Mouthwatering and cozy Salisbury Steak Meatballs are a twist on the traditional recipe. I love making these tender meatballs and serving them with a hearty onion + mushroom gravy over mashed potatoes, fluffy rice, or buttered egg noodles.

Salisbury steak meatballs in gravy in skillet on white marble

Cozy, warm, and so delicious!

Tender Salisbury steak meatballs that have been seared until golden brown, rolling around in a hearty caramelized onion and mushroom gravy. They’re warm and cozy and perfect for this time of the year when you’re looking for comfort food to warm you through and through.

Don’t be surprised if you catch the fam sneaking off with a meatball or two straight from the pan. My husband said he could guzzle the sauce with a spoon and insisted that I didn’t waste even a drop of it. I take that as a good sign.

Salisbury steak meatballs are a twist on the original recipe you might have eaten quite a bit of when growing up. But is it just me, or is it kind of annoying to cook flat Salisbury steaks in a pan? Not to mention that it’s totally retro. I never really know when to turn them, and now and again, one of them will fall apart and crumble right into the sauce – which good for my husband. It makes the gravy extra meaty. But bad for my perfectionist self, who despises when that happens.

Salisbury Meatballs are a nice little compromise. All the flavor and perfect eye appeal too.

bowl of mashed potatoes and sautéed broccolini topped with Salisbury steak meatballs

What do you need to make Salisbury steak meatballs?

  • Grated onions: add flavor and moisture to the meatballs
  • Breadcrumbs: are used for binding. I prefer to use panko breadcrumbs because they melt right into the meatballs, and you don’t even realize they’re there!
  • Seasonings + sauces: I’ve got some garlic, onion, and mustard powder, along with a splash of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  • An egg: the egg is the binder to hold everything together.
  • Ketchup: a couple of squirts of ketchup help add both moisture and flavor. I prefer to use this ketchup; it’s a Texas favorite!
  • Ground beef: I prefer to use 90% lean ground beef for this recipe. You could use anything between and 90-97% to keep these meatballs on the leaner side. If you use ground beef with a higher fat content, you might need to dispose of any additional grease that might have been rendered in the pan before making the onion and mushroom gravy. This will keep it from being too greasy.

How to make the perfect meatballs:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the meat. I use a fork to mix all the ingredients. When the ingredients are mixed, add the ground beef and combine using the fork until *just* incorporated. You don’t want to overwork the meat mixture at this point. That’s why we mix everything else first. Then, portion out the meatballs using a scoop.
  2. Add a drizzle of oil to a hot skillet and cook the meatballs for 6-9 minutes or until they are mostly cooked. Don’t worry if they haven’t cooked all the way through just yet. We’ll let them simmer in the sauce a bit later.
onions and mushroom gravy for meatballs

Ingredients for the onion mushroom gravy:

  • Butter: the butter is used for both the roux and to cook the mushrooms and onions.
  • Mushrooms: you can use white button mushrooms or baby bellas for this recipe. I prefer to use baby portobello mushrooms because they add a bit more flavor to the gravy.
  • Onions: ¼-inch thick slices of onions keep the onions from disappearing in the gravy. They caramelize and develop the most delicious flavor.
  • Garlic: minced garlic adds just the right amount of garlicky punch to the mushrooms.
  • Flour: just a bit of flour to help thicken the sauce and make the roux
  • Beef stock: adds flavor and is the base of the mushroom gravy.
  • Sauces: we’ll add another dash of Worcestershire sauce, a hint of dijon, and another splash of soy sauce to help flavor the sauce

How to make the best gravy for Salisbury steak meatballs:

  1. Add a knob of butter to the pan and when it melts, add the mushrooms. Let them cook down and saute until golden, then add the onions and let them cook for a bit too. Season with minced garlic, and when fragrant, add the remaining butter to the skillet. We’ll make the roux by adding flour and letting it cook until that raw flavor has been cooked out. Then, gradually pour in the stock as you stir.
  2. Season the gravy with the sauces and allow it to cook and simmer until it has thickened a bit. Then, we’ll add the meatballs back to the skillet and allow them to simmer in the sauce and cook all the way through. If you find the gravy thickens too much at any point, you can add a little splash of water of stock to help thin it back out to your preference.
close up of meatballs in mushroom gravy

Tips for making Salisbury Steak Meatballs faster:

  1. Portioning out the meatballs: Once you’ve made the mixture, divide it into 18-22 meatballs. I like to use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop so that all the meatballs are relatively the same size. This takes the guesswork out of cooking them because they take about the same time.
  2. Keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands. I find that this happens more with chicken meatballs than with beef but if you find it sticking, either keep a small bowl of water next to you when rolling so that you can frequently wet your fingertips and palms from the bowl or spray your hand with a little cooking spray before rolling. This should keep your hands nice and meatless.
  3. You can use store-bought meatballs to make this meal faster for weeknight dinner. Now, undoubtedly the homemade meatballs will taste better with this recipe as they’re flavored with ingredients that complement the hearty onion and mushroom gravy. But if you are in a pinch and want something semihomemade, the store-bought meatballs will work for this recipe. All you have to do is brown them in a pan (or pop them in the oven) and make the sauce portion of this recipe.
glistening salisbury meatballs topped with chopped parsley in cast iron skillet

Other meatball recipes you might like:

fork breaking meatball over mashed potatoes
Yield: serves 6

Mouthwatering Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Hearty Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Mouthwatering and cozy Salisbury Steak Meatballs are a twist on the traditional recipe. I love making these tender meatballs and serving them with a hearty onion + mushroom gravy over mashed potatoes, fluffy rice, or buttered egg noodles.

Mouthwatering Salisbury Steak Meatballs with Hearty Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients

Salsbury Steak Meatballs:

  • ¼ cup grated onions
  • ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder AND onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: Worcestershire sauce, low sodium soy sauce, AND ground mustard powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 ¼ pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more)

Mushroom Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6-8 medium baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ cup onion, sliced in 1/4-inch thickness
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons EACH: Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, AND low sodium soy sauce

Instructions

    1. MIX: In a medium bowl, combine the grated onions, panko breadcrumbs, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and all the remaining ingredients except the ground beef and oil. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes so that the excess liquid from the onions gets soaked up by the breadcrumbs. Then, add the meat and mix until *just* combined. Divide the meat mixture into 18-22 meatballs that are 1 1/2 tablespoons each.
    2. COOK: Add the tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and let it heat through on medium-high heat. When hot, add the meatballs in a single layer, do this in batches if the pan is not large enough. Cook the meatballs for 6-9 minutes, flipping halfway through until all sides brown evenly, don’t worry if they aren’t cooked all the way through. Remove to a plate. Add additional oil and cook any remaining meatballs the same way.
    3. GRAVY: Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. When melted, add the mushrooms and allow them to cook and brown, about 3-4 minutes. When brown, add the onions and saute for 3 minutes before adding in the garlic. Let the garlic cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then add the remaining butter to the skillet and allow it to melt. When melted, add the flour and stir to combine. Allow the flour to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the beef stock with one hand while you stir with the other hand. Then, stir in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and soy sauce. Allow the sauce to cook and simmer, once simmering, let cook for 3 minutes or until it thickens just a bit. Then add the meatballs to the skillet (with any released juices that may have collected on the plate) and let cook for 4 minutes. If the gravy thickens too much, you can add a splash of water to thin it to your liking. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes or egg noodles!

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