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If You’re Craving Fast Food, Try This “Big Mac”-Inspired Salad

Ground beef, special sauce, lettuce, cheese pickles onions – we captured all the flavor (minus the bun!) of the fast-food icon in a protein-packed salad.

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If there’s one burger that’s known around the world, it’s the Big Mac – and it’s a classic for good reason. With two ground beef patties, a delectable sauce that’s both a little savory and a little sweet, crunchy pickles and shredded lettuce, it’s everything a basic burger should be. Well, “basic” in the sense that this fast food staple is topped with all of the typical burger must-haves. But it’s a real mouthful, and grabbing one from your local fast food joint isn’t exactly the healthiest or cleanest choice. So, we’ve taken this favorite and turned it into a “Big Mac” salad.

This recipe from Carnivore-ish is just one of 125 recipes that are protein-rich and health-forward. In this greens-filled spin on the original fast food sandwich, you’ll find all of the ingredients you know and love. From caramelized onions to cheese to juicy tomatoes, we’ve even topped it with that special sauce you can’t enjoy a Big Mac without. All that’s missing is the bun (and trust us, you won’t actually miss that white bread!). With a higher proportion of veggies, it’s a more balanced approach, but it’ll still satisfy those fast food cravings. Plus, it comes together in just 35 minutes for a quick and easy meal any time of the day.

Oh, and did we mention that you can even get a little boost for your microbiome from this “Big Mac” salad? To reap the gut health benefits, look for fermented pickles in the refrigerated section of the supermarket (or DIY them with this easy at-home pickle recipe) to add as a topping.

For more recipes from Carnivore-ish, get your copy here.

“Big Mac” Salad

Prep Time
15 min
35 min



  • 1⁄3 cup avocado oil mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened ketchup
  • 1 tsp dill pickle brine
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos
  • 1⁄4 tsp hot sauce, optional
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  • 1 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 1⁄2 lb ground beef
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head romaine, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 whole dill pickle, chopped (about 3⁄4 cup)
  • 3⁄4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 3 oz)


  1. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients until well combined. (MAKE AHEAD: Make dressing up to 2 days ahead; keep covered and refrigerated. Whisk again before using.)
  2. Make salad: In a large skillet on medium, heat ghee. Add onion, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add beef to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up meat, until cooked and browned in spots, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place lettuce, tomatoes, pickle and cooked onion in a large bowl. Add 3 to 4 tbsp of the dressing; gently toss, adding more if desired. Add beef and cheese; toss again. Divide salad among bowls and serve remaining dressing on the side.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ¼ of recipe
  • Calories 570
  • Carbohydrate Content 7 g
  • Cholesterol Content 151 mg
  • Fat Content 43 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 37 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 15 g
  • Sodium Content 752 mg
  • Sugar Content 3.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 21 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g