How to Make Easy Salisbury Steak

by Cynthia Au ; Updated September 28, 2017

Start to Finish: 40 minutes, plus marination time if needed

Servings: 4

Difficulty: Beginner

Salisbury steak is a classic comfort food. Fast to make and filling, the steak works well for a homecooked weeknight meal. Ground beef and seasonings are the primary ingredients for Salisbury steak. Binding ingredients, such as egg and bread crumbs, are sometimes used. The steak is either served plain or with a simple gravy. This recipe is adapted from ones by Canadian Living and Campbellā€™s Kitchen.


  • 1 pound ground beef, lean or medium-lean
  • 1 white onion, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable stock
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Combine the beef, onion, thyme, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, sugar, salt and black pepper in a medium size mixing bowl. Mix gently with your hands, stopping as soon as the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Cover the beef mix with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 6 hours. Add in the egg and breadcrumbs after the mixture has rested. When ready to cook, divide the beef into 4 equal portions, shaping them into patties 1/2-inch thick.

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat with the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the patties to the pan at the same time. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.

Flip the patties with a spatula, allowing the other side to brown slightly, around 2 minutes. Pour in the stock and cook the patties in the simmering liquid until cooked though, around 10 minutes.

Add water, 1/4 cup at a time, as needed to prevent the patties from burning or searing further.


  • If your pan is not large enough to cook all of the patties without significantly lowering the temperature in the pan, brown the patties in batches, and then simmer them all together.

Remove the patties from the pan and serve with a green salad or boiled potatoes. The leftover stock can be discarded or used to make a gravy.


The seasoning of Salisbury steak is basic, but the recipe can be augmented to give the steak a more flavorful twist. Add Montreal steak spice, cayenne pepper, or even curry powder to give the steak a distinctive, personalized taste.

Dress the steak with a mushroom, red wine or pan gravy as the steak can be dry and bland on its own. Add in sliced vegetables, such as mushrooms, additional onions or zucchini, to make the dish more filling.

Use ground chicken or turkey for a lighter version of the classic steak. Ground veal or pork can also be mixed in with the ground beef for a richer, deeper tasting steak.

About the Author

Cynthia Au has studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and currently works as a chef instructor specializing in food styling. She has worked as a writer and editor with a focus on food and food science since 2007 and regularly teaches both adults and young children about the joys of home cooking.