How To Make Classic Salisbury Steak in Just 30 Minutes

Salisbury steak isn’t just a TV dinner cliché from the 1950s. Nope, this family-friendly meal is actually one of the coziest dinners you can make on a weeknight. Seasoned ground beef gets shaped into steak-like patties, browned, and then braised in a rich onion and mushroom gravy, making for the most luxe one-pan main dish (especially when served over noodles or mashed cauliflower). If you haven’t yet tried making salisbury steak at home, this step-by-step lesson is for you.

What Is Salisbury Steak?

Salisbury steak is credited to Dr. J.H. Salisbury, who served the earliest version of the dish to soldiers during the Civil War (he recommended minced beef, along with broth, as a cure for digestive aliments). Despite its name, no steak is actually involved — instead, you mix ground beef with a binder and plenty of seasoning and shape it into oblong, steak-like patties. The patties get browned in a hot skillet and then braised in a mushroom and onion broth, which is then thickened into a gravy for serving over the patties.

All you really need to know? Salisbury steak is a delicious way to serve ground beef, takes about 30 minutes to make, uses one pan, and is deeply savory, with a creamy gravy that’s oh-so-comforting.

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Key Steps for Salisbury Steak

  • Use breadcrumbs and an egg to make a patty that holds up to braising. We’re not just shaping hamburger patties and crossing our fingers that they stay intact while simmering. Instead, breadcrumbs and an egg get mixed with the beef to act as insurance for the patties.
  • Brown the patties, then cook the onions and mushrooms. Salisbury steak is a one-pan endeavor, so the order in which you cook the beef, onions, and mushrooms matters. Brown the beef patties first and remove them to a plate, then sauté the onions and mushrooms in the fat and fond from the beef.
  • Gently braise the patties and vegetables in beef broth. When the vegetables are tender, return the patties to the pan and add beef broth before covering and simmering. The goal? Super-tender beef patties, which should take about 10 minutes.
  • Use a slurry of cornstarch water to thicken the gravy. To thicken the beef broth (and turn it into a lush gravy!), whisk together a little water and cornstarch and add it to the pan before removing from the heat.

Serving Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak is often served alongside mashed potatoes or over buttered egg noddles. Mashed cauliflower is another cozy option, as is garlic toast (my personal favorite). Store any leftover steaks in their gravy to keep them moist, tender, and easy to reheat.

Salisbury Steak


  • 1

    large egg

  • 1/2 cup

    plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 pound

    ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon

    canola oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces

    cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced

  • 1

    large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 clove

    garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon

    tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups

    beef or chicken broth

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 tablespoon



Measuring cups and spoons

Large skillet

Mixing bowl

Chef’s knife and cutting bowl


  1. Make the steak patties. Whisk the egg in a medium bowl to lightly break it up. Add the breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, and salt, and stir to combine. Add the beef and mix with clean hands until homogeneous. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and shape each into an oval patty about 1/2-inch thick.

  2. Brown the steak patties. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the patties and sear until a dark brown crust forms, about 5 minutes. Flip the patties and cook until the second side isbrowned, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer the patties to a clean plate.

  3. Make the mushroom gravy. Add the butter to the pan and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring regularly, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and stir until combined.

  4. Return the patties to the gravy and braise. Return the patties and any accumulated juices to the pan, cover, and simmer until the patties are cooked through and the sauce has reduced slightly, 10 to 12 minutes.

  5. Thicken the sauce and serve. Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Stir into the sauce and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.Serve the patties with plenty of sauce.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 4 days.

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