Big Mac Casserole

Last Updated on December 11, 2023 by Kayla Berman

My scrumptious & speedy Big Mac Casserole is comfort food at its finest – without the drive-thru guilt. Imagine all the iconic flavors of your favorite take-out classic, but with a better-for-you twist. Each bite of this cheesy hamburger casserole is a perfect blend of savory beef, melty cheese, and that creamy-tangy-sweet special sauce we all love, all nestled under a bed of your favorite cheeseburger toppings. YUM! 🍔✨

Looking for more recipes with the classic flavors of a big mac? Check out my Smash Burger Tacos or Low Carb Burger Salad.

closeup shot of the corner of a big mac burger casserole.

Why You’ll Love This Big Mac Casserole Recipe

If you’re craving meaty, cheesy, McDonald’s flavor but want something that screams home-cooked comfort, my Big Mac Casserole is your new go-to. Here’s why you’re gonna flip for it: 

  • Big Mac in Every Bite: Get ready for a flavor explosion! This hamburger casserole is bursting with all the Big Mac charm – think beef, cheese, and that oh-so-special sauce – but in a comforting, home cooked casserole form.
  • Healthier, But Just As Tasty: Who knew indulging in your favorite fast food flavors could be healthier? Swap out the drive-thru to get all the cheeseburger joy without a side of guilt.
  • Burger and Fries, All-In-One: Imagine the ultimate combo of a juicy burger and crispy fries, all packed into one delicious dish. This cheeseburger potato casserole is like having the best of both worlds, all in a single bite!
  • Perfect Balance: Cheesy, savory, hearty goodness balanced with light, fresh toppings — this cheeseburger bake hits all the right flavor and texture notes. 
  • Almost As Easy As The Drive-Thru: With just a handful of simple ingredients and 15 minutes of active prep, this recipe for cheeseburger casserole is as easy as it gets. 
flat lay shot of an oval casserole dish filled with big mac bake topped with special sauce and all the garnishes.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Considering the OG Big Mac is made with over 70 ingredients 🤯, my streamlined potato cheeseburger casserole is undeniably the better choice for your whole family. Here’s everything you’ll need to get all the flavor without the fillers:

  • Lean Ground Beef & Olive Oil – I typically reach for 93/7 ground beef for this casserole, but you’re welcome to use whichever ground beef you have on hand. Just note that you’ll probably want to omit the olive oil since there will be plenty in the meat itself. (You might even want to drain some of it off depending on what blend you use!) Alternatively, swap in ground bison, ground turkey, ground chicken, or even meatless crumbles if you prefer.
  • Russet Potatoes – Since most french fries are made with starchy potatoes, russets or Idahos are my preferred varieties in this burger casserole. That said, feel free to swap in another thin-skinned variety like Yukon Gold if you don’t want to peel them. 
  • Onion – Red, yellow, or white onion all work! Feel free to use frozen chopped onions to save on prep time and tears. 
  • Onion Powder & Garlic Powder – For added allium sweetness and complexity without any hassle. Feel free to use onion salt or garlic salt if needed, but use it to replace both the ground allium powder and the added seasoning at the end.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Feel free to use sharp, medium, or mild, orange or white. Just be sure to shred it yourself for maximum meltability. I love to use American cheese too!
ingredients needed to make big mac hamburger casserole measured out into bowls on a white table.
  • Light Mayo – I prefer using light mayo to cut down on fat and calories, but feel free to use the mayonnaise your family likes.
  • Ketchup – For a boost of sweetness and umami in the special sauce.
  • Dill Pickle Juice – This adds tang to the sauce as well as helps to thin it out to the perfect viscosity. For what it’s worth, I think pickle juice is always worth keeping — it’s also perfect for brining chicken, making salad dressing, mixing into tuna or egg salad, or even splashing in a bloody mary. 
burger special sauce ingredients measured out into bowls on a white table.

Toppings

To get the full flavor experience, don’t forget to add some yummy toppings to your hamburger bake. Here’s what I use to replicate a traditional Big Mac:

  • Shredded Lettuce – Mickey D’s uses iceberg lettuce, but romaine will give you a little extra nutritional goodness with the same amount of crunch. 
  • Tomato – Perhaps my favorite part about making this Big Mac bake is that I don’t have to settle for a watery, flavorless slice of tomato. If it’s not tomato season, I suggest opting for halved greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes for the best flavor.
  • Red Onion – White or yellow onions work too! If the onion tastes a bit too piquant for you, feel free to soak slices in cool water for 10-15 minutes before draining, patting dry, and chopping. 
  • Dill Pickles – You can also use sweet pickles or bread & butter pickles if you prefer!

Equipment 

How To Make Big Mac Casserole

This delectable cheese hamburger casserole comes together in a flash. Here’s how:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1: Sauté Onion. Add olive oil (1 tbsp) and the onion to a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.

Step 2: Make Beef Mixture. Add the ground beef to the pan. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook completely and then remove from the pan.

browned beef and potato chunks in a large skillet with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Sauté Potatoes. Add the remaining olive oil (1 tbsp) to the same pan. Add in the chopped russet potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes. You may need to add more oil to prevent sticking.

potato chunks getting sautéed in a pan.

Step 4: Assemble. Next, add the partially cooked potatoes to the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add the ground beef mixture on top. Then top the casserole with the shredded cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Step 5: Make Sauce. While the casserole is baking, prepare the Big Mac special sauce. Combine the ketchup, light mayo, dill pickle juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until smooth.

Step 6: Garnish. Remove the baked cheeseburger casserole from the oven. Drizzle the special sauce on top of the casserole. Add your additional toppings – shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, diced red onion, and dill pickle slices.

Step 7: Serve & Enjoy!

flat lay shot of the baked big mac cheeseburger casserole with all the toppings.

