Vegan Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

I’ve wanted to veganize Salisbury steak for some time now, but I wasn’t sure how to get the right texture. I’m always looking for ways to make homemade versions of what I would normally be forced to buy in processed form (usually loaded with soy protein isolate). Amy’s Kitchen makes a frozen Salisbury steak entrée that’s soy free and tastes amazing, but it’s getting harder to find and pre-packaged “convenience” meals are expensive. It may not seem like it; $5 for a meal isn’t terrible, but when you can make 4x as much food for around $2, homemade is clearly the better choice. I’m sure it’s healthier too!

I found a few recipes online for vegan Salisbury steak, but most of them called for veggie crumbles, textured vegetable protein, or crumbled up veggie burgers. These weren’t going to work for me since I wanted to avoid processed soy (read: vegan junk food), as well as expensive pre-packaged products. I also found a recipe that called for lentils and brown rice as the base, and although the flavor was okay, the texture just wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

I had some bulgur and black beans on hand today and wondered if I could use those as a base for the steaks, similar to the base I use for sausage patties. I use bulgur in my favorite chili recipe too and everyone always asks, “What is this stuff that has a meat-like texture?”

I was really excited with what I came up with, and on my first try too! The bulgur adds a more meaty texture and the beans act as a good binder. Now, I’m not saying that you’ll fool all your friends into thinking this is meat, but it’s an awesome recipe with great flavor and texture, in my opinion. Slather it in onion gravy and it’s even better. 🙂

For the steaks:
1 1/2 cups water + 1 1/2 teaspoons Better Than Bullion’s No Beef Base
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup black beans
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix the water and bullion in a saucepan over medium heat until the bullion is dissolved. Add the bulgur, put a lid on the pot, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer (around medium-low) and leave the lid slightly tilted. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.

While the bulgur is cooking, mash the black beans in a big bowl with a fork. You want to make sure the beans until no whole beans are left. Alternatively, you can pulse them in a food processor a few times.

When the bulgur is done, let it cool slightly and then add it to the bowl with the black beans and the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands to mix everything together, sort of kneading the mixture for a couple of minutes.

Divide into 4-5 parts, depending on the size steaks you want, and form them into patties.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little oil and cook the steaks for 3 minutes on each side.

For the gravy:
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 small onion, halved and sliced thin
2 cups water + 2 teaspoons Better Than Bullion’s No Beef Base
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

While the steaks are cooking, start the gravy.

Heat the Earth Balance in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat and saute the onions for 6-7 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, for a couple of minutes until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper as needed. The gravy will also thicken more as it cools.

salisbury steak


2 thoughts on “Vegan Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

  1. What a good recipe! I’m not crazy about meat, anymore. Sad, I know. LOL
    I only eat cured and smoked meats, these days. Fresh meats that I used to love like roast beef dinner I can’t stand. Anyway, I used to love Salisbury Steak with potato pancakes and have been looking for a way to replace them with a vegetarian version and I think I just found it! So, thank you!! 🙂

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