Cheeseburger Salad

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This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.Cheeseburger Salad

Of course, if you prefer to make this with turkey burgers or even veggie burgers, that would work too! More salad recipes I love are Italian Chopped Salad, Turkey Taco Salad and  Blackened Chicken Fiesta Salad.

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

How To Make a Cheeseburger Salad

Please welcome Heather who is guest posting for me today…

Hi! I’m Heather K. Jones. I’m a registered dietitian, a weight loss coach, a nutrition consultant for Skinnytaste, and the founder of Smaller Size Bigger Life, a group coaching program for women who struggle with emotional eating, overeating, or body image issues.

I’m so excited to guest post on Skinnytaste today (thank you so much, Gina!) and share this yummy Cheeseburger Salad. I know you’re going to love it!

I’m also so excited to invite you to join my FREE 3-week Smaller Size Bigger Life Summer Session, starting August 1st. After 20 years working in the weight loss business (as well as overcoming my own struggles), I can tell you with confidence that there is ONE thing that you must have for lasting success. It is a supportive mindset. And in the Smaller Size Bigger Life Summer Session, I’ll help you shift from self-sabotage, criticism and procrastination into inspired, consistent and joyful action.

So when my sister Lori (she’s the best cook in my family) insisted I try her new cheeseburger salad, I wasn’t convinced I was going to like it. A cheeseburger salad, really? But whoa, one bite of this dish and I was hooked!

It’s a super easy one-bowl meal, it’s kitchen-free (everything is cooked on the grill), and it’s very filling thanks to the fiber-rich veggies. Enjoy!

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

More Salad Recipes:

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.
Print WW Personal Points
4.98 from 39 votes
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Cheeseburger Salad

314 Cals 28 Protein 10 Carbs 19 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Yield: 4 Servings
COURSE: Dinner, Salad
CUISINE: American
This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.


For the Salad:

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground beef
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 dill pickle spears, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced into rings
  • 4 ounce avocado, cubed (from 1 small haas)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dill pickle juice
  • 4 teaspoons ketchup, sugar free for Keto
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  • In a large bowl, combine beef, salt and pepper. With wet hand, gently form into 4 equal patties. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
  • Cook hamburger patties on a grill to medium doneness, around 4-5 minutes per side. After flipping the patties, add the onion rings to the grill. Cook onion for the remaining 4-5 minutes, flipping halfway through. Allow patties to rest for 5-10 minutes then cut each patty into 16 bite-size pieces.
  • Add the lettuce, pickles, onion, avocado and tomato to the bowl. Divide the salad among 4 plates, top each with grilled onions, cheese, and 1 chopped patty. Drizzle with ¼ of the dressing.


Serving: 1salad, Calories: 314kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5.5g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 681mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g
WW Points Plus: 8
Keywords: cheeseburger salad, cheeseburger salad dressing, cheeseburger salad recipe, hamburger salad, recipe for cheeseburger salad

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

This salad has everything I love about a cheeseburger, sans the bun. Chopped romaine, tomatoes, avocado, pickles, shredded cheese topped with grilled burgers, red onions and drizzled with a seriously delicious dressing.

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  1. This is definitely going to be a staple whole family loved… delicious!

  2. I almost never rate a recipe and I often don’t agree with others’ rating but I LOVE THIS DISH SO MUCH!! I had it for dinner tonight and I think I’ll have for breakfast tomorrow. Yummy! 


  4. Love this recipe soo much. Now keep tomato, onion and pickles ready (don’t like avacado). Have the dressing made. Just change up protein to chicken or fish
    Question: would you be so kind as to post
    The calories on just the dressing ie per say
    2 tablespoons. Thank you so much.

  5. My husband and I loved this recipe, especially the sauce – delicious!!! And I have two patties for left-over lunches this week!!! Yum!!

  6. Cheeseburger salad is delicious. I recommend this salad. Yummy 

  7. This salad was the bomb. Flavors were amazing 
    I will Definately be making this again!! 

  8. This was sooo good! I didn’t have any red onions, and often skip onions anyway, but followed the rest as written. I will be making this again, so will try it with them next time. The dressing tops everything off perfectly!

