Soft and tender liver cooked with crispy bacon, sweet onions, and fresh garlic makes this recipe for Beef Liver and Onions a comforting and delicious meal. One of the best beef liver and onions recipes you’ll make.

Serve this recipe for Beef Liver and Onions with this Garlic Fried Rice With Swiss Chard, this Cilantro Lime Brown Rice or this Paleo Cauliflower Rice.

Beef liver and onions with bacon in a  dutch oven with a grey tea towel.

Beef liver and onions never tasted so good. This recipe takes your basic liver and onions recipe and take it up a notch with addition of bacon. The bacon adds a smoky and salty umami flavor that creates a mouth watering and satisfying dish.

Why You’ll Love This Beef Liver and Onions Recipe

Nutrient dense: Liver is packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Simple: Some beef liver recipes have lots of complicated steps but this recipe has just a few easy-to-follow steps for making beef liver and onions.

Fast: Once the liver is cleaned and marinated this recipe cooks up fairly quickly.

Beef Liver Nutrition and The Benefits of Beef Liver

If you haven’t eaten organ meats before you may be surprised to know that there are many nutritional benefits to eating them and beef liver is no exception. Beef liver contains several essential nutrients and may make a good addition to your diet.

Nutrition facts for beef liver show that it is a very good source of vitamins A, B12, and B6, as well as niacin, copper, and iron. These nutrients are important for various functions in the body including immune support, energy, and red blood cell production.

Beef liver also contains all the required amino acids which means that it contains all the building blocks for protein which is important for muscle growth and tissue repair. If you are fairly active this is important.

What is grassfed beef liver?

Grass-fed beef liver is liver that comes from cows that were fed a diet of grass which is what they originally ate. However, most cows these days are fed a combination of grains and feed. The meat from grass fed cows may be more nutritious. This post from the Mayo Clinic outlines a few of the possible benefits of grass fed beef liver nutrition.

Raw beef liver, bacon, onions, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and a grey scarf.

Ingredients In This Recipe For Beef Liver and Onions

  • Beef liver – If possible choose grass fed beef liver.
  • White vinegar – White vinegar helps remove the blood and provides a coating for a crispier finish in this beef liver recipe.
  • Bacon – Bacon adds flavor and some fat to this liver dish.
  • Onion – Use a whole onion, white or yellow are both good.
  • Garlic – Make a paste using fresh garlic cloves.
  • Oil – Extra virgin olive oil is best but any kind will work.
  • Salt and pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.

How To Cook Beef Liver and Onions With Gravy

  • Step 1: Rinse the beef liver in cold water until the water runs clear of blood and transfer to a bowl.
  • Step 2: Soak the liver in vinegar water for 15 minutes (please see notes). The vinegar soak should facilitate the removal of the tough skin around the liver so you can easily peel it off.
  • Step 3: Transfer the liver to a clean bowl and season and coat it with garlic paste, salt and pepper. Allow the liver to marinate for 5 minutes.
  • Step 4: Meanwhile cook the bacon slices in hot oil to your liking and transfer to a plate.
  • Step 5: To the bacon fat pan, add liver and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side and then add onion slices. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, tossing the onions in the pan.
  • Step 6: Return bacon to the pan, garnish with herb of choice, and serve the fried beef liver and onions over a bed of rice.

Tips and Variations

Thinly slice the liver. Thin slices of liver will cook up quicker.

Don’t overcrowd your skillet. Make sure there is ample space for all the liver to fit in the pan.

Don’t overcook the liver. Liver doesn’t need too long to cook so watch it carefully. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Liver should be 160 degrees to be fully cooked.

Try different seasonings. Add your favorite spices; try smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper or whatever else you have on hand.


are liver and onions good for you?

Yes, liver contains protein, vitamin A and vitamin B as well as iron.

how do you cook liver so it tastes good?

The key to good tasting liver is adding pungent foods so adding things like onions and garlic will help enhance the flavor. Using bacon as well helps round out the flavor of liver.

why do people cook liver with onions?

Onions add a certain sweetness and help balance the flavor of the liver.

do i need to wash liver before cooking?

Yes, it is a good idea to rinse liver offer before you start to cook with it.

Liver and onions with bacon and cilantro and grey scarf.

Make Ahead and Storage

If you like to have a few meals ready to go in the fridge, you can make up this beef liver and onions a few days before you want to serve it and store it in the fridge. Place the liver in an airtight container and store it for 2-3 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat over the stove or in the microwave.

Liver and onions with bacon, cilantro and a grey scarf.

Other Recipes


Don’t skip the soaking and marinating time. Both of these steps will help produce flavorful and tender liver.

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5 from 1 vote

Beef Liver and Onions

by Silvia Dunnirvine
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
soaking: 15 minutes
Total: 48 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 lb beef liver grass-fed
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 6 oz bacon
  • 1 whole onion sliced in rounds
  • 5 cloves garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Start by rinsing the beef liver really well in cold running water until the water runs clear of blood. Transfer to a bowl
  • Add vinegar to the bowl and allow liver to soak in vinegar water for 15 minutes (please see notes).
  • The vinegar soak should facilitate the removal of the tough skin around the liver (please see notes). Simply peel off the rubbery skin from edges of the liver.
  • Transfer liver to a clean bowl and season with garlic paste, salt and pepper. Toss it to coat liver with garlic, salt and pepper. Allow liver to sit in marinate for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in pan and add in bacon slices. Toast bacon to your liking then transfer to a plate.
  • To the bacon fat pan add liver and cook for about 5-7 minutes on one side.
  • Turn liver to cook on other side and immediately add in onion slices. Cook for an addition 5-7 minutes tossing the onions in the pan.
  • Add bacon back in, garnish with herb of choice and serve over a bed of rice.


  • The vinegar soak helps get rid of bloody smells. It also coats the liver, giving it a crunchy finish. Finally, the vinegar helps ease the removal of the skin.
  • The liver is usually coated with a smooth and glazed membrane that should be removed before cooking because it can lead to an unpleasant feeling of rubbery chewiness that most people do not enjoy. 


Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 352mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 372mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 19162IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Keyword: Beef Liver, Beef Liver Nutrition, How To Cook Beef Liver
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, International
Like this? Leave a comment below!
Liver and onions with bacon, cilantro and a grey scarf.

Hi! I’m Silvia.

My goal is to make cooking simple and enjoyable.

Garden in the Kitchen is full of easy and balanced recipes for busy families. Classics get a healthier twist with additions of veggies or alternative ingredients.

I hope my recipes will inspire you to cook more home meals and above all have fun in the kitchen!

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