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Cheeseburger Salad

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Cheeseburger Salad is just as delicious as a Big Mac but lighter and healthier! A great quick summer meal the whole family will love! Tons of crunchy romaine topped with all your favorite burger toppings, plus a special sauce dressing!

two bowls of cheeseburger salad

Want a salad recipe your partner will beg you to make? How about a salad that your kids will want second – and even third! – helpings of? This cheeseburger salad is exactly what you didn’t know you needed in your life.

Seriously, your family is going to go nuts over this salad. We make this salad a TON, and every time I do, I end up making a double batch and we barely have enough. Yeah, a batch. Of salad. 

Other family dinner salad recipes:

two plates of cheeseburger salad with cheese, dressing, and tomatoes

Crispy romaine lettuce is topped with seasoned ground beef and all your favorite burger toppings. I used sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, and shredded cheddar cheese – and of course, pickles! 

This salad is delicious, hearty, and oh so flavorful! I don’t want to say its better than a standard burger, but this salad is at least as good as one. Trust me!

salad with ground beef and burger toppings of onions, cheese, tomatoes, pickles and special sauce dressing

How to make this salad

This salad is a cinch to make! It doesn’t take long at all! For the full directions, please scroll down to the recipe card below, but here is a brief overview:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the special sauce dressing. When combined, place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
mixing up special sauce dressing in glass bowl
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until done and no longer pink. Drain off any grease, and then season with the salt, pepper, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.
  2. While the meat is cooking, wash the lettuce and chop the tomatoes and red onions and grate the cheese.
  3. Assemble and enjoy!
cooking ground beef in skillet

Prepping ahead of time

You can prep this salad ahead of time by mixing up the salad dressing and cooking the ground beef. Store both in air tight containers in the fridge for up to three days. 

Then assemble the salad right before eating.

You can eat this salad with cold burger meat, but I think its best when served with warm beef!

How to serve this to your family

Serving this salad to your family differently for each age and stage is a great way to help each family member enjoy the meal. 

  • For toddlers – serve individual piles of the ingredients – ground beef, cheese, diced tomatoes, and pickles (if age appropriate). For the lettuce portion, you can either toss some bite sized lettuce pieces in some dressing, or place the dressing to the side and let them dip their lettuce in. Or, both!
  • For younger kids – Serve a small portion of salad topped with some of the toppings (we choose ground beef and cheese) and some toppings on the side (like sliced tomatoes and pickles!)
  • For older kids – serve a smaller sized portion of a salad, and let them choose which toppings to add on top and which to have on the side.
four plates showing how to serve salad to difference ages

How to make this kid friendly 

Yes, salad can be totally kid friendly! 

Salad is all about how you present it! With its many colors, textures, and flavors, each bite of salad is a fun treat! But knowing how to serve it for each kid is important.

Equally important is how you talk about the salad.

  • Discuss different textures, flavors and colors in each bite.
  • How does the taste change when they pair multiple toppings together?
  • What else would they add to this salad (bacon crumbles or croutons, maybe?).
  • Do they like to dip their toppings in the special sauce, or have it all mixed up together?

Engage them in fun conversations to think about their food and explore it instead of trying to convince them to eat it.

Also read “how to make kid friendly salad” for more great tips!

two plates with cheeseburger salad and forks

Kids in the kitchen: How your kids can help you cook

Inviting kids into the kitchen with you is a great way to help them learn valuable cooking skills, but also helps them become more curious about what you are eating, helping them want to try it.

This salad is a great recipe to invite kids to help with because there are so many steps they can do!

  • Kids aged 1-3 can help you measure the ingredients for the salad dressing and wash all the produce.
  • Kids aged 4-6 can do everything above plus help you slice the tomatoes and shred the cheese and assemble the salads.
  • Kids aged 7-10+ can help you do everything above, plus help you cook the ground beef.

*Please note that these recommendations are generalized, and to please use your personal discretion with your child’s skill level. And always, always supervise! Read more about how to have your children help you in the kitchen.

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Yield: 4 Servings

Cheeseburger Salad Recipe

two bowls of cheeseburger salad

Cheeseburger Salad is just as delicious as a Big Mac but lighter and healthier! A great quick summer meal the whole family will love! Tons of crunchy romaine topped with all your favorite burger toppings, plus a special sauce dressing!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

Special Sauce Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 Tablespoons chopped bread and butter pickles
  • 4 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons pickle juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Meat

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Salad

  • 8 cups chopped classic romaine salad mix
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup bread and butter pickle chips
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

    1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the special sauce dressing.
    2. When combined, place in the fridge until you are ready to assemble the salad.
    3. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until done and no longer pink.
    4. Drain off any grease.
    5. Season with the salt, pepper, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.
    6. While the meat is cooking, wash the lettuce and chop the tomatoes and red onions and grate the cheese.
    7. Assemble and enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 1152mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 37g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

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