Optional Variations & Dietary Adaptations

There are tons of ways to adapt this healthy cheeseburger casserole to your dietary needs and preferences. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Big Mac Tater Tot Casserole – Omit the potatoes in favor of crispy tater tots! For this version, you’ll preheat the oven to 350F instead of 400F. Layer the beef on the bottom, top with cheese, then add a layer of tots. Bake, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and crispy. 😋
  • Keto Big Mac Casserole – Want all the flavor while keeping your macros in check? Swap out the potatoes for roasted cauliflower florets or sautéed kohlrabi cubes. 
  • Beef-Free – If you don’t eat red meat, ground turkey or ground chicken are great alternatives!
  • Vegetarian – Feel free to swap in meatless crumbles or vegan ground beef alternatives like Impossible Meat or Beyond Burgers.

Expert Tips

  • Season It Right: Remember, simple seasonings can make a world of difference. This easy dinner recipe calls for just salt and black pepper, but don’t hold back! Season to your heart’s content. The key is to taste as you go, ensuring every layer of your casserole sings with flavor.
  • Toppings Galore: Here’s where you can let your creativity shine! Feel free to load up your cheeseburger casserole with pickles, onions, sesame seeds, sweet pickle relish, or any of your other favorite burger toppings that tickle your fancy. Your casserole, your rules. This is your chance to customize your dish to perfectly suit your palate.
  • Saucy Secret: If you’re a fan of that special creamy Big Mac sauce, here’s a tip: double the sauce portion in the recipe. This gives an extra boost of creaminess and flavor, making every bite even more delightful. More sauce, more fun! Thousand island dressing is a tasty option too.
  • Potato Perfection: When it comes to the spuds in this Big Mac cheeseburger casserole, size matters. Make sure to chop them nice and small (or swap in diced frozen potatoes!). This isn’t just for aesthetics; smaller pieces ensure they cook thoroughly and evenly, giving you that perfect blend of crisp and tender in every forkful.
closeup hero shot of big mac casserole in the pan showing all the delicious ingredients like ground meat, cubed potatoes, special sauce, and burger fixins.

Serving Suggestions

This tasty little number is great on it’s own, but if you want to make dinnertime extra special, here are a few of my favorite ideas:

  • Themed Dinner Night: Decorate your dining space in a retro diner style, complete with classic diner music and milkshakes or root beer floats to complement the meal. For a fun touch, use dinnerware that gives off a retro vibes — think checkered napkins, colorful plates, and even little baskets lined with parchment paper.
  • DIY Topping Bar: Set up a topping bar with various options like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, pickles, onions, picked jalapeños, and any different condiments (e.g. mustard, BBQ sauce, mayo) you can think of. Not only does it make life easier for you, but it also means everyone can assemble their own perfect plate of cheeseburger goodness. 
  • Pair with a Crispy Side: Who says you can’t have fries with your Big Mac Casserole? Serve it alongside a batch of air fryer sweet potato cubes or classic shoestring fries for that ultimate burger joint feel. Alternatively, balance the hearty richness of the casserole with a light side salad. Think crispy romaine, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette to add a fresh element to the meal.
  • Plan Ahead: This healthy Big Mac casserole can also be assembled on the weekend, then covered and refrigerated (or frozen!). When you’re ready for a tasty meal, simply defrost in the fridge overnight, then bake to perfection, adding about 10 minutes to the total bake time to heat it all the way through.
overhead shot of the big mac cheeseburger casserole with a small bowl of extra shredded lettuce to the side.

FAQs


Is Big Mac casserole gluten-free?

Yep! Unlike the quintessential cheeseburger that’s stuffed in a bun, this is a cheeseburger casserole without pasta, bread, or any other kind of wheat! 

How long will it last?

In my house, it never lasts long! 😂 That said, you’re welcome to keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. If you do plan on having leftovers, I suggest not adding all the toppings. Rather, just add toppings to the portions you’re serving, then save the rest in individual containers in the fridge to maximize freshness and texture.

easy big mac casserole on a table with all the burger fixins on the side.

Related Recipes

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Connect With Me!

If you make this casserole recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

45 degree angle hero shot of baked cheeseburger casserole with all the toppings.

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Big Mac Casserole

My scrumptious & speedy Big Mac Casserole is comfort food at its finest – without the drive-thru guilt. Imagine all the iconic flavors of your favorite take-out classic, but with a better-for-you twist. Each bite of this cheesy hamburger casserole is a perfect blend of savory beef, melty cheese, and that creamy-tangy-sweet special sauce we all love, all nestled under a bed of your favorite cheeseburger toppings. YUM! 

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutea
  • Total Time: 45 minute
  • Yield: 5 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner

Ingredients

Scale

Casserole

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled & chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Big Mac Special Sauce

  • 2 tbsp light mayo
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp dill pickle juice, or until sauce reaches your desired thickness
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Toppings

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Dill pickles

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add olive oil (1 tbsp) and the onion to a large pan on the stove over medium high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  3. Next add the ground beef to the pan. Season with the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook completely and then remove from the pan.
  4. Add the remaining olive oil (1 tbsp) to the same pan. Add in the chopped russet potatoes. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté for about 10 minutes. You may need to add more oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Next add the partially cooked potatoes to the bottom of a large casserole dish. Add the ground beef on top. Then top the casserole with the shredded cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. While the casserole is baking, prepare the big mac special sauce. Combine the ketchup, light mayo, dill pickle juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until smooth.
  7. Remove the casserole from the oven. Drizzle the special sauce on top. Add your additional toppings – shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, diced red onion, and dill pickle slices.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

Keywords: big mac casserole, big mac cheeseburger casserole, healthy big mac casserole, big mac bake

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