Image credit: Ashleigh VanHouten & Beth Lipton | Carnivore-ish

Ground beef, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions: there’s so much going on in this protein-forward salad, inspired by a certain famous fast-food burger, that you’ll never miss the sesame seed bun. Look for fermented pickles in the refrigerated section of the supermarket to get the gut health benefits.

Republished with permission from Carnivore-ish: 125 Protein-Rich Recipes to Boost Your Health and Build Muscle

Cheeseburger Salad




15 min


20 min


⅓ cup avocado oil mayonnaise

3 tablespoons unsweetened ketchup

1 teaspoon dill pickle brine

1 teaspoon coconut aminos

¼ teaspoon hot sauce (optional)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon ghee or avocado oil

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

Fine sea salt

1½ pounds ground beef

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium head romaine, chopped (about 3 cups)

1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1 medium whole dill pickle, chopped (about ¾ cup)

¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)


  1. Make the dressing: Whisk all of the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. (You can make the dressing up to 2 days ahead; keep it covered and refrigerated. Whisk before using.)

  2. Make the salad: Warm the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the ground beef to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until cooked through and browned in spots, about 10 minutes.

  3. While the meat is cooking, place the lettuce, tomatoes, pickle, and cooked onion in a large bowl. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dressing; gently toss, adding more dressing if desired. Add the meat and cheese; toss again. Divide the salad among four bowls and serve, passing the remaining dressing on the side.


If you’re not serving all four portions at once, toss only what you’re going to serve with dressing; store the remaining salad and dressing in separate covered containers in the fridge. The salad will keep for up to two days, the dressing for up to four days.

Good food
people together.
So do
good emails.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden