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Close up of Big Mac salad bowl with a fork in the salad.

Loaded Big Mac Salad Bowls

  • Author: Kate Alexandra
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie


Use cupboard staples and a handful of easy-to-find ingredients to get all the flavours of the McDonald’s classic, in a good-for-you form. These Big Mac salad bowls take just 20 minutes, are keto-friendly and make the perfect weeknight lunch or dinner the whole family will love. 


Units Scale

For the Big Mac sauce – 

  • 1/2 cup garlic aioli
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 3 pickle slices, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon pickle juice (or white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

For the beef – 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500g/1lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce

For the salad –

  • 1 Romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1/3 cup of pickles, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pickled onion slices
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 300g/10oz tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Make your Big Mac sauce. Mix 1/2 cup of aioli, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 crushed garlic clove, your finely diced pickles, 1 teaspoon of pickle juice and 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika in a small bowl, until a red, cohesive sauce forms. Set aside.
  2. Cook your onion and garlic. Set a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion and the crushed garlic, along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent and has softened nicely. PRO TIP: If you start to see the onion burning, but it’s not soft yet, add a little splash of water to the pan and keep cooking. The water will evaporate but will prevent the onion from burning in the pan.
  3. Cook the ground beef. Add all your ground beef to the same pan, breaking it up with a spatula. Cook, stirring, until brown, then pour in 1 1/2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of fish sauce. Cook, stirring, for another couple of minutes, then remove from the heat. 
  4. Assemble the salad. You can either do this in one large bowl or platter or make individual servings in separate plates. Arrange the shredded lettuce on the base of your plate, then scatter over half the tomatoes, pickles and scallions. Spoon the ground beef all over, then top with the remaining tomatoes, pickles and scallions. Finish with the grated cheese and a very good dollop of the Big Mac sauce. Toss if you like before serving, then eat right away with more sauce on the side.


STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The three elements of this salad can be made in advance, and then just mixed together when you’re ready to serve. The Big Mac sauce will keep well for 1 week in the fridge, and the ground beef mix will keep for 4 days. If you chop the salad ingredients in advance, keep the lettuce separate so that it doesn’t go soggy. 

INGREDIENT NOTES: Swap the ground beef for ground turkey, chicken, pork or a plant-based alternative. You can play around with the salad ingredients – the classics in a Big Mac are shredded lettuce, cheese, pickles and chopped onions – but I love the freshness that tomatoes, scallions and pickled onions bring. You could also add more greens like diced cucumber, green beans or edamame.

WANT MORE? Try these super easy Big Mac smash burger tacos.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: american


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl

Keywords: salads, beef salad