Homemade Salisbury Steak: Made without soup packets and just good ingredients, this is the salisbury steak recipe that will redeem the classic! | macheesmo.com

Saving Salisbury

A real recipe for homemade Salisbury steak using no soup mixes. Seasoned beef patties seared and braised in a rich onion gravy. The best comfort food!

Dr. Salisbury, the inventor of the Salisbury Steak, had some interesting theories on food. For one, he believed vegetables produced toxins that were responsible for many health issues and recommended a consistent diet of steak and coffee to solve the problem. Not any steak though: Salisbury steak.

His namesake quickly lost its health vibe (for obvious reasons), but the dish actually became more popular as a cheap, no-frills alternative to steak. For the last few decades the dish has synonymous with cafeterias and microwaved dinners.

For me, it has such strong connotations from my childhood that I wasn’t sure I could save it in my mind or on my plate. Just bland, card-boarded meat with some vague sauce. Gloopy and grumpy. I wasn’t even sure if homemade salisbury steak was worth it.

In fact, if you Google a recipe for it, most include condensed soup cans or just pre-packaged frozen crap.

But, it turns out it can be saved with a little bit of thought and a few simple ingredients.

It turns out Salisbury was definitely wrong about health but completely right about comfort food. Salisbury steak can be saved. This is how.

Salisbury Steak

Homemade Salisbury Steak

A real recipe for homemade Salisbury steak using no soup mixes. Seasoned beef patties seared and braised in a rich onion gravy. The best comfort food!
3.81 from 131 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Yield 4 Steaks



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Parsley garnish
  • Mashed potatoes for serving

Onion Brown Gravy:

  • 1 large white onion sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl mash together beef, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, Worcestershire, and spices. Form mixture into 4 even-shaped, oblong, thin pieces.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter in the skillet and swirl it around. When melted and bubbling, add steaks and sear on both sides for 3-4 minutes until well browned. Remove steaks and transfer to 8×8 baking dish.
  • Add another 1-2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and the sliced onions for the gravy. Turn heat down to medium and cook onions until they are soft and have taken on some color, 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add flour to the onions and stir it in. Cook for a minute and then slowly add beef stock, stirring continuously. Start with two cups and if it’s too thick, add more. Bring gravy to a simmer and let simmer until it thickens a bit, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour gravy and onions over steaks in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Serve steaks over mashed potatoes with gravy on top and garnished with parsley.


Serving: 1SteakCalories: 476kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 27gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 1144mgPotassium: 654mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 452IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Comfort Food, Homemade Salisbury Steak, Salisbury Steak

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Homemade Salisbury Steak

Making “The Steak”

Obviously nobody would be fooled into thinking this is actually steak. It’s closer to some cross between a hamburger, a meatloaf, and a meatball. All of those are good things though and this base starts with similar ingredients.

Add your ground beef to a bowl with an egg, some breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and spices.

Homemade salisbury steak mix.
A beefy mix.

Mix this up lightly and form the mixture into four oblong “steaks.” Basically you want them fairly thin and long. This has the advantage of being optimal for being covered in sauce later.

Homemade Salisbury steak.

Add about a tablespoon of butter to a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the steaks for 3-4 minutes per side. They will be raw on the inside, but you just want a nice crust at this point.

Homemade Salisbury steak.
A quick brown.

After the steaks sear, stick them in an 8×8 baking dish and let them rest while you make the gravy. (And preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.)

Homemade Salisbury steak rested.
Ready for a braise.

The Onion Brown Gravy

This is about as easy as a pan gravy can get. As soon as you pull your steaks out of the pan, turn the heat down to medium, add another good piece of butter, and the sliced onions. One large onion should be enough, but use two if you can only find smaller guys.

Homemade Salisbury steak onions.
Gravy basics.

Cook these until they take on some color from the steak bits in the pan. They should soften, but not completely caramelize. They should cook for somewhere in the 6-8 minute range.

Cooked onions.
Cooked down.

When the onions are soft, stir in the flour and cook it for a minute. Then pour in the stock slowly while stirring. Pour the stock in batches and let the gravy thicken as you pour. Stir continuously, but it shouldn’t clump really. I don’t even bother whisking mine.