  9. This is one of the best meals on this website (and that’s saying a lot, as I love 99% of the recipes!) The sauce makes it! You will not miss the bun whatsoever.  Very filling and satisfying and such an easy clean up to boot. I will be making this regularly!! 

  10. This recipe was Sooooo AMAZING as with every recipe I’ve tried of hers! I’ve tried other Cheeseburger salad recipes, but the sauce on this one is delicious. 
    I made turkey burgers yesterday for dinner and used a leftover patty. I substituted spinach for the romaine because that’s all I had. Additionally, I added a couple crumbles of  uncured turkey bacon!  Delicious! 

  11. My old favorite, but made with vegan ingredients tonight. So yum!

  12. My family loves this. I tend to get pre-washed Romaine so I can make this more quickly on a working day. I also use regular mayonnaise as the lite ones tend to sub carbs for fat., I also double the special sauce because my son absolutely loves it. Sometimes I add bacon, as I’m cooking keto — again, in my diet fat is okay. Also, I crumble the beef instead of making patties and cutting them — all the better to get it on the table quickly. Instead of salt and pepper, I season with a steak seasoning blend (I use the Mitchell Street from Penzey’s). My sauce-loving son dislikes raw tomatoes, so when I make it up, I don’t put any in his bowl.

  13. Amazing!!!

  14. My family loved this salad!  Did not miss the bun…east tasty and will become a staple in my kitchen!🥳😋😋

  15. Wow!!!! This was sooooooo good! I’d seen a lot of raves about this in the SkinnyTaste Facebook group so decided to give it a try and it did not disappoint! I left out the pickles and added a bit of liquid from a can of diced tomatoes to make up for the loss of liquid from omitting the pickle juice, but this was incredible. Cannot wait for leftovers!

  16. This is so DELISH!!

  17. Thank you, Heather! Best salad ever!!! The salad dressing was the best…it could be sold to In and Out! Made this the other day and regular hamburgers for the rest of the family. Didn’t miss the bun at all. I used spicy flavored pickles to give it a kick. The dressing was a perfect thickness for a spread so to thin it out I added a TBSP of avocado oil (adds 1 Freestyle point), 2 tbsp of water, and extra pickle juice and it did not take away from the flavor at all. This will be on the regular rotation schedule!

  18. So good! I’m glad I found this recipe 🙂

  19. Delicious. Browned the meat with Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder instead of making a burger. But followed the rest of the steps. We eat this once a week. 

  20. I made this with ground turkey & sautéed it with the onions instead of making burger patties. Delicious without the dressing, I’m definitely saving this recipe. 

  21. Just made this tonight with Morningstar crumbles and it was soooo good! Thank you so much! 

  22. As with all of your recipes that I’ve tried, this was delicious. I would recommend for lunch rather than dinner; I didn’t find that it was very filling.

  23. Hi Gina, HUGE FAN of all of your recipes! I was just wondering if you used turkey instead how many WW freestyle points is this? Keep doing what you’re doing you make dinner so much easier thank you!!! 

    • When you want to make substitutions to a recipe builder on the WW App. Just put in the servings and all the ingredients in and it will determine the points value for you. However there won’t be much of a points difference unless you are using Extra Lean 96% fat free turkey which tends to dry up on the grill unless it is mixed with shredded zucchini.

  24. Love this. Thanks for the idea. I make it a lot. I just take the hamburger meat and put it in the pan and just break it up in clumps. I use lettuce, onions, tomatoes, chopped dill pickles, cheese (whatever in the mood for, Blu cheese is great in it) sometimes bacon bits, avocados pieces. What ever you like on a burger put it in.. I love a southwest dressing on it ex: hidden Valley southwest one. Not plugging them just for example. I got my son in law hooked on this salad. Thanks again.

  25. This was delicious! I am so happy that I had leftover hamburgers in the fridge and that I stumbled on this recipe today! Thank you!

  26. Delicious!
    My only problem is my WW app tells me it is worth 11 Freestyle points per serving, not 7… any idea why? Does the Canadian app calculate differently from the American app?

    • Hi Isabelle! The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”) which does not count fruits and vegetables in recipes in the calculations as they are now 0 points.

      The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting the fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, now you know why.

