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These quick and easy Salmon Cakes are a snap-to-make, made with simple pantry ingredients that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, perfect for midweek meals.  With a video!

Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes coated with sesame seeds made with canned salmon. When I rise up, let me rise up joyful like a bird. When I fall, let me fall without regret like a leaf. ~Wendell Berry

These easy Salmon Cakes made with simple pantry ingredients designed for busy weeknights, when time is short. Serve them up with a fresh salad, or crunchy slaw and dinner is ready!  In addiditon to the basic Salmon Patty recipe, the recipe includes  3 different flavor variations – Asian-Style Salmon Cakes, Mediterranean Salmon Cakes and Nordic-style Salmon Cakes.

Watch how to make salmon cakes! | 60-sec video!

Salmon Patties coated with sesame seeds

What kind of salmon to use? 

Of course fresh salmon always makes for the best salmon cakes, or even leftover salmon that has already been cooked- but in a pinch, a good quality canned wild salmon, pulled from the pantry can be a total lifesaver!

What you will need to make basic Salmon Patties:

  • canned wild salmon (or sub leftover salmon)
  • egg
  • green onions (or sub red onions)
  • panko or bread crumbs
  • fresh herbs
  • lemon
  • Mayo
  • salt & pepper

How to make Salmon Cakes:

  1. Simply choose the variation of salmon cake you want to make and mix the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Form two cakes.
  3. Coat the cakes in panko or sesame seeds
  4. Pan-sear.

Salmon Patty ingredients in a bowl

How do you keep salmon cake patties from falling apart? 

An egg and panko bread crumbs serve as the main binder here. A little mayo also helps. Feel free to experiment with gluten-free bread crumbs or even gluten-free flour. A flax egg will also work in a pinch, although I prefer the lightness the real egg gives the cakes.

Can salmon patties be made ahead of time? 

Yes, salmon patties can be made ahead and be stored in the fridge, to pan sear later. Store on a paper towel. You can even pan-sear them ahead and either refrigerate or freeze.

Salmoncake with dill and capers, topped with creamy dill sauce on a plate with a slaw.

Variations of Salmon Patties:

  1. Nordic Salmon Patties with dill and capers and a Creamy Dill Sauce.  Shown above.
  2. Asian-style Salmon Patties with sesame seeds, ginger, cilantro and green onion. Shown below.
  3. Mediterranean-Style Salmon Patties with dijon mustard, lemon zest, garlic & herbs.

Quick and Easy Salmon Patties- a simple pantry recipe that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, perfect for midweek meals! The recipe features 3 different variations - Asian Salmon Cakes, Mediterranean Salmon Cakes and Nordic-style Salmon Cakes! #salmoncakes #salmonpatties #cannedsalmoncakes

Once you make the salmon patties, I know that you will come up with your own creative variations!

Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes- a simple pantry recipe that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, perfect for midweek meals! The recipe features 3 different variations - Asian Salmon Cakes, Mediterranean Salmon Cakes and Nordic-style Salmon Cakes! #salmoncakes #salmonpatties #cannedsalmoncakes

Use this basic Salmon Cake recipe as a base for your own versions. I’m so excited to see what you create!

What to serve with Salmon Cakes:

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Simple Salmon Cakes made with pantry ingredients, designed for weeknight meals when time is short. Of course fresh salmon always makes for a better salmon cake, but in a pinch, canned salmon, pulled from the pantry can be a life savor! #salmoncakes

Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Main, Fish, Pantry
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Northwest
  • Diet: Kosher


This recipe for Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes is designed for weeknight dinners when time is short. Of course fresh salmon always makes for a better salmon cake, but in a pinch, canned salmon, pulled from the pantry can be a lifesavor! Here are three variations – Asian Style, Mediterranean style, and Nordic Style!


