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Chicken Fried Steak Recipe

This Chicken Fried Steak Recipe has a crispy golden breading the most flavorful white gravy. Learn the simple secrets on how to make this restaurant-quality comfort food recipe just like the chefs do!

Be sure to serve this with my smooth & creamy Homemade Mashed Potatoes and Easy Buttermilk Biscuits or cornbread.

A pile of mashed potatoes topped with chicken fried steak with white gravy on top and vegetables in the background.

Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken Fried Steak is such a classic comfort food. This is always something I love to order at restaurants, but decided that I was long overdue to learn how to make the best chicken fried steak at home. Nothing beats a home cooked cube steak!

There are a few easy tricks to getting the perfect crispy, golden brown breading (that won’t fall off when you fry it). The white gravy on top is the classic touch.

This recipe makes a lot of gravy, so feel free to drizzle it all over some creamy mashed potatoes!

How to Make it

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

PRO TIP: Even though cube steak has already been tenderized, I like to tenderize it again by pounding it with a meat tenderizer until it’s thinned out even more. This makes it really soft and easy to chew.

  • Pat the Steaks Completely Dry. Combine buttermilk marinade ingredients in a casserole dish.
  • Add the steaks, cover, and marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. The longer you marinade, the more tender the meat will be.

A piece of chicken fried steak before and after being marinated in buttermilk.

  • Generously coat each steak in the flour mixture one at a time, just before frying.
  • I recommend frying one at a time for the crispiest results. About 4 minutes per side.

Chicken fried steak being coated in flour breading and fried in a pan.

How to Make the Gravy

  • Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour. Add oil from the pan drippings along with minced garlic, cook for 1 minute.

A pan with a butter and flour roux for making white gravy for chicken fried steak.

  • Add chicken broth and seasonings. Stir to combine.

Chicken broth and seasonings being added to a pan for making gravy for chicken fried steak.

  • Add milk and half and half. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking continuously.
  • Let it simmer and thicken until desired consistency is obtained.

Adding cream to pan for making white gravy next to a wooden spoon with thick white gravy.

Why Does the Breading Fall off My Chicken Fried Steak?

1. The oil isn’t at the right temperature

  • Adding the steak to the oil before it’s reached 350° will make the breading wet and soggy, it needs to instantly start cooking as soon as it hits the oil so that the breading can crisp right up.
  • Conversely, you don’t want oil that is too hot or it will burn the outside before the inside has a chance to cook. An Instant Read Thermometer is key.

2. It sits in the breading too long before frying

  • Coat each generously in flour right before you fry. If you let them sit too long, the marinade can seep through the flour and cause it to get moist, which creates a soggy breading that can fall off.

3. The pan is overcrowded

  • Fry one steak at a time unless you have a very large pan. If the steaks are too close together it steams the edges, causing the breading to get soggy and easily fall apart.

Why is it Called “Chicken Fried Steak”

This recipe is referred to as chicken fried steak is because the meat is prepared similarly to how fried chicken is made. Unlike the name implies, it is made with cube steak, not chicken.

“Chicken” Fried Steak:

  • This is traditionally served with a white pepper gravy, such as in this recipe.
  • The gravy is sometimes served on the side to allow for the breading to remain extra crispy.

“Country” Fried Steak:

  • This is normally smothered in a brown gravy at the end of cooking to allow for the breading to absorb it.

Although these are the traditional differences, you will see restaurants, (such as Cracker Barrel), serve “Country” fried steak with white gravy.

Buttermilk Substitutes

  • ½ cup milk + 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons milk + enough plain yogurt to make 2 cups.
  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit for 10 minutes. It’ll look curdled. Stir to combine.

Tools For This Recipe

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A fork cutting into a piece of chicken fried steak topped with white gravy over mashed potatoes.

What to Serve with Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak

5 from 13 ratings
This Chicken Fried Steak Recipe has crispy, crunchy golden breading drizzled with mouth watering white gravy. Learn the simple secrets on how to make this restaurant-quality comfort food recipe just like the chefs do!


