Salmon Patties


Salmon patties, also known as salmon cakes or salmon croquettes, are a classic and delicious way to enjoy canned or fresh salmon. These flavorful patties are made by combining flaked salmon with eggs, breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs, onions, and seasonings.

The patties are then formed into round, oval, or patty shapes before being pan-fried until golden brown and crispy. Salmon patties have long been a beloved meal in many regions, especially the Southern United States. They rose to popularity during the early 19th century when canned salmon became more readily available. The patties were an inventive way for home cooks to transform humble canned salmon into a hearty, budget-friendly dish.

Today, salmon patties remain popular for several reasons:

  • They provide an easy, inexpensive meal that makes use of pantry staples. Canned salmon is one of the least expensive sources of seafood protein.
  • They are flexible and adaptable, allowing cooks to add their own creative mix-ins.
  • When made with high quality salmon, they deliver excellent nutritional value. Salmon is packed with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, B-vitamins, selenium, and other nutrients.

So if you’re looking for a fast weeknight dinner, or want to find creative ways to enjoy canned salmon, cooking up a batch of salmon patties is a fantastic option. Read on to learn how to make classic skillet-cooked salmon cakes at home.

Ingredients You’ll Need for Delicious Salmon Patties

The beauty of salmon patties is that they come together with simple supermarket ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Canned salmon – Pink, red or sockeye salmon all work well. Opt for wild-caught varieties.
  • Eggs – Eggs help bind the patties. Use 1-2 eggs per 1 can of salmon.
  • Breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs – These help bind and add texture. Panko, plain breadcrumbs, Ritz crackers, saltines all work.
  • Onion – Finely chopped yellow or white onion adds flavor.
  • Bell pepper – For color and crunch. Go with red, green, orange or yellow.
  • Garlic – Minced garlic amps up the flavor. Use 1-2 cloves.
  • Fresh parsley or dill – Chopped fresh herbs brighten up the patties.
  • Lemon juice – A squeeze of lemon adds brightness.
  • Salt and pepper – Season the patties well with salt and pepper.
  • Olive oil – For pan frying. Can use vegetable or avocado oil instead.

That covers the basic ingredient list. But one of the great things about salmon patties is you can customize them with all kinds of mix-ins. Check out the next section for ideas.

Creative Mix-Ins and Variations for Your Salmon Patties

While the ingredients above form the base of classic salmon patties, you can add your own creative touch by mixing in any of the following:

  • Mayonnaise or Greek yogurt – Adding a spoonful makes the patties extra moist.
  • Chopped celery – For some fresh crunch and texture.
  • Spices: Old Bay, paprika, chili powder, curry powder, cumin, thyme
  • Hot sauce or sriracha – For some heat and kick.
  • Shredded cheese like cheddar or pepper jack – Melty goodness.
  • Scallions or chives – For oniony flavor.
  • Mustard – Yellow, Dijon, or whole grain varieties.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth of flavor.
  • Lemon zest – Bright citrus flavor.
  • Diced pickle or capers – For brininess.
  • Roasted red peppers – For sweetness.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to remixing these patties. Feel free to raid your fridge and pantry to customize them to your liking.

Now that you know what goes into salmon patties, let’s get into the easy step-by-step method for making them at home.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making Perfect Salmon Patties

Follow these simple steps for skillet-cooked salmon cakes:

  1. Drain and flake the salmon – Drain excess liquid from canned salmon. Transfer to a bowl and flake meat apart with a fork, removing any bones.
  2. Combine ingredients – Add eggs, breadcrumbs/cracker crumbs, diced veggies, seasonings and any mix-ins to the salmon. Adjust quantities as needed.
  3. Mix thoroughly – Mix everything together well using a fork or your hands. Be gentle – don’t overmix.
  4. Shape into patties – Form mixture into round, oval or square patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Wet hands can help prevent sticking.
  5. Chill patties (optional) – For firmer patties, cover and refrigerate 30 mins.
  6. Heat oil in skillet – Coat skillet with olive oil or cooking spray. Heat over medium.
  7. Pan fry patties – Place patties in skillet. Cook 4-5 minutes per side until nicely browned.
  8. Enjoy salmon cakes! – Serve patties on their own, in sandwiches or over greens. Delish!

