Can you lose weight on a keto diet by pulling through the fast food drive thru, ordering a Big Mac sandwich, throwing away the bun and eating only the beef patties? You can! So long Weight Watchers – let’s eat ALL of the bun-less McDonald’s Big Macs and lose weight on the keto diet 🎉
Mmmm, not so fast…
Full disclosure – plenty of people start a low carb diet just like this and can get some results. However, there’s a much healthier way to lose weight. Start by putting together simple ingredients in a copycat recipe for a Big Mac cheeseburger salad that taste just like a classic Big Mac.
Unlike McDonald’s Big Macs, this easy Big Mac salad recipe has no sesame seed bun, no salty french fries to tempt you, and no strange chemicals that should be reserved for the plastic containers you use to store your leftovers.
Let’s get to the basics of this keto big mac salad recipe before you get bored and find yourself pulling through that all too familiar drive thru to order the real thing.
First thing, start chopping all of the salad ingredients you’ll use for your burger bowls. You have the option to do this as meal prep earlier in the week. You can easily store the toppings in green containers in your fridge so they’re ready to go. If you’re not the meal prepping type, take a few minutes to chop before browning the beef. For an extra delicious keto salad, chop white onion, dill pickles, tomatoes, salad greens and any other favorite burger toppings.
Many lifelong dieters will go with iceberg lettuce for their salad bowl recipe. After all, who really likes mixed greens that taste like fresh cut grass? For the best result, I always recommend getting more nutrients by chopping spinach or romaine lettuce for this recipe. Even if you don’t like mixed greens now, once your body realizes the nutrients it’s getting from higher quality greens, you’ll actually start to crave them. This means more high quality nutrients without adding extra carbs since greens and iceberg are similar when it comes to carbs.
Next, brown one pound of ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I want to be clear what I mean when I say ground beef since some people seem to get confused. Shoot for organic grass-fed ground beef that’s at least 80% lean. If you can get even more fat in the beef you choose, do it! After all, you’re following a high fat keto diet – which means more fat is better. (In most cases – we’ll get to a few ways it’s not in just a second).
Steer clear of using ground turkey, ground chicken or lean ground beef in this low carb Big Mac salad recipe. These varieties just aren’t as flavorful as the higher fat versions, plus you’re following a high fat keto diet!
I know I keep repeating that last one – but it’s important. While some people lead you to believe you only want to burn the stored fat on your thighs when it comes to keto, burning thigh fat won’t happen if you never get into ketosis in the first place. Wanna know what you need to get into ketosis? Plenty of nutritional fat so your body feels safe enough to let go of stored fat. It’s just a fact of ketosis, no matter how many times you hear to keep calories low on a ketogenic diet.
This has been especially true for this keto blogger, who spent two plus decades depriving herself of all of the nutrients her body needed to function in the name of a low calorie diets for weight loss. It’s also been true for hundreds of women who’ve gone through the Keto Challenge. Women who previously couldn’t get keto to work for them learned they needed more fat to lose weight on a keto diet. Even more proof when it’s keto vs CICO, more fat always wins!
So when don’t you want to choose the higher fat ground beef? There are two specific scenarios where you’ll want to avoid higher fat meat.
The first scenario is when you can’t afford a higher quality meat. Since toxins are stored in fat, and conventional animals are raised around plenty of toxins, you won’t want to opt for higher fat versions. In this case, you’ll be eating those extra toxins in your food.
Since your body also likes to store toxins in your fat cells, it’s a lose/lose scenario. But this reason truly is for those who cannot afford to buy organic. Don’t pretend you can’t afford it because you’re saving up for those cute shoe you’ll only wear one time. The quality of food you put into your body really determines the quality of your health. Cute shoes got nothing on feeling amazing!
The second scenario where you won’t want to choose higher fat cuts of beef is if your digestion is poor. Poor digestion is a common result from too many years of yo yo diets. This is especially true when you take medications to cover up the symptoms from too many years of yo yo diets.
