French Onion Salisbury Steak

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1 hour
4 servings

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French Onion Salisbury Steak is that comfortable weeknight dish you will wonder how you ever lived without. It is also entirely magnificent, so much so that you’ll proudly serve when company comes.

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How Do You Make Salisbury Steak?

Tender and delicious, French Onion Salisbury Steak is suspended in a resplendent sauce of onions, beef stock and red wine. It largely resembles French Onion Soup with the addition of Herbs de Provence which contains thyme. In this recipe, it is served atop a cheese toast just as French Onion Soup would float a baguette crouton. I like to ‘hearty things up’ and serve with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a vegetable I know everybody will eat.

I prefer 80/20 for this dish, so the beef juices give body to the sauce, and the patties hold together.

This recipe could not be any easier to make. Brown, the steaks, whisk together some red wine and onion gravy while the steaks rest, and marry the two to simmer for about 15 minutes before serving.

This sauce or ‘red wine and onion gravy’ is insanely delicious.  Make sure when selecting your ingredients that you choose a red wine that you would also enjoy drinking.

Tender and delicious, these oniony, cheesy, and most delicious steaks are suspended in a resplendent sauce of onions, beef stock and red wine.

above a plate of French Onion Salisbury Steak and mashed potatoes and carrots

This effortless one pan French Onion Salisbury Steak is an modernized and improved version of the classic TV dinner we all knew and loved.

Even though it is easy and very quick to make, I’ve had guests rave over this dish and what they thought must have been great trouble to put together. With this dinner, it’s quite the opposite and that means maximum enjoyment for minimal effort.

What is the difference between Salisbury steak and French onion Salisbury steak?

This French Onion Salisbury Steak recipe takes two classic dishes, French Onion Soup and Salisbury Steak, and combines them into a single and delicious meal. Not only is this a delicious meal to put together, it’s also a fun one to do even if you don’t really enjoy spending time in the kitchen. Why? Because there are elements of genuine cooking involved in this one. Like where I specify (and demonstrate in my above video) to “burn the tomato paste.” And yep, I absolutely want for you to do this. It’s a trick. A method. An element of real cooking.

The beef is dredged in flour, then braised and finished off in an sweet array of caramelized onions and a red wine-based sauce. Sounds pretty serious, right? Don’t be fooled. This is easy comfort food at its best.

close up of the red wine and onion gravy

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

Looking for additional comfort food meals? Be sure to check out my recipes for these great dishes, too!

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French Onion Salisbury Steak

Jenny DeRemer
French Onion Salisbury Steak is that comfortable weeknight dish you will wonder how you ever lived without. It is also entirely magnificent, so much so that you’ll proudly serve when company comes.
5 from 2 votes
Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 662 kcal


for the steaks

  • 1 ¼ pound ground beef I prefer 80/20 for this dish so the beef juices give some body to the sauce and also so the patties will hold together
  • 2 tablespoons garlic fresh minced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons scallion fresh chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley fresh chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup flour **reserve what you do not use after dredging
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups onions sweet like Vidalia's, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence may substitute fresh or dried thyme
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock

for the French onion cheese toasts

    You may make your own French Onion Cheese Toasts by following the recipe below. If pressed for time, try any brand of frozen Texas toast style cheesy garlic bread. Heat according to package directions and serve the steaks atop with a ladleful of the onion and red wine sauce. It's a smart shortcut if you need one.

    • 1 tablespoon parsley fresh, minced fine
    • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese shredded
    • 4 thick slices French bread or baguette, cut diagonally
    • 2 tablespoons butter room temperature
    • ½ teaspoon garlic minced fine
    • ¼ cup Swiss cheese shredded