That’s all there is to it! With a simple prep and quick stovetop cook time, you can enjoy these flavorful salmon cakes any night of the week.

Now let’s go over some handy cooking tips and serving suggestions for your homemade salmon patties.

Handy Cooking Tips for Picture-Perfect Salmon Patties

Follow these tips for the best results when pan-frying your salmon cakes:

  • Use fresh, canned, or smoked salmon. Canned is very convenient.
  • Handle patties gently when shaping to keep them tender.
  • Try both breadcrumbs and cracker crumbs. The texture will be slightly different.
  • Brush each patty with a bit of oil or cooking spray for a crispy brown exterior.
  • Cook over medium heat. If the heat is too high, the outside can burn before the inside cooks through.
  • Resist the urge to move the patties as they cook. Let them brown undisturbed.
  • Cook until deep golden brown, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • If patties fall apart while cooking, simply press back together with a spatula.
  • Cook patties in batches to avoid crowding the pan and steaming instead of browning.

Follow these simple tips and tricks, and you’ll turn out perfect, beautiful salmon cakes every time.

Creative Serving Suggestions for Your Homemade Salmon Patties

Salmon patties are versatile and pair well with many foods and condiments. Here are some serving ideas:

  • Top patties with lemon wedgestartar sauce, or spicy remoulade sauce for classic pairings.
  • Add a dash of hot sauce or sriracha mayo for some heat.
  • Serve over a bed of spinach or arugula salad for a complete meal.
  • Top with sliced avocado for a creamy contrast.
  • Tuck into burger buns, slider rolls, or ** Brioche buns** to make salmon burgers.
  • Serve alongside fresh green beansasparagus, or a pilaf or quinoa for a light dinner.
  • Eat as finger food topped with just lemon and salt and pepper.

However you choose to serve them, homemade salmon patties make for a super versatile, budget-friendly meal.

Storage Instructions to Keep Leftover Salmon Patties Fresh

One of the bonuses of salmon patties is that both the uncooked patties and cooked patties store well, so you can enjoy leftovers all week long. Here are some storage tips:

  • Store uncooked patties in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before cooking. Place patties between layers of parchment or wax paper on a plate.
  • Freeze uncooked patties for up to 3 months. Wrap patties tightly in a single layer separated by parchment paper. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
  • Refrigerate cooked patties for 3-4 days. Store in a covered container.
  • Freeze cooked patties for up to 3 months. Place patties in freezer bags or airtight containers with parchment between layers.
  • Reheat frozen patties in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat in the microwave or pan-fry again.

Proper storage keeps your salmon cakes fresh and prevents waste, so you can enjoy quick salmon dinner any night of the week.

Salmon patties are the perfect easy, budget-friendly meal that also packs a nutritious punch. Made from simple pantry ingredients and canned salmon, these flavorful cakes can be fried up in minutes for a hearty yet healthy dinner.

Customize your patties with creative mix-ins and serve them up on buns, over salad or on their own. Store leftovers properly so you can enjoy quick salmon cakes all week long.

Whip up a batch tonight to take advantage of salmon’s stellar nutritional profile, including anti-inflammatory omega-3s, high-quality protein, vitamin B12 and selenium. With this easy recipe, you can turn canned salmon into tender, delicious salmon patties the whole family will love.


Salmon patties are a delicious and nutritious meal option. They are easy to make and can be enjoyed as a main dish or as a side.
4.41 from 5 votes
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  • In a medium bowl, combine the canned salmon, onion, cornmeal, flour, egg, mayonnaise, and garlic powder. Mix together to form a thick batter.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
  • Form the salmon mixture into small patties and place in the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Serve the salmon patties with your favorite sides and enjoy!


  1. Tonya Garrison

    3 stars
    Love to keep seeing your recipes

  2. Jacqueline Charles

    5 stars
    Great recipes

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