Gravy for homemade salisbury steak.
Action shot!

You’ll need somewhere between 2-3 cups of stock to get a slightly thick gravy. It should lightly coat the back of a spoon. Season it with salt and pepper also!

Gravy done.
Real gravy.

Finishing the Dish

Now for the fun part. Pour the gravy over the steaks in the baking dish. Drown them.

Cover the dish with foil and bake the whole thing at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes. That will finish cooking the steak and keep it really tender while bringing all the flavors together.

Homemade Salisbury steak braise.

Serving options are many, but I like the Salisbury steak over mashed potatoes. Noodles would be another option or even something like rice! As an homage to the cafeteria I was sure to cover mine in curly parsley.

Let it be known. You can save Salisbury.

Homemade Salisbury Steak: Made without soup packets and just good ingredients, this is the salisbury steak recipe that will redeem the classic! | macheesmo.com

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Homemade Salisbury Steak: Made without soup packets and just good ingredients, this is the salisbury steak recipe that will redeem the classic! | macheesmo.com

49 Responses to “Saving Salisbury” Leave a comment

  1. Not usually a Salisbury steak fan, but this looks great. I’m making it tonight. Just wish I had mushrooms, great idea Mary.

    1. Mushrooms are totally a good gravy add. About 8-12 ounces sliced thin would do the trick. Report back if you try it out!

  2. OK, so this is NOT the Salisbury steak I grew up with. I always thought it has a white mushroom gravy, and smothered steak has a brown onion gravy. And then there’s Swiss steak which had tomatoes and onions on it. Weird how that happens, huh?

  3. Nick – what brand of frying pan do you have? I’m in the market for a new one.
    And I love a shallot and mushroom pan gravy with my home-made Salisbury steak, but I cannot wait to give your version a try!

    1. Hey Veronica! I’ve actually just gotten a new one that I used for this post. It’s from the Greenpan line. It’s a ceramic nonstick pan without the teflon coating and it’s oven safe. I plan on writing about it actually in a few weeks once I cook a few more things with it. I really love it so far though!

  4. Hi Nick,

    I made this last night for supper and we LOVED it! Whenever I make a new recipe I ask my husband how soon he wants it again and he said “this is great–it goes into the rotation!” (usually he says, “keep the recipe or burn the recipe” so this was high praise. We thought it was like the best diner food, comfort food as its best.

    We had the leftovers for lunch and it warmed up well, too.

    1. Hey Kim! I so glad you tried it and liked it. Happy to hear it got the in-rotation vote. :)

      Thanks for reporting back!

      1. Hi, Nick, Making this again tonight–I’ve made it many times and shared the recipe with everyone who has eaten this delicous comfort food at our table. One of our family favorites!

  5. I made this tonight using ground elk instead of ground beef. My kids are not fans of elk meat but they loved it like this. In fact, they didn’t believe it was elk when I finally told them. My husband loved it, too. I added mushrooms to the gravy because that gravy is begging for mushrooms. And then my family fought over the mushrooms! Like I said, a big hit. Thank you!

  6. I made this tonight for my husband. I added mushrooms with the onions and used 93% lean ground beef and it came out delicious. I served it with mashed potato’s. Thank you for the recipe. This is going to be a regular weekly thing at our house, I am pretty sure. My husband loved it. Ty again for sharing!

      1. I love this recipe. I never thought I would ever say that about Salisbury steak thanks to the ones that come in the little red box.

  7. I just made this tonight for dinner. It was absolutely delicious and perfect comfort food as the weather turns colder. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  8. I’m trying this for the first time tonight, and I’m really excited to see how it comes out. Especially since I’ve never made it before. Please forgive me because I’m sure this is going to sound crazy…but in the directions you never mentioned when to put in the worshteshure sauce. I’m sure you are to put it in with the spices and the egg and such but because it wasn’t in the directions I missed putting it in. I hope it doesn’t change the taste too much I’m sure it will be fine though. I just wanted to mention it.

