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SOS Creamed Beef Recipe

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This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. Growing up, my dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day! Plus it’s ready in under 30 minutes! 

SOS Creamed Beef Recipe on a plate with pepper sprinkled on top.

SOS stands for “shit on a shingle” and growing up I loved it when my dad made this for dinner.

I mostly loved it because I could say “shit” and not get in too much trouble.

Traditionally SOS is made with chipped beef, which is a dried, smoked, and salted meat product, although my family always made it with ground beef.

Either way, it’s tasty but I find the ground beef to be a bit more filling and a lot less salty.

SOS Creamed Beef Recipe ingredients picture.

SOS recipe ingredients

  • Ground beef
  • Yellow onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole milk
  • Toasted bread
SOS Creamed Beef Recipe served with a sprinkle of parsley.

What is shit on a shingle?

Visually it’s not the most colorful or beautiful dish but it’s filling and comforting.

Sometimes that cancels the old rule “You eat with your eyes first.”

Plus it’s like the dinner version of sausage gravy and biscuits which you know means it’s going to be amazingly delicious!

SOS Creamed Beef Recipe on a white plate.

I like to make mine and serve it over toast but I hear serving it over potatoes is also a great way to scarf down this deliciousness.

If you’re not familiar with this dish you should know it’s straight-up comfort food. It was super cheap to make and worked perfectly when there was a big family to feed.

This is America’s version of peasant food.

If you like to keep things simple you can just season this SOS creamed beef recipe with salt and pepper but sometimes it’s fun to add other spices like garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, or even fresh herbs.

Personally, I like mine with a little sprinkling of crushed red pepper because I’m pretty much always craving heat!

SOS Creamed Beef Recipe served with crushed red pepper for heat.

More ground beef recipes

sos creamed beef recipe on a white plate with a fork

SOS Creamed Beef Recipe

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This SOS creamed beef recipe is one of the easiest dishes to throw together. My dad used to make this all the time and I still crave it to this day!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Bread, toasted


  1. Set a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground beef and onion to the skillet and season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Break up the meat as it cooks and cook until it's brown in color and no pink remains. Drain the meat and set aside.
  4. In the same pan as you used to brown the meat, set it over medium heat and add the butter.
  5. Melt the butter and sprinkle in the flour and whisk together until it forms a paste.
  6. Let it bubble slightly and cook for about a minute.
  7. Slowly stream in milk and whisk until thick. This might take a few minutes to get the gravy as thick as you like.
  8. Add cooked beef and onion to the white gravy mixture.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add more flavor by sprinkling in crushed red pepper, garlic powder or fresh herbs.
  10. Serve over toast.


  • If the gravy gets too thick you can thin it out with more milk.
  • Do not skimp on adding the kosher salt and black pepper after cooking. If you don't add enough seasoning the gravy will taste very bland.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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SOS Creamed Beef Recipe pin for Pinterest.


Sunday 20th of August 2023

Make it and was so yummy!


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

This is the best ever I make it with dried chipped venison


Sunday 26th of February 2023

We ate this in the US Army for years. Many cooks put their own spin on the recipe but this one is good albeit basic. Nanny's recipe is very good. This is a great breakfast entrée for weekends when you have some military veterans over for a meal.


Saturday 24th of December 2022

My Dad always made this with the dried beef in the jar. He would soak it n water to remove some of the salt. So good...


Thursday 7th of April 2022

When I was in the Navy this was always served in the mess hall for breakfast. Even though it had an unfortunate name, I scarfed it down every morning. I can't wait to try this version.

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