This Southern Salisbury steak recipe is the ultimate comfort food! Tender seasoned hamburger patties are slow-cooked in a rich brown gravy. We’re far beyond the days of TV dinners and school lunches with this satisfying recipe!
What is better than a savory Southern-style Salisbury steak? How about homemade Salisbury steak with some fluffy mashed potatoes and a nice serving of Southern-style green beans? Well, it just so happens that I was craving some good ol’ classic comfort food, so that’s what I made for dinner!
This easy Salisbury steak recipe is made with super simple pantry ingredients and comes together fast. If you’re looking for a recipe the whole family will love, look no further.
What Is Salisbury Steak?
So, what exactly is Salisbury steak? Us older babies might remember it as a regular school lunch or maybe a slightly less-than-appetizing TV dinner. Don’t tell me y’all can’t remember those thin meat patties smothered in what was supposed to be gravy alongside the little compartments of corn, instant mashed potatoes, and a brownie. That’s gotta bring back some memories, y’all!
Real talk: I know some people don’t know what real Salisbury steak is, so I am here to inform you, sweeties! Salisbury steak is a meat patty made with a blend of ground beef, spices, and bread crumbs. Once the ground beef patties are formed, they’re fried and smothered in a rich and creamy onion gravy. Sounds pretty dang good, huh?
Salisbury steak has been around since the 1800s. Dr. James Salisbury was a Civil War doctor who believed the minced meat mixture was a health food that would solve digestion issues. The original simple recipe contained few ingredients in the ground beef patties, which is what Dr. Salisbury believed solved soldiers’ ailments. It took off, starting the earliest, if not the first, American fad diet.
Homemade Salisbury Steak Ingredients
So, what ingredients do you need to make this delicious Salisbury steak recipe? Here’s your shopping list! A lot of these ingredients are pantry staples—that’s why this is such a simple recipe! Be sure to check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact ingredient measurements.
- Lean Ground Beef: this recipe only requires 1 pound of ground beef.
- Bread Crumbs: I use regular, but you could use Italian style, seasoned bread crumbs, or panko.
- Eggs: an egg acts as the binder in this recipe, holding the meat mixture together.
- Worcestershire Sauce: seasons the mixture with a savory, umami flavor.
- Onions: the key ingredient for the creamy onion gravy.
- Garlic: I used fresh minced garlic, but if you only have garlic powder on hand, that works just fine.
- Seasonings: keepin’ in simple with seasoning salt, onion powder, and black pepper.
- All-Purpose Flour: to thicken the gravy.
- Ketchup: adds just a hint of sweetness and acidity to the sauce.
- Beef Broth: the liquid base for the homemade onion gravy. Beef stock would work too!
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef to make Salisbury steak?
As I mentioned above, Salisbury steak is usually made from ground beef, and that is what I use. I have heard of some people using ground turkey to make their patties, but I’m going to keep it real with you; I wouldn’t do it! It doesn’t even sound like authentic Salisbury steak to me. If you want to go that route, you do you, boo boo! Ground turkey does tend to be drier than ground beef, so keep in mind the texture of the patties will be different.
How to Make Southern Salisbury Steak
If you want my full homemade Salisbury steak recipe, keep on reading! The printable recipe card has the complete instructions, and I am telling y’all, it’s such an easy dinner recipe that it will be in your weekly rotation!
- Combine the ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
- Form the meat mixture into four large patties.
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties and brown on both sides. Remove from the skillet and start on the gravy.
- Add your sliced onions to the hot skillet—don’t drain the excess fat and oil; this will help fry the onions!
- Once the onions are turning golden brown and translucent, sprinkle in the flour. Then add the ketchup and beef broth. The rich gravy will start to thicken—bring it to a simmer.
- Place the Salisbury steak patties back into the skillet, and make sure they’re completely smothered with that savory brown gravy.
- Simmer the steaks for 15-20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the gravy is thick and creamy. Serve over egg noodles, white rice, or with creamy mashed potatoes!
Salisbury Steak Recipe Video Tutorial
If you need a visual guide, be sure to watch the video tutorial below! You’ll want to share this recipe with your friends—especially the single ones, because this dish right here will get you a ring hunnyyyy yassss! 😉
Southern Salisbury Steak Recipe FAQs
Is Salisbury steak just meatloaf?
No, Cousins, this simple Salisbury steak is not your momma’s meatloaf recipe! A classic meatloaf is, first and foremost, formed into a loaf instead of patties. While the meat mixture may be seasoned similarly, meatloaf usually has a ketchup, BBQ sauce, or tomato-based glaze. If you want a meatloaf recipe, check out my classic meatloaf, turkey meatloaf, or meatloaf meatballs recipe!
