Skinny Salisbury Steak, a Diner Classic

Salisbury steak has been a classic dish long before TV dinners were in the picture. Look on the menu of most diners and you’ll probably see this hamburger patty-style steak. It’s usually smothered with rich, dark, gravy and served with mashed potatoes. This recipe is too but I’m trimming the fat and calories by using extra lean ground beef and making a decadent gravy with reduced-fat butter and milk instead of cream. Each serving has 272 calories and 8 grams fat. Wait until the family gets a load of this nostalgic dish. I bet they’re gonna love it!
Skinny Salisbury Steak, a Diner Classic

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

Makes 5 servings (each serving, 1 patty and about ⅔ cup gravy)

Food Facts

Salisbury Steak, also known as “Poor Mans Steak” was named after Dr. James Henry Salisbury. Dr. Salisbury prescribed the consumption of meat for a host of ailments. This dish is very popular on menus in the southern part of the United States.
Panko bread crumbs are the Japanese version of bread crumbs. They’re much lighter and create a crispier coating when frying. There are 2 varieties, white and golden. White Panko is made from bread that has the crust removed and golden Panko includes bits of crust. Both are interchangeable.

Shopping Tips

Most supermarkets sell extra lean ground beef. I used 96% lean ground beef from Traders Joe’s. Ground turkey or chicken would also work in place of ground beef.
You’ll find Panko bread crumbs in the Asian section of most supermarkets and at Trader Joe’s.

Serving Tips

Although the classic way to serve this dish is over mashed potatoes, you can also serve it with a small baked potato. Once baked, open the potato and mash with a fork. Top the potato with 1 patty and gravy. This Salisbury steak with gravy also taste great just served on a plate without mashed or baked potatoes, if desired. You can even serve this dish on a piece of toasted whole wheat or multi-grain bread!

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
SmartPoints 6-Green

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving, (1 patty and about ⅔ cup gravy) not including potatoes
272 calories, 8g fat, 3g sat. fat, 43mg chol, 25g protein, 22g carbs, 3g fiber, 447mg sodium, 3g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
190 calories, 3g sat. fat, 20g protein, 2g sugar


Skinny Salisbury Steak, a Diner Classic

Skinny Salisbury Steak, a Diner Classic

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 272 kcal


Ingredients for Salisbury Steak:

  • 5 cups onions, sliced into rings
  • 8-10 ounce bag fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef, see shopping tips
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs, see shopping tips
  • 2 egg whites
  • tablespoons prepared horseradish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

Ingredients for Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup reduced-fat milk
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4-5 drops Tabasco sauce

Potato Ingredients:


  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, add onion slices and mushrooms. Cook in microwave for about 4 minutes, until very soft.
  • To make the patties: In a large bowl, combine ground beef, chopped onions, bread crumbs, egg whites, horseradish and pepper. Shape into 5 patties. Using a large nonstick pan coated with cooking spray, cook patties over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes, spray the top of patties with cooking spray, turn over, turn heat down to medium and cook an additional 5-6 minutes until no longer pink inside. Remove patties to a plate.
  • To make the gravy: In the same pan, (not cleaned) melt butter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour, scraping bottom of pan. Add salt, pepper and cook for 2 minutes while stirring often. Stir in milk to form a thick paste. Continue to stir for about a minute. Slowly stir in chicken broth, turn heat to medium-high and cook until thicken. Continue to stir the entire time. Add Worcestershire sauce and several drops of Tabasco sauce and mix well. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.
  • To the gravy, add mushrooms/onions and the liquid from the bowl and the patties. Heat for about 5 minutes until heated through.
  • To serve: Spread out ½ cup mashed potatoes onto each plate. Place 1 meat patty on top of potatoes. Top with about ⅔ cup gravy. If serving with baked potatoes, once baked, open the potato and mash with a fork. Top the potato with 1 patty and gravy. It’s also delicious served on top of a slice of bread or just on a plate with no potatoes or bread.
  • Any leftovers freeze great. Pack 1 patty and ⅔ cup gravy into individual plastic contains for the freezer.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 25gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 447mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gBlue Smart Points: 5Green Smart Points: 6Plus Points: 6
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  1. This was amazing! I used 90% lean beef and followed recipe to a T except I made 8 patties instead of 5. I am following points plus plan and calculator came up with 4 PP per patty. For sure a repeat! Thanks!❤️

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