This Cheeseburger Salad is one of our family’s favorite go-to easy dinners. Made in just 15 minutes with perfectly seasoned ground beef, chopped romaine lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, pickles, diced red onion, shredded cheddar cheese and all tied together with the most delicious (and easy) burger sauce, this will become a family staple dinner in your house, too.

Cheeseburger salad in a bowl with a cup of burger sauce and a fork. Small bowls with ingredients surround the bowl.

I have legitimately been making this recipe for almost 20 years….even before I started my own veggie-loaded journey. I remember making it in the tiny kitchen of my first apartment after a long day of teaching at my first job because it was quick to make in just 15 minutes, was filling, budget friendly, filled with good-for-you veggies, and tasted like the classic cheeseburger…just without the bun. Talk about healthy comfort food!

20 years later, I have added more and more flavorful salad recipes to our dinner line-up, but Cheeseburger Salad remains a staple recipe in our house. And now I have developed a burger sauce that is so delicious I could eat it with a spoon….but I highly recommend reserving most of it to drizzle over your salad.

I love how easy it is to make (and how few dishes it makes) and my family loves how customizable it is so that everyone can enjoy cheeseburger salad however they like. If dairy is not your thing, simply omit the cheese. And, because it doesn’t have a bun, this version of a cheeseburger is naturally gluten free!

Ingredients for cheeseburger salad in small bowls on a table before being made into the salad.

How to make Cheeseburger Salad

There are only a handful steps when it comes to making this hearty, flavorful salad…which is why it is one of my favorite easy dinners!

Raw ground beed in a skillet with seasonings and a wooden spoon.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, crumble ground beef into the skillet. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break meat apart even more. Season with seasonings, salt, and pepper.
Cooked ground beef in a skillet with a wooden spoon
Cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
Cheeseburger salads assembled in two bowls on a table with a stripped napkin and two forks. There are small bowls of ingredients on the table too.
Divide lettuce between 4 bowls and divide the cooked ground beef between the bowls. Top the ground beef and lettuce with the tomatoes, pickles, onions, and cheese.

How to make the burger sauce

This burger sauce is optional but truly delicious and makes this Cheeseburger Salad sing in the flavor department! Make a batch to enjoy over salad today and store it in your fridge to enjoy for up to 5 days to enjoy in so many other ways!

Ingredients for the burger sauce in small bowls before being mixed together.
Gather ingredients.
All the ingredients for the burger sauce in a small bowl before being mixed together. There is a small whisk next to the bowl.
Combine in a small bowl.
Finished burger sauce in a bowl with a small whisk.
Whisk together until well combined.
A hand using a spoon to drizzle burger sauce over cheeseburger salad.
Drizzle desired amount over Cheeseburger Salad and enjoy.

Suggested Adaptations

  • Make dairy-free by omitting cheese or using your favorite dairy-free cheese.
  • Make it vegetarian by using a plant-based meat alternative like Beyond Beef.
  • Add whatever other burger fixings you love. Diced avocado, crumbled bacon, jalapeños are all excellent additions to this Cheeseburger Salad recipe.
  • Change up the cheese topping! Blue cheese, mozzarella or even strips of American cheese would be delicious on this salad.

Other veggie-loaded family dinners you will love

Did you try this Cheeseburger Salad and now you’re hungry for more? 

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Cheeseburger salads assembled in two bowls on a table with a stripped napkin and two forks. There are small bowls of ingredients on the table too.
15-Minute Cheeseburger Salad served in a bowl
5 from 24 votes

15-Minute Cheeseburger Salad

Yield: 4 salads
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course, Salad
This Cheeseburger Salad is one of our family's favorite go-to easy dinners. Made in just 15 minutes with perfectly seasoned ground beef, chopped romaine lettuce, sliced cherry tomatoes, pickles, diced red onion, shredded cheddar cheese and all tied together with the most delicious (and easy) burger sauce, this will become a family staple dinner in your house, too.

Ingredients
 

For burger crumble

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder

For salad

  • 2 small heads romaine lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces, root discarded
  • cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced dill pickles
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, omit for dairy-free option

For burger sauce

  • ½ cup mayo
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon dill relish
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard, or spicy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, crumble ground beef into the skillet.
    raw ground beef in a skillet with seasoning and a wooden spoon.
  • Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break meat apart even more. Season with seasonings, salt, and pepper and cook until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.
    Cooked ground beef in a skillet with a wooden spoon
  • While your meat is cooking, make your burger sauce. Combine ingredients for sauce in a small bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Mix together until smooth, tasting to see if you want to adjust any of the seasonings.
  • Divide lettuce between 4 bowls and divide the cooked ground beef between the bowls.
    Assembled burger bowls on a table with forks on the side. There are small bowls with ingredients on the table too.
  • Top the ground beef and lettuce with the tomatoes, pickles, onions, and cheese. Drizzle your cheeseburger bowls with your desired amount of burger sauce and enjoy.

Notes

Nutritional information calculated using 1/4 of the prepared burger sauce on each of the 4 salads, though how much each person uses will vary based on personal preference. 
Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 486kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 39g, Fat: 28g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 2040mg, Potassium: 816mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 1345IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 470mg, Iron: 4mg