If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to satisfy your cheeseburger cravings, then look no further than this Cheeseburger Salad recipe with Keto Thousand Island Dressing. Packed full of protein and fresh ingredients, this hearty salad is bursting with all the classic flavors of a juicy cheeseburger – without any of the guilt. And with our homemade Keto Thousand Island Dressing, you can enjoy all the creamy goodness of this classic condiment without any added sugar or carbs. But, can a salad actually replace an amazing burger recipe? We’ll let you be the judge.

When it comes to keto recipes, we have a few that make it into the weekly rotation. And this easy cheeseburger salad has to be at the top of that list – especially when we’re craving a juicy cheeseburger from our favorite fast food joint. We pair it with our special sauce, a homemade thousand island dressing, another meal prep item we make once a week. Whenever that Big Mac craving hits, this easy salad loaded with crispy iceberg lettuce, veggies, and of course, topped with a pickle is on the table in under 20 minutes!

This recipe is great because it’s made with a real grilled cheeseburger for the best flavor and homemade low-carb salad dressing.

Besides being low-carb, it’s a great way to use up leftover cheeseburgers after a backyard barbecue without the guilt of the bun. Who knew clean eating could taste this good?

Ingredients for this keto big mac salad recipe


  • Hamburger patties – you can cook your lean ground beef patties from scratch or use your favorite cheeseburger like our juicy smoked burgers or thick grilled venison burgers. We even use good quality frozen burger patties when we really want a quick meal. Our favorite pre-made patties are from Certified Angus Beef.
  • Sliced Cheese, we love cheddar cheese or American when making a great burger.
  • Salad mix – We love using a blend of crispy iceberg, romaine lettuce, and cabbage – they both have a good crunch and can hold up to all the toppings in this big salad.
  • Thousand Island Dressing, or if you’re feeling it, try our blue cheese dressing from our steakhouse hamburger salad.
  • Fresh toppings like sweet peppers, tomatoes, white or red onion, crispy onions or grilled onions, avocado, and dill pickles.

How to Make Cheeseburger Salad

  • Whip up this deconstructed burger by prepping your salad components ahead of time. Chop the veggies and pop them in a large bowl. Make the homemade salad dressing and store it in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.
  • When you’re ready to eat, grill the burger on a preheated grill or griddle and make sure to add the cheese in the last minute of cooking so it melts into every nook and cranny.
  • While the burger cooks, toss the salad greens with the thousand island dressing, aka big mac sauce, and divide it onto plates. Top with the cooked cheeseburger and serve immediately.
  • Alternatively, you can crumble the burger meat up after cooking them for easier eating. We just like the presentation of the full patty on top, where we can pick and choose our favorite burger toppings in every bite.
Cheesy burgers coming off the grill.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

  • The thing that makes this salad amazing is the freshness. Only add the delicious dressing to the salad when you’re ready to enjoy it. Otherwise, the lettuce can get soggy or wilted with the dressing or heat of the burger patties. Use fresh lettuce and the snappiest dill pickle slices.
  • Want more? Consider adding cooked crumbled bacon for a bacon cheeseburger salad!
  • Don’t have a grill; you can pan-fry these burgers in a large skillet too. Consider our French Onion Burgers as a good starting point.
Crumbled burger patty over greens for an incredible easy meal.

What to serve with cheeseburger salad

This crisp, refreshing salad recipe is a meal in itself. But if you’re bringing it to a potluck or trying to round out a menu, consider serving it with homemade deviled eggs, smoked baked beans, or a pile of crispy french fries (if you’re not counting carbs) or even a couple of smoked Traeger ribs on the side.

Leftover and reheating

This salad is best served fresh, so the iceberg lettuce stays crispy. Leftover salad, if dressed, is best eaten within a few hours. However, you store the individual salad ingredients in separate containers to quickly whip this up all week long.

If you have leftover cheeseburgers, wrap them in aluminum foil or store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to make this delicious salad recipe, reheat as many patties as you need only for individual portions.

