Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Big Mac Pasta Salad Recipe

Big Mac Pasta Salad Recipe combines all of your favorite fast food flavors with freshly cooked pasta. Take it to your next potluck or backyard barbecue!

This recipe for Big Mac salad creates so many layers of flavor and texture with creamy cheese and homemade sauce, sweet relish, crunchy lettuce and dill pickles, and fresh tomatoes.

Finally, lightly seasoned ground beef and tender noodles make it savory and plenty hearty as well!

It’s easily one of the best pasta salad recipe ideas to come through my kitchen.

Big Mac Pasta Salad Recipe in a clear bowl

How To Make This Big Mac Pasta Salad Recipe

Brown the ground beef and chop the cheese and vegetables while you boil the pasta. Then, combine everything in a large bowl.

Whisk together the Big Mac sauce and pour it over the salad ingredients. Toss until well coated and chill for 1 to 2 hours. It’s that simple!

The amounts listed in this recipe for Big Mac salad are balanced to taste just like the popular burger.

However, you can certainly make adjustments to any of the ingredients to suit your own flavor preferences.
pasta salad recipe sauce ingredients


Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
  • Noodles - Boil in salted water (about 1 ½ teaspoons per 4 quarts of water) according to package directions. Rinsing in cold water after draining stops the cooking process and prevents the pasta from sticking together. Feel free to use other varieties like penne or rotini if you prefer.
  • Ground Beef - I like to prepare a large batch in the crockpot and portion it out for future recipes. You only need salt and pepper for this dish, and you can add additional seasonings as needed for the other portions when reheating.
  • Cheese - Cheddar or Colby Jack provide a mild flavor that’s similar to American, which is used on the burger. For something with a little more kick, try Pepper Jack instead.
big mac salad sauce in a bowl


Kitchen Tools You Will Need

salad ingredients in a bowl


FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make this recipe for Big Mac salad ahead of time?

It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container.

If you plan to eat it in smaller portions throughout the week, I recommend storing the lettuce separately since it will start to get soggy after the first day. Simply mix in a handful just before serving.

For guests, it would be best to make this the day of your event. You could certainly prep everything the night before, then combine with enough time to chill before they arrive.
pasta salad recipe in a bowl


How much sauce will I need?

The recipe makes just the right amount for this dish as written. It coats everything fully without too much excess.

If needed, the sauce can be made 2 to 3 days in advance and stored in a jar in the refrigerator. This will allow the ingredients to meld together for a bolder flavor.

Don’t worry if the color changes over time - it will naturally darken from the turmeric. Just give it a good stir before using.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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pasta salad recipe with sauce on top

Yield: 10 (1 cup servings)
Author: Donna Elick
Best Big Mac Salad Recipe

Best Big Mac Salad Recipe

Big Mac salad combines all of your favorite fast food flavors with freshly cooked pasta. Take it to your next potluck or backyard barbecue!
Prep time: 30 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 16 ounces cavatappi pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed in cool water
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cheddar or Colby-jack cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pound ground beef, browned
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickles
Big Mac Sauce
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons French dressing
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons classic yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  1. In a large salad bowl, toss together cooled pasta, cubed cheese, tomatoes, red onion, ground beef, romaine, and pickle chunks.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the Big Mac Sauce ingredients. Pour dressing over the pasta salad ingredients and stir to coat evenly with the sauce.
  3. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before serving.

pasta salad recipe close up

Originally published June 2021

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  1. Making this for a 4th of July potluck! Can't wait to see how it tastes!

  2. Wondering if there's a sub for the French dressing? Nobody here eats it and it seems wasteful to buy a whole bottle only to use 2 tsp.

    1. Get a French salad dressing packet from a restaurant that serves salads.


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