Recipe: Best Salisbury Steak – Alabama News Center

When you’re craving comfort food, it’s hard to not think about dishes smothered in a rich, savory gravy. For me, that almost always means hamburger steaks, Salisbury steaks or something like my Slow Cooker Beef and Noodles.

Maybe you remember this comfort classic from those Banquet frozen TV dinners, but these simple ground beef patties are hearty, juicy – and there’s that delicious gravy.

Growing up, I always assumed that hamburger steaks and Salisbury steaks were the same, but they’re actually a little different.

In hindsight, I guess I’d always just been making hamburger steaks until I ran across a recipe from The Pioneer Woman for Salisbury Steaks that was a bit different. One taste and a new appreciation for Salisbury steak was unlocked.

I’ve been making this recipe for more than 10 years now. During that time, I’ve tweaked and changed the recipe a bit – adding a few ingredients, swapping some others – to create a dish my family just adores.

Best Salisbury Steak. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

What’s the difference between hamburger steaks and Salisbury steaks?

Hamburger steaks are usually a simple, down-home dish made from ground beef seasoned with some salt and pepper. They’re shaped into patties, cooked in a skillet and often served with gravy on top. Now, that’s a comfort food classic right there.

Salisbury steaks, on the other hand, are a tad fancier. They’re made from ground beef, too, but they often include breadcrumbs, other seasonings and sometimes even an egg to hold it all together – sort of like meatballs. These patties are then simmered in a savory gravy (sometimes with mushrooms), giving them a more complex flavor profile.

In a nutshell, the main difference is in the ingredients and the gravy. Hamburger steaks are simpler and usually served with a basic pan gravy, while Salisbury steaks are a bit more dressed up with added ingredients and that delightful gravy.

What to serve with Salisbury steak

In my house, anything with brown gravy comes served with mashed potatoes, egg noodles or white rice, with the first being my starch of choice. My Mom’s Secret Ingredient Mashed Potatoes make the perfect cradle for all that rich brown gravy.

Serve this easy Salisbury steak recipe alongside a green veggie like my Roasted Green Beans or Roasted Broccoli and you’ve got a hearty meal that’s sure to please.

Best Salisbury Steak. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Ingredient FAQ

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are pretty self-explanatory, but a few are worth mentioning.

  • Ground sirloin – When it comes to the ground beef in this recipe, I prefer a lean ground beef, like ground sirloin, but nearly any ground beef will work. Just keep in mind that the fattier meats may require you to drain some of the fat away after searing the patties.
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs – Standard, run-of-the-mill seasoned breadcrumbs work here. You don’t need panko breadcrumbs or anything fancy.
  • Seasoned salt – This all-purpose seasoning works great to add a lot of flavor to this homemade Salisbury steak recipe. I’m sure any brand will work. I used Lawry’s.
  • Beef bouillon cube – These little cubes of umami deliciousness pack tons of flavor into this dish. For the meat mixture, you’ll need to crush the cube. I often do this between two spoons. You could also use powdered beef bouillon or a beef base paste. For the gravy, you can use either of the above-mentioned swaps, or you can trade the water and bouillon cubes for beef broth.
  • Browning and seasoning sauce – This is an ingredient you don’t often see from me, but I think it really amps up this dish. Sold under the brand names Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet, these seasoning sauces are a great way to add tons of savory flavor to gravies, soup and stews. I think you’ll find a lot of other delicious ways to use this stuff.

Best Salisbury Steak. (Stacey Little / Southern Bite)

Best Salisbury Steak

Click here for a printable recipe.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 2 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the gravy:

  • ½ large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon browning and seasoning sauce like Kitchen Bouquet or Gravy Master
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the egg, breadcrumbs, seasoned salt, Dijon mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire and the crushed beef bouillon cube. Work the mixture with your hands to get everything well combined. Portion the meat out into 5 or 6 equal portions and shape the portions into oval patties that are roughly 1 inch thick.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the patties. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side until they get a nice golden-brown crust. Reduce the heat if necessary to keep them from burning. Remove the patties from the pan to a plate and cover.
  • Pour away all but about 1 tablespoon of the grease from the pan. Place the skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until brown and tender – about 6 minutes.
  • Add the water and bouillon cubes to the skillet. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Smash the bouillon cubes with the back of a spoon if they’ve not dissolved.
  • Add the Worcestershire, ketchup and browning sauce. Whisk to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with about 2 tablespoons of cool water. Add the cornstarch slurry to the gravy and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the gravy thickens.
  • Return the steaks and the drippings in the plate to the skillet. Cover and simmer until the steaks are warm and cooked through. Add water if the gravy gets too thick. Serve warm.

Recipe notes

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Nutritional information – calories 442 kilocalories, carbohydrates 13 grams, protein 31 grams, fat 29 grams, saturated fat 10 grams, trans fat 1 gram, cholesterol 134 milligrams, sodium 843 milligrams, potassium 592 milligrams.

This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out “The Southern Bite Cookbook.”

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