My Homemade Food Recipes & Tips

Fried Beef Liver with Onions

April 24th, 2010 in Beef, Main Dishes by
Total cooking time: 30min
Fried Beef Liver with Onions

Liver is an irreplaceable source of various nutrients which are very important for human health. It has biggest concentration of a vitamin A comparing to all other food sources; natural source of vitamin D, B12 and C, phosphorus and copper; it is high on protein of animal origin; and the most important, it is rich source of easily absorbed iron – that made liver a part of the treatment for pernicious anemia.

Saying all of that, I was very surprised of how hard it was to find fresh beef liver in a local shops (true to tell I didn’t try a local farmer markets, didn’t locate any around yet). I am also pretty sure, what liver dishes are not very popular in this part of the earth globe, however they are traditional in Europe: Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and a believe a lot of other countries.

So here is my attempt to fix that: fried beef liver with onions – is perfect lunch or dinner dish, it is very easy to cook and, as I already mentioned above, it is very nutritious. Important tip: do not overcook liver, to preserve as much goodness as you can.


How to prepare, step-by-step:

  1. Prepare ingredients: if you got liver in a whole piece then clean it (remove hard vessel parts) and slice in pieces about 1/3 of inch wide.

    I was only able to find cleaned and already sliced beef liver in the supermarket near by, it was also deep frozen, so if you got the same – let liver unfreeze for about 3 hours before cooking (if you need to unfreeze it faster putting the sealed box with frozen liver under slow running cold water will help), keep in mind whole piece will need more time to unfreeze than the sliced:
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 1
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 1
  2. Put a skillet on the moderate heat burner, add 2-3 tbsp of sunflower oil. While skillet is being warmed up, pour flour into plate with sides wide enough for pieces of liver you’ve got; then roll several pieces of liver one by one in flour from both sides:
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 2
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 2
  3. Move liver pieces to the warmed up skillet, fry on this side for about 1 min (if your liver slices are thicker than mine – increase cooking time a accordingly):
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 3
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 3
  4. Turn each piece of liver which is cooked from one side to another and fry for 1 more min (make sure you only do it once for each piece, otherwise liver might lose its softness):
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 4
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 4
  5. Move liver pieces cooked evenly from each side to a big plate and season with a salt. Then proceed with frying rest of the liver:
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 5
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 5
  6. While the liver pieces are cooking, warm up another skillet with 2 tbsp of oil over moderate-low heat. Peel onions and slice them into half-circles, move to the skillet and fry until soft and brown colored for about 15-20 mins; stir from time to time:
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 6
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions Recipe: Step 6
  7. Serve fried beef liver warm, topped with fried onions and with your choice of a side dish, my personal choice here would be potato puree:
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions
    Fried Beef Liver with Onions

86 Responses to “Fried Beef Liver with Onions”

  1. Shmuel says:

    It looks excellent and no milk in sight. Will try it and let you know.
    Thank you

  2. Stanley Holmes says:

    Not traditional? As a poor kid in South Georgia, were it not for Beef Liver, we would have gone “meatless” many a Friday. It was Fish or Liver on Friday nights, depending on what side of the tracks you were on.

    • Is it still so though? Wondering if times had changed some things? Here in Ohio I can could count the stores I know that sells liver on the fingers of on hand…

    • Jacqueline says:

      YEsssssss!!! Being 1 of 9 kids my Mom had fried liver & onions with mashed potatoes and Gravy from our vegetable garden at least 2 times a week. We all loved it!! Especially her homemade Biscuits:) Very cheap meal!

  3. Eugene. R Lakin says:

    Does anybody know how to cook beef liver in a NuWave Brio digital hot air fryer

  4. Gretta Jones says:

    I have a question that I need someone help.I cook liver and onion but the liver still to be tough. How do I get it softer?

  5. Tood says:

    I love liver..but in my home we only eat wild red meat such as venison. I always keep the liver and sometimes the heart but I have always cooked the liver traditionally, do you or any of your readers have a recipe that is best with wild liver? Thanx

    • I never tried to cook “wild” liver, wondering if it is any different from a “domestic” one…

    • Scott says:

      Once you have tasted Venison liver, you will tell everyone it is the best ! During deer hunting season, liver and onions is the evening meal everyone looks forward to after a successful hunt. Truly delicious.

