Meatless Salisbury Steak

This month, in light of many people’s New Year’s resolutions (eat more veggies, eat less red meat, fill in the blank here), we’re featuring meatless meals — hearty dishes for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Today, Aimee from The Veg Life shares her recipe for meatless Salisbury steak — a weeknight staple in her house growing up. Here’s how she makes it…

Meatless Salisbury Steak by Aimee of The Veg Life

When I think of classic dishes from growing up, Salisbury steak was always among them. Ours is an even healthier version where instead of ground beef, we used coarsely chopped mushrooms, quick-cooking oats and breadcrumbs as the main ingredients. Traditionally, Salisbury steak is topped with either sauce or gravy, so I opted for a compromise — tomato onion gravy.

Just a handful of ingredients make up this flavorful version. The process itself is really not much different than making a meatloaf, except that we shape the patty into that classic Salisbury steak form.

Recipe: Meatless Salisbury Steak

What you’ll need:

For the tomato-onion gravy:

1 1/2 tsp. oil of your choosing
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 carrot, very finely diced
1 celery stalk, very finely diced
1 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

For the mushroom steak:

1 tbsp. oil of your choosing
1 lb. mushrooms (such as button, baby bella or a mixture)
1 small onion, finely diced
minced garlic, to taste
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
2 tbsp. parmesan (or vegan cheese, like Go Veggie)
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/8 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. worcestershire sauce (Annie’s makes a great vegan version)
1 tsp. grainy mustard
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 eggs

To begin, sauté onions, celery and carrots in a skillet using a small amount of oil until they are tender and golden. This will become the base for the tomato gravy, so you want them to caramelize, which adds even more flavor.

While the vegetables are sautéing, chop the mushrooms (using a sharp knife, not a food processor). Chop until there is still texture, but no large pieces. In a separate sauté pan, add a small amount of oil and one small finely diced onion. Cook for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms. Immediately season with salt, which helps draw out the moisture. Continue to cook until the onions soften and all of the moisture evaporates. Remove from heat and add the garlic.

Allow the mushroom mixture to cool slightly, then add two eggs and the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or even overnight. This will allow the moisture to permeate the dry ingredients and the flavors to meld.

After the mixture has been refrigerated, using damp hands, firmly compact and form into that signature Salisbury steak patty shape. Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to let the bottom get overly brown. Once they start to firm up, you can carefully flip halfway through the cooking process.

While the patties are baking, finish the tomato onion gravy. To the already-sauteed vegetables, add 1 tablespoon of flour and cook in a saucepan for 1 minute. Add the broth, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cook until it is hot and bubbly. Finish with fresh parsley. The finished sauce is sweet, tangy and full of texture.

Serve atop garlic mashed potatoes with your favorite green vegetable.

Thank you so much, Aimee!

(Photos and recipe by Aimee of The Veg Life. Thanks to Caroline Donofrio for her help with this series)

  1. @Notes from Abroad: Many people go veggie because they think they’re doing the world a favor. They really want to eat meat and crave it, but they feel guilty. Thus, the substitutions. The only way I’d ever go veg is if I stopped liking the taste of meat. Humans are omnivores. I am not going to feel guilty about it.

  2. Why not call it something totally different than ‘Salisbury Steak’? Carnivores like me roll our eyes when we see recipes like this. Nothing wrong with having no meat every now and then, but call a spade a spade. No meat, it’s not steak!

  3. agh I just wrote the above comment on the wrong post, sorry! on this post I wanted to add, thank you for catering to us V-people!!

  4. Oh, that’s what happened to Matthew Crawley.

    Lately (winter colds, go away) I’ve been binge-watching old favorites–Buffy, Lost, Friends. I keep telling myself to get into something new but I’m a chronic re-watcher.

    People keep talking about Orphan Black … I think I need to add that to my list.

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  5. I’m not a vegetarian, but my husband and I like to try new things and this looked good. We made it last night and it was AMAZING. And easy. I give it five stars, two thumbs up, and a cheers.

