Big Mac Salad Jars

August 30, 2022

If you love the taste of a nostalgic McDonald’s Big Mac, then you are going to LOVE this recipe even more! My Big Mac Salad Jars taste just like the delicious Big Macs that you know and love, but in the form of a salad that will leave you feeling energized and ready to power through your day! This recipe is naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and can easily be made dairy-free, so everyone can satisfy their McDonald’s-inspired cravings!

A jar of the Big Mac salad, sitting on a countertop

Friends, when was the last time that you found yourself in line at the McDonald’s drive thru? I’ll admit, for me, it’s been a while. Sure, I found myself there earlier this year, when I was on a mission to recreate the infamous Shamrock Shake, but that, my friends, was purely a work mission, which is completely different than going to McDonald’s to satisfy a craving.

In fact, it’s probably been years since I’ve eaten McDonald’s as a meal. When I was recovering from my eating disorder, I found myself in a space where I naturally wanted to make healthier choices for my body, which included cutting out fast food. Now, does that mean that fast food is completely off the table for me? No, of course not! I love a good In-N-Out burger on a roadtrip, or a fast food salad in a pinch. But when it comes to my day-to-day life of eating, I’ve learned that I feel best when I fuel my body with foods that don’t just taste good, but nourish my body’s needs, as well. And unfortunately, fast food just doesn’t do that.

So, for all of my friends who just can’t get enough of their Micky D’s (hey, I get it!) I wanted to create a healthier version that will satisfy both your cravings and your nutritional needs. In fact, this salad tastes just like the delicious Big Mac’s that you know and love, just minus the bun. What’s not to love about that?!

Two jars of the Big Mac salad, sitting on a countertop with a bottle of ketchup

What You Need to Make This McDonald’s-Inspired Salad

While a traditional Big Mac is filled with all sorts of fillers and artificial ingredients, we’re keeping things real over here, by using real, whole, foods that you may already have lying around in your kitchen!

  • Ground Beef: Of course, it wouldn’t be a Big Mac salad without the ground beef. You can use your favorite ground beef crumbles, or substitute for a plant-based crumble or even tofu, for a delicious and hearty vegetarian option!
  • White Onion: Diced white onions add the best flavor to this salad. I don’t recommend substituting it for any other type of onion.
  • Roma or Plum Tomatoes: While testing this recipe, I tried out all different types of tomatoes, to see which one(s) really gave that perfect, Big Mac flavor. And when it came to the winner, it was a tie between Roma and Plum tomatoes! Both taste delicious in this salad.
  • Dill Pickles: You didn’t think I’d forget about the pickles, did you?!
  • Iceberg Lettuce: Big Macs get their signature “crunch” from crispy iceberg lettuce, which is obviously a must for this recipe!
  • Cheddar Cheese: It wouldn’t be a Big Mac without the cheese! Shredded cheddar cheese is perfect in this recipe, and if you’re dairy-free, you can use a plant-based cheddar cheese instead.
  • Greek Yogurt: While traditional Big Mac sauce contains mayo, we’re keeping things lighter here by substituting greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is high and protein and low in lactose, making it a great option for your gut! If you are making this salad vegan-friendly, you can use any plain plant-based yogurt here, instead.
  • Relish: Relish adds the perfect tang to our dressing. Don’t skip this!
  • Ketchup: The key to getting that perfect, light orange Big Mac sauce? It’s the ketchup! The mixture of ketchup and yogurt is the perfect combination here, and you can use any ketchup that you desire.
  • Water: A little water will help to thin out the dressing, as needed!

How to Make This Simple & Easy Big Mac Inspired Salad

To make this simple and easy salad recipe, start by preparing your meat of choice. If using ground beef, I recommend sautéing it in a pan with some sea salt and pepper until its browned. Once your meat is prepared, set it aside.

Next, wash and chop all of your vegetables and set them aside. Make sure to keep them separate from one another, as the magic will happen when we add them all to the jar!

Finally, prepare your dressing by adding all of your dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mixing them until fully combined. Be sure to taste your dressing and adjust seasonings as needed. And if it’s too thick, feel free to add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, to the dressing until it thins out!

A bowl with all of the ingredients needed to make the dressing for the Big Mac salad jars

Now it’s time to assemble your jars. Line up four large mason jars and divide your dressing evenly amongst the jars, placing it at the very bottom. This is important!

Next, add in your ground beef / meat, then slowly layer the rest of your ingredients, saving the lettuce for last. When your jar is fully assembled, the dressing should be at the bottom of the jar, and the lettuce should be at the top!

Store your jars in the fridge for up to one week. When you’re ready to eat your salad, simply dump the contents of the salad into a bowl, mix, and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx

** Photography by Bea Moreno
A jar of the Big Mac salad, sitting on a countertop
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Refined Sugar Free

Big Mac Salad Jars

No ratings yet
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 20 mins
SERVES 4 Jars
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If you love the taste of a nostalgic McDonald's Big Mac, then you are going to LOVE this recipe even more! My Big Mac Salad Jars taste just like the delicious Big Macs that you know and love, but in the form of a salad that will leave you feeling energized and ready to power through your day! This recipe is naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and can easily be made dairy-free, so everyone can satisfy their McDonald's-inspired cravings!

Ingredients

For the Salad:

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef Crumbles or substitute plant-based crumbles or tofu or meat of choice, if desired
  • 1 Small White Onion diced
  • 2 Roma or Plum Tomatoes diced
  • 4 Dill Pickles chopped
  • 1 Head Iceberg Lettuce chopped
  • 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese shredded; or substitute dairy-free cheddar cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt or substitute a plant-based yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Relish
  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Water as needed to thin out the dressing

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your meat of choice. If using ground beef, I recommend sautéing it in a pan with some sea salt and pepper until its browned. Once your meat is prepared, set it aside.
  • Next, wash and chop all of your vegetables and set them aside. 
  • Then, prepare your dressing by adding all of your dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mixing them until fully combined. Be sure to taste your dressing and adjust seasonings as needed. And if it's too thick, feel free to add a little water, one tablespoon at a time, to the dressing until it thins out!
  • Now it's time to assemble your jars. Line up four large mason jars and divide your dressing evenly amongst the jars, placing it at the very bottom. 
  • Next, add in your ground beef / meat, then slowly layer the rest of your ingredients, saving the lettuce for last. When your jar is fully assembled, the dressing should be at the bottom of the jar, and the lettuce should be at the top!
  • Store your jars in the fridge for up to one week. When you're ready to eat your salad, simply dump the contents of the salad into a bowl, mix, and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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