      Cook Venison liver properly as you would any other liver : S&P, slight dusting of flour, and high heat fast fry in a little oil. Don’t over cook or liver will be tough, and don’t use too much flour or the liver will be “paste-y”. Make a good beef & onion gravy, mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, and peas & corn separately before frying the liver. Serve liver immediately when it is done.

      BTW, once tried making a liver stir fry, but only once…..

  6. Abraham Kibirige says:

    Thanks so much.. I now know why I have always prepared hard liver.. I won’t overcook it again

  7. star says:

    thanx everyone. the tips on cooking live r helped. sour cream with it sounds goo d but is it. used as a side fo r dipping into.

  8. Antonette Campbell says:

    Wow! Thanks. My mom used to make liver, but I couldn’t remember how she did it so I thought of looking on the internet and WALLA!! Just how my mom used to cook it. I cooked it for my boyfriend and he couldn’t stop raving about it. He loved it!!!!
    Thank you so much!! Liver has become a must have and a necessity and a permanent name on my month end shopping list.

  9. Caroline says:

    To all who shared on this website welldone and thank you especially to Julia
    and to the person who commented about GRAMMAR maybe you should eat some liver and your brain cells will become HEALTHY
    Thanks ALL
    God Bless

  10. Tammy says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! Gregg seems to be worried about grammar on social media, but he certainly isn’t worried about his own bad language! As the parent of a child that is struggling with writing I would tell her that her best try is worth 1000 times more than someone’s bad manners! Thanks again for the recipe. I love liver and this recipe is the best

    • Thank you, Tammy 🙂

      English isn’t my native language, so I use this blog also to practice my english. I don’t mind being corrected, in fact all of you pointing out my typos and mistakes help me to be better, so I appreciate this. The bad language I can ignore 🙂

  11. Crystal says:

    Great recipe. I bought beef liver in slices today because it is my husbands birthday, and it is his fav. I don’t care for it, but I will sample a small piece just for him. Again, thanks for the recipe!

  12. Katie says:

    The liver was delicious my husband loved it thank you

  13. ceeby says:

    wow i like i like.pour out some more please this dish is amazing

  14. Frances says:

    I have been sitting with frozen liver in my freezer for about a month now, thinking of how to cook and feed it to my kids… I remember my mom making me liver, with mash and “black” gravy – using the same pan – I’m going to try this out and soaking it in the milk!!!
    Thanks for the tips

  15. Eugene Dobies says:

    Thank you. My mom & grandma used to make it the same way but they used to soak the liver in water overnight with a little salt in the water. My family is from Poland, came over in 1900-1902.
    So I’m always looking for good Polish food stuff.

  16. Michelle says:

    LOL! Gregg will frown….coconut flour – not coconut flower. Sorry….:)

  17. Michelle says:

    Thanks so much Julia and all the others with useful info for cooking livers. My Mom also used to make liver and onions for me when I was a little girl and I have not had it since again – I am talking over 20 years now..Anyhow, for those who are on a low carb eating plan which is taking South Africa by storm – replace potato mash with cauliflower mash. It is delicious! Just steam the cauliflower until soft and then put in a blender with butter. Also using coconut oil is low carb way of frying and dusting the meat in almond flour or coconut flower is good too! I am making this dish tonight. Yum!

  18. Naomi says:

    I tried as you saying and it is DELICIOUS!!!
    I had with little soy source and wasabi for little spicyness
    taste amazing!!! thank for shearing !! :))

  19. kyla says:

    i’m not after the grammar .. i’m after the recipe.. thanks alot for sharing.

  20. Colin says:

    I prefer to dry rub liver with blackening spice and smother with sauted onions and mushrooms. Blackening spice is as follows… 2 tablespoons each of….Tumeric-Paprika-Basil-Oregano-Onion powder-Garlic powder-White pepper-Black pepper-Cayenne pepper. No salt in spice for some of us but you can add to taste if you wish. Blackening spice is great on chicken, pork…even barbeque’d roast on a spit. Mashed spuds are great… salad is sliced Tomato-sliced Avocado-crushed walnuts-crumbled blue cheese with a blue cheese dressing… enjoy.