  • 4 cube steaks, each about 1/3 pound
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil

Buttermilk Marinade

  • 2 cups buttermilk, see notes for substitutions
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons salt


  • 1 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Tablespoons pan drippings
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup half and half


Chicken Fried Steak

  • Place saran wrap over each cube steak and use the rough end of a meat tenderizer to pound it thin, about ½ inch thick or so. This really makes a nice difference in the consistency of the meat even though cube steak has already been tenderized.
  • Pat the steaks completely dry. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large casserole dish.
  • Cover and marinate the steaks in the fridge for 1-2 hours, or overnight. (The longer the better.)
  • Combine breading ingredients. Generously coat each steak just before you fry it.
  • Add enough oil to cover the steak by 1/3 and heat it to 350° F. (Make sure it’s properly preheated or the breading will fall off.)
  • Cook the steaks in batches of 2, leaving room around each. Fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Use kitchen tongs to carefully check the bottom and flip.
  • Remove and transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow excess oil to drip out from the bottom. This keeps the bottom nice and crispy.
  • Once all the steaks are fried, keep them warm in a 200° F oven while you prepare the gravy.


  • Transfer the pan drippings into a small heat-proof bowl. Don’t clean the pan.
  • Allow the black flecks to fall to the bottom and skim 3 tablespoons of clean oil off the top. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat.
  • Whisk in the flour for 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Add the oil drippings and minced garlic. cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the seasonings, and then the chicken broth in splashes, stirring continuously.
  • Add milk and half and half in splashes, stirring continuously. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Let it simmer and thicken until desired consistency is obtained.


Buttermilk Substitutes

  • ½ cup milk + 1 ½ cups sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons milk + enough plain yogurt to make 2 cups.
  • 2 tablespoon white vinegar + enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice + enough milk to make 2 cups. Let sit for 10 minutes. It'll look curdled. Stir to combine.

Pro Tips:


Calories: 687kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 49g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 185mg, Sodium: 739mg, Potassium: 789mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 836IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 206mg, Iron: 4mg
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44 comments on “Chicken Fried Steak Recipe”

  1. Through a series of mishaps I ended up needing to change the marinade time from 2 hours to overnight. Do you have any idea what the maximum amount of time the meat can marinade is before going bad? Really hoping I can still make it because it looks AMAZING! Thank you!

    • Hi Hannah! You should be good for up to 24 hours! After that point, that marinade can start to break down the meat too much, but you have time! 🙂 Enjoy!!

  2. I’m so happy I found your site. I have alway, always had the worst time trying to get Cube Steaks tender and delicious. I’m excited for this recipe, and how you explained in details how to properly cook them. I will make this soon, and now have confidence they will be delicious.
    I’ll let you know how I do. Thanks so much. I pray you have a blessed week. 

  3. I just came back from Texas and miss it already! So I made chicken fried steak for dinner. It came out so delicious!

  4. I was born in the south and made country fried steak for years, but yours is by far the best. I think the buttermilk is what makes the difference. Thanks

    • That is a huge compliment Gary!! The buttermilk is definitely a huge game changer, it makes the meat so tender and adds a subtle tang! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  5. It turned out Perfect! 💗

  6. You didn’t include the recipe with your instructions. There isn’t any recipe. I wish there is.

    • There is a jump to recipe button at the top of the page, (tap it and it will bring you to the recipe card), there is a notation in the step by step instructions that the recipe card is at the bottom of the post.

  7. I made this tonight it was so yummy thank you for sharing 

  8. Would you recommend making a double batch of the gravy and freezing 1/2 for another time?

    • I think this particular gravy is better if made fresh. If you had extra drippings you could freeze those to make a fresh batch of gravy another time though!

    • Hello Lois.
      I make chicken marsala, pork chops with sauce /gravy, stuff chicken breast with gravy and more. When I freeze them with my sauce or gravy and then take out for another day to have for dinner, they still taste great and tender. I’ve been doing this for years. I make all different kids if soups also to freeze. It helps during the holidays and summer time even you are busy. I hope this helps you. Good luck and merry Christmas

      • Hi Nana! I do the same thing, but this gravy in particular is dairy-based and Lois was looking to solely make the gravy to freeze and reheat it by itself. Dairy-based gravies tend to separate when reheated, it’s not as forgiving as a brown gravy 🙂

    • Hello Lois
      I apologize. Stephanie explained why you shouldn’t freeze the gravy. I didn’t realize that myself. I admit when I make a mistake. Happy cooking
      Sincerely, Nana

  9. Yummmmm!! Everyone needs to make this dish !! Soooo good, comfort food for these cold days!! I knew my husband and I would love it but what I didn’t expect was my PICKEY 9 year old to LOVE it !! He said mom please make this again , before he was evan done !!
    Thanks for this recipe 😘

  10. Can I make this recipe using sirloin steak if I pound it out? 

    Thanks !!

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