  27. Big Mac Delicious!! I wish I had known about this salad this summer., will definitely be making again and again. I will double the dressing next time 🙂 

  28. Loved this with Butterball turkey burger and white cheddar cheese!

  29. Serious YUM!! My husband and I loved this salad! It was more amazing than just a grilled cheeseburger on a bun. Lots of flavor!

  30. This is soooo good. I even forgot the cheese and didn’t realize until after I finished the salad haha. Love the dressing!! It’s the perfect recipe for someone on Weight Watchers to make for their family, as non-lettuce lovers can just use a bun and it’s a burger. My husband though had seconds on the salad and I can tell didn’t miss the bun. Thank you for this!

  31. This will be my new go to! Why oh why have I not thought of this years ago! The only thing I added was bacon bits!!! 

  32. I was skeptical at first, but OMG! I love burgers but don’t love the calories and general lack of nutrition., so this salad is a lifesaver! It’s incredibly filling and tastes super indulgent, I didn’t miss the bun at all! That dressing is just phenomenal! 

  33. I was skeptical, but this was really really good.  I left out the onion but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  Very filling.

  34. Gina- any idea how long the dressing would last in the fridge? Hoping to make a batch for lunches all week.

  35. Any ideas for substituting the pickle juice? Thanks!

  36. Making this for dinner, I don’t have an avocado what will the point’s be? Thank you for saving us life time people from boredom!

  37. I have wanted to try this but I don’t like dill at all, I can see leaving the dill pickle out but what about the juice in the dressing? Has anybody tried it without or substituted something else for it?

  38. Made this for dinner tonight and loved it! I didn’t have regular paprika but have smoked paprika so used that and it gave the sauce – which is SO good – a bit of a smokey edge to it which was very yummy. Will for sure make this recipe again! 

  39. This was unbelievably good.  My husband (not a “salad is dinner” guy) is still talking about it 2 hours later.  A keeper for sure.  I did use turkey, but would make this with whatever is on hand.  Thanks again Gina

  40. Any idea what the ww points are for the dressing?  The whole thing sounds good but I’d like to use that dressing on other meals too!

  41. We made this last night fo dinner and it was delicious! 

  42. Just made this salad last night and it’s one of my new favorites!! Another great recipe!

  43. This was unbelievably good! Wow! My husband said this tasted like eating a Big Mac, but way better! Thanks for another great receipe!

  44. Just made this salad tonight – holy moly total deliciousness!  

  45. I Just made this salad tonight for me and my hubby! I let  the cheese melted on the burger while cooking the meat…soooooo tasty an simple!! We both agree to make this recipe every week 😉

  46. Amazing salad! My husband loves hamburgers but we have gone low-carb. This is a great way to get all the flavors. Sometimes I use a homemade ketchup other times hines. I have melted cheese onto the burgers and just added some to the salad. We are onion lovers here and feel grilled onions is a must. Flavors are excellent. It’s become a weekly dish. Our 2 boys, 7 and 8 are happy with the options too, 8 year old eats as is, 7 year old wants his burger with “salad on the side” but easy dish to accommodate our family. Thank you Gina!!

  47. My husband loves this salad!! I don’t like ground meat so I substituted a portobello mushroom cap and it was delicious!! Love not having to make 2 meals when I’m the picky one!

  48. I had been skeptical about this salad, but finally gave in and made it. So glad I did!!! It’s delicious!! I would highly recommend trying it!!!

  49. Love this salad! I don’t even miss the bun. I like to add bacon.

  50. WOW. tastes just like a cheeseburger and I couldn’t ask for anything better. this salad is so good. I highly recommend. Make enough for leftovers! it’s worth it

  51. Made this a few weeks ago and again tonite using ground turkey instead of  ground beef…it will be in my recipe rotation…

  52. Made this today… very very good!

    Thanks for the great recipe! 

  53. Made it just as the recipe stated. Very good!

  54. Just made this tonight. DEE-licious!

  55. Another keeper! My college age son enjoyed it so much that he started on a salad kick.

  56. This was so good…it makes you feel like you aren’t eating healthy! I would definitely make this again!

  57. Made it tonight and it was amazing! Forgot the avocado sadly… will make again with it!

  58. I  found the salad dressing to be to thick to drizzle. Did i miss something??

  59. I made this salad for a group of 40 at a health/restoration retreat this past weekend! It got RAVE reviews! Everyone LOVED it. It was really easy to modify for more people, The dressing is KEY along with the dill pickle in the salad. This was such a FUN dinner!

