Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak is not just a meal; it’s a comforting embrace in the form of food. Originally developed during the Civil War as an economical way to feed troops, Salisbury steak has evolved into a beloved American comfort food. Traditionally made from ground beef and other ingredients, it’s named after Dr. James H. Salisbury, who recommended eating minced beef for various health issues.

This dish finds its charm in the simplicity of its ingredients and the magical transformation that occurs inside the slow cooker. Here’s why it continues to be a staple in many households:

  • Ease of preparation: Everything goes into the slow cooker, making it an ideal recipe for busy or beginner cooks.
  • Flavorful results: The long cooking time melds the flavors beautifully, creating a rich and savory dish that’s always satisfying.

Slow cookers, which are celebrated for their convenience and ability to tenderize meat over long cooking periods, make the preparation of Salisbury steak nearly effortless. This method of cooking not only enhances the flavor but also preserves the nutrients in the beef, making it a healthier option. The versatility of this dish allows it to be served in various settings, from a simple family dinner to a more formal gathering. Learn more about the benefits of slow cooking on Wikipedia.

Salisbury steak is traditionally served over mashed potatoes or noodles, but modern variations include serving it over rice or alongside steamed vegetables, adapting to different dietary preferences and nutritional needs. For more recipe ideas and presentation tips, explore this collection on Pinterest.

List of Ingredients

A delicious Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak begins with the right blend of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to create this hearty meal:

  • Lean ground beef: The foundation of Salisbury steak. Choose a lean mix to keep the dish lighter.
  • Onion soup mix: Adds depth and savory flavors to the meat.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Enhances the umami quality of the beef.
  • Montreal steak seasoning: A blend of spices that boosts the overall taste.
  • Egg: Binds the ingredients together, ensuring the patties hold their shape.
  • Bread crumbs: Helps in binding and adds texture.
  • Cream of mushroom soup: Forms the base of the gravy, enveloping the patties in a creamy, rich sauce.
  • Water: Thins the sauce to the desired consistency.
  • Brown gravy mix: Adds color and flavor, enriching the gravy.
  • Optional parsley for garnish: Adds a fresh note and color to the finished dish.

Each ingredient contributes to the final flavor and texture of the dish. For those looking to tweak the recipe to their liking or dietary needs, here are some alternatives:

  • Gluten-free bread crumbs can be used in place of regular bread crumbs for those with gluten sensitivities.
  • Low-sodium options for the onion soup mix and brown gravy can help manage salt intake without compromising the taste.

Understanding each component’s role and possible substitutes allows for customization while maintaining the dish’s integrity. For a deeper dive into the types of beef used in such recipes, explore Understanding Beef Varieties.

For additional creative ideas and alternative ingredients, visit this Pinterest board on Salisbury Steak recipes which offers a plethora of variations to inspire your next dinner.

Preparation Steps

Preparing Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks involves simple, straightforward steps that lead to a delicious meal. Here’s how you can get your dish started:

  1. Mix the Ingredients:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, Montreal steak seasoning, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix until just combined—overmixing can make the patties tough.
  2. Form the Patties:
    • Divide the meat mixture into equal portions and shape them into oval patties. This recipe typically makes four large steaks, but you can adjust the size based on your preference.
  3. Brown the Patties:
    • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties and sear them for about 2-3 minutes on each side, just until they are browned. This step is crucial as it adds a depth of flavor to the steaks and helps them hold their shape in the slow cooker.
  4. Layer in the Slow Cooker:
    • Place the seared patties into the slow cooker. Top them with sliced onions and mushrooms if desired, enhancing the flavor and adding texture to the dish.
  5. Prepare the Gravy:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream of mushroom soup, water, and brown gravy mix until smooth. Pour this mixture over the patties in the slow cooker, ensuring they are well-coated.
  6. Cook:
    • Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The low and slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld beautifully and the meat to become wonderfully tender.

Following these steps will ensure that your Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak turns out flavorful and tender every time. For those new to slow cooking, additional tips and techniques can be found on this Wikipedia page about slow cookers.

Explore more about seasoning and preparing meat dishes with this insightful guide on Pinterest.

Setting up the Slow Cooker

Properly setting up your slow cooker for Salisbury Steaks ensures that they cook evenly and maintain their juicy tenderness. Here are the steps and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Layering Ingredients:
    • Begin by placing any base vegetables, like sliced onions or mushrooms, at the bottom of the slow cooker. These will serve as a bed for the Salisbury steaks and add extra flavor as they cook.
  2. Positioning the Patties:
    • Arrange the browned patties over the layer of vegetables. Spacing them evenly allows for consistent cooking and better heat distribution.
  3. Adding the Gravy:
    • Once the patties are in place, pour the gravy mixture you prepared over them. Ensure that the gravy covers the patties sufficiently to prevent drying out during the cooking process.
  4. Setting the Temperature:
    • Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set the temperature. Cooking on low for 5-6 hours is recommended for the best texture and flavor integration. However, if short on time, setting it on high for 3-4 hours can also yield delicious results.
  5. Monitoring the Cooking:
    • Though slow cookers are designed for minimal monitoring, checking towards the end of cooking ensures that the gravy has thickened and the patties are tender.

Understanding how to set up your slow cooker correctly can make the difference between an okay meal and a fantastic one. For those looking to enhance their slow cooker skills further, consider exploring this detailed article on the benefits and techniques of slow cooking: Benefits of Slow Cooking.

For additional tips on how to make the most out of your slow cooker for various recipes, check out this Pinterest resource.

