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.
- Ground beef
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.
- Cheddar cheese
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.
The number one thing you should pay attention to is the internal temperature. Based on the USDA’s safe minimum internal temperature chart, 160°F is the recommended temperature for ground meats.
What to Serve With Cheeseburger Salad
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.
How to Make Cheeseburger Salad
Today's cheeseburger salad recipe puts a healthy spin on a classic American staple while maintaining its hearty appeal.
- cook TIME 5 mins
- prep TIME 7 mins
- total TIME 12 mins
- COURSE Side Dish
- CUISINE American, Global
- SERVINGS servings
- CALORIES 156 kcal
- 4 oz85% lean ground beef
- 4 ozromaine lettuce (roughly chopped)
- 6 ozchocolate cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 ozred onion (julienned)
- 0.5 ozcheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 tbspgarlic (minced)
- 0.3 cupplain Greek yogurt
- 0.5 tbspHeinz ketchup
- 1 tsptraditional Dijon mustard
- 0.5 tspblack pepper
- 1 tspgarlic powder
- 0.3 tspsalt
- 0.5 tspsugar
- 1 tspsesame seed
- 1 tsppaprika
- 1 tspred wine vinegar
- 0.5 ozcornichons
- 1 tbspolive oil
- 0.5 tspchili powder
- 2 tbspparsley (chopped)
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.