Sunday, August 4, 2013

Breaking Tradition: Turkey Salisbury Steaks

I recently admitted that I like "light" frozen entrees for lunch.  I know they're loaded with salt, unpronounceable chemicals, don't include many vegetables, etc., but they taste so good! Plus they're quick -- a few minutes in the microwave, another couple minutes of cooling-down time, and you're good to go.  I've been weaning myself off them over the last year or so, not for any particular reason but I'm just finding healthier lunch items I like better, like sauteed mushrooms and wilted spinach with a couple soft-cooked eggs on top and some hot sauce.  Or yet another bowl of oatmeal for the day. 

One of the frozen entrees I always liked was the salisbury steak.  I don't think I've ever had salisbury steak other than those little entrees, so that's the only version I know.  Hopefully the combination of these two recipes gets me somewhat close! 


My Bizzy Kitchen Salisbury Steak for Two (5 oz patties)
and Cooking Light Hamburger Steak with Onion Gravy (4 oz patties)

I combined these two recipes, mainly the patties from the first one and the gravy from the second... plus the packet of instant gravy. 

I used ground turkey for this recipe because it's what I had in the freezer.  I was a little unsure of that replacement, but I looked for other turkey salisbury steak recipes and they exist, so I went with it.  Since my ground turkey was 1 pound, I made this into 4 patties. I was disappointed when I pulled out the ground turkey because it was 85% lean (15% fat!) and you can get packages of leaner beef. 

I was a little shy about adding the salt to the patties since I had heard Dijon can be salty and Worcestershire sauce is definitely salty, but I felt I could have definitely added it without any problems.  I also added some dry red wine because a reviewer for one of the recipes said it really made it.

If you want to make this gluten-free, you can probably skip the bread crumbs, cook the patties gently on the stove or countertop grill to ensure they don't fall apart, and serve it on mashed potatoes or quinoa.  


makes four patties

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup vertically-sliced onion (pole to pole)
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup water (or whatever amount needed for the gravy mix) 
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (I used pinot noir since that's what Husband Jeff had open)


Gently mix the patty ingredients and shape into four patties. 
Shaped turkey patties.
Grill the patties 4-6 minutes on the George Foreman grill or probably about the same amount of time on an outdoor grill over medium heat.  You can also cook them in a pan on the stove.  Please just do a better job than I did, I forgot to time both batches of meat in the grill and had to guess if they were done or not. 
Grilled up meat.

Meanwhile, over medium heat, heat up a medium-large skillet and add the oil.  When the oil is hot, add the onion slices and cook 5-8 minutes stirring occasionally, until they're nicely softened but not dark.  Add the chopped mushrooms and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Sauteed onions and mushrooms.

Add the gravy packet, water called for with your packet, and the red wine and stir well to incorporate.  Add the patties and bring it to a boil.  Once it's at a boil, turn down the heat and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the gravy thickens.
Patties going incognito nestled in the gravy.
Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  I served mine over egg noodles since I'm not really fond of potatoes. 
The salisbury steak lounging on a luxurious bed of egg noodles.


So amazingly tender and delicious!  Comforting home-style dinner.

It was pretty dang close to that "frozen entree" flavor, but of course the meat was so much better (and more of it).  I know this uses a packet of salty gravy mix, but I really wanted that "frozen entree" flavor, so I figured I would try it out.  My next attempt will probably use real ingredients by thickening up some beef broth.  I'm glad I made a game-time decision to add the red wine, it added a depth and complexity that I'm sure the packet of instant gravy wouldn't have had on its own.

The onions were a little sweeter than I wanted even though I tend to buy regular yellow onions, not sweet onions.  So I'm not sure why they were so sweet.  I could have used a lot more mushrooms, but Husband Jeff doesn't like mushrooms.  He said I could use them in this dish, but he painstakingly picked out every bit from his plate.  I should have left them as slices so it would have been easier to pick out, but I didn't think of that when I was making it.

Next time I won't be shy about seasoning the meat, it was pretty bland on its own. Maybe I would increase the Worcestershire sauce and the Dijon mustard. 

 Husband Jeff liked it (aside from the mushrooms).  Sonny D loved the meat and ate all but a few bits of a whole patty, but he didn't want the noodles in the gravy.  Things like that always surprise me, I would think most kids would love noodles and would have eaten those first.  Instead my son eats the grapes and avocado first.  Based on the feedback from the family, I would definitely make this again. 

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!