Burger Salad

A hamburger in salad form! Well-seasoned burger patties sit atop a bowl of crisp iceberg lettuce with all of the toppings you’d find on a hamburger.

Bowl of Burger Salad Topped With a Hefty Drizzle of Dressing

Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

At my house, we have a few meals in rotation that we turn to when we want something satisfying and familiar. Burger salads are one of those no-fail favorites. We almost always have everything in the house to make them, it’s easy to do a kid-friendly version (a.k.a. a burger on a bun), and I can throw some store-bought potato or cauliflower tots in the air fryer for a zero effort side dish.

Customize Your Salad

Burger salads are adaptable — just like you can add lots of different toppings to a hamburger, you can use the same ingredients in your salad. Here are some ideas beyond the basic lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions:

  • Crumbled bacon or bacon bits
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Sautéed onions
  • Fried eggs
  • Sliced avocado
  • Croutons
  • Tater tots (yup, you can sprinkle them right in the salad!)

You can also switch up the iceberg lettuce base.Try spring mix, romaine, butter or green leaf lettuce, or baby spinach. You can toss in other typical salad veggies if you want to as well, but honestly, I like to keep things simple so that the flavor profile of the salad is most like eating an actual hamburger.

Bowl of Burger Salad Topped With a Hefty Drizzle of Dressing, Sitting on a Table Napkin

Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

Dressing or Burger Sauce?

And as for the dressing, it’s a burger sauce, of course! It’s made with ketchup, mayo, mustard, and chopped dill pickles, super simple and good. To save some effort, you can sub in a store-bought Thousand Island, Russian dressing, burger sauce, or aïoli if you like. I also make sure to have ketchup and mustard at the table in case anyone wants to drizzle them on. 

Of course, if a burger sauce isn’t your favorite dressing, you can go in an entirely different direction with barbecue sauce, or a honey mustard or ranch dressing.

An Easy Weeknight Favorite With Minimal Cooking Required

This is such an easy meal to put together. The only absolutely required cooking is to cook the actual hamburgers, and everything else is just assembly. You could even buy a bagged iceberg salad mix if you wanted to make this a zero chopping recipe.

My method for cooking hamburgers is the same as most people— I sear them in a skillet on the stove. Let them sear for about 3 minutes, flip and cook them for another 3 minutes, and they are done. 

Simple Tip!

Alternatively, you can just cook the ground beef without shaping hamburgers, seasoning and breaking it up with a spatula in the skillet, and top your salads with cooked ground beef. The presentation isn’t as pretty, but it’s even easier than shaping patties! Think taco salad, but burger.

Make It Vegan

This is a very easy recipe to veganize with a few plant-based ingredient subs. To make the recipe vegan, shape the patties from Beyond Beef or Impossible Beef instead of ground beef, sprinkle on vegan cheese shreds instead of cheddar, and stir vegan mayo into the dressing instead of an egg-based mayo. 

Bowl of Burger Salad

Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

Season Your Burgers

My favorite burger seasoning is this one by Mike Lang, which has a little bit of kick from cayenne and ground mustard, and an extra savory note from ground cumin. I sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon on each burger patty. You could use your favorite store-bought seasoning blend instead, or just salt and pepper.

Serving and Planning Ahead

Serve the burger salads with fries or tots, or have them on their own for a lighter meal.

These salads are best eaten right away. If you’d like to prep ahead, you can mix up the dressing up to 5 days ahead, and shape the patties and chop up the salad veggies up to 1 day ahead. Keep everything in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the burgers, then season the patties just before cooking.

More Dinners for Burger Fans

Burger Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Servings 4 servings
Yield 4 salads


For the burgers: 

  • 1 pound ground beef (90/10 or whatever leanness you prefer)

  • 2 teaspoons burger seasoning or 3/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and ground black pepper, mixed together

  • Avocado oil cooking spray

For the dressing/sauce (makes 1 cup): 

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish (or finely chopped dill pickle)

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the salads:

  • 8 cups (about 16 ounces, from one medium head) chopped iceberg lettuce

  • 1/2 medium red or yellow onion, sliced thinly

  • 1 beefsteak or slicing tomato, cut into bite-sized pieces, or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 24 dill pickle chips (or 2 medium-sized dill pickles, thinly sliced)

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I like Tillamook Farmstyle Shreds)

  • Ground black pepper


  1. Shape the burgers:

    Divide the ground beef into 4 even portions. Using your hands or a burger mold, shape them into patties about 4 inches in diameter and 1/2” thick. Sprinkle the burger seasoning onto both sides of each patty (1/4 teaspoon per side).

    Ground Beef Shaped Into 4 Circular Burger Patties Using a Burger Mold on a Platter for Burger Salad Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Burges Seasoned With Burger Seasoning for Burger Salad Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

  2. Cook the burgers:

    Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Spray the pan with avocado oil, then add the burger patties. Let them sear for 3 minutes, or until they are well browned and will release easily from the pan. 

    Use a thin, flexible spatula to flip the burgers. Leave them to cook for 3 minutes more, without moving them around, until they are well seared on both sides and still just a bit pink in the middle (you can cut one open to test, if you like, or use an instant read thermometer and refer to the temperature guide here). Remove the patties to a dish to rest.

    Burger Patties Cooking on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Cooked Burgers on a Cast Iron Skillet

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Cooked Patties Resting on a Platter

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

  3. While the burgers are cooking, make the dressing: 

    In a small mixing bowl, stir together the mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish, garlic powder, onion powder, and pepper until evenly combined.

    Bowl With Relish, Mayonnaise, Mustard, Ketchup, and Seasonings for Burger Salad Dressing

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Bowl of Burger Salad Dressing

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

  4. Assemble and serve the salads: 

    In four wide, shallow bowls, arrange the lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle chips, and cheddar cheese. (I like to sprinkle each ingredient evenly around the bowl rather than making piles of ingredients, so each bite gets some of everything.) Top each salad with one of the burger patties, then drizzle a few tablespoons of the burger sauce onto each salad, to taste. Top each salad with a couple grinds of black pepper and serve right away.

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    Bowl of Burger Salad at a Table Setting With Another Bowl of Salad in the Background and Table Napkins

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

    Bowl of Burger Salad at a Table Setting With Another Bowl of Salad in the Background, a Mason Jar of Sauce, and Table Napkins

    Simply Recipes / Coco Morante

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
648 Calories
45g Fat
22g Carbs
40g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 648
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 57%
Saturated Fat 16g 80%
Cholesterol 143mg 48%
Sodium 1848mg 80%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 12mg 61%
Calcium 363mg 28%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 857mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.