I Got Your S.O.S! (Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast)

My kitchen feels like Sunday morning, circa 1990. When I was a little kid, I loved creamed chipped beef. My whole family did. We’d get it out at a diner or the local IHOP or my mom would make it. Creamy and salty and sloppy on toast, you’d have to use a knife and fork.

I don’t really eat at diners or IHOP very much anymore, so I’d kind of left this dish in the past. Last winter, though, I worked as a teller at a bank. Eating my food at lunchtime, a conversation came up about vegetarian food; I like to think, with a little ingenuity, anything can be made veg*n. My manager at the time, announced that, “She didn’t care what I said,” there was no way to make “Shit On a Shingle” vegan. I had no clue what she was talking about, but as she described it, I realized it was the same Creamed Chipped Beef I’d grown up with.


If this was a favorite of yours too, but you’re going the route of not eating animals, this recipe from VegWeb for Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast is going to be your best option.

Ingredients: Since it’s just me, I halved the original recipe. I didn’t need extra around, daring me to eat it. Though it’s so easy to make, a second wouldn’t be too much to whip up.

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (Earth Balance, 200 calories a tablesppon)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze, 40 calories a cup)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper taste
  •  1/8 cup chopped salty “meat” (Yves Meatless Canadian Bacon, 80 calories for 3 slices)
  • 2 slices of toast (Whole Foods’ Mighty Multigrain, 100 calories a slice)


  1. Melt the butter on low to medium heat.
  2. Add the flour and whisk to make a roux. (This is one of those important skills Isa Chandra Moskowitz was talking about during her cooking demonstration.)
  3. Once the flour and butter are  mixed, slowly add the almond milk. Stir consistently to eliminate lumps.
  4. “Add the chopped meat substitute, salt and pepper and continue to stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken.”
  5. Toast the bread while the sauce is heating and thickening to the desired consistency.
  6. Plate the toast, then go ahead and just pour the cream over the toast.
  7. Enjoy!

Note: You can use any type/brand of non-dairy milk, bread, or mock meat (including bacon or pastrami) that you like.


  • Probably common sense, but prep the ingredients before you put anything in the skillet. (I know I tend to get ahead of myself.)
  • Salt and fry up the mock meat a little before starting the gravy. Especially if you use vegan bacon, be sure not to cook it too much or it’ll be rigid/crunchy (which would be good on its own but not for this recipe).
  • Don’t add flour later on or you’ll be playing a game of find the lumps in the gravy.



2 thoughts on “I Got Your S.O.S! (Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast)

  1. Oh, tasty! My grandfather used to make cream chipped beef (which he did call SOS– really oddly out of character because he was a Southern Baptist and really did not hold any truck with cursing at all) and though I haven’t had it since I was 7 or 8, I still have such strong memories of it. How nice to have a vegan version available! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    1. Thanks! It’s actually a recipe from VegWeb, which I just updated in the post to make that clearer; it’s a great resource site. I aslo just updated the post to have a link to Wikipedia; if your grandfather ever served in the military, that might be why he referred to it as S.O.S. My dad served but when my mom “made” this, it was almost always from a package labeled a little more PG. It’s strange how food can bring back memories.

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