    for the steaks

    • Combine the ground beef, parsley, scallion, salt and pepper. Divide evenly into 4 portions and shape each into 3/4"-1" thick oval patties, about the size and thickness of hamburgers. Place flour in a shallow dish and dredge each patty. Reserve any remaining flour.
    • Heat the olive oil and the tablespoon of butter in a deep sided skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add patties and sauté 3 minutes on each side until browned. Do not cook all of the way through. Remove from pan to a plate and cover with aluminum to keep warm.
    • Add onions and sugar to the pan and sauté 5 minutes, scraping up the fond or brown bits in the bottom of the pan. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Make a well in the center of the pan amidst the onions. Add the tomato paste to the well and sauté until paste begins to brown. **Be sure to allow the tomato paste to brown and even to burn slightly. Keep moving the paste around the well using a metal spatula to keep it from burning completely.
    • Sprinkle onions with reserved flour and cook 1 minute. Stir in the wine and scrape the fond. Then add the salt and Herbs de Provence or thyme. Stir and scrape the fond again. Add the beef stock all at once. Again stir and scrape the fond. Reduce heat to a simmer.
    • Return the steaks and their juices to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. I like to simmer for 15, then off heat, uncovered for another 5 to 10 to allow the sauce to thicken upon standing.

    for the French onion cheese toasts

    • To prepare the cheese toasts, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    • Place the bread slices on a baking sheet.
    • Combine softened butter, garlic and shredded Parmesan in a bowl using the tines of a fork to ensure it is well mixed, almost paste-like. Spread on one side of each slice of bread. Sprinkle the shredded Swiss evenly over the butter. Bake until bread is crisp and cheese is bubbly, 10-15 minutes.

    to plate this dish

    • Serve steaks atop cheese toasts with the red wine and onion sauce ladled over. Garnish with parsley and additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

    The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

    Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


    Serving: 1servingCalories: 662kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 32gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 131mgSodium: 1119mgPotassium: 878mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 890IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 5mg
    Did you love this recipe?Leave a comment and Let me know how it was!

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    1. Hi Jenny! I’m absolutely loving your site, after accidentally finding it on another blog. Quick question. Is the sodium content for both the steaks and the cheese toast together? I have to follow a low sodium diet for health reasons, and if I can lower the sodium content of this dish by skipping the cheese toast, this meal will be going on my weekly meal plan, because it looks absolutely delish!!

      1. Deanne, in fact, the sodium count is for both the steaks and the cheese toast. I also lessen the salt I use, so oftentimes will substitute a low-sodium tomato paste as well as a low-sodium beef broth. Because I do both of these things, I also forgo the teaspoon of salt, instead adding 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire. This offers that salt flavor without actually adding additional salt. If you want to skip the cheese toasts, consider a slice of baguette, Texas toast – whatever – but rubbed with raw garlic, then lightly toasted, then simply sprinkled with herbs BEFORE loading the steak and gravy on top. Rosemary is my go-to for a beef entree like this one!

        Please be sure to let me know how you enjoy this dish should you choose to assemble it. I would also love to know what alterations you make as there are other readers who will want to know the same! 🙂 Jenny

      1. Thank you Jhuls! My family asks for this at least twice each month and I don’t complain because it’s so easy! Thank you also for hosting Fiesta Friday and sparing some space for the new kid on the block – Jenny

    2. This looks delicious! I do have a question: the cook time at top of the recipe says 20 min, however if I read the recipe right, the patties cook for 10 min one side, 10 min on the other, then 10 min in the gravy? So are they supposed to cook for 30 minutes, or am I reading it wrong?

      1. Thank you for begging clarification! You will want to cook the patties over high heat for 3 minutes each side. This gives them a good browning, but will not cook them through. After the gravy is complete, the remaining 20 minute simmer in the gravy will cook the patties the rest of the way and allow them to remain nice and juicy. If you feel like you need to go longer per side, I would not go much beyond 4 minutes otherwise you run the risk of drying out your beef patties, something not even the gravy can rescue 🙂

        Please let me know how you and yours enjoy this recipe – it has been a go-to for me for over a decade. If you don’t have the ingredients for the garlic bread, I have cheated before and used frozen store bought Texas toast! Also, any sauce/onions leftover can be frozen and added to chili later which is somehow absolutely game-changing…..

    3. OMG, this looks soooo good Jenny!! I am going to try this using ground turkey & venison and mashed cauliflower on the side. Hopefully it will be weight watchers approved with those changes! 🙂

      1. Anne, I’d like to know how it turns out, but I’d also LOVE to see a pic or three if you have your phone handy when you get it plated!

      1. Cathy, this IS a tasty one! If you plan to make it, please let me know how it turns out – I’d love your take on it!