Whether made with canned or freshly cooked salmon, salmon patties (or salmon cakes) are a quick and nutritious weeknight meal that nobody can resist.

Casey Barber
February 04, 2020

Nutritious, versatile, quick to make, and adaptable to your tastes, salmon patties are the meal solution that does it all.

Packed with omega-3s and lean protein, they're a healthy option that you can mix and match as part of meals you're already planning. Serve as a main course with a salad or vegetable side dish; as part of a grain bowl; or on a bun with crunchy lettuce, onion, and tomato.

And because you can prep them in minutes, salmon patties are a great weeknight meal to keep in your back pocket for when you have leftover salmon or extra canned salmon in the pantry.

Read on to learn how to make salmon patties, whether baked or pan-fried.

Fresh or canned salmon?

It's easy to make salmon patties with either canned or fresh cooked salmon. Whether you use wild-caught or farmed salmon, the choice is up to you.

If using canned salmon, buy skinless, boneless canned salmon and pick through the meat to remove any errant skin and bones that may have come through the packaging process.

You can also use leftover cooked salmon after grilling, baking or broiling. Just remember that the flavors from cooked salmon will come through in the patties, so adjust your seasonings accordingly.

To form salmon patties:

Flake salmon into small pieces. In a bowl, mix with egg and breadcrumbs or crushed Saltine or other buttery crackers to add texture and bind the patties, along with aromatic vegetables such as onion and celery, herbs and other seasonings.

Casey Barber

To make keto or low-carb salmon patties, substitute almond flour or ground pork rinds for the breadcrumbs.

To make gluten-free salmon patties, substitute gluten-free breadcrumbs.

With your hands, form into patties about 2-3 inches wide.

Casey Barber

For baked salmon patties:

Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

If using foil, spritz with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the salmon patties on the baking sheet and spritz the tops with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the salmon patties are warmed through with a browned, crispy exterior.

Casey Barber

Try this easy salmon cakes recipe to get started.

For pan-fried salmon patties:

Over medium-high heat, heat enough olive oil or vegetable oil to thinly cover the bottom a heavy-bottomed skillet such as a cast-iron skillet.

Add the patties in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes without moving to sear the patties to golden brown.

Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more until browned on both sides.

Casey Barber

Try these spicy pan-fried salmon cakes to get started.

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