Best Recipe for Creamed Chipped Beef

Creamed chipped beef goes by several names, but most would call it pure comfort food. Alternate names all revolve around the acronym SOS. If you were in the service, you probably lovingly call is Sh*t on a Shingle, others called is Stuff on Stuff or Same Old Stuff.

angle of creamed chipped beef on thick cut texas toast


 

It all comes down to three elements: thinly sliced beef, some sort of starchy base and a velvety cream gravy. From there, the variations are vast.

This dish is most popular for breakfast or brunch, but don’t be scared to serve it over a bed of egg noodles for dinner too.

wood spoon with creamed chipped beef

What is Chipped Beef?

Chipped beef, also known as dried beef, is a type of cured and dried meat that has been thinly sliced. It is typically made from beef that has been salted, cured, and air-dried.

Chipped beef is often used as an ingredient in various dishes, such as creamed chipped beef or in sandwiches.

Where this recipe for Creamed Chipped Beef comes from

The origins of creamed chipped beef are unknown, but food historians have dated it back to the army and Great Depression.

A relatively low cost meal that was sure to fill you up and give you the energy for hard labor all day. It was easy to prepare and people down right loved it.

Today creamed chipped beef has many ways of being prepared but still contains the classic elements of cream gravy, starch and beef.

I’ve found many old school diner versions are a little too basic and too salty for my taste, so I’ve made mine with salting optional based on your beef and also personal preference.

scooping chipped beef onto white bread

Creamed Chipped Beef Recipe Ingredients

You are going to be pleasantly surprised at how simple this ingredient list is.

  • Butter – Any time I am cooking or baking, I like to use unsalted butter. That way I am able to control the amount of salt that goes into the recipe.
  • Flour – In order to thicken this creamed chipped beef, we need to make a roux. This is simply a combination of melted butter and flour that is cooked until a paste is formed.
  • Milk – You can either use whole milk or half & half here. You want something that is both creamy and full fat.
  • Dried beef – You will usually find dried beef in the canned meat section of your local grocery store. It generally comes in a jar.
  • Worcestershire sauce – One of my favorite condiments, we just add a dash of Worcestershire for even more flavor.
  • Dijon mustard – This adds a slight tang and acidity as well as some flavor to your creamed chipped beef recipe.
  • Seasoned salt – This is optional, but definitely recommended. If you used salted butter, you can leave this out entirely.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – There is just something about freshly ground pepper that adds so much flavor to a dish.

Chipped Beef Ingredients

Beef is the star of the show in creamed chipped beef so it seems like a good place to start. Traditionally, the dish uses a jarred or canned dried beef.

You can find it near canned tuna and Vienna sausages at the grocery store. It is shelf stable for long periods of time, so it is no wonder it became a popular meal during difficult times.

stir creamed chipped beef with a wood spoon

The most popular brands are Armour and Hormel and it will be labeled “dried sliced beef”. It is thinly sliced dried beef in a salty brine. If you use the jarred version, you’ll need to not only drain, but rinse and soak the beef before using. I am a salt lover and it is way too much for me. I’d rather have it be under seasoned and add salt at the end than have it be unrecoverable and too salty.

The other option for beef is a deli meat version made by Cubb or other generic brands. This meat is also a dried beef, but not stored in brine so not as salty. Taste test it before cooking. I’ve had some folks still say it needed to be rinsed, but not soaked.

Others who don’t care for dried beef can use fresh, thinly sliced roast beef from the deli or even ham or cooked and drained ground beef.

stuff on stuff on a white plate

Creamy Gravy Ingredients

As basic as it gets, creamed chipped beef sauce is a simple roux thinned with milk or half and half. Browned butter and flour develop flavor and only need simple seasonings to bring them to life.

But I like to elevate my dishes so I also add a dash of Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard. They add sophistication and acidity to give it an extra punch of deliciousness. Either can be omitted and the dish will still taste perfectly fine.

Some also enjoy making their gravy a cheese sauce, which is also acceptable. To do this, add ½ cup finely shredded white cheddar or American cheese to your finished gravy before adding the beef.

how to make a cream sauce in a skillet
Homestyle SOS recipe on a plate

How to Make Creamed Chipped Beef

With just a few easy steps, you can have this delicious dish ready in no time.

  1. Drain and rinse dried beef. Soak in cold water for a few minutes, drain and rinse again.
  2. Sauté beef. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add drained and rinsed beef, tearing into smaller pieces as you add it. Sauté until browned. Remove to a plate, set aside.
  3. Make roux. Add remaining butter, melting and adding flour. Whisk to make a roux. Allow to lightly brown.
  4. Add milk and seasoning. Whisk in whole milk, whisking until all lumps are dissolved and mixture starts to thicken. Season with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard.
  5. Return beef to sauce. Add browned beef back to the cream sauce, covering and heating through.
  6. Taste test the cream sauce and if needed, add a small amount of seasoned salt. Depending on how well you drained and rinsed the beef and your salt preferences this may or may not be needed.
  7. Serve. Serve beef and cream sauce over thick cut toast and top with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley.
chipped beef in a skillet

How to make Creamed Chipped Beef

The next choice you’ll have is what to pile your creamed chipped beef on. Most are ladled onto toast, hence the “shingle” but there are many other options, including a scooped out baked potato or even Air Fryer Potatoes.