Units Scale

Basic Salmon Patty Recipe (see variations below)

  • 1 can wild salmon ( 7-8 ounces), drained (or feel free to use leftover cooked salmon)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon mayo (this makes for a lighter, fluffier and more bindable texture)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or onion powder)
  • 1/41/3 cup toasted bread crumbs like plain panko (ok to use GF)
  • 12 scallions, sliced (or sub 23 tablespoons finely chopped red onion)
  • generous pinch salt and pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon each – see notes)
  • olive oil for searing
  • panko for coating

Salmon Patty Variations: 

Asian-style: add 1-2 teaspoons ginger paste (or finely chopped ginger) and 1/8-1/4 cup chopped cilantro to the cakes. Add 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds to the panko mixture. Serve with Asian Slaw or Asian Cucumber Salad.

Mediterranean-style: add 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Serve with Leafy green salad.

Nordic style: add 1 tablespoon capers and 1/8-1/4  cup chopped dill. Serve with a Quick Creamy Sauce (below).

Mexican Syle: add 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Serve with Chipotle Mayo, Avocado and Mexican Slaw!


Quick Creamy Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons mayo
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt
  • squeeze of lemon
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped (or sub scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley)


  1. Drain salmon well.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl using a fork. Let stand 5-10 minutes.
  3. If the mixture seems wet, add a little more bread crumbs (up to 1/3 cup total)
  4. Divide mixture into 2 larger cakes pressing together with your hands. If you like a crispy crust, dredge in more panko  and/or sesame seeds before searing. At this point you could refrigerate for later, laying on a paper towel.
  5. Heat oil or butter (or a mixture is nice) in a skillet over medium heat. Sear the salmon cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side until beautifully golden and slightly puffed. (The puffed center tells you the egg is cooked through.)
  6. Serve with the suggested sides, the Quick Creamy Sauce or on their own with a side salad.


Use unseasoned panko or bread crumbs. Seasoned panko seems to add an unsavory bitter taste.

Try to use the best quality canned wild salmon you can find- this does make a difference.


  • Serving Size: 1 salmon cake
  • Calories: 298
  • Sugar: 0.9 g
  • Sodium: 584.3 mg
  • Fat: 15 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.5 g
  • Protein: 36.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 177.4 mg

Keywords: salmon cakes, salmon patties, salmon cake recipe, easy salmon cakes, canned salmon cake recipe, samon cakes with canned salmon, asian salmon cakes, pantry meals, quick salmon cakes

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  1. The best recipe yet for salmon cakes. The sauce is amazing and the only thing I added was a little hot sauce. It is my go to sauce for fish dinners. Thanks soooo much! 🐟🐟🐟

  2. The Quick and Easy Salmon Cakes were quick and easy AND delicious! I served them with a side leafy green salad, green string beans seasoned with Zatar and butternut squash. Thanks for the recipe, Sylvia!

  3. I made the Asian style with sesame seeds along with the Crunchy Asian Slaw. We had a 15 ounce can of salmon, so pretty much doubled everything. We had some leftover yogurt/herb/lemon sauce which really enhanced the salmon. It was so easy and had great flavor. Another delicious recipe – thank you!

    1. Hi Emily- I’m not sure how they would hold together- seems like it should work ok, but not positive. The flavor would be fine I think? If you try it, let us know- curious!

  4. I love that this recipe offers 4 versions. Having varieties make cooking from the cabinet come alive!

  5. Made these just last week and the recipe is going in regular rotation here where we bake a slab of Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon at least once a week and always have left overs. I didn’t have panko so subbed bread crumbs but looking forward to panko next time for the added crunch. Skipped the capers. I made them up in the afternoon, stored them in the fridge between sheets of waxed paper, and they were ready to sear and cook (stovetop) at dinner time. So easy. Seasons I used: Organic smoked paprika, ceylon cinnamon, brown sugar. Topped with creamy dill sauce and mixed greens (what I had on hand) and served on grilled brioche – we LOVED them. Thanks Sylvia and team for posting all these Salmon ideas! Looking forward to trying more!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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