Salisbury Steak

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Salisbury steak turns boring ground beef into a gourmet meal. The recipe is quick and easy too. The meat is seasoned, shaped, and seared, then a delicious mushroom sauce is made all in the same pan.

Salisbury steak with mushroom sauce

Affordable comfort food packed with flavor

High-quality cuts of meat can get expensive, but this salisbury steak recipe creates a gourmet meal without blowing the budget or sacrificing on flavor. It just takes a few simple pantry ingredients to elevate the taste of ground beef. The formed patties are seared just like you would a steak and cooks just as fast.

The pan-fry method creates a flavorful, deep golden-brown crust that forms on each piece. To complement the protein, I saute onion and mushrooms in the butter to develop the base for an irresistible savory sauce. Serve this with creamy mashed potatoes and crisp vegetables, then generously spoon the gravy on top.

raw salisbury steak patties on a sheet pan

What is Salisbury steak?

Salisbury steak is ground beef combined with seasonings and binders to create oval patties. The meat cooks similar to traditional steaks by searing in a hot skillet until a flavorful crust forms. It has a meatloaf-like texture but portioned into individual servings, something that can’t be achieved when baked in the oven inside a loaf pan. The dish is served with a flavorful pan gravy.

Ground beef selection

There are a lot of different types of ground beef to choose from. I recommend a 90% lean product, which is typically the sirloin cut from the cow. This selection provides just the right combination of beefy flavor that has enough fat to keep the steak patties juicy.

ground beef patties cooking in a cast iron skillet

Seasoning the beef

Unlike classic hamburgers that are very simply seasoned with salt and pepper, we can be a little more creative here. To make Salisbury steak more flavorful use soy sauce to boost the umami notes and enhance the beef’s natural savory taste.

Ensuring the meat stays together

To make sure the ground beef holds its characteristic steak-like appearance after cooking, I add breadcrumbs and eggs as binders. The bread creates a starchy panade, locking in the flavorful juices and preventing the meat from shrinking. The eggs add extra fat from the yolk to keep the meat moist, while the albumin in the egg whites set and help to keep the oval shape.

Gently mix and chill the patties before cooking

It’s important not to overwork the meat mixture for Salisbury steak patties. The more you mix it, the tighter the beef will contract during cooking, making for tougher bites. After you form the ½-inch thick oval patties, chill them before cooking. This technique helps to solidify the fat after mixing and helps to further hold the shape when cooking in the hot pan.

Mushroom pan sauce in a skillet

Searing the steaks

The patties cook over medium-high heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan for searing. The nonstick material reduces the chance of clinging, but I enjoy a slightly thicker crust texture that’s created by cast iron since it retains heat so well.

When the beef hits the hot olive oil in the pan, it quickly changes from a soft mushy surface to a crisp crust that takes on rich brown colors. The Maillard browning reaction gives that sought-out seared surface just like fancier cuts, without paying the higher price tag.

Make a tasty mushroom sauce in the same pan

After the patties cook, it’s time to make a sauce loaded with depth and flavor. To complement the savory dish, I reach for ingredients loaded with glutamates like thick-sliced brown mushrooms, beef stock, and tomato paste.

Saute them with aromatic alliums like onions and garlic. To change the one-dimensional sauce, a splash of balsamic vinegar adds acidity and aged notes that brighten up the taste. To finish the sauce, I use all-purpose flour to thicken the consistency so that it better clings to the meat like a gravy.

Tasty side dishes to serve this with

Plate of steak with mashed potatoes and green beans

Cook to a safe temperature

Typically for ground beef products like burgers, you can cook them to as low as medium-rare doneness. However, since the patties contain eggs, it’s best to cook them between 144 and 158°F (62 to 70ºC), taking into account carryover cooking. This will make it that there’s no pink in the center, but it ensures that the harmful bacteria in the raw egg is destroyed.

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Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak recipe that turns boring ground beef into a gourmet meal served with a delicious mushroom sauce.
Pin Print Review
4.5 from 20 votes
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


Salisbury Steak

  • 1 pound ground beef, 90% lean, ground sirloin or chuck
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Mushroom Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion, ¼-inch thick
  • 12 ounces brown mushrooms, ½-inch thick slices
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoon chopped parsley


  • In a medium bowl gently mix the ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and soy sauce until just combined, do not overmix.
  • Divide the beef mixture into 4 even mounds. Form into ½-inch thick oval patties, about 5-inches long and 2 ½-inches wide. Cover and chill the patties in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  • Cut the onion into ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the mushrooms into ¼-inch thick slices. Mince the garlic. Set aside to use for the sauce.
  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the beef patties.
  • Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and reduce the heat down to medium. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 to 145ºF (60 to 63ºC) for medium-well, or 150 to 155ºF (65 to 68ºC) for well-done, about 3 to 5 minutes. There will be some carryover cooking of the meat after resting. Transfer to a clean plate.
  • Carefully wipe the pan clean or keep the drippings for a more flavorful sauce. Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the onions. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Saute until the mushrooms are tender, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato paste and flour, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and cook for 15 seconds. Slowly pour in the beef stock, stir and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Place the steaks back in the pan, turning to coat in the sauce to warm.
  • Garnish with parsley.

Recipe Video


  • For a softer texture similar to meatballs, use 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. 

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Nutrition Facts
Salisbury Steak
Amount Per Serving
Calories 443 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 129mg43%
Sodium 1397mg58%
Potassium 923mg26%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 27g54%
Vitamin A 208IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 64mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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33 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Vicky says

    I have never been a fan of salisbury steak until now. I tried this recipe because my husband is a huge fan. This one knocks the ball out of the park, I make it on a routine basis now!

  2. Diana Wilson says

    Jessica – do you think that you could use a 50/50 blend of ground beef and ground turkey to make it a bit healthier? Any changes to cooking time or other adjustments?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can use a mixture of ground beef and turkey. I would just monitor doneness a little sooner since turkey may cook quicker. Just make sure it’s no longer raw in the center.

  3. Marco says

    Hi Jessica, the recipe was on point. I used your mashed potato and green bean recipe to go along with the Salisbury steaks. I needed more servings so I cooked double of everything. Everything was great and every one loved it! The best Salisbury steaks I’ve ever had! Thank you!

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