Liver and Onions Recipe: How to Cook this Classic Dish

Roasted Beef Liver and Onions

The Heartland of America is known for many things: fertile fields, dairy farms, and small communities where everyone knows your name. There are many treasures in these small Midwestern US towns, from that corner diner serving the best cornbread you’ve ever had to that small antique shop with your next family heirloom in it for an incredible price.

You’ll also find many amazing home kitchens consistently serving incredible dishes, and nothing speaks of the Midwestern farm more than a simple meal of liver and onions.

Beef Liver and Onions Recipe

Beef liver and onions are a favorite dish among many families, and the recipe is simple. The ingredients are affordable and easy to find. There are many different ways to cook liver and onions.

This recipe can be made for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a healthy and nutritious meal that everyone will enjoy.


To follow our recipe in steps, you will need simple ingredients:

  • 1 pound of beef liver
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


Here are the instructions to make liver and onions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Chop the liver into small pieces.
  3. Peel and chop the onion.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
  5. Add the liver and onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Sprinkle the flour over the liver and onions and stir to combine.
  7. Pour in the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  8. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  9. Transfer the liver and onions to a baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!

Why is Liver and Onions Popular?

Liver and Onions

There are many reasons why liver and onions are a classic meal. The liver is a nutrient-rich food high in protein, iron, and vitamin A.

Onions also add valuable nutrients to the recipe, including antioxidants and flavonoids. Together, liver and onions make a hearty, satisfying, nutritious, and delicious meal.

Things to Keep in Mind When Cooking Liver and Onions

Cooking Liver and Onions

There are a few things to remember when cooking liver and onions. First, it is important to choose a good-quality liver. The liver from grass-fed cows is the best choice, as it is higher in nutrients than from grain-fed cows.

Second, be sure to cook the liver until it is cooked through but still moist. An overcooked liver can be dry and tough.

When it comes to onions, there are a few different ways to prepare them. The most common way is to slice them thin and cook them until they are soft.

Another option is to dice the onions and cook them until they are caramelized or sautéed onions. Either way, when you cook onions, you add sweetness and depth of flavor to the recipe.

This meal is typically served with mashed potatoes or rice. However, it can also be enjoyed as a main course.

If you want a more nutrient-rich meal, try serving the meal over a bed of spinach or other leafy greens. Whatever way you choose to enjoy it, liver and onions is a classic meal that is sure to please.

How to Cook Beef Liver and Onions

Not everyone is indeed partial to a beef liver as a good dinner. Adding onions to the meat seems to insult the injury for some! The secret to having good beef liver and onions is to ensure it is cooked properly.

If the liver slices are undercooked, it is spongy and tastes like you are sucking on a piece of iron candy. Cook it too much, and it becomes a piece of chewy rubber that is so tough that you could replace the soles of your shoes with them.

Here’s the Secret To a Great Piece of Beef Liver…

Great Piece of Beef Liver

Why is making liver and onions on the farm such a wonderful experience? Because to cleanse a piece of liver, you need to soak it in milk.

The best milk to use is raw milk that you just got from the cows, but any milk is better than no milk at all. You must cover the liver completely with milk for at least an hour, but a couple of hours is usually best. 

This is the most effective way to remove the bitter taste from the liver, making everyone pucker up and scrunch their nose at you when you even mention it!

While the liver is soaking, you can start preparing onions. Slow cooking the onions is best because you want the flavors of the cooked onions to be ready for the liver that will soon be cooking with it!

Using a couple of tablespoons of butter, heat the pan just enough to melt butter and make it bubble a little. Then, put in the onion and let them soak up that butter.

Bigger pieces of onion take longer to cook thoroughly, so slow cooking them can take the hour or two you’re using to soak the liver. If you like caramelized onions, you will love them. Consider sweet onions and balsamic vinegar to make your caramelized onions more flavorful.

Make Sure You Give Your Liver a Nice Flour Coating!

Live and Onions

Get a nice flour coating when you’re ready to start cooking the liver slices. Mix some salt and pepper with the flour and maybe some fresh garlic or garlic powder if you’re brave.

Then, take the liver slices out of the milk, coat both sides with the flour mixture, put it into your onion pan, and turn the heat up to medium-high heat. 

You might need more butter to help the liver brown properly. Cook until nicely browned on each side, and then you’re done! The best liver is served slightly pink.

How to Remove the Metallic Taste of Liver

Remove the Metallic Taste of Liver

Make sure it’s under a layer of water and butter. Sliced liver should be placed in a saucepan with milk to cover them. After draining and washing the livers, place them in the refrigerator for about half an hour.

This will help to remove the metallic taste. You can also soak them in milk for a few hours or overnight to achieve the same goal.

Wash livers in running water, removing any visible blood clots. Soak liver in milk for 30 minutes before cooking. This will help to remove the metallic taste.

How do you cook liver so it is tender?

Liver and Onions with Mashed Potatoes

Tenderize your liver slices by soaking them in milk for an hour or two before cooking. This will help to remove the metallic taste from the liver. You can also marinate it overnight in vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice. Be sure to rinse the liver thoroughly before cooking.

Flour coat your liver and then fry it in a pan with butter until it is browned on both sides. You can also add onions to the pan while cooking the liver. Slow-cook the onions to be ready when the liver is done. Serve your liver slightly pink for the best flavor.

Is eating beef liver good for you?

Great Piece of Beef Liver

A nutritionally rich and highly nutritious diet awaits the liver. It is high in vitamin A, vitamin E, and nicacid. Three ounces of steak liver provides a lot of saturated fat and vitamin B (thiamine), vitamin C, riboflavin, and niacin. The liver also contains a lot of folic acid and iron.

The liver is an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids. It is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit the heart and circulatory system.

See Related: What Are the 5 Mother Sauces?

Liver and Onions Recipe: How to Cook this Classic Dish

Liver and onions might not be the first choice for everyone's dinner, but with these tips even the loudest complainers will convert to being liver lovers!

Type: Main Dish

Cuisine: American

Keywords: liver and onions, liver and onions recipe, how to make liver and onions, liver and onions recipes

Recipe Yield: 4 servings

Preparation Time: PT10M

Cooking Time: PT20M

Total Time: PT30M

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of beef liver
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Editor's Rating:

This beef liver and onions recipe is a classic one that has been enjoyed for generations. This recipe is simple to make and can be tailored to your liking by changing the type of liver used or how the onions are prepared.


Where can I buy beef Liver?

If you are looking for beef liver, the best place to find it is at grocery stores or local farmers’ markets. Beef liver is a common ingredient in many cuisines, so it’s relatively easy to find. In most cases, you’ll be able to find beef liver in the meat section of the grocery store or at a butcher shop. However, it’s always a good idea to call and ensure the store has it in stock before making a special trip.

How do you clean beef liver?

Beef liver is a very versatile ingredient, and there are many ways to clean it. However, the most important thing to remember is to remove any traces of blood before cooking. Blood can give the liver a strong flavor many people do not enjoy.

Why do you soak liver in milk before cooking?

Soaking the liver in milk overnight helps to remove any bitterness and makes it more tender. It also helps the liver to hold on to its flavor and moisture during cooking. Doing this is not strictly necessary, but it does result in a better-tasting recipe.

Related Resources

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *