This post was originally published August 18, 2011 and was updated October 26, 2021.
I’m back to share another childhood favorite recipe of mine and this time it’s Swiss Steak. Yep, fork-tender round steak slow simmered with a simple but delicious tomato gravy. It’s great served with mashed potatoes, rice, or just by itself.
But did you know that Swiss Steak actually has no relationship to Switzerland? Nope! In fact, it’s called Swiss Steak because of the way it is prepared. “Swissing” refers to pounding or passing something through rollers in order to tenderize it. It’s often done to tougher cuts of meat to make them more palatable and quicker cooking.
While round steak is traditionally used in Swiss Steak, I opt to use cube (or cubed) steak in my version because it’s affordable and has already been “swissed” by the butcher. Most of the time, the cube steak in your grocery store is made with round steak anyway.
It’s called cube steak because of the shape that the mechanical tenderizer leaves in the meat after swissing or cubing it.
If you can’t find cube steak, you can certainly buy top or bottom round steaks and tenderize them at home with a meat mallet.
One of the things to keep in mind with this recipe is that cook time will vary. I’ve had cube steaks that were super tender and cooked to perfection in 45 minutes and then I’ve had cube steaks that took 1 1/2 hours to get tender. Now, I want mine incredibly tender, so I’m willing to wait. But not everyone wants it quite that tender, so you cook them until they’re to your liking.
I just know you’re going to love this easy, classic recipe. And while I’ll admit the cooking time doesn’t exactly make it a quick weeknight supper, the flavor and tenderness make it worth it in the end.
One thought I’ve had, and maybe one of y’all will give it a try and report back to us, is to brown the meat then toss it and all the other ingredients in the slow cooker. I’m pretty sure it would turn out delish!
Easy Swiss Steak
- 1 1/2 pounds beef cube steak
- seasoned salt (I use Lawry's)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups unsalted beef broth
- 1 (.87 to 1-ounce) packet brown gravy mix
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- Lightly season cubed steak with seasoned salt and dredge in flour.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven. Sear the steaks in the oil for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Work in batches if necessary as to not crowd the pan.
- Remove steaks from pan and set aside. Add beef broth, packet of brown gravy mix, and can of diced tomatoes with the juice. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan.
- Add the steaks back to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is fork tender.
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.
I used two pounds of round steak, and tenderized them. I doubled the gravy. No other additions. It was cooked in a big electric skillet, and was finished in a little over an hour. The meat was fork tender, and still retained its shape. Served with mashed red potatoes, and green beans. This is a good easy recipe. No photo, but it looked just like the photo at the top of the page.
Sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed this recipe, Thomas!
Easy and so tasty!!! This recipe reminded me of one my mom used to make, but I have never tried to duplicate hers. I cannot wait to make this Swiss steak again. The most exciting part was having leftovers the next day that tasted even better than the night when I made this. My 97-year-old father raved about how tender the meat was, and my mom actually ate her meat for once. (She prefers veggies and desserts!) I cannot thank you enough, Stacie, for the most amazing recipes you share.
This just made me smile this morning, Mary Catherine! I’m tickled to hear everyone enjoyed it!
Made this tonight, except fried in the pan and then put it all in the crock pot. High 3 hours. Delicious
Sounds great! Smart thinking! So glad to hear you enjoyed it.
Can you put this all together and then put in a crock pot to finish the cooking process?🤔🤗❣️
Best New recipe!! Absolutely love it.
Thanks, Michelle! Glad you enjoyed it!
Making it right now for the first time. I know it’s gonna be good.😋
Hope you enjoy it!
Whoa! Crazy good dinner! Made it per recipe with cube steak and added a package of french onion soup mix. Simmered 1.5 hour, fork tender. Goes in my monthly rotation.
So glad to hear you enjoyed it!
Recipes can be modified depending on what you have on hand just as any cut of beef, particularly the tough cuts that are cheaper in price can be used. I did use cube steak as that’s what I had in the freezer & I grew up eating Swiss Streak w/the cube steak being used. Butchers in grocery stores used to put the cuts of meat you wanted to buy through the machine for tenderizing & it’s sad this service is no longer available everywhere. I always use Lawry’s garlic salt & seasoned pepper for any meat I cook. Today I only had an envelope of Lipton’s Recipe Secrets Beefy French Onion Soup so that was great for the base of the beef gravy sauce. Aldi’s packets of this French onion do just fine as well. Campbell’s condensed soups are also good to add to this like the dark beef golden mushroom. Again, store brands of these condensed soups are fine for cooking. Always have beef & chicken bouillons on hand for meals. Both flavors of the buillion can also be combined if that’s all you have & it actually enhances the recipe—it does not ruin it. I also keep BV Gravy or Kitchen Boquet which is essentially liquid beef bouillon that can also be used in place of the soup packet or condensed soup can & more flour can be added at the end if you like a thicker gravy. Today I had no diced tomatoes so mine was a strictly beef gravy. I did add diced onions, garlic & celery. This is a great recipe & one of my favorites. I added Barilla Ready Pasta to mine as I had no potatoes on hand for mashed & then served corn with the meal.
