Coated in a rich brown gravy with little bits of onion and then topped with fresh chopped parsley, these delicious Salisbury Steak Meatballs are the ultimate classic comfort food. It’s a super easy 2-step recipe that your whole family will love!
Easy Salisbury Steak Meatballs Recipe
For this recipe, I took the classic American Salisbury Steak and turned it into super tasty meatballs! Truth be told, I love making meatballs. In fact, I sort of consider myself a meatball expert. Being from Romania, whether we are talking about my all-time favorite Romanian Meatballs, Italian Meatballs, or Indonesian Meatballs, I enjoy them all!
So for these Salisbury Steak Meatballs, it was a no-brainer for me to turn hamburger steaks into little bite-size balls of deliciousness! Basically, it’s just a difference in how you form the ground meat. I did make a few changes to the meatball gravy like not adding mushrooms, but you can actually modify the gravy any way you like. That’s part of the beauty of cooking.
Why We Love These Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Quick And Easy! These homemade meatballs are made using basic pantry ingredients, can be cooked in a variety of ways, and make a wholesome 40-minute meal.
- Salisbury Steak Bites! Slathered in rich brown gravy these bite-size salisbury steak meatballs are absolutely delicious like little works of edible art.
- Versatile Dish! Meatballs make a great main course when served with your favorite sides. But they can also be served as an appetizer or be taken to a potluck.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Beef – We want lean ground beef for this salisbury steak meatball recipe.
- Breadcrumbs – I used Panko but you can substitute it for any breadcrumbs you have on hand.
- Egg – The binder in our meatballs. If you’re egg free you can use ¼ cup of ricotta per egg.
- Condiments – Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and coarse grain mustard.
- Seasoning – We’re using seasoning salt and pepper today, regular salt can be used.
- Spices – Onion powder for a bit of onion taste.
- Olive oil – To fry our meatballs. Neutral vegetable oil can also be used.
- Butter – Unsalted as we want to control the sodium in our dish.
- Onion – An onion that cooks down well such as white or yellow should be used.
- Condiments – Ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
- Broth – I used beef broth today but feel free to substitute with chicken or vegetable broth. Look for no sodium or low sodium.
- Cornstarch or Flour – This will thicken up our gravy for our salisbury steak meatballs.
- Seasoning – Seasoning salt or regular salt.
- Parsley – A little bit of fresh parsley for garnish.
How To Make Salisbury Steak Meatballs
This recipe is broken down into 2 simple steps. First, you need to cook up some salisbury meatballs and then make a gravy in the same skillet. The entire process takes just about 40 minutes and the results are absolutely delicious.
Form The Meatballs
To begin, add the ground beef along with all the other meatball ingredients to a large bowl and mix them together well using your hands. Yes, your hands! They are the best tool you’ve got when it comes to making any type of meatballs. Then form the meat mixture into about 30 small meatballs that are each 1-inch in diameter. Yet, they don’t need to be perfect. However, to make them all the same size, I usually use a small cookie scoop to scoop up meat mixture.
Also, if you are having trouble shaping your meatballs. They may be too wet or too dry to hold together. It’s likely an issue with the amount of egg or breadcrumbs that were used to bind the meat together. But it’s easy to fix, so don’t worry. If the meatballs are too wet just add a little more of the breadcrumbs and if they are too dry add a little more egg.
However, when adding more egg, I suggest that you whisk an egg in a small bowl and then add a little at a time to the meat mixture until the meatballs begin holding their shape. If you just toss in another whole egg you may find yourself with a mixture that is now too wet!
Fry The Meatballs
With the meatballs formed it’s time to get them cooking! Heat the olive oil over medium to high heat in a large skillet. Now, add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer and cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. And unless your pan is huge, you will likely need to do this in a couple of batches to brown them properly. Then once the meatballs are fully cooked, transfer them from the skillet to a plate, and set them aside for a later step.
Or Air Fry Them
To be honest, I prefer air frying my meatballs, they come out perfect every single time, plus you don’t have to worry about them crumbling up as they cook. To air fry them, all you have to do is place the meatballs in the air fryer basket and cook them for about 15 minutes at 380°F.
