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Vegetarian Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steaks Recipe

Vegetarian Salisbury Steak
For the past month and a half, we’ve been having Salisbury Steak once a week for dinner. I wanted this recipe to be perfect, so every week, I’d make it in a slightly different way. With oats, without. With ketchup, without. Pan-fried or baked. It was like March Madness all up in my kitchen, except the brackets were made up entirely of vegetarian Salisbury Steaks. I’m betting my money on savory deliciousness!

My mom never made Salisbury Steak when I was a kid, but I loved it in TV dinners and hot lunches at school, on the rare occasion I’d get them. (I think the congealed gravy was my favorite part–I mean, it must have been, because the meat had the texture of an old sponge.) Salisbury Steaks are traditionally cooked in that gravy; you cook the steaks, take them out of the pan, make the gravy, then put the steaks back in the pan to let them soak it up a little bit. After a lot of experimentation, I realized that this didn’t work for my vegetarian Salisbury Steaks–they soak up too much of the gravy, get mushy, and fall apart. So instead, I baked the steaks in the oven, whip up the gravy while they’re baking, and then spoon the gravy on top.

Chopped Mushrooms
These steaks are made with my little trifecta of mushrooms, lentils, and oats. This is the same combination I use my my Lentil Mushroom Meatballs and Lentil Mushroom Burgers. I tried a few other ingredients in this recipe, but settled on those three because they just work! The mushrooms are pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped–you don’t want a puree, but you want it to have almost the consistency of crumbled ground beef. Thyme and sage, ketchup, tamari, and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce add lots of flavor to the faux-beef mixture.

Because there’s extra gravy, you’ll want to serve this recipe with mashed potatoes or cauliflower on the side. We rounded things up with a simple spinach salad too, although steamed green beans or broccoli would be just as good. This makes a perfect Sunday night dinner and the leftovers keep well, so they’re great for bringing to work the next day.

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Vegetarian Salisbury Steaks

Salisbury Steaks Recipe

A vegetarian remake of Salisbury Steak made with lentils, mushrooms, and oats.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, divided
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Combine the lentils and 2 1/4 cups of water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are tender, but not mushy. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Process the oats in the small bowl of a food processor until they’re finely choppedβ€”they should be almost the consistency of flour, but not quite. Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Slice 4 ounces of the mushrooms and set them aside. You’ll use those later for the gravy. Quarter the remaining mushrooms and pulse them in the food processor until finely chopped.
  4. Preheat oven to 375ΒΊF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Once the lentils have cooled a bit, put them in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to mash them a little bit. You don’t want them to be completely mashed; about half of the lentils should still be intact. But mashing them a little bit helps your steaks stick together. Stir in the chopped mushrooms, oats, 1 tablespoon of tamari, ketchup, 1 teaspoon of thyme, Worcestershire sauce, sage, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then fold in the egg.
  6. Form the steak mixture into 8 small patties, about the size of your palm. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Once you’ve shaped all the patties, put them in the oven and bake them for about 25 minutes, until they’re browned on the outside and hold together.
  7. While the steaks are cooking, start the gravy. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 3 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and have released their juices. Pour in the wine and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the wine has just about evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of tamari, the remaining teaspoon of thyme, and the mushroom or vegetable stock. Once the stock comes to a boil, let the gravy cook down for about 8 minutes, until it’s reduced and thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
  8. Whisk the flour and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into the gravy and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, until the gravy has thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. The gravy will thicken as it cools. Spoon the gravy over the steaks to serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 steaks

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86 Comments

  • Reply
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
    March 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Whhhhat?! you are speaking to me with this, because I’ve been on the hunt for a salisbury steak recipe for MONTHS!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Woo hoo, make it, make it! It works with a flax egg too–I tested it and the only difference is that the steaks are a little delicate. If you eat Daiya, throwing in some of the Mozzarella shreds might help bind them a little bit better.

      • Reply
        Kimmie
        March 23, 2014 at 10:07 pm

        I used guar gum to bind instead of egg and added a little garlic. I have plenty of leftovers.

