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These air-fried salmon patties are reminiscent of classic salmon croquettes; crispy on the outside and pillowy tender on the inside. Look for canned or jarred salmon that has less than 50 milligrams of sodium per serving, and don't be afraid of varieties that have bones. They're easy to remove.

EatingWell.com, January 2019; updated October 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
25 mins

How to Make Air-Fryer Salmon Cakes

These crispy air fryer salmon cakes use canned salmon, a convenient pantry staple that makes pulling them together quick and easy. The air fryer gives the outside of the salmon patties a crispy exterior using much less oil than stovetop versions. Here's how to make them:

Get out the Cooking Spray

Cooking spray is a great tool to have on hand when you're using your air fryer. It distributes a thin, even coating of oil to prevent sticking and gives your dinner the texture of fried food without an excess of fat and calories. Start by spraying the cooking basket to prevent the salmon cakes from sticking. You'll use your cooking spray again to spray your salmon cakes once they're in the basket.

Mix the Ingredients

This easy recipe combines canned salmon with egg, panko breadcrumbs, fresh dill, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and pepper. Before you mix everything together, comb through the canned salmon and pick out and discard any large bones. The bones and skin in canned salmon are edible with the bones providing some additional calcium, so you don't have to remove smaller pieces. Once the salmon is ready, gently mix everything together and form 4, 3-inch patties.

Cook the Salmon Cakes

Once the salmon cakes are formed they're ready to hit the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook the patties in batches. Overcrowding the basket will block the hot air from flowing around the patties and will result in less crispy results. If you're cooking in batches, simply transfer your first batch to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200-degree F oven while the second batch cooks. Cook the patties in a 400-degree F air fryer until they're browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 160 degrees F, about 12 minutes.

What to Serve with Air Fryer Salmon Cakes

These salmon patties are great on their own with just a squeeze of lemon juice over top. Or you can top a salad with one or enjoy them in pita bread or on a hamburger bun. A creamy spread flavored with capers, dill, parsley or cucumber would be a nice addition too.

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Coat the basket of an air fryer with cooking spray.

  • Drain salmon; remove and discard any large bones and skin. Place the salmon in a medium bowl. Add egg, panko, dill, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper; stir gently until combined. Shape the mixture into four 3-inch-diameter cakes.

  • Coat the cakes with cooking spray; place in the prepared basket. Cook at 400 degrees F until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 160 degrees F, about 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts

2 cakes
517 calories; protein 51.8g; carbohydrates 14.7g; dietary fiber 2.1g; sugars 0.6g; fat 26.7g; saturated fat 5g; cholesterol 180.9mg; vitamin a iu 309.2IU; vitamin c 0.5mg; folate 55.2mcg; calcium 545.9mg; iron 2.7mg; magnesium 67.6mg; potassium 680.3mg; sodium 384.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

6 1/2 lean protein, 2 fat, 1 starch, 1/2 medium-fat protein