When you hear the words cheeseburger or Big Mac, what comes to your mind? Fast food, unhealthy snacks, and cheat meals are some things you might think about. However, we can’t deny that cheeseburgers are delicious, hence their popularity.
What if there’s a way for you to enjoy cheeseburgers without having to leave out any ingredients or worry about side effects. Follow along and give this cheeseburger salad recipe a try.
Is Cheeseburger Salad Healthy?
Yes, this cheeseburger salad is healthy. Despite having the same ingredients, this salad and the Big Mac differ greatly in nutritional value:
This salad contains 156 calories in each serving, way lower than the 550 calories in a Big Mac.
3.5 g of saturated fat and 293.7 mg sodium are reasonable numbers in comparison with 9 g and 1010 mg of the Big Mac.
Another concerning aspect of the Big Mac is 9 g of sugar due to the inclusion of high-fructose corn syrup. This dish contains only 4 g of sugar, which is manageable.
All nutrition values of this dish strictly follow our healthy guidelines. Let’s check out the ingredients to see how portioning can separate two similar dishes.
Ingredients for Cheeseburger Salad
This salad features the “usual suspects” that you’ll find in a cheeseburger, except the buns. However, the ingredient amounts used and their roles in the dish are different from the original burger.
As the main source of protein, ground beef must form part of this cheeseburger salad. Instead of patties, the ground beef is seasoned and sautéed, saving you a bit of time. The beef seasoning includes garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, salt, and chili powder. Its natural flavors accent the beef perfectly, and it isn’t sodium-rich.
The same goes for any salad: we advise you to wash the ingredients carefully to be safe.
Lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and gherkins play more prominent roles now. They were merely garnishes or toppings in the burger, but in this salad, these vegetables take center stage.
The signature Big Mac sauce was once a trade secret, but now, the secret’s out. Ketchup, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and some spices constitute the authentic flavor. We use Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise because it maintains the creamy consistency without adding more calories to the salad.
How much fun is a burger without cheese? In this recipe, we use cheddar cheese to highlight the natural flavors instead of the processed taste of American cheese. Comparing the nutrition values of cheddar and American cheese, it is evident that cheddar contains less sodium and similar amounts of fat.
Can I Use Frozen Ground Beef for This Salad?
Sure, you can.
Frozen ground beef will take more time to cook than fresh or defrosted, which is something you should take into account. Also, do not season the beef when it’s still frozen, wait until it’s cooked.
We understand you might worry about the texture, but frozen ground beef is juicy and tender when done perfectly.
This salad is a burger bowl minus the buns. Bread, therefore, is the perfect choice to accompany this salad and reunite all the ingredients of a cheeseburger.
Also, since this is a burger salad, you may serve it with the usual burger side dishes. French fries, onion rings, or mashed potatoes are the classics.
How to Store Leftovers
Preserving this salad is simple. Store the ingredients separately in airtight containers and they should last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
We don’t recommend freezing the vegetables as they will become soggy when thawed. Beef, however, can be kept frozen for a few months. Just make sure you keep it in freezer bags or heavy-duty containers.
When you want to eat, reheat the beef in a skillet or microwave, then reassemble the salad.
Place a pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic, and stir for 30 seconds. Add 4 oz ground beef, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp chili powder. Sauté for 3 minutes and let cool.
Make the sauce: Add 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tbsp ketchup, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp black pepper then mix well.
Assemble the salad with 4 oz romaine lettuce, ground beef, 6 oz tomatoes, 0.5 oz cheddar cheese, 1 oz red onion, and 0.5 oz cornichons. Dress the salad, garnish with parsley, and enjoy.
How to Make Cheeseburger Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 156Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Vitamin A 3194IU
Vitamin C 15mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
Indulge in the flavors of a classic cheeseburger with this satisfying cheeseburger salad recipe!