Cheeseburger Salad with Animal Sauce Dressing

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen my story the other day where I was trying to figure out what to do with a pound of ground beef that I had in the freezer. Of course my first thought was, “CHEESEBURGER!” But then my reasonable side kicked in and reminded me that I’m trying to “do better.” 🙄  So, I started thinking about salads. We had just eaten Greek food the night before, and if they can put gyro meat on a salad, then I figured I can put a hamburger on a salad, right? So here it is. I made a Cheeseburger salad. 🤷‍♀️  And it wasn’t even as weird as I thought it was going to be.

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Cheeseburger Salad with Animal Sauce Dressing

a huge fresh Cheeseburger Salad with animal sauce dressing drizzled over top

What is Animal Sauce Dressing??

“Animal sauce” is the dressing on In-and-Out Burgers. For this dressing I mixed up a homemade animal-sauce-like dressing, which as it turns out is a lot like Thousand Island dressing. So again, burger-salad-burger not so different. If you don’t want to make your own dressing, just grab a bottle of Thousand Island. It’s basically the same thing.

Make it Your Own

I think what I love the most about this cheeseburger salad idea  is all the variations you can do with it. My mind kind of ran wild with the idea and I had to pull myself back in and remember to keep it simple. BUT if you want to go wild, try adding all the fun things you can add to a burger, like caramelized onions, blue cheese, avocado, sautéed mushrooms, bacon… the possibilities are endless.

When you're got to have your burger, but you're trying to do better, make a Cheeseburger Salad! BudgetBytes.com
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

Cheeseburger Salad with Animal Sauce Dressing

When you're got to have your burger, but you're trying to do better, make a Cheeseburger Salad!
Keyword: Beef Recipe, Low Carb
Total Cost: $10.74 recipe / $2.69 serving
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

ANIMAL SAUCE DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise ($0.66)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup ($0.20)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 1 Tbsp Relish (sweet or dill) ($0.06)
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • Freshly Cracked Pepper ($0.03)

SALAD

  • 1 lb ground beef ($5.86)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt ($0.05)
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
  • 2 hearts of Romaine ($1.99)
  • 1/4 red onion ($0.25)
  • 1 large tomato ($0.65)
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded ($0.75)

Instructions

  • Prepare the animal sauce dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, sugar, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Set the dressing aside.
  • Rinse the Romaine lettuce well, let it drain, and then cut it into 2-inch pieces. Set the prepared lettuce aside.
  • Place the ground beef in a bowl, add the seasoning salt, and mix with your hands until the seasoning salt is evenly incorporated. Divide the meat into four portions, then divide each portion into four small ping-pong-sized balls. Flatten the balls into mini burger patties.
  • Add a little cooking oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium flame. Once hot, add some of the mini burgers and cook on each side until well browned (3-5 minutes each side). Transfer the cooked burgers to a paper towel lined plate and cook the next batch.
  • While the burgers are cooking, thinly slice the red onion, cut the tomato into wedges, and shred the cheddar cheese.
  • Once all of the mini burgers are cooked, build the salads. Place 1/4 of the lettuce in each of four large bowls and sprinkle the sliced onion and shredded cheddar over top. Add tomato wedges to each bowl along with 3-4 of the mini burger patties. Drizzle the animal sauce dressing over top and enjoy!
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Close up of a forkful of Cheeseburger Salad with animal sauce dressing

Cheeseburger salad from above with a fork taking a bite and bread on the side

Step by Step Photos

Animal Sauce dressing mixed in a bowl

Prepare the animal sauce dressing first by stirring together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1 Tbsp relish (dill or sweet), 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Set the dressing aside.

Chop Romaine lettuce

Rinse two Romaine lettuce hearts well, then chop them into 2-inch strips. Set the prepared lettuce aside.

Shaped mini burger patties

Using your hands, mix together 1 lb. ground beef with 1/2 tsp seasoning salt. Divide the meat into four portions, then divide each of those portions into four small ping-pong sized balls. Flatten the balls into mini burger patties.

Cook mini burger patties in the skillet

Add a little cooking oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium. Once hot, add some of the mini burger patties and cook until well browned on each side (3-5 minutes on each side). Transfer the cooked patties to a paper towel lined plate and then cook the next batch. While you’re cooking the burgers, thinly slice 1/4 red onion and cut one large tomato into wedges. Shred 2oz. of cheddar cheese.

Finished Cheeseburger Salad in the bowl

To build the Cheeseburger Salad, place 1/4 of the chopped lettuce in each of four large bowls. Sprinkle sliced red onion over top along with a little shredded cheddar. Add tomato wedges and 3-4 of the mini burger patties to each bowl.

Drizzle Animal Sauce Over Cheeseburger Salad

Finally, drizzle the animal sauce dressing over top and DIG IN.

Cheeseburger salad ready to eat in a bowl

Summer eats at their best!