So glad to hear you enjoyed it, Rev!
Made this tonight. Added sautéed shallots & used Rotel tomatoes because they’re all I had. Served over garlic mashed potatoes & really enjoyed it. My Dad (88) says I need to add it to the rotation! Thanks for sharing.
I have everything but beef broth, can I use water instead?
You can. Do you happen to have a few beef bouillon cubes to add to the water?
Wonder recipe! My family loves this.
Thanks, Michelle! So glad to hear it!
My husband and I love this recipe. I’ve made it several times. Thank you for a good one !!! Think I better check out your other recipes….
Thanks, Mary! Hope you’ll find tons more you enjoy just as much!
Delicious. I browned the meat and put it in the crockpot on low with mushrooms and onions for 4 hours.
Glad you enjoyed it!
I am making it right now in my Dutch oven…I tenderized the beef my myself, like my Mom did. I’m hoping the acid from the tomatoes tenderize the meat more.
Please include nutritional information.
Hey Thomas! I do understand how frustrating it can be to not see nutritional info but with all the different brands available this is a next to impossible task. If I tried to put in nutritional content it could be misleading for people that are on a strict diet.
Delicious! I did sauté and add: a pkg. of fresh mushrooms & a large chopped onion! I covered & put in oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees, instead of cooking in fry pan.
That sounds easy too!
I made this yesterday. Got to the simmer stage and we had a major plumbing issue, and I couldn’t finish making the rest of the meal. I let it finish cooking, then put it in the fridge. Finally got to eat it tonight and it was fabulous! I did add some onions, cooked until soft after the meat was removed from the pan, and I just used plain salt and pepper, as I didn’t have Lawry’s on hand. Great dish, and I’ll be making this a lot when the weather cools down!
So glad you were able to enjoy it!
My mom used to make this only she pounded flour into the meat and used the tomatoes and onions – it was great – and took forever to pound and cook but was amazing
It’s such a nostalgic recipe for so many people!
This is my go to Swiss steak recipe. My in-laws made Swiss steak a lot, but they just had general measurements in their recipe, as they are by feel cooks. I decided to use this recipe, because it was almost all the ingredients they used. My husband said this is exactly like the Swiss steak my in-laws make. I have used stew meat, and just any type of steak I have around. Each time it has turned it great! Sometimes I double the sauce ingredients. Today is going to be the first day I bought cube steak. I’m excited to try it with the cube steak.
I’m so glad you loved this recipe!
Followed the recipe and the Swiss Steak was delicious! Tender and full of flavor.
So glad to hear you enjoyed it!
I only have 1/2 lb. of meat; if I make the recipe with the specified amounts for the gravy, can I freeze it? Thanks!
I don’t see why not! There’s nothing wrong with a little extra gravy!
Very good! I was surprised the instructions were for the stovetop instead of the oven but it’s spot on … thanks!
So glad you enjoyed it!
This recipe sounds delicious and I look forward to trying it. One question though my favorite grocery store sells both cubed beef and pork steaks. I’ve been wanting to try to pork cubed steaks. Maybe with this recipe?
Your thoughts please. So glad I found your blog.
Either pork or beef should work just fine! Enjoy!
My hubby and I loved this recipe! Will be making it many more times!!!! Tender meat!!!!
Awesome! So glad y’all enjoyed it!!
I’ve printed this out!! I’d love to try a tomato version cube steaks.
I make imitation Swiss Steak😁 with Black Angus hamburger patties. I brown them, with thinly sliced onion, use 2 packs McCormicks mushroom gravy mixed in 2 cups water. This thickens as it cooks. I use fresh sliced mushrooms. I believe I cooked them for 1 to 1 1/2 hours on stovetop, low setting.
Hope you’ll enjoy this version! Yours sound GREAT!
Your recipe is basically like I make the Swiss Steak. I like others do add chopped onions and after browning the meat I cook in my pressure cooker for about 15 minutes and perfectly tender. Don’t have to take time to tenderize it. Always comes out delicious. Thanks for simple but tasty recipes.