Make The Gravy
Now that the meatballs are made, you will make the gravy in the same skillet using all those yummy drippings. Start by melting the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Next, add the onions and cook them for about 2 minutes until they are both soft and translucent.
Sprinkle the flour over the onion and stir. You’ll want to cook this for about a minute to remove the raw flour taste. Pour the beef broth in the skillet along with the remaining gravy ingredients and simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes while constantly stirring with the whisk until it thickens up. However, if it gets too thick just add a little more broth and if it seems too thin just let it cook a few more minutes to reduce more. Then taste the finished gravy and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Finish And Serve
You’ve got your cooked meatballs, you’ve got your gravy, and now it’s time to marry the two. Put the meatballs back into the skillet with the gravy and toss them around until they are fully coated.
What Is Salisbury Steak
Salisbury steak is a ‘steak’ made from ground beef and served with a gravy or brown sauce. It’s amazing what you get when you mix some ground beef with some delicious condiments! So essentially it’s shaped to resemble a steak and it’s usually served atop mashed potatoes or noodles. It’s not the most glamorous dish but I think I’ve turned this American dish into a work of edible art!
Other Cooking Options
Besides frying or air frying, you could also bake the meatballs. I bake meatballs all the time and they turn out great. To bake them, coat a baking sheet with cooking spray, or use a baking rack. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Make your gravy first, then the meatballs. Hold onto some cut onions and use those to line the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the meatballs on top and pour the gravy over top. Cook on LOW for 3 – 4 hours before serving over mashed potatoes.
Brown the meatballs with butter on the sauté setting. Remove the meatballs once browned and deglaze your pressure cooker with the beef broth. Add the rest of your gravy ingredients (save the flour or cornstarch) and place the meatballs back in. Cook on manual HIGH for 4 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally, should take around 10 minutes before removing the lid. Add the cornstarch slurry or flour to thicken the sauce and serve over mashed potatoes.
- To prevent your meatballs from crumbling and falling apart, do not overcrowd your meatballs while frying them. Leave about ½ inch of space in between. It’s best to do it in a couple batches.
- If you still have crumbling issues, it could be an issue with the binders. So either not enough egg or too much breadcrumbs. If your eggs are too small, add another egg, that should help bind the meatballs better.
They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
Gravy will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for up 3 months. pull the gravy from the freezer the day before you’d like to use it to allow it to thaw fully before reheating on the stove.
Other Delicious Meatball Recipes To Try
- Chimichurri Meatballs
- Sweet and Spicy Korean Meatballs
- Dutch Meatballs
- Stout Meatballs with BBQ Sauce
- Swedish Meatballs
- Porcupine Meatballs
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Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Add all the meatball ingredients (excluding the olive oil) to a large bowl and mix well, use your hands. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. You should get about 30 meatballs.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium to high heat. Add meatballs and cook. If you're using a large skillet all meatballs should fit in one batch otherwise, you might have to fry them in a couple batches. Cook the meatballs on all sides, add more oil if needed. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside.
- To the same skillet add butter and melt. Add onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onion and stir. Cook for about 1 minute to remove the raw flour taste. (If using cornstarch make a slurry with equal amounts water and cornstarch) Add broth and remaining gravy ingredients to skillet, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, sauce should thicken. If the sauce is too thick add a bit more beef broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- When the gravy is done add the meatballs back to the skillet and toss them around so they're covered in the gravy. Garnish with parsley.
- To prevent your meatballs from crumbling and falling apart, do not overcrowd your meatballs while cooking them. Leave about ½ inch of space in between. It’s best to do it in a couple batches. It can also be an issue with the binding, so either not enough egg or too much breadcrumbs, if your eggs are too small, add another egg, that should help bind the meatballs better.
- They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 – 4 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Gravy will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for up 3 months. pull the gravy from the freezer the day before you’d like to use it to allow it to thaw fully before reheating on the stove.
- Recipe originally shared June, 2015.