  21. Shiko says:

    Thanks a lot for the recipe. We have been disappointed with liver before but I guess I will have to try your recipe tonight. I did not know about adding milk to remove the bitterness.

    Keep on the good work Julia

  22. Paul Stanway says:

    I found a ton of beef livers for £1 today and will definitely try out this recipe out this evening. Looks simple to make, even for an idiot like me. Also, definitely the milk idea is a good way to go. Chicken livers don’t need it, but I tried ox liver once and that tasted WAY better marinaded in a bit of milk, for maybe 30 to 60 minutes before you fry it.

    Maybe some other marinades could work as well. Hmm.

    Thanks for your recipe.

  23. Cindy says:

    Can I refreeze the fried liver once it’s been cooked Julia or not? It’s just me who enjoys liver, so when I cook it there is a few pieces too much.

  24. Theresa Stroud says:

    Hi just used this recipe for liver tonight for my husbands dinner, and he loved it, could not stop thankng me for the wonderful meal lol
    Thanks so much for the recipe will be using this forever now 🙂

  25. Rozie says:

    U made my day. Finally I got my answer on how to cook beef liver and with details. How about U keep doing what U do best N stop listening 2 individuals who don’t have manners or know how to respect others. As my mom used 2 say if U can’t say nothing nice don’t say anything at all. May U continue 2 B blessed.

  26. connie says:

    does anyone have a receipe for a tomato gravy with green pepper and onions ( i lost my old receipe) to serve with my liver?

  27. Danalou says:

    Thank you so much…..needed to know how long to cook it….Oh and Greg,You did not capitalize your I…LMBO!!!

  28. Gail says:

    I absolutely LOVE fried liver!!!! When i was a little girl my mom would cook it just like it says here; dredge in flour, then fry a minute or 2 on each side. Then there was the onions!! I especially Love those! 🙂 My sister makes a gravy with the leftovers from cooking the liver and it is scrumptious too! 🙂 As for the person putting down the other persons grammar………….YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!!!!!!!!

  29. vandi says:

    Woow ,, its easy to cook and good to eat recipe. Thank you so much ..

  30. April says:

    Thank you for the great instructions! My husband is out back butchering our cow. Having heard how healthy liver is I told him to save it for me, but now I have no idea what to do with it. I’ve looked at lots of recipes but yours is the first that told me how thin to slice the meat, thanks!

  31. Kevin says:

    instead of flower try using crushed salted soup crackers and add black pepper and a little garlic powder

  32. Guenter Meiburg says:

    Great recipe! my mother served it with boiled or mashed potatoes & GRAVY. You make the gravy by adding a little flour – 1/4 cup or so, and salt and pepper to the pan after removing the liver & onions, then “deglazing” with a little water, say 1/2 cup, stir vigorously and let the mixture thicken and cook down for 5 or ten minutes until you have a gravy about the consistency of pancake batter. Serve the gravy for use over the potatos, and perhaps a little on the meat if you like. Serve the onions on the meat.

  33. James Hart says:

    Thank u all for your positive take on cooking liver

  34. James Hart says:

    Greg .???

    Get a life !

  35. miss k says:

    Miss K

    Thank you very much for recipe.I am off to cook my liver.Thanks

  36. Judy says:

    I love liver as does my mother. She can no longer eat organ meats due to having gout. Something in the meat really gets her gout riled up. I think I now have gout – it is hereitary – but will eat liver when i can and suffer. lol

  37. john bird says:

    Hey all
    Grammer be damned, I am interested in cooking liver.
    My favourite way is to pan fry it in coconut oil (better than olive oil at this temp.) and then cover it in cheese of your choice. When cheese is melted place liver on plate with vegetables that are steamed and mashed potatoes and enjoy.

