What is Salisbury Steak?

For some, Salisbury steak takes them back to school lunches, while for others, it reminds them of those classic TV dinners they used to enjoy. Regardless of the memories the meal evokes, Salisbury steaks are an excellent option for a delicious homemade meal.

What Exactly Is Salisbury Steak?

Contrary to its name, Salisbury steak isn’t a steak at all. Like a cross between a hamburger patty and meatloaf, Salisbury steak is actually ground beef mixed with bread crumbs, seasoning, and dry onion soup mix.

While there are many variations, you can form this meat mixture into the shape of a steak, brown it in a skillet, and simmer it with mushroom gravy either made from scratch using fresh mushrooms and beef stock or a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.

Why Is It Called a Salisbury Steak?

If Salisbury steak isn’t technically a steak, you might be wondering from where it got its name.

The steak got its name from James Henry Salisbury, a doctor who studied healthy eating and nutrition in the 19th century, during and after the Civil War. Dr. Salisbury was a proponent of minced beef as a healthy food option and served Civil War soldiers the original version of the steak.

Since then, Salisbury steak has become a delicious way of using ground beef to create family-friendly, easy 30-minute meals.

Fun fact: While the doctor believed minced beef to be an excellent healthy food option, he did not consider vegetables and fresh fruits healthy.

Is Salisbury Steak Healthy?

So, what is Salisbury steak? Though the doctor was incorrect about not considering fruits and vegetables good for you, was he right about Salisbury steak being healthy?

Few people would consider Salisbury steak a healthy food. However, you can make your meal healthier, depending on the Salisbury steak recipes you use.

For instance, you can make the steak healthier if you:

  • Choose lean ground beef
  • Make your own gravy with ingredients like homemade stock
  • Sauté your onions and mushroom in olive oil

Some even substitute the ground beef with lean ground turkey, while others opt for limiting portion sizes or enjoying their meals with healthy sides like roasted broccoli or green beans.

What Cut of Meat Is Best Used for Salisbury Steak?

Since you ideally wouldn’t want your meal to have excessive amounts of fat drippings, lean ground beef is the best cut of meat to use for your Salisbury steak. However, several recipes recommend substituting beef with ground pork or turkey.

What to Serve with Salisbury Steak

This old-school comfort food goes well with many different options. With a few simple pantry ingredients, you have the makings of a quick dinner that won’t disappoint.

One classic Salisbury steak match is mashed potatoes and gravy. Others pair the steak with various side dishes like buttered noodles, macaroni and cheese, white rice, or tater tots. A creamy cornbread casserole is another ideal option.

Consider rounding out your meal with corn, steamed broccoli, basic green beans, and carrots and peas.


The nutritional value of your meal will vary based on the specific products you use and the alterations you make to the recipe. That said, here are the nutritional values for a serving of one patty and gravy (132g):

  • Calories: 150kcal
  • Total fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2g
  • Sodium: 660mg
  • Carbohydrates: 6g
  • Cholesterol: 15mg
  • Protein: 7.9g
  • Fiber: 0.8g
  • Glucose: 1.1g
  • Net carbs: 5.2g
  • Calcium: 20mg
  • Iron: 0.3mg
  • Sugar: 2.4g

Your Leading Resource for Everything Steak

Everyone wants to get the perfect steak every time. Fortunately, thanks to the resources we provide here at Steak Revolution, you now can.

We have a team of dedicated enthusiasts who love sharing their knowledge of steaks, giving even the most inexperienced cooks all the tools they need to take their steak to the next level. From providing practical guides to sharing simple recipes for comfort foods perfect for any hungry man, woman, and child, we want to create the ideal steak experience.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.