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How to make Salmon Patties- a simple pantry recipe made with canned salmon that can be whipped up in 20 minutes, perfect for midweek meals!

Salmon Patties Recipe (Video)

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  • 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 Salmon Patties 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)
  • 1/4 cup panko, (or toasted bread crumbs) see notes
  • 12 scallions, sliced (or sub 23 tablespoons finely chopped red onion)
  • generous pinch salt and pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon each – see notes)
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil.

See variations below.


  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 panko (up to 1/3 cup total)
  4. Divide mixture into 2 larger patties 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 olive 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.


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)

Panko: Use unseasoned panko. Gluten-free is just fine! Seasoned breadcrumbs seem to add an unsavory bitter taste.

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


  • Serving Size: 1 salmon patty
  • 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