The Cozy Cook

Hamburger Gravy

This Hamburger Gravy recipe is SO easy to make with ground beef. Cream of mushroom soup can be added or left out! Serve it over noodles, mashed potatoes, or biscuits for a classic comfort food that your family will love.

Be sure to try my recipe Cube Steak with Gravy next!

Hamburger Gravy over mashed potatoes with green beans in the background.

Hamburger Gravy

This is without a doubt, the most nostalgic recipe on my blog. My dad used to make this meal for me all the time growing up. I won’t go into a sentimental story about it but I WILL ask you this:

Have you ever heard this recipe referred to as S.O.S.? This meal used to be served in military mess halls, (my dad used to have it in the Air Force), and they called it Sh** on a Shingle. 😆

There are a ton of variations of S.O.S, which is why I’m calling it “hamburger gravy” instead. Many remember S.O.S. as being made with chipped beef on toast.

Either way, I can promise you that this is one of the simplest, but most flavorful meals you can possibly make. (And super budget friendly.)

It’s really easy to incorporate add-ins too. I’ve provided the basic, easy, flavorful recipe… and have also included info on how to incorporate vegetables or cream of mushroom soup.

Okay, enough jibber jabber, here’s everything you need to know:

How to Make It

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

Brown the beef, onions, and garlic in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and flour. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until you can no longer smell flour.

Cooking ground beef and onions in a skillet to make hamburger gravy.

Add the beef broth, beef bouillon, and half and half. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, the reduce to a simmer. Let it bubble gently, it will continue to thicken and concentrate.

Adding beef broth and milk to a skillet to make hamburger gravy.

Once near your desired level of thickness, taste and season with salt if desired.

Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or with biscuits.

See below on optional ingredient additions such as vegetables or cream of mushroom soup.

Hamburger gravy in a skillet before and after simmering and thickening.

How to Add Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • Make the recipe as-is and let it simmer and reduce. Add 1/2 can cream of mushroom and 1/2 cup milk and let it simmer and reduce again until thickened. You may choose to add 1/4 lb. more ground beef, or utilize the extra ‘gravy’ to incorporate vegetables. (See ingredient addition options below)
  • If you prefer to use a whole can of cream of mushroom, add it with 1 cup of milk and use 1.5 lbs ground beef.
  • Be sure to check out my homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup recipe.

Ingredient Additions

  • Mushrooms: Cook them separately to release some of the water, concentrate their flavor, and give them a nice golden color. Mix them into the hamburger gravy at the end. This lets them retain their color, texture, and flavor.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Frozen Carrots, peas, corn, and green beans make excellent additions to this meal. Add them when the beef stock is added and let them heat up as the gravy thickens.

What To Serve With Hamburger Gravy

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

A skillet full of Hamburger Gravy with a spoon in it and fresh parsley on top.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 10-inch stainless steel skillet. (This is the one I used in this post but this one is similar and less expensive.)
  • Silicone Spatula. This is the one I always use and is pictured in the recipe.
  • Gravy Boat- I have this handy one which keeps the gravy warm with a candle on the bottom!
  • Pinch bowls. I always like to measure out my seasonings and other ingredients ahead of time.
  • Measuring spoonsI love that these are magnetic. They keep my drawer neat.

Try These Next

Get My Free Meal Plan

I’ve got a Free Meal Plan with 7 of my super popular recipes (complete with grocery list)! Sign up for my email list and I’ll send it over now along with weekly dinner recipes!

And follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest!

Tried This Recipe?

Leave a review, I love hearing your feedback! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hamburger Gravy in a skillet with a ladle.

Be sure to try my savory Sausage Gravy next!

Hamburger Gravy

5 from 9 votes
This Hamburger Gravy recipe is SO easy to make from scratch or incorporate with cream of mushroom soup! Serve it over egg noodles, mashed potatoes, biscuits, or toast for a classic comfort food that your family will love.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth
  • 1 cube beef bouillon, or 1 tsp better than bouillon
  • ½ cup half and half

Optional Additions- See Notes

  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup, (10.5 oz.)
  • 8 oz. white button mushrooms, sliced, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables

Instructions

  • Brown the beef in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions halfway through and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp pepper, and 3 TBS flour. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes, until you can no longer smell flour.
  • Add the beef broth, beef bouillon, and half and half. Use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, the reduce to a simmer. Let it bubble gently, it will continue to thicken and concentrate.
  • Once near your desired level of thickness, taste and season with up to ¼ teaspoon of salt if desired.
  • Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or with biscuits.
  • See notes on optional ingredient additions such as vegetables or cream of mushroom soup.

Video

Notes

How to Add Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Make the recipe as-is and let it simmer and reduce. Add 1/2 can cream of mushroom and 1/2 cup milk and let it simmer and reduce again until thickened. You may choose to add 1/4 lb. more ground beef, or utilize the extra 'gravy' to incorporate vegetables.
  • If you prefer to use a whole can of cream of mushroom, add it with 1 cup of milk and use 1.5 lbs ground beef.
  • Be sure to check out my homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup recipe.