Serving and Pairing

Once your Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks are tender and flavorful, it’s time to think about the best ways to serve and enhance this classic dish. Here’s how to present and pair it for an unforgettable meal:

  • Serving Suggestions:
    • Salisbury Steak is traditionally served over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, which perfectly complements the rich gravy. Alternatively, you can serve it over buttered egg noodles or a mound of steamed white rice to soak up the delicious sauce.
    • For a healthier twist, mashed cauliflower or a side of vibrant steamed vegetables like green beans or carrots make excellent sides.
  • Garnishing for Appeal:
    • Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over the top for a pop of color and a hint of freshness just before serving.
    • A light drizzle of extra gravy can be added on top for those who enjoy a richer dish.
  • Wine and Beverage Pairing:
    • A medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot or a lighter Pinot Noir, pairs beautifully with the savory flavors of the beef and gravy.
    • For a non-alcoholic option, a rich beef broth-based mushroom soup offers a warming, umami-packed complement to the meal.

Creating a well-rounded meal involves considering both the main dish and its accompaniments. For more tips on the perfect side dishes for Salisbury steak, check out this resource: Plating Salisbury Steaks.

Recipe Variations

The classic Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak recipe is beloved for its simplicity and comforting flavors, but it also offers flexibility for creative variations. Here’s how you can tailor this dish to meet different tastes and dietary needs:

  • For Gluten-Free Diets:
    • Substitute the bread crumbs with a gluten-free alternative and ensure your onion soup mix and gravy are labeled gluten-free.
  • Lower Fat Options:
    • Opt for ground turkey or chicken instead of beef, and use low-fat mushroom soup to reduce overall calorie content.
  • Vegetarian Adaptation:
    • Replace the meat patties with a blend of mashed chickpeas, lentils, and mushrooms for a hearty vegetarian version. Utilize vegetable broth in place of beef broth to keep it completely plant-based.
  • Extra Flavor Twists:
    • Mix chopped bacon or sautéed mushrooms into the beef mixture before forming patties for an added depth of flavor.
    • Incorporate a splash of red wine in the gravy mix for a richer, more complex sauce.

Each variation ensures that Salisbury Steak can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of dietary preferences or restrictions. For those interested in exploring different types of beef and their preparation, refer to Understanding Beef Varieties for more detailed information.

For additional variations and creative cooking ideas, consider exploring these Pinterest recipes for Salisbury Steak that cater to various dietary needs and flavor preferences.


When it comes to preparing Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak, both new and experienced cooks often have questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers, to help you perfect this dish:

  • Can I prepare Salisbury steak ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can form the patties and refrigerate them overnight. Assemble everything in the slow cooker the next day and start cooking according to the recipe instructions.
  • How can I make sure my Salisbury steaks don’t fall apart?
    • Ensure the patties are well mixed and compacted before searing. The egg and breadcrumbs in the recipe act as binders. Searing the patties before placing them in the slow cooker also helps to keep them intact.
  • What can I do if my gravy is too thin?
    • Combine a tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water to make a slurry. Stir this into the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to thicken the gravy.
  • Is it possible to overcook Salisbury steak in a slow cooker?
    • While slow cookers are designed to cook food gently, it is possible to overcook Salisbury steak, especially if cooked on high for too long. This can make the meat tough and dry. Stick to the recommended cooking times.
  • Can Salisbury steak be frozen?
    • Yes, you can freeze the cooked Salisbury steaks in the gravy. Store them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently on the stove or in a microwave.

These FAQs cover the common concerns and tips for troubleshooting when making Salisbury steak, ensuring a successful dish every time. For those looking to delve deeper into slow cooking and recipe variations, find additional insights and ideas on this comprehensive guide on Pinterest.

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Slow Cooker Salisbury Steaks

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


This Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak recipe transforms simple ingredients into a sumptuous meal. The dish involves tender beef patties simmered in a rich, savory gravy, making it the perfect comfort food for any day of the week.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 packet onion soup mix (1 ounce)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 large egg
½ cup bread crumbs
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10.5 ounces)
1 cup water
1 packet brown gravy mix (0.87 ounces)
Optional: parsley for garnish


Prepare the Meat Mixture:
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, steak seasoning, egg, and bread crumbs. Mix until combined but avoid over-mixing.
Form and Brown the Patties:
Divide the mixture into four equal patties. Brown the patties in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 2-3 minutes per side. They do not need to be cooked through, just browned.
Prepare the Slow Cooker:
Place the browned beef patties in the bottom of your slow cooker.
Make the Gravy:
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, water, and brown gravy mix. Stir well to mix.
Pour the gravy mixture over the beef patties in the slow cooker. Cover and set the cooker on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours.
Serve the Salisbury steaks warm over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice. Garnish with parsley if desired.


  • Make-Ahead Tip: Form the patties and prepare the gravy a day in advance. Store separately in the refrigerator to simplify next-day cooking.
  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat gently to maintain the texture and flavor of the patties.
  • Freezing: This recipe freezes well. Freeze the patties and gravy together in portion-sized containers for easy thawing and reheating. Use within three months for best quality.
  • Searing: Searing the patties before placing them in the slow cooker is crucial. It locks in flavors and improves the texture of the finished dish.
  • Thickening the Gravy: If you prefer a thicker gravy, use a slurry of cornstarch and water added during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Dietary Adjustments: For a lower-fat version, consider using ground turkey and a low-fat cream of mushroom soup. Ensure all packaged ingredients are suitable for dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free if necessary.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Diner
  • Method: Slow cooking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 325 kcal

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