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    Salmon Patties (AKA Salmon Cakes)

    This surely tops the pantry special night. Amidst the nights of beans and rice, noodles and jarred spaghettis, some seafood meal feels like a fancy treat! Even if that salmon is out of a can, this will still turn out to be one very special and elegant meal! I promise! These salmon patties are enhanced with flavors and aromatics and pan fried for a crispy gorgeous crust. It’s light, it’s lean, and it’s healthy. So, do you have a can or two of salmon in your pantry?

    three salmon patties in a bowl with spinach and grains

    What’s in the name… right?

    I bet most of you grew up on some variation of this salmon treat, didn’t you? Some of you call them patties, some call them cakes, or if you’re from the South maybe you call them croquettes. There are variations from coast to coast, but they are always something everybody wants to bite in to.

    three salmon patties in a bowl with spinach and grains

    Usually they’re made out of canned salmon, as it’s very convenient and budget friendly, costing a fraction of fresh salmon. Fortunately, canned salmon is equally loaded with the same nutrients and good omega-3 fatty acids. And the most incredible part is, these patties are so delicious you won’t even notice that you didn’t use fresh fillets. Save those for some maple pecan salmon. Saying that, if you still want to use fresh salmon you can certainly make these patties, just follow the notes in the recipe card.

    salmon patties on a blue plate

    It’s a pretty straight forward process. Mix everything in a bowl, form the patties into the desired shape and size, refrigerate for an hour plus to firm them up, then fry them. They can be plain or breaded. People experiment with breading, from simple flour to breadcrumbs to crushed Ritz crackers even to cornmeal. Depending on your choice it would vary in texture and taste. I decided to go ahead with Ritz crackers as a filler, as they are buttery like salmon. But this time I did not coat the patties, so the salmon would shine more than the breading.


    salmon patty ingredients
    • Salmon – Pantry staple, canned salmon.
    • Red bell pepper – I recommend sautéing them a bit to bring out more sweetness.
    • Scallion – Chopped into rounds. You can opt for other onions, but in that case you would sauté them along with the pepper.
    • Capers – I seriously thought it would go so good with salmon, and it did.
    • Parsley – This herb is so great here, but you can replace it with chives or cilantro or even some basil.
    • Lemon – Brings freshness and is so good with seafood.
    • Egg – One of the binders.
    • Ritz crackers – Another binder and doubles up the salmon’s buttery flavor.
    • Mayo – Oh, for that creamy bite. People who don’t like mayo can substitute it with full fat Greek yogurt.
    • Mustard – Zinngy… did I say that?
    • Worcestershire sauce – The more flavor the better in my books.
    • Hot sauce – By now you should know I would be adding that. I am using Sriracha, use whatever type you prefer.
    • Black pepper – Freshly cracked.
    • Oil and Butter – For frying.

    How can it not turn good after mixing all this… 🙂

    How to make these salmon patties

    So now the easy part, making your own salmon patties. Drain the liquid from the salmon can and remove the salmon to a bowl. If you are using boneless skinless salmon you are ready to move on to the next step. If not, use a fork to remove the skin and bones. If you miss a few bones it is fine, the canning process makes them very soft and crumbly.

    peppers and capers in a skillet

    Dice up your peppers, onions and parsley. Heat a little oil and butter in a skillet over medium high heat and sauté the peppers until they are soft. At the end, mix in the capers. While they are cooking, go ahead and crush up your crackers.

    salmon, peppers, capers, onion, mayo, crackers and parsley in a bowl

    Mix everything together in a bowl (minus butter and oil). Be a little gentle, you don’t want to mash the salmon all up. You want it a little flaky and chunky.

    salmon patty mixture in a bowl

    Scoop out equal sized amounts of the mixture and form it into patties. I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup, which gave me eight equal sized patties. The mixture can look a little loose and you will wonder how your patties will hold together, but it works. If you feel the mixture is still too loose to form patties, you can add a little more crackers.

    eight salmon patties, uncooked, on a platter

    Refrigerate these patties for an hour or more so they firm up and are easier to handle when you actually fry them. When you are ready to cook your patties, heat the butter and remaining oil in a skillet over medium heat.