What’s the difference between hamburger steak and Salisbury steak?
At first glance, most hamburger steak recipes and Salisbury steak recipes might seem almost identical, but there are a few key ingredient differences. Hamburger steaks are usually pretty plain—ground beef, salt, and pepper. Salisbury steaks have more fillers (breadcrumbs, egg, and garlic) that act as binders and kick the flavors up a couple of notches. Both recipes feature a delicious gravy, but Salisbury steaks are ultimately made with more ingredients and much more flavor.
What is the difference between country-fried steak and Salisbury steak?
These two classic comfort foods have much less in common than hamburger steaks. Country-fried steak is made from actual steak—cube steak, to be specific. Cube steak has a much more intense “beef” flavor than regular ground beef. It’s tender and savory when cooked correctly. What’s more, country-fried steak is breaded and fried, whereas Salisbury steak is just pan-fried in a little oil. Breading and frying a cube steak locks in the flavor. It’s the best comfort food and a popular Southern-style breakfast, usually served with eggs and biscuits. One final difference is that country-fried steak is traditionally served with white gravy.
Can I use gravy mix instead of making homemade onion gravy?
Salisbury steak is known for its onion gravy, so you know it’s gotta be good. Some people skip out on making their own gravy and instead use canned soup. I personally don’t like condensed onion soup gravy or cream of mushroom soup gravy. Most of the time, it’s too salty and doesn’t taste anything like gravy! Making your own onion gravy doesn’t take a lot of time or ingredients, and chances are you have everything you need to make it. So, rock with me, live a little, and try making it homemade. Worst case, toss a package of French onion soup mix into the gravy to bump up that flavor. That, I will allow!
Tips and Tricks for the Best Salisbury Steak Recipe
Now, this Southern Salisbury steak recipe is already the bomb.com. It’s so easy to make and really is comfort food at its best. If you want to make it taste even better, here are some quick and easy tips and recipe variations to knock it outta the park.
- Add fresh mushrooms for a delicious mushroom gravy. You can use your favorite kind of sliced mushrooms—white button mushrooms, baby bella mushrooms, Portabella, you name it. Cook them down with the onions in the gravy, and it’s out-of-this-world good.
- Caramelize the onions before frying the Salisbury steaks. This way, you’ll have an intense caramelized onion gravy with deep flavor. If you like your onions more tender, this is the perfect variation!
- You can easily make this meal ahead of time if needed. Prepare the patties a day or two early and keep them in the fridge in an airtight container. Raw patties can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- You can also freeze leftover Salisbury steak—gravy and all! Because this isn’t a cream-based gravy, it won’t break down or get all gross when thawed. Simply store the steaks and gravy in an airtight container in the freezer, and you have a comforting freezer meal on hand whenever you want it.
Best Sides to Serve with Southern Salisbury Steak
- Corn Pudding Casserole
- Soul Food Collard Greens
- Simple Homemade Stuffing Recipe
- Riced Cauliflower
- Oven Baked Corn On The Cob
- Green Bean Casserole
- Cheddar Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar & Bacon
Loved this recipe? Next time, skip buying the frozen stuff and make this homemade Southern Salisbury steak recipe. Don’t forget to share and save on Pinterest! Keep up with Rosie and I Heart Recipes on social media—you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and check out my cookbooks!
Southern Salisbury Steak Recipe
Salisbury Steak Patties:
- Place the ground beef into a large bowl.1 lb ground beef
- Next crack open the egg, and it into the bowl.1 large egg
- Sprinkle in the bread crumbs and seasonings, then the worcestershire sauce.1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp seasoning salt or salt free seasoning, 1 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp minced garlic, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Use your hand (or kitchen utensil) to mix all of the ingredients, then form 4 patties.
- Head over to the stovetop, and place a large skillet on the stovetop.2 tbsp olive oil
- Drizzle in 2 tbsp of oil, then turn the stove on medium.
- Once the oil is nice and hot, start adding in the patties.
- Brown each side of the patties, then remove them from the skillet.
- Toss in the onions, and fry them until they soften up a bit.2 medium sized yellow onions
- Next, sprinkle in the all purpose flour, and stir.2 tbsp all purpose flour
- Add in the ketchup and beef broth, then stir everything until it's well combined.2 tbsp ketchup, 2 cups beef broth
- Add the patties back into the pan, and smother them with the gravy.
- Turn the heat down to low medium, cover, and let cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.