  60. Made this last night, and it was a huge it with my husband! I loved it too! I’m new to your site and am finding the recipies easy to follow, and full of flavor. Started with a lot of zoodles recipes and have expended from there. I really like the meal plans, and find the shopping lists to be a tremendous time saver. I usually wind up doing my grocery shopping on Sunday, so if the meal plan comes out on Sunday or Monday, I’ll save it and use it for grocery shopping the following Sunday. Thanks for the great content!

  61. Love this! I actually made regular cheeseburgers for my family. Used lean meat and seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Cooked the patties and melted American cheese on top, since that’s what my family likes. Then I cubed one of the burgers for me and combined the salad ingredients. Love the pickles and wonderful dressing!  This way I got to eat more healthy and the picky people in the family enjoyed their regular burgers. And I didn’t have to cook 2 completely different meals – so easy!

  62. Made this for lunch today-Fabulous!

  63. Any substitutions for the Mayo? Greek Yogurt Maybe??

  64. I literally ate lunch at 10:30 am today because I was so excited about eating these leftovers. This salad is delicious. I doubled the pickles and onions (adds 0 WW points). I also doubled the dressing (adds 1 WW sp) and thinned it out a little with some water/extra pickle juice like some others recommended. I will be making this often!

  65. This is great. Love the sauce.

  66. Great recipe! My husband loved it.

    Next time I would probably add a little Montreal steak seasoning or garlic and onion powder to the burgers because they seemed a little bland on their own. Also, the dressing does not make enough for 4 salads…that is just a little over a TBS per salad and its very thick so you can’t drizzle it. I would think either adding a little plain yogurt or even thinning it with a bit of water would help.

  67. I’ve made this (or something similar) many times before and I LOVE it! So glad you thought of sharing this. It’s so good.

  68. This was absolutely amazing. Made it tonight!!! Can’t wait to have it as leftovers for lunch tomorrow 

  69. How do you think the dressing would taste made with Greek yogurt instead of mayo? Thanks!

  70. This salad was amazing! Will def make it again. My kiddos loved it too 🙂

  71. Such a great recipe. I especially loved the idea of cooking the red onions instead of just adding them raw. I didn’t have light mayo so the dressing was a little too thick, but I just added some water. Thanks for posting this!!

  72. Just had this for lunch. Seriously yummy!

  73. Made this tonight.  Super easy and what a fun concept! Hubby and kids both loved so definitely a keeper. 

  74. Made this tonight…so easy! And after my first bite, I thought, “This tastes just like a Burger King Whopper!” But I know it was much healthier. Thanks for another great recipe!

  75. Gonna be real honest here- this sounded kind of yucky to me..and I like a good bun free burger…but I am yet to make something from this site that isn’t good so I went for it!
    I made this today for lunch- only thing I changed was I used chopped up homemade meatballs instead of the grilled meat…and oh my goodness, soooo good! that dressing is fabulous! my husband was dipping some chicken in it while I was making my salad ^_^

  76. This was absolutely delicious! My husband and I both loved it and will definitely be making it again.

  77. This was wonderful. Captured all the flavor with healthy ingredients. My husband wants me to make it again right away. Thank you!

  78. Yum.  This was my dinner tonight and its delicious!  Usually I worry I won’t get enough protein from a salad and don’t find them too filling but I couldn’t even eat my serving.  The dressing is amazing!!  

  79. Made this tonight and it was delicious! I will be making this again.

  80. Made this tonight and it was a huge hit!  Thank you for the guiltless Big Mac!

  81. This salad looks amazing. It’s my kind of salad with the burger and not having any big old bun.

  82. Wow, how timely! I just made a gyro salad using ground bison seasoned with oregano on top of romaine, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, and onions. I didn’t have any olives but that would have been great. I opted out of dressing since I didn’t have any however the moisture from the tomatoes kept it from being dry. I will try your cheeseburger recipe next! Thank you!

  83. This looks so good. Does the mustard for the dressing need to be yellow mustard or can it be Dijon?

  84. This salad should be made in McDonalds 😉 Looks great and probably taste the same.

  85. I hate ketchup. Any suggestions on substitution or just leave it out??