  • Reply
    Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    March 19, 2014 at 9:51 am

    going on the list..i see people enjoy salisbury steak with so much pleasure but since i dont eat beef, this is will be great to try.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I think you will definitely enjoy this version!

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    March 19, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Yay! I seriously cannot wait to try these! Back when I ate meat, the salisbury steak was one of my favorite meals at school. I bet these are WAY better, though.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      They are definitely way better. πŸ™‚ When I think about those school lunch Salisbury Steaks, I can’t believe I thought they were so good. *shudder*

  • Reply
    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    March 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I’ve never heard of salisbury steak! But if this is what the veggie version is like, I can totally get behind it πŸ˜€ this looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    March 19, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I am a believer in your mushroom lentil meatballs. Can’t wait to try these steaks! My mouth is salivating! As always, a big fan of you Miss Kiersten!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Thank you! πŸ™‚ I hope you like the steaks if you make them! They’re probably one of my favorite recipes so far this year…

  • Reply
    Katie @ Produce on Parade
    March 19, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Oh my goodness! I remember Salisbury steaks from elementary school hot lunches. We never got hot lunches though, we always packed our own but I remember thinking, “That’s not what steak looks like….” Haha. These look mmuuuch better though! πŸ™‚ A flax egg could replace a chicken egg, too! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      Ha! Yes, I almost never got hot lunches either. They were a special treat and I always waited until Salisbury Steak was on the menu to order mine. I did try making these with flax eggs and while they do work, they’re a little more prone to crumbling so you have to be extra careful when plating them.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    March 19, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    You amaze me!

  • Reply
    Maria Tadic
    March 19, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    These look yummy! Im glad you’ve figured out a good combo for faux ground meat!! I love the flavors and it’s all real foods – not that processed stuff. Think this would hold together enough to make a meatloaf??? B/c that’d be DELICIOUS!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

      You know, I haven’t tried it, but I think it could. It would definitely work as a mini-meatloaf (like muffin tin meatloaves or even in a small loaf tin), but it may have issues in a big loaf tin. I should experiment with that…

  • Reply
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking
    March 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Now that’s the most mouthwatering looking copycat steak I’ve ever seen! Very convincing… and mouthwatering!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you! It took me approximately 200 photos to get a few shots that worked out. πŸ™‚ Salisbury Steak is not the most photogenic dish!

  • Reply
    Heather
    March 19, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Any hints on some of the other options you tried before settling on the trifecta? My mouth is watering, but I’m allergic to lentils!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      I had lentils in every version! πŸ™ But if you can eat other legumes, I think you could try black beans in this. Wouldn’t be quite the same, but it wouldn’t be terrible!

  • Reply
    Joanne
    March 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    I never had salisbury steaks growing up (or ever) and I think I’m happy about that?

    I could see myself really loving a veggie version though. Mostly because soggy meat just sounds unappealing but gravy-smothered savory oat cakes sound awesome.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      Yeah, really, that’s probably for the best. πŸ™‚ When I got them in hot lunches at school, the gravy would be a film on top of this spongy, mushy perfectly oval lump of ground beef. I have no idea why I loved them so much. This version is much better!

  • Reply
    Scotia48
    March 20, 2014 at 3:55 am

    This looks really great, and I will post it to my daughter who is trying to eat better with less meats this month. The only thing I would offer is the gravy can be made with corn starch a little easier and less “floury” , and let’s just caramelize the onions and mushrooms (crimini of course) before we make the gravy. I will be making this this weekend.
    Just had blow out Irish meals on Monday and Tuesday….all vegetarian with brown bread and soda caraway bread. Nothing better.
    Thank you for keeping on doing this. I love and keep coming back to your site!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      I hope you enjoy the recipe! I prefer to make my gravy with flour, but I know a lot of people are firmly in the cornstarch camp. πŸ™‚ You can definitely substitute that instead!