I’ve GOT to try it in the pressure cooker!
Remember all, a RECIPE is not a rule it is a guide. Love how creative we can all be in creating something delish!
Isn’t that the truth!?! Love it!
Thanks for the recipe Stacey. I have never made this just on the stove – but always in my pressure cooker. Take about 15 minutes and comes out super tender. I plan on making this tonight. Thank you for posting the recipe.
I’m going to try it in the pressure cooker the next time I make it for sure!
Try browning it, and throwing everything in the pressure cooker. Then it becomes a quick week-night meal.
You’re recipe is the same as mine, except I also use 1 tsp. dried thyme and chop an onion to it. I’ve often thrown it all in the slow cooker and it was great!
Thanks for sharing, Jacqueline!
It’s going to happen for sure!
From what I have heard from my mother and grandmother (from Romania) Swiss steak is not a way of preparing but a VERY specific cut of meat wich I have seen them do in a butcher shop that cost more than I was prepared for but totally worth it. Would love to know how to get the REAL cut for swiiss steak???? Maybe its different in different places????
My guess is it’s probably different cuts in different places. Many times it’s part of the shoulder. In the States, it’s often “swissed” or cubed by being run through a tenderizer as it’s a tough cut of meat.
Trying this tonight… I to thought it was Swiss related… same as Swiss Miss hot cocoa ????
I’m anxiously waiting for the arrival of your cookbook.
Sure hope you’ll enjoy it, Connie!!
I’ve made this using my Mom’s recipe for years! The only difference, is I saute an onion along with the steak, and add 1 tsp. of thyme. Yum.
This dish is an oldie but goodie for sure !!!
My mother taught me when I was young to cook this and is still one of my favorite recipes. Your version is similiar. However, if you happen to be out of tomatoes, you may consider this version of mine. I first take the chill off the meat and marinade with 3tbls of worsterchire sauce and 2 tbls of low sodium soy sauce, for about 20 mins. Then slightly pat dry with a paper towel and coat with Seasoned flour. (I use salt free Tony’s Chacherie’s and a little salt to it.) Brown in 3tbls of oil and 1tbls of butter. Then remove the meat to a plate. I add 1-2 tbls of apple cider vinegar to deglaze the skillet and add sliced red bellpepper and sliced onion and saute to caramelize the onion just a bit, then add 1-2 minced cloves of garlic and saute a minute or two. Then I add chopped fresh parsley, i can of beef stock or broth and a can of water. Bring to a boil and add meat and simmer for 1-1/12 hours with the lid removed on the last 30 minutes. Served with creamed red potatoes. Nothing like a home cooked meal !!!
My Mother made this when we were growing up. We were poor “Country Folks” so she used ground beef patties. It was delicious. This would work for a family on a budget and would probably cut the cooking time in half.
What a great idea! Sounds delicious!
Thank you for these yummy recipes! I’m so glad I registered to receive your emails with the delectable choices. Anxiously looking forward to the next email so I can expand my recipe selection.
Thanks, Kay! There’s plenty more on the way!
I just bought some cube steak on sale! I always make my Swiss steak with eye of round, or similar cuts, but I don’t pound it (tenderize it), and no matter how much liquid I use, it always seems dry. I’m going to try this recipe with the cubed steaks, except I’ll use stewed tomatoes because I like the green pepper taste it has. I’ll bet it won’t be dry with the cube steaks. Thanks, Stacey!
My Swiss steak recipe is made in the oven, over rice. You take the steak whatever kind you can get, brown it in a skillet with bacon grease, into a 9×13 baking pan put a cup of uncooked rice, add the steak pieces into the pan, pour over tomatoes or tomato juice, or V-8 juice slice some onions on top, peppers if you have them, and put into a 350F oven for at least 2 hours three is better. I got this from a 1940’s ladies auxiliary cookbook my MIL had, never said nothing about tenderizing! It comes out tender enough to cut with a fork! Tomato juice works well, or any tomato based juice, the diced tomatoes are not juicy enough to cook the rice well, so I just add V-8 to make the dish soupy, and by then end of the cooking time, its all absorbed and the rice is yummy.
I make Swiss steak like my mom taught me. Brown cube steak , put the meat in a 9 x13 baking pan. Cut up onions, celery, peppers and carrots and put over the meat, than pour a large can of tomato sauce over the contents of baking pan . Cover pan with aluminal foil and bake in slow oven 325 for an hour to hour and half.. Serve with rice pour that great tomato gravey over everything. YUM!