To reheat burger patties, place them in a preheated oven set to 325 degrees F wrapped in foil, and cook them until heated through about 10 minutes. Alternatively, crumble them into a frying pan, just like our leftover cheeseburger omelet for breakfast, and stir occasionally until heated.

Overhead shot of big salad in a bowl topped with a grilled burger.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use any type of ground meat for the burgers in the cheeseburger salad?

If you don’t want a traditional beef burger patty, feel free to use whatever ground meat you want ground turkey, chicken, pork, or lamb. Bison and venison are great options for those who want to satiate that red meat craving with minimal fat. Swap out the spices, and this also quickly becomes a zesty taco salad. The ideas are limitless.

Can I make the homemade keto thousand island dressing in advance?

We make our thousand island dressing ahead of time and store it in an airtight container for up to 4 days. We use it for this salad, quick tuna, or chef’s salads that are low-carb and delicious all week long.

Are there any alternative dressings I can use for the cheeseburger salad?

We love mixing this version of a low carb Big Mac Salad up with our Steakhouse hamburger salad with its creamy blue cheese dressing all summer long. And creamy dressing that you love will work.

Can I add cheese to the salad if I want extra?

This is more of a judgment-free zone than your favorite gym. Add whatever you want. Just keep in mind that cheese will add calories, so consider whatever diet plan you are (or aren’t) sticking to when jazzing up your meal.

More of our favorite keto recipes

What do you think? Is this easy cheeseburger salad recipe going to be a staple in your house? It’s the perfect meal all in one and fulfilling whether or not you’re on a low carb diet. If you’ve given this one a try, be sure to rate the recipe card and drop a comment to help out the next guy.

Cheeseburger Salad

5 from 14 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Overhead shot of big plate filled with crisp salad and a cheeseburger patty on top.
Experience the best of both worlds with our cheeseburger salad recipe. Juicy grilled burgers, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, pickles, and a zesty homemade keto thousand island dressing come together to create a low-carb masterpiece. It's a salad that brings all the flavors of a classic cheeseburger in a fresh and satisfying way.


For the cheeseburger salad

  • 4 all beef Hamburger patties
  • 4 slices cheese cheddar or American
  • 24 oz Salad mix
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island Dressing

Favorite Toppings

  • sweet peppers sliced
  • tomatoes sliced
  • white or red onion chopped
  • crispy onions or grilled onions
  • Dill pickles sliced


Prep the salad

  • Prep the easy salad by dicing all of your desired toppings (onions, tomatoes, etc), and having them ready to go.
  • Make the homemade salad dressing and store it in a glass jar in the fridge until ready to use.

Grill the Burgers

  • Prep the grill for indirect heat for 2-zone grilling.
  • Allow the grill to preheat to around 400 degrees F, adjusting the air vents as needed.
  • Grill the burgers 3 to 7 minutes per side over high heat to your desired internal temperature. If flare-ups occur move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill with a spatula.
  • During the the last minute of cooking, add the cheese slices so they melt.

Assemble the salad

  • While the burger cooks, toss the salad greens with the thousand island dressing in a large bowl just to coat.
  • Divide the preprared salad onto individual plates.
  • Top with the cooked cheeseburgers and serve immediately.


Always use an instant-read thermometer for the most accurate results for the internal temperature of meat. 
Alternatively, you can crumble the burger meat up after cooking them for easier eating. 
The thing that makes this salad amazing is the freshness. Only add the dressing to the salad when you’re ready to eat. Otherwise, the lettuce can get soggy or wilted with the dressing or heat of the burger patties. 
Want more? Add cooked crumbled bacon for a bacon cheeseburger salad!
This recipe is a great idea for using up leftover cheeseburgers. Just reheat the patty and pop it on top of the mixed greens for a quick and easy salad the whole family will love. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 612mg | Potassium: 652mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2279IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 233mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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5 from 14 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made the Cheeseburger Salad tonight for dinner. It was great!! My wife and I both really enjoyed the taste of burger and salad together. We used Gouda & Swiss cheese along with the bacon crumbles. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!