Get ready to discover your next go-to recipe for busy day dinners – a hassle-free, make-ahead main dish that’s not only a breeze to prepare but also promises to deliver a burst of flavors: Easy Salmon Patties. A medley of vibrant ingredients including zesty lemon, refreshing herbs, tangy mustard, creamy mayo, and the subtle kick of onion all come together to enhance the natural goodness of both fresh and smoked salmon. But what sets these patties apart? Two special steps in prepping the patties that ensures a moist, melt-in-your-mouth interior while achieving that perfect, golden-brown crunch on the outside.

Table of Contents
  1. You Will Love This Easy Recipe for Salmon Patties
  2. Ingredients for Salmon Patties (Easy Recipe)
  3. How to Make Salmon Patties
  4. Salmon Patties Easy Recipe Tips
  5. Variations and Substitutions
  6. How to Serve Salmon Patties
  7. What to Serve With Salmon Patties
  8. Salmon Patties Recipe Easy Storage
  9. More Main Dish Salmon Recipes
  10. How do you make Salmon Patties FAQs
  11. Salmon Patties (Easy Recipe)

You Will Love This Easy Recipe for Salmon Patties

I’m a big fan of salmon, and over time I’ve created various recipes that showcase the delightful qualities of this mild, tender, and flaky fish. My latest culinary endeavor has resulted in a recipe that truly stands out (according to my husband Robert and others who tested it!) – these Easy Salmon Patties. Here are the reasons why this recipe works well:

  • Harmonious ingredients. The combination of complementary ingredients creates a harmonious blend that enhances the flavors of both fresh and smoked salmon without overpowering them.
  • Double salmon delight. The use of both fresh and smoked salmon provides a dynamic depth of taste, giving the patties a unique character with just a hint of smoke.
  • Moist inside, crispy outside. After online research followed by several rounds of testing, I discovered that transforming part of the raw salmon into a paste is key to achieving a perfectly moist, tender interior. And, dredging the patties in flour before sautéing results in a crispy, golden-brown exterior.
  • Make-ahead convenience. You can prepare the patties in advance and have them ready to cook whenever you need a quick and satisfying meal.
  • Customizable and adaptable. Whether you prefer to pan-fry or bake, and whether you want to add a personal touch with extra seasonings or toppings, this recipe accommodates your preferences, making it adaptable to different cooking styles and tastes.
  • Detailed instructions. The step-by-step instructions break down the prep and cooking process into manageable steps, ensuring that even those new to cooking seafood can create a fantastic result.
  • Versatility. Whether you choose to serve them as a main course, slider-style in buns, or as a protein-rich addition to a salad, these salmon patties effortlessly adapt to various dining scenarios.
  • Nutritional value. Salmon is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Ingredients for Salmon Patties (Easy Recipe)

Here’s what you’ll need to create these delectable patties (details, including quantities, are in the recipe card below):

  • Uncooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • Smoked salmon (I recommend hot smoked)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Red onion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Lemon juice and zest
  • Fresh dill, parsley and/or chives
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dry breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Canola, grapeseed, or other high smoke point oil
round plate holding several salmon patties, along with a bowl of Tzatziki sauce on the side

How to Make Salmon Patties

  1. Make a paste out of part of the salmon.
    Cut 1/4 (4 ounces) of the salmon fillet into large chunks and place in a small food processor; add the mayonnaise and mustard. Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix ingredients.
    Chop the remaining salmon (both fillet and smoked) into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to the mixing bowl, along with red onion, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and zest, herbs, and cayenne pepper. Fold in breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Form patties; refrigerate.
    Form the mixture into 8 patties around 3 inches wide and 3/4-inch thick; place on a cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours (can also be frozen for up to 2 months – see Note below.)
  4. Dredge and cook.
    Place flour in a shallow, rimmed dish. Dredge the salmon patties in flour, shaking off excess. Heat the oil on a griddle at 325 degrees or in a large skillet on medium heat. When hot, add the salmon patties and sauté until golden brown on the bottom, around 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the second side is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of a pattie registers 135 to 140 degrees.
  5. Drain; serve.
    Transfer to paper towels to drain briefly; serve immediately.

Salmon Patties Easy Recipe Tips

Here are my tips for ensuring your patties come out perfect every time:

  • Select the right salmon. Opt for high-quality salmon – both fresh and smoked. Look for wild salmon, and fillets that are vibrant in color, firm to the touch, and free of any strong odor. For the smoked salmon, I recommend using the more meaty cuts of Hot Smoked Salmon for the best texture.
  • Don’t overwork. When stirring together the ingredients, avoid overmixing, and when forming into patties avoid excessive pressing, as these can result in tough patties.
  • Make patties the right thickness. Don’t make your patties too thin or they can become dry and/or fall apart. I recommend 3/4-inch thick for this recipe.
  • Chill the patties before cooking. Don’t skip the step of refrigerating the formed patties for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight. Not only does this step allow the flavors to meld, it helps the mixture firm up and keeps the patties from falling apart.
  • Dredge patties in flour before cooking. Again, don’t skip this step in the recipe! The flour helps the patties crisp up on the outside and also creates a protective layer that helps keep them together.