Ingredient Additions
  • Mushrooms: Cook them separately to release some of the water, concentrate their flavor, and give them a nice golden color. Mix them into the hamburger gravy at the end. This lets them retain their color, texture, and flavor.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Frozen Carrots, peas, corn, and green beans make excellent additions to this meal. Add them when the beef stock is added and let them heat up as the gravy thickens. 

Half and Half is a combination of 50% milk and 50% cream. Milk may be used instead if needed.

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating




31 comments on “Hamburger Gravy”

  1. This is the way cooking used to be and still should be! Thank you for bringing this recipe back to me.

  2. Great recipe! My daycare kiddos love it and I even tweaked it for hubby & I on our keto lifestyle 😀 Delicious over cauliflower rice.
    As for the ‘SOS’ name, that usually referred to dried beef gravy on toast not hamburger gravy. Both are equally good. Have a great day!

    • Hey Stacia! I’m so glad that you liked it! Loved how you made it healthier over cauliflower rice too! And yes, classic S.O.S. is chipped beef on toast, but some still call the ground beef version by the same name. You have a great day as well!! 🙂

      • Really? ooops, sorry :/ I had never heard anything other than the dried beef gravy called that. Good to know 😀 <3 <3 <3

  3. Excellent and so easy! Great over mashed potatoes.

  4. That is a little fancier than my usual hamburger/mushroom soup and garlic on macaroni but same idea. I reworked it during the lockdown with ground pork, green peppers and paprika on rotini…

  5. When I was a teenager, a friend used to make this for our dinner when I stayed over at her house. She used ground round and served it over mashed potatoes. I loved it! We have lost touch over the years but I was thinking about her and that dish and today you posted this recipe. I will definitely try it and see if Hubby likes it. Thank you for bringing to life old memories!

    • Awwww I love hearing that, this recipe is bringing up so many memories for people and I really had no idea that it would! I’m SO happy to remind you of your friend and I can’t wait for you to try this, I think you’re going to love it! (I definitely agree that serving it with mashed potatoes is SOOOO good!)

  6. I cannot understand why the service men and women did not like this or why they nicknamed it SOS. I tried it and my husband and I loved it. It will definitely become a favorite in my house. I didn’t have any frozen veggies but will buy some next time I want to make it and will incorporate them. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe.

    • Hey!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂 I know that my dad (retired Air Force guy), used to call it S.O.S. but they actually did enjoy eating in, despite the fact that they called it what they did! lol. It’s also been made with chipped beef and served on toast, (vs. with ground beef over mashed potatoes), so there are some variations! Either way, I do think the consensus is that it was enjoyed and I’m so glad that you liked it! I absolutely love it too. So glad that you’ll be adding it to the rotation!! -Stephanie

  7. Growing up back in the 1950’s this was a staple in our Midwestern family. In my mind it was not nearly as tasty as your recipe but then we couldn’t afford much for spices or flavoring except salt and pepper. Sometimes chipped beef was used instead of hamburger or mixed with it and was served over toast. I think that the chipped beef was the original S.O.S. according to my father who was a WWII veteran.

    I have made this quite often in the past but had almost forgotten about it. I will use your recipe in the future and certainly serve it over mashed potatoes.

    Thanks for the recipe and the memories!

    • You’re very welcome Mike! I’m so happy this recipe brought you back! It’s been amazing hearing everyone’s stories from their childhood eating this meal!❤️ Thanks so much for the great review!

  8. My dad also made hamburger gravy a lot when we were growing up. My mom worked second shift, so he had to make us 3 kids dinner. Hamburger gravy was a go-to! How heartwarming to see you share a recipe for it and maybe make HG cool! Our family version was a little different than your recipe in that we used milk to thicken it and sometimes my dad would add chopped green bell pepper along with the onions. I love it on toast and with boiled peeled potatoes. Our family debate was always “is it better or toast or potatoes? Both are good to me. This is comfort food at its best, yummy on the tummy and easy on the wallet! Much love!

    • Hey Brenda!! I am just so thrilled to hear everyone’s memories and experiences with this meal, it is so heart warming! I absolutely love the idea of adding bell peppers to it, and my dad also used milk to thicken it when he would make it. Such great memories, thank you for sharing!! 🙂

  9. In our neck of the woods (So California) SOS was made with a ja of Dried Beef in a cream gravy.  Butter, flour and milk with cut up dried beef in it served over biscuits.  My mother, my husbands mother etc. made it like this.  Real easy as you can have a jar of dried beef in your cupboard and make this in the time it takes to bake the biscuits.

    • Hi Karin! I love hearing of all of the variations of this and the different names that people called it! I do know my dad used to also tell me about it being chipped beef served over toast, (vs. ground beef gravy served over potatoes), similar to what you are saying! I love it!

  10. As a single dad with two boys this meal is an absolute life saver. It’s easy to make and tastes great. I might whip up a giant batch and stick it in the freezer to get me out of the cooking nightmares I often experience. Thanks for the recipe

    • Hey Brett! I’m so happy to hear that, good for you!!! It’s always nice to have something you can count on to get you through dinner hurdles! Thank you so much for the review! -Stephanie

As Seen On…