I’ve decided to turn a Big Mac into an incredibly fulfilling and delicious salad with sesame seed bun croutons and this is an easy weekday meal you are going to adore. Just go ahead and plan to double the sauce recipe for this Big Mac salad because, if you love Big Mac’s as much as I did, this dressing is one you’ll want to keep in your fridge at all times. Not just for this salad but also for a dipping sauce!
No matter how much I grow up and learn the truths about fast food, I will still always crave the guilty pleasure of McDonald’s. I believe these cravings stem from all the great nostalgic memories attached to childhood trips there. Whether it was attending birthday parties at the Play Place, getting fries and McFlurry’s there with friends as a teenager when there wasn’t much else to do in my hometown, or sneaking off the high school campus to eat at Mickey D’s as soon as my friends got a car. One of my favorite memories perhaps, is getting 20 piece nuggets and snacking on them throughout the day while we hung out my aunt Nellie’s apartment pool. Even though we all know the downside of eating here, it will forever remain a happy place in my memories and I miss the days when I could eat there with the sweet ignorant bliss and zero guilt! But today, we are creating a homemade version with none of those really icky ingredients.
What is a Big Mac Salad?
This Big Mac salad is a deconstructed Big Mac with all the elements we know and love in a Big Mac. The homemade copycat Big Mac sauce is tangy and creamy with hints of pickle, mustard and mildy sweet. It’s then smothered all over a bed of fresh crunchy lettuce and topped simply with diced onions, diced pickles, shredded mild cheddar cheese, and ground beef.
When I typically make copycat Big Mac sauce, it’s just a mayo base. But when turning it into a salad dressing, I added sour cream as well to lighten up the heaviness of the sauce and balance out the richness of the mayo. Then a splash of milk is added to make this sauce a bit smoother and less clunky than traditional Big Mac sauce.
How to Make Big Mac Salad:
We start with a copycat version of Big Mac sauce, and then add a few ingredients to make it appropriate for a salad dressing (sour cream + milk).
Make your Big Mac sauce
In a medium sized bowl, you’ll mix together all of the sauce ingredients:
- mayonnaise – the creamy base of the sauce. I always recommend using a quality mayo like Duke’s or Hellman’s/Best Foods
- sour cream – the sour cream is also part of the sauce base, but adds a lightened up, fresh element to reduce the amount of mayo needed. If I was just using this as a dip for fries or to spread on a burger, you could skip the sour cream.
- sweet pickle relish – the perfect amount of sweetness for the sauce while also imparting that classic dill pickle flavor that’s so notable in the Big Mac sauce.
- grated yellow onion (with juices) – the key to this recipe is grating the onion. While still providing an onion flavor while keeping the sauce creamy. Grating the onion makes this sauce just melt in your mouth.
- yellow mustard – just enough mustard to provide tang and acid but not enough to make it “mustardy”
- white vinegar or rice wine vinegar – just a dash of vinegar adds a little more zip!
- paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and sea salt – these spices are the perfect combo to mimic the identical flavor of the famous Big Mac sauce.
- 1-2 splashes of milk – only when using this as a dressing do I add a splash or two of milk. It helps smooth out the sauce to ensure a creamy dressing texture.
I like to make my sauce ahead so the flavors meld together and store in an airtight container, like a mason jar, in the fridge. Once I am ready to prepare dinner, I start with seasoning up my ground hamburger with just salt and pepper and cook it over medium high heat. While that’s cooking, I prep my ingredients, grate my cheese, chop my lettuce, dice my onion and pickles.
Make your croutons
You can use any bread for this step but I felt sesame seed buns were most appropriate. I separated the buns, then spread a thin layer of butter on the insides on each side. Lay them butter side up on a lined baking sheet , sprinkle lightly with salt, then broil until golden brown and toasty but still slightly soft. For me it took about 5-6 minutes, and I turned the pan every few minutes.
To serve, pile on your warm beef, pickles, onions and grated cheese onto your bed of lettuce. Then spoon over the sauce. I like to toss the salad before serving so all the ingredients are incorporated. I usually grab a large mixing bowl, throw all my ingredients in and use tongs to toss it all together in the sauce, then scoop it onto my plate.
Looking for other copycat recipes?
Did you make this Big Mac Salad recipe? Be sure to tag me on Instagram @BadBatchBaking and use hashtag #BadBatchBaking so I can see your creations and share them on my page!
Feel free to leave any questions or comments you may have below. I love to connect with my readers and get your feedback so I can tweak my recipes to be sure they are successful for you. ♥
Big Mac Salad
Big Mac Salad Dressing
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 3 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon grated yellow onion with juices
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon white or rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- sesame seed buger buns
- Romaine and Iceburg lettuce blend or greens of your choice
- salt & pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- mild cheddar cheese, shredded
- yellow onion, diced
- hamburger pickles, diced
Big Mac Dressing
- Grate the onion using a box grater or microplane. Be sure to use any juices that accumulate with the onion.
- In a bowl, mix together all Big Mac sauce ingredients. Store in an airtight container if making ahead.
- Separated the buns, then spread a thin layer of butter on the insides on each side. Lay them butter side up on a lined baking sheet , sprinkle lightly with salt, then broil until golden brown and toasty but still slightly soft. For me it took about 5-6 minutes, and I turned the pan every few minutes.
- Season ground hamburger with just salt and pepper. Heat a skillet to medium high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Allow beef to cook a few minutes undisturbed to get a nice sear on the bottom. Flip once, and continue to cook until your desired doneness.
- To serve, pile on your warm beef, pickles, onions and grated cheese onto your bed of lettuce. Then spoon over the sauce. I like to toss the salad before serving so all the ingredients are incorporated. I usually grab a large mixing bowl, throw all my ingredients in and use tongs to toss it all together in the sauce, then scoop it onto my plate.