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Chicken Fried Steak without Buttermilk

This chicken fried steak without buttermilk is a dairy free version of the Southern classic! It is easy to make and delicious.

Chicken fried steak on a white plate on a white marble counter

Chicken fried steak is a Southern favorite made from tenderized beef cutlets, which is then cooked like fried chicken and covered in country gravy.

However, like chicken fried chicken and Maryland fried Chicken, it has country gravy poured over it.

It is often served with mashed potatoes and green beans.

While buttermilk is a common ingredient in chicken fried steak, it is not a must, and this chicken fried steak is made without buttermilk.

History of Chicken Fried Steak

The origin of chicken fried steak is unknown, but it came from German and Austrian immigrants and to Texas.

They brought the concept of the Wiener schnitzel, which is a fried breaded veal cutlet.

By the the late 1800s, many regional cookbooks featured recipes for what we now call chicken-fried steak.

However, the earliest known use of the name “chicken-fried steak” is from a restaurant advertisement in the 19 June 1914 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette newspaper.

Then, in 1943, an American cookbook featured a recipe for Wiener schnitzel, including a version of country gravy.

Tips for Making the Best Chicken Fried Steak 

  • Pound the steak thin.  A thin steak will cook quicker and be less chewy
  • Press the flour into the meat. The first time you dredge the steaks into the flour, use the heel of your hand to really press it in. That way, the coating will adhere better.
  • Spoon hot oil over the steaks in the pan. You don’t need to deep fry the chicken-fried steaks. You can easily shallow fry them in less oil. Help firm up the coating on top by spooning hot oil over the top before flipping the steaks.
  • Use a warming oven. After you fry the steaks, keep them warm in a 200°F oven while you make the gravy.

Use the Drippings in the Pan to Make Gravy 

Chicken fried steak is usually served with country gravy, made with some of the drippings from the pan.

After you cook the steaks and while you are keeping them warm, remove all but the fat from the pan except what is called for in the country gravy recipe.

Why is it called chicken fried steak?

Chicken fried steak is called chicken fried steak because it is made the same way you’d make fried chicken.

Whats the difference between chicken fried steak and country fried steak?

There is no difference between chicken fried steak and country fried steak. They are just two different names for the same dish, just like country gravy and white gravy are the same thing.

What should I serve with chicken fried steak?

First of all, chicken fried steak should always be served with country gravy. Mashed potatoes and green beans are also common sides.

What veggie goes with chicken fried steak?

Green beans, peas, and fried okra are all commonly served with chicken fried steak.

What meat is chicken fried steak made with?

Chicken fried steak is made with cube meat.

How do you tenderize meat for chicken fried steak?

To tenderize the meat, pound it with a mallet or rolling pin.

Is Chicken Fried Steak Dairy?

Yes, chicken fried steak is dairy because buttermilk or milk are usually called for. Oftentimes, butter is called for as well.

In addition, the country gravy that is poured over the chicken fried steak is usually made using milk and butter.

However, this recipe for chicken fried steak is dairy free.


Yes and no.  It is not necessarily healthier as far as bacteria is concerned, since bacteria can only safely be killed with heat.  What is better is the quality of the meat.

The salting process used to remove blood, as part of the koshering process, is believed to provide better quality meat.  It creates a sort of quick dry brine.

Also, kosher animals are kept in better conditions than not kosher animals due to strict kosher heath requirements of the animals.  They are also killed in arguably more humane conditions.

While I’ve only eaten kosher meat (so I cannot compare), I’ve been told by non-Jews who do not keep kosher that they’ve noticed that kosher meat is of superior quality to cook with.


According to the USDA, you should not wash chicken or meat because washing it spreads bacteria throughout the kitchen.

Water can splash bacteria up to 3 feet surrounding your sink, including onto counter tops, other food, towels, and you (i.e. cross contamination).

study done by Drexel University shows that it is best to move meat and poultry directly from package to pan.  The heat from cooking will kill any bacteria that may be present.

One exception would be if there are bone fragments or residue from giblets, as in a roasting chicken. In that case, feel free to rinse if you like.  However, make sure you wipe down your sink afterwards.


If you want to clean your meat without washing it, wipe it down with a wet paper towel. This will remove anything other than bacteria.

Just make sure the paper towel doesn’t touch anything else and to toss the paper towel right away.



This method is the most highly recommended. Meat typically takes at least a full day to thaw. Once thawed, the poultry can remain in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.


This should take two to three hours.  Submerge your sealed meat in a pot or bowl full of cold water.  Change out the water every 30 minutes or so. 

Do not use warm or hot water.  It is unhealthy to do so, can start cooking your meat, and doesn’t do so evenly.


According to the USDA, you can cook frozen meat.  It will take 50% longer to cook, but it’s an option.  You should also cook it on a roasting rack or over vegetables, so the heat can circulate around the meat.


If you have extra raw meat that you didn’t use but want to refreeze, you can, as long as it was thawed in the fridge.

According to the USDA, “food thawed in the refrigerator is safe to refreeze without cooking.”  However, you do lose quality when refreezing previously defrosted meat. 

Every time you defrost meat, it loses moisture through thawing, which also leads to a loss in flavor.  To compensate for this, marinate the meat to add more flavor and juice.”

The USDA also says not to “refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.”


Once cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Store for 3 to 4 days.


Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days.  Place in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag. 

Freeze for up to 6 months.  After that, it is safe to eat. However, the quality begins to degrade.

Yield: 4 servings

Chicken Fried Steak without Buttermilk

Chicken fried steak on a white plate on a white marble counter

This chicken fried steak without buttermilk is a dairy free version of the Southern classic! It is easy to make and delicious.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 1 pound pre-tenderized cube steaks or round steaks (4 steaks)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Country gravy


    1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt.
    2. Fill the bottom of the skillet with oil and heat. You know the oil is ready when you throw some flour into it and it sizzles or reaches 350°F.
    3. Take a piece and dredge it in the flour. Shake off the excess and dip it in the egg. Let the egg drip off and coat one more time in flour. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the pieces.
    4. When hot, add a few pieces at a time to the oil until the pan is full, but not crowded.
    5. Lower the flame to medium or medium-high. Fry until the bottom is golden brown, then turn over.
    6. Once both sides are cooked, remove and place on a cooling rack.
    7. Make country gravy and pour it over the chicken fried steak.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 356Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 1891mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 20g

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