Chicken Fried Steak With Sausage Gravy

Nothing says to me ‘food coma’ like a chicken fried steak. This is my all time favorite breakfast dish – but I’ll still order it any time of day. I like to serve mine with some skillet potatoes and fried eggs; Just the way I learned at my favorite diner in the South Bay.

Chicken fried steak with sausage gravy. To the side is a sunny side up fried egg and in the back are some skillet potatoes. Everything is on a clean white plate

Chicken fried steak is seriously one of my all time favorite meals. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, I can pretty much have it whenever. Unfortunately it isn’t the healthiest meal, so if you’re on a diet then this recipe definitely is not for you. Other than that it is not actually a difficult recipe at all. Just a few simple steps for a delicious meal!

Usually a chicken fried steak comes with the traditional sausage gravy so I’m going to show how to make a fantastic gravy as well. If you are not American this gravy may sound odd at first, but trust me it is to die for.

What Is A Chicken Fried Steak?

So this is where most people get confused. A chicken fried steak is a thinly pounded piece of beef which is dredged and deep fried in a way similar to fried chicken. Imagine making fried chicken at home, with all the flour and seasonings you normally would use, but then replace that chicken with some thin slabs of tender beef steak. How divine.

How To Make Chicken Fried Steak At Home

The first step in any recipe is to gather the ingredients. Luckily all ingredients for this dish are extremely easy to find! You should be able to pick everything up in one go at your local grocery store.


  • 500 grams Beef, I used tenderloin but you can use what you have
  • 1 Italian Sausage, about 100 grams
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper, freshly cracked
  • 300 ml Milk, more or less to desired consistency
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil, or whatever high smoke point oil you like to fry with
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Powder, optional


There are plenty of old family secrets from the American deep south when it comes to chicken fried steak recipes. However these instructions will give you a great basic way to make the classic version.

The first thing to decide is what type of steak to buy. I usually just use the tenderloin because it pounds out nice and evenly, but you can really go with any cut as long as you remove the fat cap. As for pounding out the meat thinly, I suggest using a meat tenderizer now but I’ve used everything from a garlic press to a rolling pin and they all work just fine albeit a bit odd.

After you pound them thin then you just dredge them in some heavily seasoned flour, beaten egg, then the flour again, before dropping them into frying oil. Chicken fried steak should be fried in oil that is 350F (175C) until golden brown. The steak is usually well-done but because it has been pounded so thinly it will still be tender. Some people say you have to deep fry chicken fried steak, but I find as long as the oil comes up halfway then you can flip the steak easily enough.

I highly recommend buying a kitchen thermometer if you do not already have one. They are useful in so many ways; Not just deep frying but for candy making as well!

Making Sausage Gravy

To make a southern style sausage gravy take a cased hot or Italian sausage and remove the casing. Then crumble the meat with your hands into large chunks. Then it’s off to a pan on medium-low heat with a bit of butter. Once the meat starts to brown and the fat begins to render, sprinkle in the flour. Let the flour absorb the fat and get a bit browned. You don’t want that uncooked flour taste. Stir everything up and slowly trickle in the milk while stirring. If it is too thin then just cook some more and if it is too thick then just add more cream.

Then I add all my seasonings including salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a bit of cayenne. I know it’s the right consistency when I can scrape a spoon along the bottom and the liquid doesn’t take over the gap right away. All the seasonings other than the salt and pepper are optional, so feel free to leave some out, or add more. You can customize this gravy to suit your exact preferences.

What Do You Serve With A Chicken Fried Steak?

Since chicken fried steak is first and foremost a diner dish the sides will be other things served at the diner. Here area few side dishes for chicken fried steak you might like:

  • Fried Eggs – since chicken fried steak is a breakfast dish it is commonly served with fried eggs. Now I like mine sunny side up so the broken yolk soaks into everything else on the plate, but you can do scrambled, over easy/medium/hard, or even hard boiled. I’ve never seen a poached egg served with a CFS but if you’re making this at home and you want one, go ahead!
  • Skillet Potatoes – these are sometimes called breakfast potatoes. They are just sliced potatoes that are fried with onion and sometimes peppers. I always make them with this recipe since I can mash them up with the excess gravy when I’m done eating the steak.
  • Biscuits – biscuits are a southern classic and go with gravy just as much as a chicken fried steak does, if not more. In fact biscuits and gravy is such a famous dish you will even see it at American themed restaurants in Europe!
  • Onion Rings – if you are eating this for lunch or dinner then you might want to have onion rings as a side instead. That’s totally okay!
  • French Fries – Same as with the onion rings, you are more likely to eat French fries with chicken fried steak if you order it for lunch or dinner. But neither of these ‘dinner sides’ can compete with the next option.
  • Hush Puppies – If I’m eating a chicken fried steak for dinner I’m gonna get some hush puppies. These deep fried balls of cornmeal goodness are great at sopping up that extra sausage gravy. If you’ve never had hush puppies before then you should fix that ASAP.
  • Toast – Finally we’ll end with toast. Which makes a great side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I like mine simply buttered, but you can use margarine, jam, jelly, or marmalade as well. Or just slide a fried egg on top and eat it all drippy like.
Chicken fried steak with sausage gravy. To the side is a sunny side up fried egg and in the back are some skillet potatoes. Everything is on a clean white plate

