When it comes to my kids, any meal that is lacking in color, or contains a sauce/gravy that “hides” ingredients, is sure to be a disaster at our table. Anytime there is a sauce/gravy, I tend to leave it on the side. I allow my son to “eyeball” the meal and ask questions about the ingredients. If he is skeptical, he isn't happy. I think sauces can make kids feel like we are trying to pull one over on them.

One of the worst recipes I tried recently (a lighter version of Salisbury steak) looked gray, and I didn't want to eat it myself! It had too few ingredients, and it was tricky to substitute healthy ingredients in order to nail that sauce. The first recipe I tried actually contained seasoning packets from ramen noodles!

There certainly are not a lot of ground beef recipes for healthy meals. But, ground beef can be healthy in moderation. There are plenty of lean choices, and my family prefers a 50/50 turkey-beef blend. I have tried about five different recipes, and this was the best for Salisbury steak.


  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin (or gently pre-mix turkey and beef, being aware over mixing will make tough patties) 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning blend (or mix up your own with coarse salt and pepper) 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (3 turns of the pan to coat) 
  • 1 package of mushrooms, washed and sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef stock or broth  

1. Combine meat, Worcestershire, onion and steak seasoning in bowl. Form 2 large, oval patties, each about 1-inch thick. 

2. Preheat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the meat patties to a hot pan. Cook meat 6 minutes on each side until meat is evenly caramelized on the outside and juices run clear. Remove meat and cover with loose tin foil to keep warm. Add more olive oil to coat with 1 more turn of the pan then add butter to the pan and the mushrooms. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and sauté mushrooms until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. 

3. Add a sprinkle of flour to the pan of mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more. Whisk in stock and thicken 1 minute.

To serve, pour gravy over the meat and choose a side that is a bright vegetable! My suggestion is steamed green beans.  

*If someone doesn't care for mushrooms, serve gravy with a slotted spoon. 
*Onion discriminator? Substitute onion powder in place of the chopped onion in your patties. You will need that onion flavor.