  38. Gus O. Davis says:

    My mother was from far southern Ohio on the Kentucky border. She was pure hillbilly but immigrated (on her own) to California in her teens (the 1930’s). She much later married my father, a California native. I was born in the very early 1950’s and grew up on her food which of course was her native hillbilly fare. Fried liver and onions was a staple of my childhood and I can taste it in my mouth after reading this article. It is something I haven’t eaten since leaving home in my late teens. My hippie generation told me that organ meats are disgusting but I now think they have a place in a rich nutritional diet. I will be searching for some whole fresh beef liver, I hope I can find some.

  39. CEDRIC WARD says:

    Be sure to soak the liver in milk for at least and hour before cooking to take the bitter taste out of it.

  40. Gregg Bruce says:

    I can’t believe how bad the grammar is in this thread. i realize this is trivial on one hand, but damn, is this the way you talk?

    • Yes, english isn’t my native language, will appreciate if you point bad grammar out so I can fix it.

      • Elaine says:

        Gregg, I think that you should think carefully before commenting on other people’s `bad grammar`. There are many reasons why someone’s grammar may be far from perfect. Apart from English not being the first language of the person; there may be people who are dyslexic or have a learning difficulty. I think it is brave of people to answer on line if their grammar or spelling is not up to scratch and I hope that when they read comments, such as yours, that it does not put them off commenting further. No offence meant to you. I am now off to the kitchen to fry liver and onions!

        • Paula says:

          Thank you for your comment. I have several learning disabilities, as well as brain damage. I hate to write on the social media for this reason. When you have a bad memory and stop to look up the spelling, by the time you find the correct spelling, you forget what you were trying to say. Thank you for the great liver ideas everyone. Mashed potatoes are cooking at this moment!

      • lyndon says:

        dont worry about the way ur grammer is. i understood you just fine.

    • lyndon says:

      I cant belive how someone can come onto a thread like this and down grade someone just because of grammer. but , i do hope someone punches you in the nose someday. As to the recipe, sounds great, i am going to try it. also im gonna soak it in milk first.

    • Shelly Morin says:

      GRAMMAR really ? How about being healthy first!!!!!!!!!!

    • John Sawka Snr; says:

      I am 68 years of age and thank’s to one of these recipes I am attempting to cook liver for the first time.From my heart thank you for this helpful thread.
      As for Gregg,one of my favorite programs is Judge Judy and to your insensitive remark she would reply” get a life you are full of baloney!

  41. Liko says:

    Wow thank you for this easy step by step recipe, I love liver but it always comes out hard and dry instead of soft and juicy. I now realize that my mistake was to overcook it. Am definitely trying this recipe out tomorrow but will have it with pap and tomato gravy (south african style).

    • Cooking time for liver depends a lot on the thickness of the liver pieces… The thinner they get the less time to cook, or as you said they will turn out hard…

  42. Karen says:

    I like to fry the onions after the liver as it takes on the flavour of the liver…

  43. Albie says:

    Well this liver recipe sounds very nice and i will also use mash patato”s and also some tamato and onion sause


  44. jerry king says:

    i have always cooked liver using this method, except if fry the onions first, take them out, fry the liver in the same oil, and then add the onions after turning the liver. adds flavor to the liver saves oil. thanks.

  45. Synder says:

    Sorry wildness out of the liver

  46. Synder says:

    Liver has been cooked like this forever and ever !!!this is not something new :)I have been doing it like this since my grandma showed me . We always soak our liver in milk to reduce the bitterness but beef liver is not very bitter so back in the day when you were able to eat moose liver now that was a reason to soak it to get some of the wild taste in the liver .

  47. gentiana says:

    love the recipe, great explanaton and tips. Thank you for sharing with us your lovely blog.

  48. anne shorr says:

    With appreciation for your site I am a 80 old sr woman getting ready for surgery my lab work reads anemia need to
    get pumped up with iron medical doctor had given me iron pills but remembering from childhook liver for anemia
    bought some liver at the supermarket yes it is hard getting one fresh slice I did not like the idea of it being frozen but i wanted to get started asap wheneverIwould asked someone about cooking liver they looked at me dumbfounded and how long no one really knew so I decided to go on google god bless you peace anne

  49. Viola says:

    If you dip a liver in milk on a half an hour before cooking it will be soft and won’t taste bitter

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