This recipe for Salisbury Steak is the absolute best! Juicy seasoned ground beef patties are seared then simmered in a savory, rich gravy!
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 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.
What’s the difference between Hamburger Steaks and Salisbury Steaks?
For me, a hamburger steak is a simply seasoned all-beef patty topped with a savory brown gravy. Salisbury steak takes the basic hamburger steak to the next level by adding a lot more flavor.
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 some good ol’ 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 ’em a more complex flavor profile.
So, 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 for the perfect cradle for all that rich brown gravy.
Best Salisbury Steak
- 2 pounds ground sirloin
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 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:
- 1/2 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
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the egg, bread crumbs, 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 in thickness.
- 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. Cooking, 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 additional water if the gravy gets too thick. Serve warm.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.