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Simple Salmon Patties Recipe

These salmon patties are so easy to make, and they are incredibly tasty. If you haven’t ever cooked with canned salmon, this may be your time to start.

This is a great meal that comes together quickly. If I’m fast, I can make these in about 20 minutes from start to finish, but they’re easily ready in a half hour.

While this is a recipe we make every Lent instead of doing a fish fry, they are delicious all year round. In fact, I’m testing an air fryer version of these so I can more easily make them even more frequently.

Image shows two salmon patties on a green plate served with rice and corn.

I don’t really want to be stuck with spaghetti each week of Lent or plain tuna fish or grilled salmon. This is the perfect time to do some other things that we don’t cook or eat too often.

My grandmother used to make salmon patties, and this is one of those vintage recipes that’s a classic for a reason.

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Do I need to use canned salmon?

This salmon patties recipe is written to use canned salmon. That said, you can use leftover salmon fillets that you have made.

Ideally, they need to be relatively plain – so as delicious as my poached orange salmon or pesto salmon are, you don’t want to use those leftovers for this recipe.

Flake about 9 to 10 ounces of leftover salmon gently and use it in place of the canned salmon. You need to use chilled leftover salmon and not freshly cooked salmon for this.

You will also want to add a couple tablespoons of milk to the salmon when you add it to the bowl to mix. This helps ensure it isn’t too dry while also helping to reduce the fishy taste a bit.

Can I make salmon patties gluten-free?

You absolutely can make gluten-free salmon patties. The only gluten in this recipe is the bread crumbs.

These days you can easily find gluten-free bread crumbs in the store, or simply use stale gluten free bread and crumble it. Use this as a one-to-one substitute for the standard bread crumbs.

What kind of bread crumbs should I use?

When my grandmother made this, she simply used any stale bread and crumbled it to make her bread crumbs. She always had a mason jar partly full of bread crumbs to use at any time.

When I first started making these, I used traditional bread crumbs when I didn’t have homemade ones handy. Now, I usually use panko because I like the lightness of the texture, but either panko or traditional bread crumbs work for this recipe.

Should you drain canned salmon?

While you generally drain canned salmon, this is a recipe where you actually use the canned salmon liquid in the mixture. Do NOT drain the salmon.

If you accidentally drain the salmon or if you feel like your salmon is too fishy smelling, you can use two tablespoons of milk in place of the canned salmon liquid.

I tend to purchase decent quality canned salmon, and I have never had an issue with the liquid. If you buy good salmon, you should be just fine.

What should I do if my salmon patties fall apart?

My salmon patties have both egg and bread crumbs to bind them, so I have not ever had an issue with them falling apart when I pan fry them. Obviously, you want to be gently when you place them in the pan and when you flip them, which helps.

The first trick to helping keep your salmon patties together is to chill them for 15-30 minutes before you pan fry them. This helps them firm up a bit more and stay together.

You also don’t want to handle them too much. The less you mash them together at the start when you flake the salmon and mix the ingredients, the more likely they are to stay together.

How to Make Salmon Patties

Place the cans of salmon (and their liquid) into a bowl. Gently flake, but do your best to keep nice chunks in there.

Add the beaten egg, parsley, and pepper, then carefully combine. Add one-third cup of bread crumbs and stir again.

Form the salmon into approximately 10 patties. Roll them in the remaining bread crumbs.

In a heavy skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil on medium-low heat. Fry the patties on one side, and flip to fry the second side.

For this, I love to use my enameled cast iron pan because it distributes the heat so evenly, and it has a wide base that lets me cook several salmon patties at once with room between them.

I also use my wide pancake spatula to flip them. It is designed to slide under items more easily than some of my other spatulae, and the wide surface ensures that the salmon patties are supported as I flip them.

(And yes, it’s perfect for pancakes and so many other uses in the kitchen, too!)

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Add more oil as needed for future patties.

One note about the flexibility of this recipe. For the patties in this photo, my husband made them and minced the salmon, used flour in place of bread crumbs, and then reheated them when I got home. Even with these changes, they were still delicious even if not as pretty as they normally are.

Bookmark this recipe to make salmon patties again!

Image shows two salmon patties on a green plate served with rice and corn.

Salmon Patties

These salmon patties are incredibly easy to make and are a great way to use canned salmon. They are kid friendly and ready in no time for a delicious weeknight meal.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: main dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Lactose
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 patties
Calories: 146kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 2 6 ounces cans of salmon
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
  • black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  • Place the cans of salmon (and their liquid) into a bowl.
    2 6 ounces cans of salmon
  • Loosely flake the salmon. Add the beaten egg, parsley, and pepper, then gently combine. Add one-third cup of bread crumbs and stir again.
    1 egg, 1 tablespoon parsley, black pepper, 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • Form the salmon into approximately 10 patties.
  • Roll them in the remaining bread crumbs.
  • In a heavy skillet, heat one tablespoon oil on medium-low.
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • Fry the patties on one side, and flip to fry the second side. Add more oil for the next patties as needed.

Notes

  • These salmon patties work well with traditional bread crumbs and panko, so use what you have on hand though I prefer panko.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article.

Nutrition

Serving: 1salmon patty | Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 87mg | Sugar: 1g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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  1. septembermom says:

    You did it again!

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