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.
Want more salad recipes? Check out our Salad Recipe Archives!
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.
Cheeseburger Salad with Animal Sauce Dressing
ANIMAL SAUCE DRESSING
- 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)
- 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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How to Make Cheeseburger Salad – Step by Step Photos
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.
Rinse two Romaine lettuce hearts well, then chop them into 2-inch strips. Set the prepared lettuce aside.
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.
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.
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.
Finally, drizzle the animal sauce dressing over top and DIG IN.
Summer eats at their best!