Tender seasoned beef patties smothered in mushrooms & shallots baked in a rich a decadent gravy.
Do you find that you gravitate towards certain styles of foods dependent on the situation? I’ve always been that type of eater. While I love a hearty and thick creamy soup, for example, I may not make it as often in the summer as I would in the winter.
Or when I’m in a super happy, playful mood I want something fun and exciting like a hot fudge sundae covered in peanuts, jimmies (those are chocolate sprinkles if you live in Pittsburgh), and lots of whipped cream.
Now, given the state of the world currently, I want comfort food. Foods that make you feel at ease and relaxed.
And that’s where Salisbury Steak comes into play. It’s such a true comfort dish that my Mom always made growing up.
Mine is a little similar to her recipe but I did a huge revamp on it to make it more current and add more of an Umami flavor.
So what is Salisbury Steak?
Salisbury steak in the easiest ways to describe it is a “fancy hamburger” without the bun. It can be made with a mixture of beef and pork for a richer dish but I’ve only ever had it with all ground beef.
It’s kind of like a meatloaf… but not quite though somewhat similar.
It’s kind of like a hamburger steak… but not quite.
Unlike a hamburger steak that is just meat and seasonings, this has that plus binders/fillers such as egg and a panade (soaked milk bread).
Where Salisbury steak and meatloaf differ is very subtle:
- Shape – Meatloaf is tightly compressed and sliced where Salisbury Steak is shaped into oval/football shaped patties
- Sauce – Meatloaf is covered typically in tomato gravy where Salisbury Steak is smothered in a rich mushroom and onion/shallot gravy
Grab Your Ingredients
While this is a very easy dish to make, you will need to grab several items from the pantry and the fridge. Unlike a burger, this dish gets a lot of its flavor from the seasonings put into it
Almost all of these ingredients folks have on hand. If you don’t have say Gravy Master or Beef Bouillon powder, I do highly recommend spending the few bucks and getting it. These are 2 phenomenal ingredients to have in your pantry that take your dishes to the next level!
From The Pantry
- Seasonings – kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, beef bouillon powder
- Bread – I like creating a panade of milk and bread. You can use breadcrumbs with milk but it’s just not the same thing
- Liquids – Worcestershire, Gravy Master, and beef stock
- Thickeners – corn starch
- Onion – I grate mine as that allows them to melt into the meat as it cooks
From The Fridge
- Dairy – milk is needed for the panade. Heavy cream is for the gravy and butter for the pan
- Ground Beef – I use an 80/20 blend but you can use 90% lean
- Egg – you need this for a binder
- Condiments – Ketchup and Dijon Mustard
- Vegetables – Shallots and Portabello Mushrooms
Let’s Make Salisbury Steak Patties!
Now it’s time to get our hands dirty. Do you like mixing meat with your hands or are you one that has to use a spoon to mix it?
I like using my hands to mix the meat. Using a spoon you run the risk of overmixing the meat. Doing that can make the mixture too tough.
- In a medium bowl, add the torn bread and milk. Gently “smush” the bread down into the milk and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the beef, 3/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, and the rest of the ingredients Salisbury Steak ingredients.
- Pour the panade on top (including any leftover milk).
- Gently mix until combined.
- Divide the mixture into 6 equal-sized pieces and form into an oval (football/egg) shape.
- Place on a lightly sprayed dish in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Chef’s Tips on Shaping Salisbury Steak
- Using damp hands (as this prevents the mixture from sticking to your hands), scoop up one of 6 pieces.
- Gently press the mixture between your hands and shape into an oval shape.
- You can totally make these as round patties like burgers. The oval shape is more of a classic shape.
- You want the patties to be tight and hold the shape. If it’s too loose, it will crumble upon frying
- Repeat dampening your hands between shaping
- If your mixture will not hold together, add another slice of torn bread or a few Tbl of unseasoned bread crumbs.
To Sear or Not To Sear – that is the question
This part is completely optional but I find searing the patties gives the dish a bit more depth of flavor as it bakes. If you do not sear them, just add the chilled patties to the 9×13″ pan and add another 5-10 minutes of cooking time to the recipe. But always, rely on your thermometer to ensure that the temp is 165 in the meat.
