Easy Copycat Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak Recipe

Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak is famous for a reason. Their ever-favorite southern hamburger steak is easy to prepare. It’s full of flavor and served plain or smothered with onion gravy. This tasty southern hamburger steak and gravy is a favorite family meal. This will soon be a family favorite at your house. 

copycat Cracker Barrel hamburger steak and gravy.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Smothered hamburger steak

Smothered hamburger patties have been a favorite Southern dinner for generations. And why not? This is one meal that is easy to make and oh, so delicious. You can feed a whole family for less than ten bucks, and no one will complain.

Don’t confuse hamburger steaks for Salisbury steak. While Salisbury steak can taste a little like meatloaf, these hamburger steaks have a much meatier flavor and better texture. If you have never tried hamburger steaks before, you don’t know what you are missing!

What makes this Cracker Barrel hamburger steak recipe so good 

This dish is the classic smothered hamburger steak Cracker Barrel Old Country Store customers have been ordering for decades. It’s one of Uncle Herschel’s favorite items on the menu. Prepare this recipe as written, or try jazzing it up to suit your preferences.

Plus you’ll get a taste of true southern tradition with this hearty and budget-friendly meal. It’s total comfort food.

Ingredients you will need

To make the hamburger steak Cracker Barrel customers love, you’ll need:

  • Ground beef 
  • Salt 
  • Ground black pepper 
  • Onion salt 
  • Garlic powder 
  • White onion
  • Flour 
  • Beef broth 
Cracker Barrel hamburger steak and gravy ingredients.

Ingredient notes

The best store-bought beef for this recipe is ground chuck. Select a blend that is 80 percent fat to 20 fat. This mix will keep the hamburger steaks tender and moist while allowing you to cook them to a safe temperature. Lean ground beef is not a good choice because the patties will be dry.

If you have a meat grounder at home and the budget, 80 percent lean sirloin and 20 percent fatty pork shoulder (ground pork) also make an excellent blend. Use the coarsest grinding disk you have for better texture.

If you want to use other ground meat, you can use ground turkey or chicken. Those tend to have less fat so they may not be as moist as ground chuck.

Be sure to use beef broth, not beef stock, to make the gravy. Beef broth gives the onion gravy the correct level of seasoning, while beef stock may leave it tasting a bit flat. If you want, you can use a mushroom broth instead for an even more flavorful gravy. 

Some people like to add shredded cheese, Worcestershire sauce, or hot sauce to the meat mixture. You can also add sliced mushrooms to cook with the onions.

How to make Cracker Barrel hamburger steak

To make Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak:

  1. Peel and cut onions into thin slices. Set aside.
  2. Combine the ground beef and seasonings in a large bowl. Use the tips of your fingers to work the seasonings into the meat.
  3. Form four patties about half an inch thick. Traditionally, hamburger steaks for this recipe are oval, but you can make them in any shape you prefer. 
four seasoned raw hamburger steak patties on a baking sheet.
  1. Heat a large heavy-bottom large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a cast-iron pan if you have one for the best sear.
  2. Once the pan is hot, cook the hamburger steak patties for about 4 minutes on the first and three minutes on the second side.
  3. Remove the hamburger steaks and blot them dry with a paper towel. Cover them to keep them warm or place them in the oven on the lowest heat setting.
four cooked hamburger steaks on a baking sheet.
  1. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions. Let the onions caramelize, stirring occasionally. The slower you cook the onions, the sweeter and more flavorful they will become.
  2. Remove the caramelized onions from the pan.
  3. Check the pan to ensure there is enough grease. If there isn’t a good coating on the bottom of the pan, add some butter.
  4. Sprinkle the flour into the grease in the pan and stir. Cook the flour until it turns tan, and then add the beef stock.
  5. Stir up the bits on the bottom of the pan, and continue to stir and simmer until the gravy is smooth and slightly thickened.
  6. You can add the onions to the gravy or keep them separate.
copycat Cracker Barrel onion gravy for hamburger steak in a skillet.
  1. Use a spatula to transfer the heated hamburger steaks to the serving plates.
  2. Put the onions and gravy over each burger steak and serve.
two copycat Cracker Barrel hamburger steaks and gravy on a plate.

What to serve with smothered ground beef patties 

For an authentic down-home meal, stick to a traditional country side like macaroni and cheesemashed potatoesgreen beans, and buttermilk biscuits.

Other sides to consider are broccoli, egg noodles, and rice.

Alternatively, you may want to try to get creative with more unusual sides like carrot puddingavocado fries, and loaded tater tots.

How to store smothered hamburger steak

Cool the hamburger steaks to room temperature and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

To keep the hamburger steaks for longer than a few days, try freezing the patties and sauce separately in the freezer for up to two months.

How to reheat smothered hamburger patties 

Keep the hamburger steaks moist by warming them on the stovetop: 

  1. Allow the thawed patties to come up to room temperature.
  2. Put the hamburger steaks and sauce into the pan. Add a little water and cover the pan with a lid. 
  3. Heat on medium-low for about five minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and check to make sure the meat is hot. If not, continue to cook with the lid off until hot enough to serve. 
copycat Cracker Barrel hamburger steak and onion gravy on a plate.

Love Cracker Barrel? Try These Copycat Recipes!

Check out more of my easy beef recipes and the best copycat Cracker Barrel recipes here on CopyKat!

copycat Cracker Barrel hamburger steak and gravy.

Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak

You can make Cracker Barrel Hamburger Steak smothered in onion gravy at home.
5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cracker Barrel Recipes, Hamburger Steak
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 462kcal


Hamburger Steaks

  • pounds ground beef chuck
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon onion salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Onion Gravy

  • 1 cup white onion slices
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons butter if needed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • cups beef broth


Hamburger Steaks

  • Combine the ground chuck, salt, ground black pepper, onion salt, and garlic powder in a medium-sized bowl. Mix to combine well.
  • Form the meat mixture into 4 equally sized round, flat patties.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Place the hamburger steaks in the hot skillet, being careful not to crowd the steaks too much. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Flip the steaks over, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. The steaks should be seared and browned.
  • Remove the steaks from the skillet, and set aside.

Onion Gravy

  • Place the sliced onions in the skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, or until they have softened and begun to brown.
  • Remove the onions from the skillet.
  • If there isn’t enough grease in the skillet, add a teaspoon or two of butter. Then add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring to make sure the flour cooks evenly.
  • Add the beef broth to the skillet and stir until the gravy is smooth.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. You can add the onions to the gravy or keep them separate.

To Serve

  • Place the hamburger steaks on a plate and top with onions and gravy.



Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 887mg | Potassium: 572mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


5 from 11 votes (11 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2024


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.