Creamed Chipped Beef

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast: A Timeless Comfort Food Delight

What Is Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast?

Creamed chipped beef on toast, a dish steeped in history, is a simple yet satisfying meal consisting of thinly sliced dried beef in a roux-based white sauce, served over toasted bread. Originating as a quick, cost-effective meal for soldiers, its colloquial name “SOS” humorously stands for “Shit on a Shingle,” referring to the beef gravy on toast. This dish’s enduring popularity is a testament to its comforting essence and the nostalgia it evokes.

Why Is Creamed Chipped Beef Known as Comfort Food?

There’s something about creamed chipped beef that instantly warms the heart and soothes the soul. This dish, often reminiscent of mom’s cooking or military camaraderie, embodies the essence of comfort food with its rich, creamy texture and familiar, unpretentious ingredients. It’s the culinary equivalent of a cozy blanket on a cold day.

How to Make Creamed Chipped Beef

Creating the perfect creamed chipped beef involves gently simmering slices of dried beef in a thick, creamy white sauce until the flavors meld beautifully. The key is in the roux—a mixture of flour and fat—to achieve the desired thickness and creaminess of the gravy. Seasoning with black pepper and a dash of Worcestershire sauce can elevate the dish from simple to sublime.

Finding the Right Chipped Beef

The choice of chipped beef is pivotal. While traditionally made with dried beef found in jars, many opt for freshly sliced beef from the deli for a less salty and more nuanced flavor. Experimenting with different types of beef, such as corned beef or roast beef, can also yield delicious results.

The Perfect Toast for Serving

While any toast can serve as a base, choosing the right bread can enhance the dish. Sourdough or whole grain varieties offer a robust flavor and texture that pairs well with the creamy beef. For those looking to step away from the traditional, serving the beef over buttermilk biscuits or a bed of mashed potatoes can be delightful alternatives.

Gravy Secrets: Achieving the Ultimate Creaminess

The gravy is the heart of the dish. Achieving a velvety, lump-free sauce requires patience and constant whisking. For those seeking a richer flavor, substituting some of the milk with cream or adding a hint of nutmeg can add depth. Remember, the gravy will thicken as it cools, so aim for a slightly looser consistency than desired.

Creative Variations: Beyond the Classic Recipe

Innovating on the classic, some enjoy the dish with a modern twist—think creamed chipped beef over a freshly baked biscuit or incorporating unconventional ingredients like cream cheese or hard-boiled eggs into the gravy. These variations breathe new life into the traditional recipe, catering to contemporary palates while maintaining its comforting essence.

SOS Through the Ages: Its Place in Military History

The dish’s military roots are a significant part of its identity. In the armed forces, it served as a practical, filling meal that could feed many on a tight budget. Over the years, it has remained a staple in military and civilian kitchens alike, a testament to its adaptability and enduring appeal.

Easy Recipes for Busy Mornings

Creamed chipped beef doesn’t have to be a time-consuming endeavor. With a few shortcuts, such as using pre-sliced beef or preparing the gravy in advance, the dish can be assembled in minutes, making it a perfect candidate for a hearty breakfast or a quick, comforting dinner.

Nutritional Considerations and Adjustments

While undeniably delicious, creamed chipped beef is traditionally rich in sodium and fat. For a healthier version, opt for low-sodium beef and use a mixture of milk and broth in the gravy. Accompanying the dish with steamed vegetables or a fresh salad can also provide a more balanced meal without compromising its comforting qualities.

Summary of Key Points

  • Creamed chipped beef on toast is a cherished comfort food with historical significance.
  • Achieving the perfect creaminess in the gravy is crucial to the dish’s success.
  • Variations and adjustments can cater to modern tastes and nutritional considerations.
  • Despite its simplicity, the dish holds a special place in the hearts of many, embodying the essence of home-cooked comfort.
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Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

  • Author: recipevalue
  • Total Time: 25 minutes


Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast, affectionately known as “SOS,” is a hearty, classic American comfort dish featuring thinly sliced dried beef in a rich, creamy sauce served over toasted bread.


  • 8 oz dried chipped beef, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 slices of toast
  • Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper, chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Rinse the chipped beef under cold water and pat dry.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beef and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over the beef, stirring until blended. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring there are no lumps. Add black pepper (and cayenne if using).
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Serve the creamed beef over toast. Garnish with parsley if desired.


  • Rinse the chipped beef to remove excess saltiness.
  • For a lighter version, substitute milk with low-fat milk.
  • Add a splash of Worcestershire sauce for an umami boost.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 350
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 1g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 29g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 21g

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