Leftover Cheeseburger Salad

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Got a leftover cheeseburger? Turn it into this easy cheeseburger salad for lunch the next day! This delicious and easy recipe makes a perfect low-carb dinner option, too.

A white bowl filled with lettuce and topped with a chopped up cheeseburger.

If your family is like mine, the day after a backyard grill out means you're going to find just one or two lonesome cheeseburger patties leftover on a plate in the fridge.

When you don't have enough hamburgers for a full family dinner but you don't want the leftovers to go to waste, it is time to get creative.

I whipped this easy salad together for a weekday lunch when I was home alone and staring down my mostly empty fridge.

I was able to pull together many of my favorite cheeseburger toppings to make a delicious lunch at home for myself. It was so good, I'm sharing the idea with you because I plan to make this again for my whole family soon!

Why This is the Best Recipe

I've gotten quite insistent that my family uses up our leftovers so that nothing goes to waste. This has lead me to create some fairly unusual meals out of things I find in the fridge.

I think this is the best cheeseburger salad recipe because:

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  1. Serves 1 (but Can Scale Up): I had one single burger patty in the fridge. Not enough for a dinner for the family but I didn't want to waste it. So I created this recipe meant to be eaten by myself the next day. However, it was so good I could see making cheeseburger salads on purpose with multiple patties for the whole family.
  2. No Waste: I got super creative with what we had in our fridge. Take a peek at my ingredients but then compare them to what you might have on hand. I have lots of variation suggestions for you below.
  3. Low Carb: I've been trying to enjoy my breads and pastas with my family at dinnertime and lighten up my lunches with bigger helpings of fruits and veggies. This salad worked perfectly for my lunch!

If you're looking for a pasta salad instead of a green leafy salad, you might like to pair a leftover burger patty with this creamy dill pickle pasta salad.


The ingredients to build the salad are on the counter.

All you need to make this super easy salad recipe is:

  • Leftover Cheeseburger Patty: We made beef cheeseburgers the night before but this would work with any kind of burger patty you have including chicken burgers, turkey burgers, or even a fish burger.
  • Lettuce: I used chopped romaine but any green salad mix you love will work.
  • Fresh Tomato: I had a large tomato on hand that I used for tomato slices on my burger but you could use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes or a chopped roma tomato if you have it.
  • Chow Chow Relish: I had a jar of this delicious chow chow in the fridge so I used it to add a bit of pickle-flavored crunch to the salad. It is made from onions, bell peppers, cabbage, and seasonings, so just a couple tablespoons added a ton of flavor. If you don't have chow chow on hand, you could chop up your favorite pickles instead.
  • Fry Sauce: For the salad dressing, I drizzled over this spicy sauce we used for dipping our frozen french fries in the night before. If you don't have that on hand, you could also try a mustard vinaigrette or even a bit of honey mustard dipping sauce.

Prep the Salad Base

Start by prepping the fresh green vegetable base for your salad.

I had pre-washed romaine lettuce on hand, so I just added a few handfuls to my salad bowl.

Then top it with the fresh tomatoes you want to use.

Spoon the chow chow relish (or chopped pickles) over the top and gently toss to combine it with the lettuce and tomato so that the juices coat the lettuce leaves.

Reheat the Cheeseburger

Place the burger patty you plan to eat on a separate small microwave-safe plate. Reheat it in the microwave for 45 seconds - 1 minute or until nice and hot.

Cut the burger patty into small bite sized chunks and scatter them over your salad.

Truly, any leftover burger you have on hand will work. I used our house burger for this recipe but I will definitely be trying it again with my turkey burgers the next time I make them!

The Best Dressing

I happened to have a batch of this spicy sauce already in my fridge so I used that.

But there are probably a few other options hiding in your fridge that would work, too. Making a honey mustard dip or this easy mustard vinaigrette uses very simple ingredients and takes just a minute to stir together.


Think about how you like your cheeseburgers and then build your salad profile around those flavors!

I think it would be a delicious and fun variation to add caramelized onions or these quick pickled red onions in place of the chow chow relish.

You could crumble up peppered bacon to add to the salad in addition to the burger patty.

Have some whole wheat hamburger buns left over? Why not chop them up and make them into homemade croutons!

DIY Meal Kit

A white bowl filled with lettuce and topped with a chopped up cheeseburger.

This easy salad makes an excellent lunch with leftovers, next time I plan to cook a couple extra burgers just so I have them ready for this salad the next day!

If you want to meal prep them, just build the salad bases and store them separately from the burger patties.

Bring the salad base, burger patty, and a cup of dressing with you to work or school and just reheat the burger patty right before assembling and enjoying your meal.

📖 Recipe

A white bowl filled with lettuce and topped with a chopped up cheeseburger.

Leftover Cheeseburger Salad

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Got a spare leftover cheeseburger patty in the fridge? Use it to make this easy cheeseburger salad the next day for lunch. All the flavors of your favorite burger in a low carb salad you can bring to work.
TOTAL TIME 6 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 1 minute
YIELD 1 salad


  • 1 leftover hamburger patty with or without cheese
  • 2 cups chopped iceburg lettuce from about 1/2 a very small head of lettuce, or any salad greens you prefer
  • 1/2 tomato seeded and chopped, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chow chow relish homemade or store bought
  • 1 tablespoon spicy sauce or your favorite fry sauce, homemade or store bought


  • Warm the hamburger in the microwave separately. Cut it into small diced pieces.
  • In your serving dish, layer the chopped salad greens and diced tomato. Spoon the chow chow over the top and stir together with a fork.
  • Top the salad with the hot hamburger patty pieces. Drizzle with the fry sauce and enjoy immediately.
  • NOTE: If you want to prep this salad ahead, store the salad ingredients separately from the hamburger patty and dressing. Assemble just before eating.

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Photo collage: A bowl of cheeseburger salad on top, the burgers grilling outside below.


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