This easy Big Mac in a bowl recipe is the perfect way to get your burger fix while adding more fresh veggies to your life! These burger bowls are made with lean ground turkey, take less than 30 minutes to make, are packed with flavour and are definitely going to be a new summer staple!
Don't get me wrong I LOVE a good hamburger. There's something extra special about enjoying a good fully loaded burger at a summer barbecue. So I will 100% never be the Dietitian that is going to tell you that you need to swap all your burgers from now on for a burger bowl. However sometimes we just need an option with a few more veggies and fibre! That's where these easy burger bowls with secret sauce come in!
They are the perfect option for when you're looking for a quick and easy salad packed full with fresh vegetables, fibre and lean protein! My whole family was obsessed with this Big Mac in a bowl recipe and I hope you are too! (PS. there's even a plant based option)
What ingredients do I need to make this Big Mac in a bowl recipe?
Don't let the long ingredient list scare you away! Just like your favourite hamburger, these easy burger bowls with secret sauce are super customizable and can be topped with whatever you are feeling!
Green base: You can't have a salad without some sort of greens! I personally like using thinly chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce for that classic burger feel. However any greens will work, arugula, spinach, kale, swiss chard- you name it!
Protein source: On all my satisfying salads I like to choose a source of lean protein- whether that be plant based or meat that is up to you (for plant based see below)! My personal favourite in this Big Mac in a bowl recipe is using lean ground turkey and adding some lentils as well (extra fibre and plants is always a win)! However any ground meat will work even a chopped up hamburger!
Carbohydrate: When I make salads I like to ensure they have some form of carbohydrate source. This is a great way to ensure the salad is filling enough to be considered a meal and satisfying enough that I won't be hungry again in 20 minutes! To keep with the burger theme I made super easy air fryer fries to top this big mac in a bowl recipe! Other alternatives include: roasted sweet potato, rice, quinoa or even pasta!
Toppings: This is where the fun begins! The toppings are completely up to you. I stuck with the classics of: tomato, shredded cheese, red onion and pickles for my burger bowls but you can use this as a chance to get creative!
Secret sauce: My no-so-secret "secret sauce" is arguably the best part of these burger bowls. Honestly I didn't know what to call this sauce, it's a mix between a big mac sauce and a "special" sauce, so now it is known as secret sauce and I'm putting it on EVERYTHING! You have all the best burger topping flavours in this sauce ketchup, mustard, pickle juice, a little bit of apple cider vinegar, some paprika, salt and pepper all brought together in a yogurt base for a lightened up version!
How to make plant based big mac burger bowls:
As someone who loves trying to find ways to get my family rotate in more plant based meals I always appreciate when there are substitutions in recipes to make them plant based! To make thia Big Mac in a bowl recipe plant based all you need to do are make a few simple swaps and you're good to go!
- Ground meat -> lentils: Swapping out lentils for ground meat is a great way to make your protein source plant based while also adding in additional fibre! I personally use canned lentils and cook them in a pan on the stove as I normally would with my ground meat. Once they are warm, I mash them with the back of a spatula, so it gets clumpy which gives it more of ground meat texture! Other options include: crumbled extra firm tofu, or your favourite veggie burgers!
- Shredded cheese -> dairy free cheese: Lucky for you there are now SO many plant based cheese options available to try. My personal favourites include Violife cheddar style shreds, the Farm Boy branded Parmesan style shreds and Daiya plant based cheddar shreds
- Greek yogurt -> dairy free yogurt or mayonnaise: Again this is a fairly straight forward swap! Just substitute the Greek yogurt for your favourite non dairy yogurt or mayo. My personal favourite is the Primal Kitchen vegan mayonnaise.
More easy salads to love:
If you are someone constantly struggling to find quick and healthy lunch ideas you are in luck. For the last few weeks I've been creating new salad recipes for you to enjoy. These aren't just any old boring salads though. These salads are super quick to make (under 30 minutes!) and also super satisfying, meaning you won't be needing to have another lunch 20 minutes later.
Some of my favourites include:
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this easy Big Mac in a bowl recipe don't forget to tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Easy Big Mac in a Bowl
For the burger meat:
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil I use olive
- 1 lb lean ground turkey meat *or ground meat of choice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
For the dressing
- 3 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or additional yogurt
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon pickle juice from the jar!
- 3 teaspoon apple cider vinegar *see substitutions below
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- salt and black pepper to taste
For the french fries
- 2 medium yellow potatoes
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon desired spices
For the salad
- 4 cups romaine lettuce thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup pickles sliced
- 1 cup (about ½ of one large) red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground turkey meat and spices. Cook until browned and fully cooked through. Set aside.
- Prepare your dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a small mason jar or bowl and whisking well. Set aside.
- To prepare your fries- Slice your potatoes into wedges and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add your oil and spices and toss to coat. Once the potatoes are fully coated, place them in your air fryer basket and bake for about 15 minutes at 400°F, shaking the basket halfway.
- To prepare your salad- in a large bowl add vegetables, cheese, turkey meat, and fries. Drizzle with your dressing and toss to combine.