Thankfully poor digestion is temporary when you take the right steps to improve your situation. I don’t want to get into all the details when it comes to poor digestion since this is a recipe blog. If you have any digestive symptoms that come along with switching to a high fat diet, including heartburn, nausea, gas, bloating, anxiety, depression, skin problems and more – you need to take this free Digestion Course!
It’s sooooo important to eat enough fat to lose weight on a keto diet, but I promise you those results will never come if your body isn’t able to break down the food you eat.
Now that I’ve gone completely off topic when it comes to this low-carb salad, let’s get back on track. I tend to go on mini rants, even in my food blogs, but these are the tips you need to thrive on a ketogenic diet. At least my rants serve a purpose – unlike other food blogs where you only learn about the blogger’s yearning for nana’s apple pie 😂
Hopefully you’re not browning the beef as you read this, because you want to mix in the chopped onions, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper while it’s browning. Once the beef is brown and the onions have softened, remove the meat mixture from the heat. Once removed, stir in yellow mustard. Be sure to stir well.
The last step is to layer all of the the ingredients into a small bowl if you choose to serve this meal in separate bowls. I know some people still love serving salads family style – so that’s an option as well. I like to start with the lettuce, spoon the ground beef on top, add the Big Mac dressing and then layer all of your favorite burger toppings like diced pickles, sharp cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and even more onions.
I did jump a little ahead when it comes to that last step. An easy way to throw together this delicious salad is to pick up the Thousand Island dressing you find at the store. But is Thousand Island dressing keto?
Unfortunately easy doesn’t always mean healthy, especially since most salad dressing from the store is chock full of added sugars and vegetable oils. Both of these commercial convenience food extras do nothing for your waistline!
Scroll to the bottom of this page for a quick recipe when it comes to whipping up your own low carb version of McDonald’s special sauce at home. This is an excellent choice to use for a low carb hamburger salad. You can even double the batch and store homemade dressings like this in mason jars to use as a dipping sauce for other keto friendly recipes.
Voila – now you have a delicious cheeseburger salad that’s low in grams of net carbs that’s sure to become a new favorite. Don’t forget to share this recipe to your keto family favorites Pinterest board.
Keep scrolling for nutritional information and the printable recipe card. And just a FYI – I am an Amazon associate so this blog may contain affiliate links which could lead to a small commission. (We’re talking minuscule here 😂)
I also do my best to provide my best keto tips and tricks via resource links throughout the posts with the same helpful info that’s helped me lose 100 pounds. Hopefully you click through and the blogs and videos help you too! If you find something you love, share the healthy fat love on social media to help others.
If you are new to keto, or you’re starting over, check out our online program. The Ready, Set, Keto! Method shows you how to boost metabolism on keto or how to start keto again. It includes recipes, cooking demos, macro calculations, how to carb cycle on keto, the differences between lazy keto vs strict keto, and more. Learn more with this free Keto MasterClass that’s helped hundreds of women bust through long standing keto plateaus and finally figure out how to keep the weight off for good.Print
Keto Big Mac Salad
An easy copycat keto Big Mac salad recipe.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 15 mins
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- Category: Keto Dinner Recipe
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: Keto / Low Carb
- Diet: Diabetic
- 1 lb 80% lean ground beef
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese
- 4–6 cups chopped spinach or bag of shredded lettuce
- 1 & 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
- Small tomato, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- Whole pickle, chopped
- 4–6 oz Thousand Island dressing (homemade is best)
- Brown ground beef in a large skillet.
- Mix in 1 cup chopped onions, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper to ground beef while its browning.
- Once beef is browned and onions have softened, remove skillet from heat.
- Mix in mustard. Stir well.
- Layer the ingredients on a plate and serve.
- Serving Size: Recipe Serves 4
- Calories: 455.3
- Sugar: 4.4
- Fat: 28.5
- Saturated Fat: 12.4
- Carbohydrates: 11.6
- Fiber: 2.8
- Protein: 37.6
Keywords: Keto Big Mac Salad, Keto Big Mac Copycat Recipe, Low Carb Cheeseburger Salad
Recipe Serves 4
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