- If you’re using a stainless steel pan, add some oil to the pan and fry for 5-7 minutes per side just to get that browned crust
- If you’re using a non-stick pan, you can omit the oil but still fry for 5-7 minutes per side just to get that browned crust
Chef’s Tip About Flipping These Patties
These patties will be soft so you will need to be gentle in flipping them. Only flip once and only once.
- In a pan (stainless or non-stick per the above instructions), over medium heat, add 2-3 patties. Do not crowd the pan.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the bottom is seared and browned.
- CAREFULLY flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the bottom is seared.
- Move each seared patty to the lightly sprayed baking dish.
While the patties are searing, slice up the portabello mushrooms and shallots.
I like a thicker mushroom in this dish as you’re sauteeing it first to help release some of the liquid and caramelize it before baking it in the casserole dish.
Using Other Mushrooms
You can use white button mushrooms in this dish if that’s all you have on hand. I prefer to use portabello mushrooms as they already have a meaty flavor that they pair perfectly with the ground beef.
Using Other Onions
I prefer to use shallots as they are a milder onion that doesn’t take over the whole dish but you still get that great onion flavor. But if you don’t have any you can certainly use sweet Vidalia or white onions in the dish.
Caramelize the Shallots & Mushrooms
- Add 2 Tbl of butter to the pan and add the mushrooms and shallots. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring around just until the veggies are starting to soften and release their liquids.
- Transfer the sauteed mushrooms and shallots to the baking dish and spread over the seared Salisbury steaks.
SOON… SOON you’ll have deliciousness but first, we need to make the gravy!
- Add a 1/4 cup of stock into the pan and, using a wooden spoon, lightly scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. *NOTE: be very careful if you’re using a non-stick pan. You may not need to scrape the bottom. You do not want to ruin the pan.
- Once the browned bits are up, add the rest of the stock, the Gravy Master, and the rest of the salt/pepper. Whisk to combine.
- Bring to a boil. As the mixture is coming to a boil, in a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cream to make a slurry.
- Once the mixture is boiling, slowly pour in the slurry while whisking constantly.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Once thickened, pour the gravy over top of the patties and veggies in the baking dish.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes or until the patties read 165F.
- If you did not sear the patties first you may need to cook them longer. Always rely on a thermometer for doneness.
Time to Eat!
As this was baking the smells were INCREDIBLE! It immediately took me back to my childhood. Mom would have just pulled this out of the oven and set it on the stovetop to cool for a bit.
During that time she would have pulled out the warmed bread and had my Dad slice it up into thick cuts.
My job was to mash the potatoes – extra butter and black pepper, please!
I’ve said for years that Mr. Fantabulous has the nose of a bloodhound. That man could pick up the scent of food from miles away.
As I pulled this out of the oven and started to get ready for the photoshoot, he came wandering into the kitchen sniffing the air.
His first words were, “Honey, whatever you made smells AMAZING! Can I help you with your shoots so we can get it done quickly and eat?” lol
I think I got this entire shoot done in 10 minutes (the time needed to let the dish rest).
While I was putting away my camera gear he got the table set and drinks out.
Guess he was hungry!
This meal is simple which meant I wanted to keep the sides simple – buttery mashed potatoes and homemade bread.
If I had them on hand I would have also served buttered peas or steamed green beans with sea salt.
Salisbury Steak Side Dishes & Serving Suggestions
- Browned Butter Broccoli Pecandine – This pop of green is not only beautiful but the flavors also complement the beef and gravy
- Wild Grain Rice Blend – Ladle the gravy over the rice
- Cooked Egg Noodles – a ladle of gravy, a Salisbury patty and more gravy over wide egg noodles would be delicious
- Roasted (or steamed) Asparagus
- Homemade Chunky Applesauce
Leftover Salisbury Steak
This recipe makes 6 pretty large Salisbury Steak patties which means lots of leftovers for us. If you’re like us OR if you make a double batch you need to know what to do with leftovers. Luckily you have a few options.
