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Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Salisbury Steak Meatballs – Good old fashioned comfort food. These meatballs are cozy and satisfying on their own, but they also pair beautifully with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash. You’ll want to dive right in!

Salisbury Steak Meatballs - Good old fashioned comfort food. These meatballs are cozy and satisfying on their own, but they also pair beautifully with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash. You'll want to dive right in!

Did you ever try one of those packaged TV dinners? When I was 12, I babysat for a family when who left them for me to prepare every time I watched their adorable toddler and squashy baby, and I secretly loved them. They were completely novel for me. We didn’t eat many packaged dinners at home, so even though the entrees and sides were only so-so to 12-year-old-me, the novelty of an instant meal and (let’s be honest) the chocolate pudding was what really sealed the deal for me.

We moved across the country shortly after that, and I haven’t eaten another TV dinner since, but that little memory is what comes to mind whenever I think of salisbury steak.

Thankfully, this take on salisbury steak is much more delicious (if not as instant) and healthy than that TV dinner. Plus, I’ve miniaturized it into meatball form, which my whole family loves. Let’s break it down…

Salisbury Steak Meatballs - It's classic comfort at its finest. While it might not be the fanciest dish around, it certainly is one of the coziest!

Salisbury steak isn’t really steak at all. It’s one of those kitschy budget-friendly recipes you might have easily seen on a table decades ago (a la meatloaf), but isn’t quite as common today. Made from ground beef and topped with a simple gravy/sauce, it’s one of those dishes that says comfort to me.

I much prefer to make meatballs instead of little hamburger-shaped patties. It makes scooping up portions much easier with all the different sizes/appetites of eaters in our house, and I also really love anything miniature. The sauce comes together in no time and is mayyyyybe my favorite part. I love this dish on its own, paired with a side salad and some fruit. Michael LOVES it nestled into a warm scoop of mashed potatoes (or you can use mashed cauliflower).

It’s classic comfort at its finest. While it might not be the fanciest dish around, it certainly is one of the coziest!

Salisbury Steak Meatballs - My whole family LOVES these! Gluten free + paleo friendly. They're SO good!
Salisbury Steak Meatballs - Classic comfort food made lighter. We LOVE these. (gluten free + paleo approved!)

Notes on the Recipe:

Breadcrumbs vs. Almond meal. I’ve made this with breadcrumbs and almond flour and both have worked well for me. Use what works well for you. If you’re not gluten free, breadcrumbs might be easier. If you’re paleo, the almond flour is a great choice!

What about the eggs? If you have an egg allergy, you’ll find that the meatballs don’t bind together *quite* as well without them. If you need to skip the egg, you can try using some extra veggies (as in these meatballs) instead.

Cornstarch vs. Arrowroot. Cornstarch has been much more reliable for me. I use non-GMO cornstarch and don’t have an issue with it, but if you’re sensitive to corn or avoid it (as in Paleo-style eating), you can absolutely use arrowroot. You’ll just want to be sure your sauce doesn’t bubble too long, as arrowroot can lose it’s binding qualities when cooked too long.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs - Good old fashioned comfort food. These meatballs are cozy and satisfying on their own, but they also pair beautifully with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash. You'll want to dive right in!

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Salisbury Steak Meatballs


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Yield: at least 6 servings (about 30 meatballs) 1x

Ingredients

Scale

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (I use 85% or leaner)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely minced mushrooms
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (sub coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Olive oil, butter, or ghee, for cooking (about 1 Tbsp)

For the Gravy:

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (can sub coconut aminos for paleo, or omit)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder, mixed with 2 Tbsp water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients with a fork lightly until well mixed. Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs with your hands and place on a plate. (I got roughly 30 meatballs out of my mixture).
  2. Heat olive oil/butter/ghee in a large saute pan over medium heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, brown the meatballs on the top and bottom, about 2-3 minutes, per side. Transfer to another plate. (Meatballs will NOT be cooked through. They’ll continue cooking in the sauce.) Repeat with remaining meatballs until all are browned. Make the sauce in the same pan.

For the Sauce/Gravy:

  1. Add the onions to the pan drippings from the meatballs. Cook on medium heat 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and stir to coat.
  4. Stir in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
  5. Add browned meatballs to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer 3-5 minutes, or until meatballs are completely cooked through.
  6. Stir in cornstarch and water mixture and gently stir sauce until thickened. Remove from heat and serve warm.

Notes

Breadcrumbs vs. Almond meal. I’ve made this with breadcrumbs and almond flour and both have worked well for me. Use what works well for you. If you’re not gluten free, breadcrumbs might be easier. If you’re paleo, the almond flour is a great choice!

What about the eggs? If you have an egg allergy, you’ll find that the meatballs don’t bind together *quite* as well without them. If you need to skip the egg, you can try using some extra veggies (as in these meatballs) instead.

Cornstarch vs. Arrowroot. Cornstarch has been much more reliable for me. I use non-GMO cornstarch and don’t have an issue with it, but if you’re sensitive to corn or avoid it (as in Paleo-style eating), you can absolutely use arrowroot. You’ll just want to be sure your sauce doesn’t bubble too long, as arrowroot can lose it’s binding qualities when cooked too long.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs - Good old fashioned comfort food. These meatballs are cozy and satisfying on their own, but they also pair beautifully with mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash. You'll want to dive right in!

9 Comments

  1. These were so delicious! I made them this weekend, using the breadcrumb, ghee, and cornstarch options (where are you gave choices), and made the recipe exactly as you wrote it – I had beautiful luck. The meatballs are very tender w/ a Salisbury steak taste I remember from childhood… it would be tempting to make a double batch to have leftovers next time. To me the only drawback is it’s a lot of work for basically a one time family meal with no leftovers, but really enjoyed this ! Thanks!

    1. ( I got 28 meatballs and we had 4 servings of seven apiece … served them over buttered egg noodles w/parsley – a very hearty dish !)

  2. Made this with the cauliflower mash and EVERYONE loved it!! I used the frozen mushroom medley from Trader Joe’s in place of regular mushrooms because I did not have those in hand and everything tasted delicious. New family favorite. Thank you!!

  3. This is probably my favorite recipe ever since going gluten and dairy free nearly 6 years ago! I served it as a company dinner over mashed potatoes alongside seared asparagus – everyone thought it was fantastic.

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