Chicken Fried Steak With Sausage Gravy

A classic recipe from the American south, chicken fried steak is a great meal for any time of day
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people


  • Pan


Chicken Fried Steak

  • 500 grams Beef A little over one pound. I used tenderloin but you can use what you have
  • 1 Egg
  • 125 grams Flour 1 cup
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper freshly cracked
  • Vegetable Oil You can use whatever high smoke point oil you like to fry with. Add enough so you can deep or partially deep fry. Shallow frying won't get you that classic CFS crunch.

Sausage Gravy

  • 1 Italian Sausage about 100 grams
  • 300 ml Milk a little more than a cup, but use more or less to desired consistency (if you want it really thick you can replace some milk with heavy cream)
  • 3 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • Black Pepper freshly cracked, to taste
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Powder optional


  • Take your meat and cut it into individual sized portions. Use a meat tenderizer, or any hard blunt object and pound out the meat into thin pieces. About 1/2 cm thick.
    500 grams Beef
  • In a skillet add the vegetable oil and bring it up to a boil.
    Vegetable Oil
  • In a shallow dish add the flour and all the seasonings. Whisk together. In another bowl beat an egg. Dip your meat into the flour, then the egg, then back to the flour making sure every part of the meat is well coated.
    1 Egg, 125 grams Flour, 1 tbsp Paprika, 2 tsp Garlic Powder, 2 tsp Onion Powder, 2 tsp Salt, 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • Drop the meat into the boiling oil and flip after 30 seconds. It only takes about a minute total per piece of steak.
  • Let the meat rest and begin on your gravy.
  • Empty the pan with the frying oil (you don't need to clean it, just dispose of the oil properly. Crumble the sausage into the pan and put the heat on medium low. Let the fat render and the sausage brown.
    1 Italian Sausage
  • Take a tablespoon and scoop up a heap of the seasoned flour. Sprinkle it over the sausage stirring the pan to break up the flour bits. Add the butter and stir everything together. Then while stirring slowly trickle in the heavy cream. Let reduce to the desired consistency. Taste if it needs more seasoning (the flour was seasoned so it may not) and then adjust to taste.
    300 ml Milk, 3 tbsp Flour, 2 tbsp Butter, Black Pepper, 1 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • Plate the chicken fried steak and spoon over the sausage gravy. Serve immediately.


This recipe is best the day it is made, but you can store both components separately in the fridge for up to three days. Just heat them up separately and then combine before you are ready to serve.
Note about the flour for gravy: Sometimes people like to use the seasoned flour from the beef dredge to thicken the roux. This is generally considered okay since it is being cooked, but there is the risk you don’t let your gravy get to a high enough temperature so it is better safe than sorry when making it at home. 
Keyword Chicken Fried Steak, Comfort Food, Sausage Gravy
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7 thoughts on “Chicken Fried Steak With Sausage Gravy”

  1. 5 stars
    This was a great, easy to follow recipe and the steak came out delicious. The gravy was good too but it didn’t come out as white as I get in restaurants. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Johanna,
      There can be plenty of reasons actually. Everything from the type of sausage you used, to how long you cooked the ‘roux’ for. For example hot Italian sausage has smoked paprika in it which can give the final gravy a burnt umber tinge, while some sausages have turmeric or curcuma which lean yellow. And of course if you cook the roux until it’s brown like you would do in a gumbo that will also cause the final gravy to be less white.

      Now if I can food nerd out for a second, if the restaurant is making their CFS and gravy from scratch and it’s very white, they are likely just barely cooking the flour and using a very neutral sausage. If they are buying gravy by the bucket from a company like Sysco it likely has the additive Titanium Dioxide which is a whitening element. It’s completely food safe and I use it when I make certain pastries, but that can cause a sauce or gravy to be white as snow – almost blinding.

  2. Allard From NL

    5 stars
    I had this on vacation to Atlanta a few years ago and think about it all the time. Just made this recipe at my little apartment in The Netherlands to bring a bit of southern comfort to my home. Just like I remember it, if not better.

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