This Poor Man’s Salisbury Steak is smothered in onion gravy and is ready in about 30 minutes! Serve with my favorite mashed potatoes and you have a meal that even the pickiest eaters will like! (If you want to get extra fancy, serve this Salisbury steak with my Restaurant Style Mashed Potatoes!)

Poor Man's Salisbury Steak
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What is Salisbury Steak?

Salisbury Steaks are simple to make, relatively inexpensive, and loaded with flavor. It usually consists of a homemade hamburger patty smothered in a rich gravy. The consistency is more like a meatball than a hamburger though thanks to my secret ingredient, potato chips! And, it’s always the best when homemade!

Salisbury Steak Recipe

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ground Beef: We always used 70/30 ground beef growing up because it was the most inexpensive, but these days I like to use a leaner percentage like 90/10. I also like to take my ground beef out of the fridge about 30 minutes before preparing this so that the meat is not cold.

Potato Chips: A traditional Salisbury steak uses breadcrumbs, but we never seemed to have those on hand growing up so my mom would use crushed potato chips. I love the salty and crunchy component that the potato chips add to this recipe. It’s my “secret ingredient” and also where the name “Poor Man’s Salisbury Steak” comes into play. You could also use breadcrumbs if that is what you have on hand.

Gravy: One of my favorite components of this meal is the onion gravy. If you get to a point where the sauce seems TOO thick, you can add more broth to thin it out.

Easy Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

How to Serve Salisbury Steak

The absolute best way to serve Salisbury steak is over mashed potatoes. I also add a vegetable side like garlic and parmesan roasted asparagus, green beans, or Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts.

Salisbury Steak

Can You Freeze Salisbury Steak?

This recipe freezes well, so you could absolutely make a double batch for later in the week. There are two methods for freezing:

  1. Freeze the uncooked steaks and then thaw and follow the rest of the recipe as listed.
  2. Freeze the cooked steaks in the gravy, and then defrost them in the fridge and simmer them in a pan until they are warmed through.

Dinner Ideas

4.94 from 66 votes

Salisbury Steak

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
This Poor Man's Salisbury Steak is smothered in onion gravy and is ready in about 30 minutes!


Hamburger Patties

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup potato chips, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth, more if needed for thinning
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • salt and pepper


Hamburger Patties

  • Combine the ground beef, eggs, potato chips, dry mustard, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper.
  • Using your hands, mix all the ingredients until fully combined. Form into four hamburger patties.
  • In a 12-inch skillet with the butter and oil over medium-high heat, fry the patties on both sides until no longer pink in the middle. (about 5 minutes a side)
  • Remove patties from the skillet and pour off any excess grease.


  • Reduce the heat to medium and add in the sliced onions. Stir and cook until golden brown and somewhat soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the beef broth and the corn starch. Mix well.
  • Add the beef broth mixture and Worcestershire sauce to the onions and stir as the mixture comes to a low boil. The sauce will reduce and thicken.
  • If the sauce appears too thick, you can add more broth for thinning.
  • Return the cooked hamburger patties to the gravy. Spoon the gravy over the top and let them simmer and heat back up for a couple of minutes.


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Reader Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I made this recipe following the directions given and my family and I loved it but I did think that the gravy was a little thin and bland for my liking and so for the leftovers I decided to buy a packet of gravy mix and added more cooked onions. This brought it over the top! With the creamy mashed potatoes and some peas on the side. I will make this over and over again, loved it!

    1. Soshie, the recipe calls for mashed potato chips, not bread crumbs. And it states in the recipe that you need to mash the potato chips and then measure 1 cup.

  2. 5 stars
    I used Italian seasoned breadcrumbs soaked in a bit of milk to that they swelled up. To the meat I added 2 eggs, 1/2 tspn each. Garlic, paprika powder, fresh ground pepper, 1tspn worchestershire sauce, then the breadcrumbs and mixed. For the gravy I got lazy and used powdered brown gravy mix into which I added sauteed onions and mushrooms after completion of cooking brown gravy. No other seasonings needed.

  3. The potato chip measurement; is it 1 cup of chips then mash them or mash the chips then measure 1 cup? Thx

  4. 5 stars
    Think I will be making this tomorrow. I already have plans for tonight, otherwise I would be making this tonight.

  5. I have yet to prepare but it is something that is definitely on my list of scrumptious looking meals.
    I can’t wait to get going very soon.
    Thank you

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was just as yummy as others mentioned! I followed the recipe as written. The gravy took a little longer than I anticipated so just note that as you are preparing your other sides.

    1. I don’t see why not, because I’m sure that the egg is for binding the meat together, the whites are perfect for that!
      Having this tomorrow night!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was a winner. Will sure be making this again. Might add a bit of Worcestershire to the meat as well. Very easy to make and I’m sure guest would be impressed! Thank you for sharing this recipe! ❤️🍽

  8. 5 stars
    I am 68 years old. I have ever made Salisbury Stake before,because it always gave me heartburn.
    I made this recipe because my grown son wanted some so I thought I would try this recipe.
    WOW!!!! I am blown away! It is so good!! Delicious 😋. Easy to make. So glad I found your recipe!! ❤️

  9. 5 stars
    Liked the mix for the meat. I didn’t have potato chips, so I used bread crumbs. Instead of ground beef, I used ground bison so added extra evoo. I also sautéed mushrooms with the onions… had to use them. Served with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans.

  10. 5 stars
    Oh. My. Stars. This was so good. I have made a lot of Salisbury steak recipes and this by far was the best one I have EVER made. I ended up having everything on hand, which was lovely, but it did take me about an hour to make. This is replacing all the other Salisbury steak recipes I have. Thank you!!!

  11. 5 stars
    This was great! Two things I changed… I used Chicken broth just because I didn’t have beef broth and I only used 1/2 the garlic just because I felt it would be too much garlic for my husband…. It was spot on delicious! It will definitely become a go to meal in our household! Thank you!

4.94 from 66 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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