    salmon patty frying in a cast iron skillet

    Shallow fry the patties 3-4 minutes per side till they are crisp and golden brown. Be gentle when flipping them over. I find it easier with two spatulas, one on the top and one on the bottom. When finished, drain them on a paper towel. Cook in two batches if need be.

    eight cooked salmon patties on a platter

    How to serve salmon patties

    Serve them as appetizers. They are big time crowd pleasers and will finish off in no time. Along with some fresh lemon, we always make some kind of sauces to dip them in. Try our hot and spicy sriracha mayo and homemade tarter sauce in the recipe card notes. For a little smoky kick, try our Chipotle Mayo. But you know what sauce goes BEST with them? Our beloved Tzatzki! There’s something about this Greek flavored yogurt sauce together with these salmon cakes… just too perfect!!

    salmon patties on a blue plate with two different sauces

    They are a great easy meal options.
    a. Serve them in a grain bowl. Today we used freekeh, some chopped cherry tomatoes and spinach. You can use the sauces mentioned above to sprinkle on it. They go great with regular salads too.
    b. They are great atop some nice creamy cheesy grits… Southern style!
    c. Serve them with sautéed veggies like asparagus or green beans.

    Salmon Burgers! Another great idea is make bigger patties or cakes and serve them between buns along with lettuce, sliced tomatoes and your favorite sauce.

    How long will they last?

    Most of the times there wont be any left overs! But if you want to cook larger batches, you can refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 days.To reheat, add teaspoon of oil in your skillet and heat over medium low for about 3 minutes per side. In an hurry? You can microwave them too. Cooked patties can be frozen up to one month. Let them thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top as directed above.

    three salmon patties in a bowl with spinach and grains

    Rather than cooking and storing, I love to make them ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze before cooking. Great make ahead meal!

    There you go my friends. Let’s make these pantry food nights special too, and bring back laughter and hope to the table!! Take care…

    While you’re here, check out my roundup of the 30 BEST Salmon Recipes!

    Salmon Patties, on my Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    three salmon patties on the gypsy plate with spinach and grains
    Salmon patties.

    Salmon Patties (AKA Salmon Cakes)

    Yield: 4 servings of two patties
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Additional Time: 1 hour
    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    These salmon patties are tasty, nutritious and budget friendly. And just look at them. Who said pantry staple meals can't be fancy?


    • 1 15oz can salmon
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Tbsp mustard
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tsp hot sauce
    • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
    • 1 red bell pepper
    • 1 green onion
    • 1/4 cup parsley
    • 2 Tbsp capers
    • 2 Tbsp cooking oil, divided
    • 1 Tbsp butter


    1. Open the can of salmon and drain off the liquid. Remove skin and bones from salmon (if not using boneless skinless) and place meat in a mixing bowl.
    2. First, chop bell pepper, green onion and parsley. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add chopped pepper and sauté until softened but still firm. Add capers and cook one additional minute. Meanwhile, crush crackers.
    3. Add all ingredients to bowl, minus the butter and remaining oil. Mix thoroughly but gently. You want to leave the salmon flakes somewhat intact, so don't mash it too much.
    4. Form mixture into eight evenly sized patties (these will take about 1/3 cup of mixture each), and place on parchment paper lined tray. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
    5. Heat butter and remaining oil in skillet over medium heat and remove patties from refrigerator. Once skillet is hot, add patties. As they are a little fragile prior to cooking, you may find them easier to handle using two spatulas. You don't want them too crowded, so unless it is a large pan, cook four at a time. Cook 4-5 minutes per side.
    6. Remove to paper towel lined plate to absorb extra oil. Serve hot.


    These patties can be made with fresh salmon. Bake 1 pound of salmon in preheated oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. Afterwards, follow the recipe as normal, but adding 1 tsp salt.

    In order to firm them up before cooking, these must be refrigerated at least one hour. Feel free to make plenty ahead of time. I often make up the patties in the morning and cook them in the evening. You can even freeze your patties prior to cooking!

    Dipping Sauces!

    Sriracha Mayo

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
    • 1 tsp lemon juice

    Mix well.

    Tartar Sauce

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Mix well

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 514Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 32gCholesterol 125mgSodium 506mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 27g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    long pin of salmon patties
    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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