      I usually make Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day, but I missed it this year! What did you make? I’ve seen a few boxty recipes in the past week that I’ve been wanting to try…

  • Reply
    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective
    March 20, 2014 at 9:27 am

    This looks savory delish and a must try! Yep, my family sometimes have the same recipe a few days in a row just to make it is perfect! Poor Babies πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Yeah, sometimes it’s like Groundhog Day in our house when dinnertime rolls around. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa
    March 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Amazing! Definitely feeding this to my meat eating, steak loving dad! Hopefully it’s a game changer πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    Angie (@angiesrecipess)
    March 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This is amazing, Kiersten. I am a huge fan of lentils, so this is definitely on my have-to-try list!
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!
    Angie

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Lentils are one of my favorite meat substitutes! I love their savory flavor. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Mandy
    March 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    About 15 years ago, Yves made a 2-pack vegetarian salisbury steak. It was *delicious*. I bought the handful my grocery store had each week and lived on em. Sadly, they stopped making them, and I moved to an almost-vegetarian-desert. These look so good. I can’t wait to give them a try.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      Really?! Oh man, I don’t remember seeing those. But I used to live by this grocery store that sold the BEST vegetarian breakfast wraps and I’m fairly certain those were also made by Yves. When they stopped making them, I was so sad!

  • Reply
    lisacng @ expandng.com
    March 20, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    I wonder if I’ll fool my hubs with this recipe :). I really have to start experimenting with your recipes! Lentils on the grocery list for next week! Good baby food, I’ve read, too.

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      Well, it might not fool him, but it’s so delicious, he probably won’t care! πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Ricki
    March 20, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    This looks so incredibly delicious!! I used to eat Salisbury Steak as a kid but haven’t had anything like it since. I will have to find a way to adapt this to my anti-candida diet. . . gotta have it! πŸ˜€

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 20, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out an adaptation–if anyone can, it’s you! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Jane
    March 21, 2014 at 8:47 am

    I made this recipe yesterday evening for dinner. OMGoodness, it was so GOOD! I am a huge lentil and mushroom lover, so I couldn’t wait to try this dish. It was a culinary delight, and it will be featured for dinners around our house frequently. My husband loved it as well!! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 23, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Woo hoo! I spent so much time on this recipe, I’m pretty thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it too! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    March 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I don’t know if I’ve ever actually used the word “umami”, but between the steaks and the gravy, this recipe definitely brings that word to mind! Sounds like these would have much more flavour than an actual steak, and a bite of that with mashed potatoes and gravy sounds like the perfect combo!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 23, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      I think umami is my favorite flavor and YES, these steaks are full of umami. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Kazz
    March 22, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I know this is a really sad question as I’ve been a veggie for about 5 years now but I’ve only very recently started to use lentils and I don’t know if in recipe I have to cook the lentils first?

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      They’re cooked in the first step of the recipe. πŸ™‚

      • Reply
        Kazz
        March 24, 2014 at 12:47 am

        Oh dear, had a brain free day I think. I just read the ingredients and the actual recipe which clearly explains what to do with the lentils.

        Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Bridgette
    March 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks for working so hard on perfecting that recipe for us to enjoy. I would love to make it for family and church, however do you have any substitution for the dry white wine and the egg? Thank you once again

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 23, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      You can just leave out the white wine. As for the egg, you can try using a flax egg (1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds and about 3 tablespoons of warm water)–it doesn’t bind quite as well as the egg, so the steaks will be a little bit delicate.

  • Reply
    Manda
    March 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    This was amazing! I’m not a veggie but my boyfriend is so I don’t cook meat at home. I usually order when we are out at a restaurant but Salisbury steak is something I LOVE but cannot find anywhere. My aunt’s bar had the best but after they closed I had no way of getting my fix. This is delicious and my boyfriend already asked for it again. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      March 25, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Thank you for your comment–I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Jennie @themessybakerblog
    March 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    I love this meatless version! Yes, slather on the gravy. Yum!

  • Reply
    mhbanks
    April 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Have you tried prepping a day before cooking, or is it better to make ahead of time and reheat? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Frase
      April 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I haven’t tried that, so I can’t say if it would work out. I have had leftovers though, so I do know that if you cook them first, they reheat well!

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