Here are the most popular:

My favorite twist is the creamed chipped beef potato. To do this, bake 4 large potatoes. This can be done ahead of time and the potatoes reheated before stuffing.

Cut the top off a baked potato lengthwise, scoop out inside, making a potato boat. Fill with creamed chipped beef and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese.

creamed chipped beef stuffed potatoes

Tips for Cream Chipped Beef

The number one complaint of creamed chip beef makers is salt. Either not enough or too much.

Salt is so tricky because different brands of dried beef contain different amounts of salt and also everyone defines “salty” differently. My husband gasps at the amount of salt I add to my food.

Taste, taste, taste. This is the only way to get it correct. Taste the beef so you know if it needs another rinse or not and then taste the gravy. Add seasoned salt sparingly until it is to your liking.

overhead of how to make creamed chipped beef

Chipped Beef Recipe Variations

I know, it is such a simple dish and yet, there seem to be several variations or ways to elevate it even further.

These include:

  • Cheese– whether in a potato or not, cheese is always welcomed as a garnish or in the cream gravy.
  • Paprika- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked or sweet paprika can be added to the gravy.
  • Shallots– some true old schoolers might be appalled at the mention of this, but yes, add shallots, or other mild onion, to the butter before creating a roux.
  • Garlic– same goes for garlic, add 1-2 cloves finely minced or pressed to the butter while making roux.
  • Ham or ground beef– no one says you have to use dried beef. Shake it up by using sliced ham, fresh roast beef or even ground beef.

What to serve with Cream Chipped Beef

Cream chipped beef is commonly served over toast or biscuits as a classic breakfast or brunch dish. Additionally, it can be accompanied by side dishes such as scrambled eggshash brown casserolecrispy home fries, or fresh fruit to create a well-rounded meal.

Storing and Reheating Chipped Beef

To store creamed chipped beef, allow it to cool completely and transfer it to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator and consume it within 3-4 days.

Reheating Creamed Chipped Beef

To reheat creamed chipped beef, you have a couple of options:

  1. Stovetop method: Transfer the creamed chipped beef to a saucepan or skillet. Heat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is heated through. Be cautious not to let it boil, as it can cause the cream sauce to separate.
  2. Microwave method: Place the creamed chipped beef in a microwave-safe dish. Cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe wrap. Heat it in short intervals, stirring in between, until it is thoroughly heated.
close up of creamed chipped beef for pinterest

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creamed chipped beef on a plate

Creamed Chipped Beef

4.89 from 9 votes
Creamed Chipped Beef, also known as SOS, consists of thinly sliced beef in a velvety creamy gravy. This easy recipe is the BEST!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Alternate:

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse dried beef. Soak in cold water for 10 minutes, drain and rinse again.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add drained and rinsed beef, tearing into smaller pieces as you add it.
  • Sauté for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  • Remove to a plate, set aside.
  • Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, melting and adding flour. Whisk to make a roux. Allow to lightly brown, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  • Whisk in whole milk, whisking until all lumps are dissolved and mixture starts to thicken. Season with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard.
  • Add browned beef back to the cream sauce, covering and heating for 1-2 minutes.
  • Taste test the cream sauce and if needed, add a small amount of seasoned salt. Depending on how well you drained and rinsed the beef and your salt preferences this may or may not be needed.
  • Serve beef and cream sauce over thick cut toast and top with freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!

Nutrition

Calories: 363 kcal, Carbohydrates: 13 g, Protein: 15 g, Fat: 28 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 85 mg, Sodium: 264 mg, Potassium: 348 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 8 g, Vitamin A: 589 IU, Calcium: 181 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 363
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chipped beef, creamed chipped beef, sos, stuff on stuff
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
creamed chipped beef recipe for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe. I’ve tried it twice now. The first time I followed the recipe to the letter except for the Dijon mustard. I didn’t have any on hand, so I ground up mustard seed which I always have around.

    The second time I made it, I used reserved bacon fat instead of butter. It gave the sauce a heartier flavor. I also added onion powder and a tiny dash of cayenne instead of black pepper. It was even better the second time.

    This recipe is a definite keeper – and SO easy.

  2. 5 stars
    Who rinses the dried beef? My mother used to tear the beef pieces and brown them a little in the butter in the frying pan, then add flour little by little and stir to coat all the beef. Then she added milk, stirring until it thickens. She didn’t measure any of it. I just turned 90, so you know how long ago this was — before and during WWII. It’s still a good recipe – I might add some herbs to spice it up a little, but that’s all.

  3. 5 stars
    My Dad would make creamed chipped beef for special breakfasts and I still love it. Never tried it on a baked potato before, but that sounds really delicious too!

  4. 5 stars
    That is one beautiful meal right there. It’s exactly what I will be making for breakfast tomorrow. Absolutely perfect.

  5. 5 stars
    A unique and a super delicious recipe to surely go with. Looks so creamy and yum. My family to surely relish it.