- Individual Meal Prep Containers – I’ll put the side dish like mashed potatoes in the smaller compartment and the meat with gravy in another. This way we can grab a container and reheat it the next day in the microwave.
- Either cover the cooled baking dish with plastic wrap or transfer the meat and gravy to a fridge safe container and keep cold until ready to eat again.
Freezer Salisbury Steak Meals
If you make a double batch or have a lot of leftovers you can freeze the baked Salisbury steak patties and gravy.
- Get freezer-to-oven containers (even an aluminum foil pan will work) and put the cooled meat and gravy in them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil.
- Mark the package with what the dish is, the date, and reheating instructions.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating Salisbury Steak
- From the Fridge – If in an oven-safe dish, cover the dish with aluminum foil and place the dish in a cold oven. Set the oven to 350F and re-heat for 25-30 minutes or until heated through. Remove the foil, stir the gravy and cook for 5-10 more minutes.
- From the Freezer – Take the dish out of the freezer the night before serving and allow to thaw (covered) in the fridge. The next day, reheat using the above directions.
Dairy/Keto-Friendly/Gluten-Free Salisbury Steak Substitutions
- Bread – you can use Gluten-Free bread or ~ 1/2 cup keto-friendly plain bread crumbs
- Milk/Cream – You can use any type of milk (2%, fat-free, Almond) or Half and Half for the milk or cream
- Egg Substitute – Follow the very detailed Egg Substitute Guide I have here
Other Ground Beef Recipes
Salisbury Steak Patties
- 1 1/2 ground beef, 80/20 or 90% lean
- 4 slices of bread, torn
- 1/3 cup of milk
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp beef bouillon powder
- 1 Tbl ketchup
- 1 Tbl Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 Tbl Worcestershire
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1 Xl egg
- 12 ounces Baby Portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 medium shallots, sliced
- 2 Tbl butter, unsalted
- 3 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbl Gravy master
- 4 Tbl cornstarch
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- *remaining salt and pepper from above
Make the Salisbury Steak Patties
- In a medium bowl, add the bread and milk to make a panade. Gently push the bread into the milk and set aside for 5 minutes. In a larger mixing bowl, add the beef, 3/4 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp pepper, and the rest of the ingredients. Add the panade mixture (including any leftover milk) to the beef mixture and gently mix until combined.
- Divide the mixture into 6 sections and form each patty into a football/egg/oval shape where it’s thicker in the middle. Place them on a lightly sprayed dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F, rack in the middle. Lightly spray a 9×13” baking pan. Set aside. In a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat or if using a stainless steel pan add 1 Tbl oil. Remove the Salisbury Steak patties from the fridge and cook up 2-3 Salisbury Steak patties at a time (do not crowd the pan). Cook for 5-7 minutes per side or until each side is browned. *Be very gentle in flipping these. You can skip searing these in the pan if you want and put them directly into the 9×13” pan if you wish. Place each seared patty into the baking dish in a single layer.
Mushroom & Shallot Gravy
- To the pan used to make the Salisbury Steak patties add the 2 Tbl of butter and allow to melt. Add in the mushrooms and shallots and gently stir. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the shallots start to soften and the mushrooms just start to release their water. You’re not cooking the mushrooms all the way down. Spoon out the mushrooms and shallots and place overtop the Salisbury steak patties.
- Put the pan back onto the stovetop, medium heat and add 1/4 cup of beef stock. Using a wooden spoon, gently scrape up any browned bits. Add the rest of the stock, gravy master, remaining 3/4 tsp of salt and 3/4 tsp of black pepper and bring to a boil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and heavy cream to make a slurry. While whisking the stock, pour in the slurry in slowly. Whisk and bring back to a boil. The mixture should thicken up in 5-6 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon in a thick glaze.
- Pour the mixture over top of Salisbury Steak patties and sautéed vegetables.
- Place the 9×13” pan into the oven, uncovered and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the Salisbury Steak patties read 165F.
- Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve.
- Store leftovers, covered in the fridge.
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