I had never ever heard of Swiss Steak until seeing this! Made it last night and it was delicious!!!!
Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
I have never been much of a cook. The other day I came across your website and found a recipe I had been looking for. I am so glad I found you. I am more excited than ever to cook more for my husband. I will be buying your cookbook! Thanks,Cynthia
Cynthia, these are the types of comments that just make my day! I am beyond thrilled that you found the site and that you’ve got a spark for being in the kitchen! Please let me know if you ever have any questions. 🙂
Two thumbs up! I’d never made this before. I used round steak which I tenderized. Thanks for this awesome recipe!
Wonderful, Ginger! I’m so glad it turned out well for you!!!
What do you think about adding some red wine to my swiss steak made with the flour covered and browned top round steak diced tomatoes, red pepper, onions and beef broth in the crock pot? Not sure since I have it in crock pot? Thanks, Chandra
I love read wine with beef, so I’m sure it would be great! Let me know how it turns out. : )
I happened across your page looking for a crock pot chicken and dumplings recipie. (I’m cooking yours right now :)) I was scrolling through the comments below the recipie and found a link to this. It looks amazing. I’ve never had Swiss steak, but I can’t wait to try this out. Thank you!!
Welcome, Sarah! I hope everything turned out great for you!
This is not Swiss Steak, I’m sorry but “real” Swiss Steak uses the same kind of meat or you can pound round steak and do it that way. You take green pepper, chopped tomato, chopped onions, garlic,salt , pepper, and saute till soft. Dredge your meat in flour, brown both sides add to sauteed veggies, cover and simmer till done. Serve with real mashed taters, maybe some nice cole slaw and you’ve got a great meal.
You know what they say about recipes… we’ve all got them. 🙂
I’m with you. I’ve never had it with beef broth and gravy added to it. My dad always made it with canned stewed tomatoes but going to try your suggestion and making mine from fresh veggies instead of canned.
So go ahead and post your own recipe… it is incredibly rude. to day this is not swiss steak. He already stated that cube steak is round steak already pounded.
Hey, one thing about Swiss steak is it’s kind of like stew, everyone has their own variation. But the blog writer is correct, what makes it Swiss steak is the swissing of the meat.
Betty @ Aunt Betty's Kitchen
Featured this on my page for our readers. Looks yummy and I also remember my Mom fixing this for us kids. Haven’t fixed it in years, and years. Thanks for a great recipe!
Thanks for sharing! So glad I was able to bring back some memories for you! I love how food can do that!
Husband and I love swiss steak. I’ve been making it for years. My dad sent me this recipe when I was first married to ex…almost 50 yrs ago. Here’s how I do it:
I use round steak cut up in serving pieces. Dust it with flour, brown in some vegetable oil, season with Lawry’s seasoned salt, pepper and garlic powder; pour off the grease then add some water so it comes to the top of the meat. Add an onion that’s been cut in thin wedges and 2 beef bouillon cubes. Let it simmer until the meat is tender, about an hour or so. Sometimes I add sliced fresh mushrooms right at the end. Also, sometimes I’ll add 2 cans of stewed tomatoes with some water, instead of the water, bouillon cubes and mushrooms. Either way it is so good; serve it with steamed rice.
Thanks for sharing your recipe, Betty!
Jackie @Syrup and Biscuits
I have been making Swiss Steak for years and years and never knew the origin of the name. Thanks for taking the time to research. I use round steak that hasn’t been “swissed” yet. Cube steak is a good idea and should speed up the cook time. Thanks, Stacey!
I know, I was kinda surprised myself. You just never know!
Starting in the 70’s, I made Swiss steak from a mix by Mccormick. It was one of their “Bag N Season” products. Put cube steak in the bag with the seasoning, then throw in a can of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, seal and bake. It was delicious served over rice! They stopped producing this several years ago and I bought some cubed steak on sale and will definitely try this version!
Thanks, Debbie! Hope you enjoy it!
I’ve made it in the crockpot before, hubby didnt care for it, but let me tell you, it made the best soup lol, added more veggies and cut up the meat and all that great broth with the tomatoes, peppers and onions..yum!
Look how resourceful you are!!
I make this regularly in my slow cooker and it is so good. I use 1 can of beef broth and a cup of diet cola and add strips of bell pepper and rings of sauteed onion…we call it creole swiss steak.
How long do you cook it in the slow cooker? And do you just brown the steaks and then dump everything in the cooker? Thanks!