This healthy big mac casserole tastes just like your favourite comfort meal from McDonalds, but with hidden veggies! It's also gluten-free and ready in 45 minutes.
Some nights I just want a cozy, warming dinner that the whole family can agree too and that's when I make this big mac casserole. Casseroles sometimes get a bad rep for being bland and boring, but I'd disagree! This big mac casserole is super comforting and reminds me of the classic order from McDonalds. It's sure to please everyone at the table- how could you not say no to a cheesy casserole? Plus, served with my healthy big mac sauce, this will be a recipe you'll crave. Made with wholesome ingredients, it's also a nourishing recipe that will leave your body and soul feeling great.
Of course, I also made sure this recipe was as easy as possible. We're using minimal dishes, and it's less than 20 minutes of hands-on prep work. This big mac casserole also reheats well AND can be made ahead of time (instructions for that later!), so it's perfect for those busy weeks when you're short on time.
Give it a try this week- I already know it'll be a hit!
- White potatoes
- Ground beef or turkey
- Yellow onion
- Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder
- Cheddar cheese
- Sesame seeds
- Big Mac sauce
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add chopped potatoes and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes (or until potatoes are soft enough to be pierced with a fork).
To a pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add ground meat and onions. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions appear translucent, about 7 minutes. Add shredded vegetables if using along with the spices and stir to combine.
To a 9x13 inch casserole dish add potatoes, ground meat and mix.
Top with cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes. For extra crispy cheese, you can broil for an additional 5 minutes
Make my healthy big mac sauce.
Top with desired toppings and serve with a large dollop of big mac sauce.
Substitutions and Variations
To make vegetarian: Use a veggie ground meat instead of turkey or beef.
To make dairy-free: Use a dairy-free cheese.
Switching up ingredients? Try these:
- Ground beef: If you don't like ground beef, any ground meat will work! Ground beef gives the best hamburger flavor, but I also like using turkey or veal.
- Carrots/zucchini: Feel free to omit the hidden veggies if that's not your thing.
- White potato: It's not the classic big mac style, but using sweet potato can be a fun way to switch up the recipe.
This big mac casserole is a great meal prep or make-ahead option. To make this recipe ahead of time, prep the casserole and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days before cooking. Cooked leftovers can also be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
For best results, add the toppings while serving the casserole as the lettuce will get soggy. It can also be fun to let everyone add their own toppings, in order to mimic a burger with customizable toppings.
For a more classic big mac flavour, I would also use a less lean ground beef option. This will add additional fat to the recipe, which enhances the classic 'burger' flavour!
Frequently Asked Questions
This big mac casserole already has protein, carbs and fats, however I recommend adding a few more veggies for a more balanced meal! These carrot fries are a fun option if you want to stick with the "burger and fries" theme. For something on the fresher side, I love this dill pickle chopped salad!
Simply prep the potatoes and beef ahead of time and place in the casserole dish (without the cheese). Cover with tin foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Once you are ready to eat it, top with cheese and bake according to recipe instructions. It's seriously the perfect recipe if you need make-ahead dinners for your family.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
In the mood for nourishing comfort food? Give these a try:
- Easy Big Mac in a Bowl
- Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- Loaded Sweet Potato Nachos
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this big mac casserole, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Healthy Big Mac Casserole
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 lb white potatoes chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 1 cup yellow onion diced
- 1 cup carrot shredded (optional)
- 1 cup zucchini shredded (optional)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- Sliced pickles
- Chopped lettuce
- Chopped tomatoes
- Sesame seeds
- 1 batch Healthy Big Mac sauce
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add chopped potatoes and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes (or until potatoes are soft enough to be pierced with a fork).
- To a pan over medium-high heat, add oil. Once hot, add ground meat and onions. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions appear translucent, about 7 minutes. Add shredded carrot and zucchini (if using) along with the spices and saute for an additional 2 minutes (or until veggies are soft).
- To a 9x13 inch casserole dish add potatoes and ground meat and mix. Top with cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove tin foil and bake for another 10 minutes.
- For extra crispy cheese you can broil for an additional 5 minutes
- Top with desired toppings and serve with a large dollop of big mac sauce.