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Keto Big Mac Salad

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Fast-food gone guilt-free! This Keto Big Mac Salad packs all the flavor of your favorite burger, without all the carbs!

Big Mac Skillet, with jar of sauce

Keto Big Mac in a Bowl

A Big Mac sandwich contains about 44 grams of carbohydrates, not to mention trans fat, tons of sodium, etc. While I have to admit that there is just something SO satisfying about that famous fast food treat, the Big Mac is a big no-no on the keto diet.

I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but I’ve noticed some social media posts showing “how to make McDonalds keto.” Except the advice is always the same: “skip the bun.”


Leaving off the bun is a no-brainer when you want to avoid carbs, but that’s not a very satisfying way to eat! That’s why I’m so excited to share this recipe to show you how to make a Big Mac salad keto!

It’s basically all the good stuff from a Big Mac…in a big bowl of deliciousness!

I promise you won’t miss the bun!!

Related: For another low carb version of a fast food classic, try our Keto Copycat KFC Chicken Tenders!

close up of a low carb Big Mac skillet salad

Why I Love This Recipe:

  • A hearty meal and only 4 grams net carbs
  • Easy and fast – ready in about 20 minutes
  • Get your fast food fix…without the guilt!


For your convenience in re-creating this recipe at home, we’ve included shop-able ad links to some of the products and supplies used. Read our disclosure policy here.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

  • Large skillet (I can’t get over how pretty this turquoise skillet is!)

The above is a quick glance at the ingredients and tools needed to make our Big Mac salad recipe. Full ingredient amounts are available in the printable recipe at the bottom of the post.

ingredients to make a Big Mac salad, with text labels


  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef with 3/4 of the chopped onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until the meat is cooked through. Drain the beef, then return to the skillet and set aside.
  2. Stir in the sauce until all meat is coated. Start with a Tablespoon of sauce, taste, and add more as needed, up to 1 cup.
  3. Evenly coat the ground beef mixture with cheese – if you give the cheese a minute alone with the beef, it starts to melt perfectly!
  4. Garnish with pickles, lettuce, tomato and the remaining 1/4 onion. Best enjoyed immediately.

4 step photo collage showing how to make a low carb Big mac Skillet

To Serve:

To serve our “Big Mac in a Bowl,” you can either scoop into a salad bowl or a salad plate. I like to drizzle with extra special sauce!

If you really want a big salad, you can fill your bowl with shredded lettuce first (I like to use romaine lettuce) and then top with the warm skillet ingredients.

Prep Tips

  • Some store-bought shredded cheese contains starch and other fillers (aka carbs). Always check ingredients or shred your own real cheese to be sure you know what’s in your food.
  • Regular Thousand Island dressing is not exactly keto-friendly, but we made our own Low Carb Big Mac sauce! This recipe is super easy and tastes so good you won’t believe it’s sugar free!
  • Ground turkey can be used as an alternative to ground beef.
  • To get the full Big Mac effect, try topping your salad with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or even a drizzle of sugar free ketchup.

Related: Click here to see all of our favorite keto dinner recipes!

cooking a keto Big Mac salad in a skillet

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s In McDonald’s Special Sauce?

According to McDonalds, the name “Special Sauce” was first used in the famous advertising campaign: “Two all-beef patties, Special Sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun.“ The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but we’ve recreated a keto-friendly version with the following ingredients:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Chopped dill pickles or dill pickle relish
  • Yellow mustard
  • White vinegar
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Dill pickle juice

Make It: You can view the full ingredients amounts and recipe to make our Keto Big Mac Sauce here.

KETO FAQ – Learn More

A plated keto Big Mac salad

More Keto Salad Recipes To Try:

a skillet with Big Mac bowl ingredients

Keto Big Mac Salad Recipe (Printable Recipe Card)

If you like this recipe, rate it! We’d also love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Print Recipe
4.5 from 2 votes

Keto Big Mac Salad

Fast-food gone guilt-free! This Keto Big Mac Salad packs all the flavor of your favorite burger, without all the carbs!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Keto
Keyword: beef, dinner, gluten free, low carb, McDonalds
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 460kcal
Author: Stacey
Cost: $10


  • Large Skillet


  • lbs  ground beef
  • yellow onion  chopped and divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup keto-friendly Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • ounces iceberg lettuce shredded
  • 1/2 tomato diced
  • 1/4  cup  dill pickles  sliced


  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, along with 3/4 of the chopped onion, salt and pepper over medium heat. Stir occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and browned. Drain the beef, then return to the skillet and set aside.
    4 step photo collage showing how to make a low carb Big mac Skillet
  • Stir in keto-friendly Thousand Island dressing, until all meat is coated.
  • Top skillet with cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and the remaining 1/4 onion.



Note: Nutrition information is a rough estimate only; actual values will vary based on the exact ingredients used and amount of recipe prepared.
Net Carbs:4g per serving


Calories: 460kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 647mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Pin our Low Carb Big Mac Salad Recipe on Pinterest:

2 photo vertical Pinterest image; text "Keto Big Mac in a Bowl"


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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Stacey,
    I am pretty new to Keto and so thankful to find your site! THANK YOU for this amazing recipe! Me and my husband love it! I knew I had to change my unhealthy eating habits and never thought I would have another Big Mac sandwich again. This recipe is so satisfying and delicious and let’s me enjoy an even BETTER version of the sandwich.. and you are right- we don’t miss the bun at all! All the best!

  2. 4 stars
    I don’t think Primal Kitchen makes that 1000 Island anymore. Is there another brand that’s tasty and low carb?

    • I would check the sugar free/diet section at your local grocery store — I’m sure there is someone who makes a similar sauce! Let me know if you find a good one!

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