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Cheeseburger Salad {with Bun Croutons and Garlic Aioli Dressing}

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Everything you love about a cheeseburger but in a massive salad! Delicious ground beef is flavored with all our favorite cheeseburger condiments, the salad has all of the classic fixings and then the whole thing is drizzled with a garlic aioli dressing you'll want to eat with a spoon. To top it off, croutons made with none other then hamburger buns add the perfect crunch!

Of course, the classics are all included in this recipe: mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomato and onion but what really brings the flavor here are the added extras. Crunchy pickles and peperonchini come straight from the jar and add a delicious bite. Plus the hamburger bun croutons and garlicky aioli are full of flavor and textures that take this salad to another level.

The croutons are the perfect amount of crunchy bread without overwhelming the other flavors because who likes when the burger is entirely lost in its bun?!

If time is a big factor, cut this down to a 5 minute recipe using store-bought dressing and croutons. BUT, if you can take the full 15 minutes, I HIGHLY recommend making the croutons from the hamburger buns and twisting our classic garlic aioli into this dressing! So. Good.

The garlicky aioli is just as good in dressing form as it is smeared on every sandwich I make, like this Steak Sandwich!

Whole Foods was having a huge sale on grass fed 90% ground beef this week so naturally I stocked up. I try and save money wherever I can so I'm constantly stalking the sale flyers, farmers markets and local vendors for the best deals.

I always make sure to label and freezer bag individual portions of meat for use later to make sure none of it goes to waste.

I love this salad because there's very little prep and you can totally make it your own, just like a burger! I like to slice and dice everything a little differently, shred the lettuce really finely and add ALL the toppings.

How do you cheeseburger salad?

Cheeseburger Salad with Bun Croutons and Garlic Aioli Dressing

8 servings | Cook time: 15 min | Prep time: 5 min

Notes: Cut time using store bought croutons/dressing if you’d like but if you have time, do yourself a favor…make them!



  • 1 1/2 lb 90% ground beef

  • 1 tbsp ketchup

  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tbsp relish

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • 3-4 hamburger buns

  • 4 cups spinach, shredded

  • 8 cups romaine, shredded

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped

  • 200g red onion, thinly sliced

  • 8 oz sliced hamburger pickles

  • 8 oz jarred pepperoncinis

  • 4 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese

Garlic Aioli Dressing:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 oz plain nonfat greek yogurt

  • 1 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. Dice the hamburger buns into small cubes. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick olive oil spray. Arrange the diced buns on the sheet. Top with another spray of olive oil spray and season with salt.

  3. Place the baking sheet in oven to cook for about 15 minutes, turning halfway. They should be toasted and starting to brown.

  4. While the croutons are cooking, make the dressing. Sprinkle salt on minced garlic and use the back of a spoon/knife to mash it into a paste. This step can be done using mortar and pestle (if you have that) or just on a cutting board. Add all of the aioli ingredients to a lidded jar and shake to combine. Set aside.

  5. Remove the croutons from the oven, set aside.

  6. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the beef to the pan and use a wooden spatula to break it up into small pieces. Cook until all of the meat has browned. Once browned, strain the excess grease. Then stir in the ketchup, mustard and relish until well combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

  7. Set the beef aside while you assemble the salad.

  8. Thinly shred romaine and spinach and arrange as the greens base in the salad. Top with thinly sliced red onion, chopped tomatoes, pickles, pepperoncini and shredded cheese.

  9. Top the salad with a scoop of ground beef and croutons.

  10. Drizzle the dressing over everything


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Nutrition Facts are provided as a guideline only. Exact nutrition will depend on quantity, brand and ingredients used. Nutrition facts provided for the salad with all toppings, croutons (using 3 large hamburger buns) and beef and then separately for the garlic aioli dressing.

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