Lunch

June 27, 2022

Healthy Cheeseburger Bowl (Big Mac in a Bowl)

This cheeseburger bowl has everything you love about a Big Mac, without the bun! And there's nothing wrong with having a bun of course, but this salad is super tasty without it. Who would have thought the words healthy and big mac would actually be in the same sentence together?! But it works. Every time I make these healthy burger bowls I'm reminded how good they are.

And once you've tried this healthy Big Mac salad dressing, you're going to want to make this salad again and again. I could honestly eat it with every salad, it's so good. Ever since meeting Shayne (my now husband), I've become much more of a burger connoisseur. You see, he's pretty talented at making smash burgers at home and I personally never loved burgers as much as I do now. He's converted me to a smash burger fan and I may have converted him to try this version of a healthy burger bowl. We both request each of these when we're craving them, because sometimes, you just need the bun ;) 

cheeseburger bowl

Why You'll Love These Healthy Cheeseburger Bowls:

  • Perfect for meal prepping: simply layer them in mason jars for an easy lunch or dinner (see the end of the post for how to do this).
  • It's actually a filling salad!
  • Quick and easy to make (under 20 minutes!)
  • Add any extra veggies you like: avocado, corn, cucumber, carrots... the options are endless. Make it your own :)
  • Fairly cost effective (I would urge you to splurge more on the beef and buy from a trusted butcher), the rest of the ingredients are pretty low cost.
  • It tastes SO good!
  • It really has the same flavours of a Big Mac (which is a delicious fast food item, yes?!)

Ingredients

One of the reasons I love making these cheeseburger salad bowls is because it's low on ingredients and also super quick and easy to make.

Here is what you'll need:

  • ground beef (70/30 blend works well here): try and source high quality beef as this will be the most expensive item you'll be purchasing (of course, if you can).
  • romaine lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • white onion
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • yellow mustard
  • dill pickles
  • apple cider vinegar
  • chopped fresh dill
cheeseburger bowl

How to Make a Big Mac Salad Dressing

Essentially, we are making a Big Mac dressing similar to what they use on the burgers and thinning it out a bit more with some vinegar.

The ingredient list is pretty accessible, so use what you have on hand to make this.

Simply combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, chopped dill pickles, apple cider vinegar and fresh dill in a small bowl.

big mac salad dressing ingredients in bowl

Whisk it together until fully combined and incorporated.

salad dressing whisked in bowl

Always, taste and adjust to your preference, adding more or less ketchup or mustard to suit your tastes. Depending on the brands you use, add a pinch of salt if it needs.

How to Make Cheeseburger Bowls

These easy cheeseburger bowls are SO easy to make.

Simply season the beef with salt and pepper right before cooking.

ground beef in bowl

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the beef. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to break it down.

Cook until browned and cooked through and then use a slotted spoon to remove the beef and place it on a plate lined with paper towel.

ground beef in skillet

Then add the salad ingredients into a large bowl and top with the beef, shredded cheese and spoon the dressing on top.

Tips

  • Get the beef crispy: if you want to get the beef more crispy (like a good smash burger), don't move the beef around when you add it to the skillet. Let it sit and cook undisturbed. Once it's crispy on one side, then flip and continue cooking the other side until its browned and cooked through.
  • Adjust the dressing to your preference: everyone's tastes are different, and you may be using a different brand than I use. So always, taste and adjust things like the amount of mayo, ketchup, pickles and mustard.
  • Opt for a 70/30 blend beef if you can: it has more flavour. Of course, if you want a leaner ground beef, use that, it will still be delicious.
cheeseburger bowl

Are these Cheeseburger Bowls Healthy?

That depends. What some people consider healthy varies drastically based on many factors.

If you focus on using high quality ingredients in these cheeseburger bowls, then yes, in my opinion, these burger bowls are healthy.

Opt for high quality beef, organic cheddar and high quality condiments if you can.

How to Meal Prep

I've made these in mason jars for a quick meal prepped lunch or dinner. If you want to do that, here's how:

  • Layer your ingredients in a mason jar.
  • Start with the dressing first, followed by the beef, onion, pickles, tomatoes, cheese and romaine. Seal and place in the fridge.
  • When you're ready to eat, pour the contents into a large bowl.
  • Toss everything together and enjoy!
cheeseburger bowl

Substitutions

  • No beef: use your favourite veggie ground beef instead (also check out my vegan mason jar salad with walnut taco meat - it's SO good!)
  • Apple cider vinegar: use another type of vinegar, such as white, white wine vinegar, or even lemon juice.
  • Dairy-free: use a vegan shredded cheese instead.
  • No fresh dill: omit
  • More veggies: add cubed avocado, grilled corn, chopped cucumber, zucchini or any other vegetable if you want to boost the fibre.
cheeseburger bowl

More Salad Recipes

If you love a good salad, be sure to check these out!

Ready to make these delicious and easy cheeseburger bowls? Let's go!

If you make this healthy cheeseburger bowl, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram, or leave a comment and/or review below!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Healthy Cheeseburger Bowl (Big Mac in a Bowl)

This deconstructed Big Mac burger in a bowl is so tasty and easy to throw together, making it a perfect meal prep option for lunch or dinner.

Prep:
10
min
cook:
10
min
total:
20
min
servings:
4
Author:

Jaclyn

Ingredients

For the Cheeseburger Bowl:

  • 1 lb. ground beef (70/30 blend works well here)
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

For the Big Mac Sauce:

Instructions
  1. Season the ground beef with a good pinch of kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef once hot and use a spoon to break it apart. Cook until browned and crispy on one side (don't move it around too much), about four minutes. Flip and cook for another two minutes or until cooked through. Drain with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with paper towel and set aside. Allow to cool.
  3. Place the romaine in a large salad bowl and add the tomatoes and white onion.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the big mac sauce.
  5. When ready to serve, add the beef to the salad bowl. Dress the salad with the sauce and add the cheese. Garnish with extra pickle slices if using. Enjoy!

Notes

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Jaclyn
July 18, 2022
Hi Carolyn! I'm so glad you are loving my recipes, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. I don't provide nutritional information as it doesn't align with my brand or how I personally choose to live my life, having had a disordered relationship to food in the past. I hope you understand :)
Carolyn
July 13, 2022
I love your recipes and have tried them! What would be GREAT is if you could include the nutritional value with calories. It would be beneficial to those of us trying to lose weight. Thank you, Carolyn