  6. Meatless meals- what a fantastic idea for a series! Thank you! And to Clueless in NY- I think “fake meat” has come a long way since decades ago when it was just weird. I’m a long time vegetarian and I often now find the meat replacements quite a delicious surprise.

  7. I sort of don’t get the idea behind making food look like meat or taste like meat if a person has quit eating meat . I quit eating meat 42 years ago. I have never had the urge to eat vegetables that look like meatloaf etc.
    Would someone tell me what I am missing ? :)
    I think by now, if I had fake meat sitting on a plate, it would turn me off .. thanks, clueless in NY

  8. Since my husband has gone gluten free and I’m struggling to find snacks for him and our girls, ANY of the Gluten Free wonders would do – but the Tart Apple Mango Crispy Chews have my mouth watering!

  9. I would just love it if you included some make-ahead and/or freezer options in your meatless recipes. I’m also always on the lookout for veggie recipes that do not feature tomatoes (I feel like all my veggie recipes do!).

    I think I’ll try this and freeze the “steaks” for later.

    Many thanks!

  10. I love how this is done with all natural, easy to find and recognize ingredients! It’s so refreshing to see non-meat made out of non-chemicals! SOO much better than store bought frozen veggie burgers and the like. I’ve been vegetarian for 5 years, and never had salisbury steak when I ate meat. But now I want to try the vegetarian version, haha! Thanks for this!!!

  11. What a great new series! I’m doing a month of clean eating recipes on my site so this is perfect recipe inspo!

  12. Wow! Nice recipe!
    Great post at the right time as I’ve been struggling with going back to red meat sometimes. After seeing that documentary about the abuse of chickens, not being able to stand because their breast meat is so heavy, chicken isn’t the same. I believe anyone that sees that video will surely change about the way they feel about chicken nuggets.

  13. This looks good, and I love veggies – but why why why does it get called “meatless steak”!? It’s not a steak, call it what it is – a veggie patty. STOP trying to be fake meat. There is nothing wrong with a veg patty.

  14. As much as I’m a huge meat lover I would really like to give this recipe a try :) It would be a nice change to have during the week and looks so easy to make xx

  15. Awesome recipe. We are getting married this year so we are trying to eat healthier so hopefully that will aide in our weight loss. Love the idea of this recipe, cant wait to try it out!

  16. This looks delicious and resembles something my aunt made over Christmas.

    I’ve been the only vegetarian in my family for a long time and for Christmas, my aunt brought an appetizer of mushroom caps stuffed with a similar mixture of chopped mushroom, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.

    Since my family usually tries to (unsuccessfully) sneak meat into my diet without my knowing, I thought everyone was kidding when they said the mushroom caps were vegetarian because the mixture looked exactly like meat! Thankfully I trusted my grandma and tried one before they ran out. If this recipe is anything like those, I’ll be in for a treat. ;)
    -E @

  17. Carissa, my boyfriend and I just started Meatless Mondays too! I love it – it’s a nice way to experiment with new recipes and to practice eating more vegetables, but without giving up the meat I love on other days.

    Princess, meat can be great for the body, but so are multi-veggie, nutrient-packed meals like this one. There’s room for both in a healthy diet! And besides, to each their own, right?

  18. Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so I’d skip that for a truly vegetarian meal. A beautiful plate nonetheless. Looking forward to more meatless recipes!

  19. Yum! This is exactly the kind of thing we need to eat more of … we love mushrooms and onions and tomatoes in our house, but are tired of the same-old recipes. Thanks!

  20. Ah, the human body thrives on MEAT (complemented by veggies and other foods, of course). Surprised you guys haven’t come around by now, given all the NYT et al coverage about Paleo/bone broth/Gary Taubes/etc. A vegetarian diet is not a healthier diet (although it’s better than a vegan diet!).

    • Emma says...

      Watch “Food Choices” on Netflix. Mind blown!

  21. I’m definitely going to make this soon. Thanks for starting this series. I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 10 years and also have a serious dairy allergy. I love to bake and cook and I don’t feel like I’ve been limited with being vegetarian either. I really feel like it’s broadened my cooking horizons! Going veg even a couple days a week is so good for our planet so, cheers, Jo! I’m so glad you’re doing this series!