here.  By purchasing through some links, you’ll help MacroEd at no additional cost to you.  *High five* and thank you for helping us out!

This Post Has One Comment

Comments are closed.

Skip to Recipe
Back To Top