Variations and Substitutions

You can vary the ingredients above to your taste and/or the ingredients you have on hand. Add some chopped jalapeno or serrano peppers and sub cilantro for the other herbs to make them Southwestern. Or, add in chopped spinach and crumbled feta cheese for a Mediterranean twist. And, you can substitute lime juice and zest for the lemon, or chopped shallots for the red onion.
 
In addition, you can quickly sear the patties and then finish them in the oven – see directions in the Notes section of the recipe card below.

Rectangular platter holding several overlapping salmon patties in one row

How to Serve Salmon Patties

These patties are extremely versatile and can be served in a variety of ways:

  • As a first course with a light tossed salad on the side,
  • As a main dish (with 2 patties per serving),
  • Slider-style in buns, or
  • As a protein-rich addition to a salad.

What to Serve With Salmon Patties

Sauce for Salmon Patties

Here are my favorite sauces to serve with these Salmon Patties:

Salmon Burger Toppings

If serving these patties as slider-style burgers on buns, top with one of the above sauces, sliced tomato, and a few pieces of fresh lettuce, baby spinach or arugula.

round plate holding several salmon patties, along with a bowl of Tzatziki sauce on the side

Salmon Patties Recipe Easy Storage

Store uncooked patties on a cookie sheet in a single layer, well-wrapped and in the refrigerator. They will last up to 2 days. Cooked patties can be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze salmon patties?

Yes, uncooked or cooked salmon patties can be frozen. If uncooked, don’t coat with flour. Place in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and freeze until hard (at least 2 hours). Once frozen, wrap individually with plastic wrap and place in a freeze-safe zip-top baggie. They will keep for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and follow the directions above to finish cooking.

More Main Dish Salmon Recipes

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round plate holding several salmon patties, along with a bowl of Tzatziki sauce on the side.

Salmon Patties (Easy Recipe)

Easy Salmon Patties are a hassle-free, make-ahead main dish that’s not only a breeze to prepare but also promises to deliver a burst of flavors. A medley of vibrant ingredients including zesty lemon, refreshing herbs, tangy mustard, creamy mayo, and the subtle kick of onion all come together to enhance the natural goodness of both fresh and smoked salmon. But what sets these patties apart? Transforming part of the raw salmon into a paste results in a perfectly moist, tender interior. And, dredging the patties in flour before sautéing results in a crispy, golden-brown exterior.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Refrigeration Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 patties, 4 main dish servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound uncooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, parsley and/or chives
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola, grapeseed, or other high smoke point oil

Instructions

  1. Cut 1/4 (4 ounces) of the salmon fillet into large chunks and place in a small food processor; add the mayonnaise and mustard. Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste. Scrape into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Chop the remaining salmon (both fillet and smoked) into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to the mixing bowl, along with red onion, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and zest, herbs, and cayenne pepper. Fold in breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Form the mixture into 8 patties around 3 inches wide and 3/4-inch thick; place on a cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours (can also be frozen for up to 2 months – see Note below.)
  4. Place flour in a shallow, rimmed dish. Dredge the salmon patties in flour, shaking off excess.
  5. Heat the oil on a griddle at 325 degrees or in a large skillet on medium heat. When hot, add the salmon patties and sauté until golden brown on the bottom, around 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Flip and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the second side is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of a pattie registers 135 to 140 degrees.
  7. Transfer to paper towel to drain briefly; serve immediately.

Notes

Make ahead: Uncooked or cooked salmon patties can be frozen. If uncooked, don’t coat with flour. Place in a single layer on a large cookie sheet and freeze until hard (at least 2 hours). Once frozen, wrap individually with plastic wrap and place in a freeze-safe zip-top baggie. They will keep for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and follow the directions above to finish cooking.

Variation – baking: Follow the directions above through coating the patties with flour. Sear over high heat for 1 minute per side, just until golden brown. Place in a preheated 350-degree oven and bake for around 10 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the middle of a pattie registers 135 to 140 degrees.

  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Main dish, easy weeknight dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: healthy

Keywords: salmon, easy weeknight dinners, healthy, make ahead

How do you make Salmon Patties FAQs

How do I keep my salmon patties from falling apart?

Here are a few key steps to keeping your patties together:
Use Breadcrumbs or another binder. Adding breadcrumbs to the mixture can help absorb excess moisture and act as a binder, keeping the patties together.
Make the right thickness. Don’t make your patties too thin or they can become dry and/or fall apart. I recommend 3/4-inch thick for this recipe.
Chill the patties before cooking. Don’t skip the step of refrigerating the formed patties for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight. Not only does this step allow the flavors to meld, it helps the mixture firm up and keeps the patties from falling apart.
Dredge patties in flour before cooking. Don’t skip this step in the recipe! The flour helps the patties crisp up on the outside and also creates a protective layer that helps keep them together.
Flip at the right time. Ensure that the bottom of the patty is browned and set before trying to flip, to reduce any chances of it falling apart.

What’s the difference between salmon patties and salmon croquettes?

The short answer is that they are basically the same – both are salmon mixed together with breadcrumbs, seasonings, and sometimes egg and then fried or baked.

What is the white stuff on salmon patties?

That white stuff is not fat, it’s actually a liquid protein called albumin and it’s perfectly safe to eat. As the salmon meat cooks, the liquid protein coagulates and comes to the surface. I don’t like the way it looks, so I wipe it off with a paper towel.

round plate holding several salmon patties, along with a bowl of Tzatziki sauce on the side.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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