    1. Hey Krystel, I’m pretty sure it’s listed in step 1 of the directions, but yea.. you just mix it into the meat mixture with the egg. It should be fine without it though! No worries. Hope you like it! :)

  9. I haven’t tried this particular recipe, but I have made my own Salisbury Steak for years. I, also, buy frozen when I am in a serious “comfort food” kick. :-P

    I am allergic to some foods, including most onions and peppers, so what I make is always slightly different from the recipes that I read. And because of some physical problems there are foods that I cannot eat at all.

    I use 1- 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, usually with as low a fat content as possible.
    Minced garlic (I don’t measure it, I “eye” it), I love garlic so I add as much as I think it will hold and still taste good.
    1 small can of chopped, not sliced, black olives
    If the fat content is fairly high, I use 1-2 eggs to hold it together.
    Worcestershire sauce, again I eye it and do it in “splashes”
    I use 1 drop of a heavy fig balsamic vinegar to cook the patties in. It is very thick which is whey I only use one drop. The taste that it adds is incredible. It is, also, made locally and sold locally.
    2-3 jars or cans of brown or beef gravy, I am disabled and making gravy means that I have to stand too long
    Mushrooms, fresh or canned, to go into the gravy.

    This is, actually, close to my meatloaf recipe, too, except that I add a cup of breadcrumbs, 2-3 eggs and a can of Cream of Mushroom soup, sometimes Cream of Celery soup. And bake it in a loaf pan. Using 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef means that it has to cook for 1 1/2 hours. But I don’t like traditional meatloaf. I found the recipe in the 1976 version of The Joy of Cooking. It is not in the later version.

    1. Would it be ok to use ground oats for the patties and potato starch or another substitute for the gravy to make this recipe gluten free?

  10. We love Salisbury steak and can’t wait to try this recipe! However, I was wondering if this may be cooked in a crockpot?

    1. Yep! Should work fine! I would brown the patties in a skillet and then transfer everything a crockpot for low/slow simmering. Good luck!

  11. I’ve probably tried 5 different recipes for Salisbury Steak from various sources including Pinterest. This was definitely my favorite by far! I love that it didn’t include any canned products. Will be my go to Salisbury Steak recipe from now on. The only thing I did different was added a few more splashes of worcestire sauce to the meat, season with salt and pepper (bc I love pepper) on the patties while in the skillet and since I used 3 cups of stock I added more flour to thicken it to my likening. Both friends that ate it loved it as well. Thanks for sharing! Look forward to going through more of your recipes.

  12. I have been craving a good Salisbury Steak for a while. This recipe turned out perfectly. The only change I made was to add mushrooms with the onions when making the gravy. I will definitely be making this recipe again.

  13. I found this recipe on pinterest and I’ve made it several times. I make it exactly as posted and it it has become a favorite in my house. I serve it with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles or sometimes even rice. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  14. This may be the best Salisbury steak that I have ever made. I made this recipe exactly as written, and wouldn’t change a thing. It was an easy recipe to make, with ingredients that most of us have on hand. Because I decided to make this on a 100 degree day, I decided not to finish this in the oven, so after cooking the onions, I just put the patties back in the pan on top of the onion gravy, and let them simmer for 20 minutes. My husband and I both loved this, and will definitely make it again. Thank you!!

  15. I made this for dinner last night and everyone loved it, including my super fussy teenage granddaughter. Leftovers were great too and I generally don’t like leftovers. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  16. This was delicious. I easily adapted to be low sodium for my mother using no sodium added beef brother and just a dash of salt- and it turned out really good! This will be my go to weeknight meal!

  17. A more tender result of any ground meat recipe is to add the egg, seasonings, cheese, etc., in the bowl together first. Then add the meat. This way you are mixing two ingredients together and it comes out more evenly mixed and more tender from not over mixing the meat.

  18. Still using this recipe in 2021, perfect for my in law who doesnt like veggies! It’s a fam favorite!

  19. I made when you first published it and loved it. I remembered it recently and made it tonight. It’s so good!!!! I used to think of Salisbury steak as “airplane food” because that was served on every flight when I was a kid! Thanks again for saving this so we can all enjoy it! :)

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