Amish Poor Man’s Hamburger

Hearty Comfort: Amish Poor Man’s Hamburger Steak with Creamy Gravy

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There’s a charm in the simplicity of Amish cuisine, where humble ingredients come together to create comforting and satisfying meals. One such classic is the Amish Poor Man’s Hamburger Steak with Creamy Gravy. This dish celebrates the beauty of uncomplicated yet delicious flavors, making it a favorite for families seeking wholesome comfort food. Join us as we dive into the heart of this beloved recipe, explore its variations, and answer your burning questions to ensure a successful and flavorful cooking experience.


For the Hamburger Steaks:

  • 2.5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 cups crushed saltine crackers
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour for coating

For the Creamy Gravy:

  • 3 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (~10 ounces each)
  • 1 can milk (~10 ounces, use the soup can for measurement)
  • 1 can water (~10 ounces, use the soup can for measurement)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Preparing the Hamburger Steaks:

  1. Mixing the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the lean ground beef, crushed saltine crackers, milk, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients until well combined.
  2. Forming the Patties: Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape them into oval-shaped patties, about 1-inch thick. Ensure that the patties are compact and hold their shape well.
  3. Coating with Flour: Lightly coat each hamburger steak with flour on both sides. This will help create a crispy outer layer when cooking.
  4. Cooking the Steaks: Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter to the pan. Once hot, carefully place the hamburger steaks in the pan, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the cooked steaks from the pan and set aside.

Making the Creamy Gravy:

  1. Preparing the Sauce: In the same skillet used to cook the hamburger steaks, add the condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, and water. Stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate into the sauce.
  2. Simmering the Gravy: Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and heated through.
  3. Adding Fresh Parsley: Stir in the chopped fresh parsley, allowing it to infuse its flavor into the gravy. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.


  1. Plating the Steaks: Place the cooked hamburger steaks on a serving platter or individual plates.
  2. Pouring the Gravy: Spoon the creamy mushroom gravy generously over the hamburger steaks, ensuring they are well coated.
  3. Garnishing and Serving: Garnish with additional chopped parsley for a pop of color and freshness. Serve hot and enjoy the comforting flavors of this Amish classic.

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Enhance the Flavor: For added depth of flavor, consider incorporating finely diced onions and minced garlic into the hamburger steak mixture.
  • Cheesy Twist: Sprinkle grated cheddar or Swiss cheese over the cooked hamburger steaks before ladling the creamy gravy on top for a deliciously cheesy variation.
  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or a mixture of cooked lentils and mushrooms for a vegetarian-friendly version of this dish.
  • Gluten-Free Adaptation: Replace the crushed saltine crackers with gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers to accommodate gluten-free diets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I use a different type of ground meat? A: Yes, you can use ground turkey, chicken, or pork as alternatives to ground beef. However, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary slightly depending on the meat used.

Q: Can I make the gravy from scratch? A: Absolutely! While the condensed cream of mushroom soup provides convenience and flavor, you can make a homemade mushroom gravy using fresh mushrooms, broth, flour, and cream for a more traditional approach.

Q: Can I freeze leftovers? A: Yes, you can freeze any leftover hamburger steaks and gravy separately in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Q: How can I prevent the gravy from becoming too thick? A: If the gravy becomes too thick upon reheating, simply whisk in a splash of milk or broth until you reach the desired consistency.

Keto Version and Low-Carb Adaptation:

For those following a keto or low-carb lifestyle, here’s how you can modify this recipe:

  • Keto Hamburger Steaks: Use a combination of ground beef and ground pork for added fat content. Skip the breadcrumbs and flour coating to keep the dish low-carb.
  • Low-Carb Gravy: Instead of using condensed cream of mushroom soup, create a keto-friendly gravy using a mixture of beef broth, heavy cream, and thickening agents such as xanthan gum or arrowroot powder.

Amish Poor Man’s Hamburger Steak with Creamy Gravy is more than just a meal—it’s a comforting embrace that soothes the soul and satisfies the appetite. With its simple yet delicious flavors and hearty ingredients, this dish is a testament to the timeless appeal of home-cooked comfort food. Whether enjoyed on a cozy evening at home or shared with loved ones around the dinner table, this Amish classic is sure to warm hearts and create cherished memories. So gather your ingredients, embrace the joy of cooking, and savor every bite of this comforting culinary delight!

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