These easy Salmon Patties are one of our favorite ways to enjoy a quick seafood dinner that the entire family loves. These veggie-and-protein-packed salmon cakes are ready in 20 minutes and are packed with flavor!
Quick & Easy Salmon Patties
‘Quick and easy’ may not seem like the right descriptor for a seafood recipe, but it definitely fits these crispy Salmon Patties! Forming them will take you just 20 minutes, and then you’ll need 15 more or so to cook them. So, as much as I love my crab legs and shrimp, when it comes to simple fish dinners, it’s hard to beat these salmon cakes!
Quick prep time isn’t the only reason to try Salmon Patties; they’re also a flavor-packed, protein-filled meal. Flaked salmon is mixed in with sautéed peppers, onions, and celery, and seasoned with lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. To recap: They’re a little tangy, a little spicy, and an overall savory masterpiece!
What is a Salmon Patty?
Salmon patties, also called salmon cakes, are lighter than your typical salmon burger – they’re more like a crab cake. They’re made up of salmon pieces (use leftovers if you have them!), an assortment of chopped vegetables, and spices/seasoning.
If you have children or picky eaters in the house, salmon patties can be a fuss-free way to introduce them to seafood flavors. It’s hard to resist the crispy exterior of these cakes, especially with the way it compliments the tender and flavor packed insides!
What You’ll Need
What are the components to a good salmon fish cake? You’re going to need the following:
- Salmon: You’ll need 1 pound of cooked salmon with the skin removed, and flaked into pieces.
- Olive Oil: Or another kind of cooking oil.
- Butter: I like to use unsalted butter for this recipe.
- Sautéed Vegetables: Mix up minced yellow onion, minced celery, and minced red bell pepper.
- Garlic: 1 clove, minced.
- Mayonnaise: To add moisture to the patties.
- Lemon Juice: For added tangy flavor.
- Dijon Mustard: For a little bit of spice.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Enhances the salty/savory flavor.
- Hot Sauce: This is optional.
- Fresh Parsley: Minced. Add more at the end for garnish!
- Breadcrumbs: Any kind will work – I like Panko.
- Eggs: Beaten – these will bind the meat and veggies together.
- Seasoning: Kosher salt and black pepper.
- Garnish: Serve with lemon wedges.
Can I Use Canned Salmon?
Yes! You can absolutely use 14-16 ounces of canned salmon (that’s been drained) as a substitute for the pound of cooked salmon filet.
How to Make Salmon Patties
Salmon patties are made in four easy steps. Here’s what you’ll need to do to get started:
Sauté Vegetables: Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine Ingredients: Place all ingredients including the sautéed onion mixture in a large bowl and mix until well combined using a spatula.
Form the Patties: Scoop out about 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into patties using your hands. Place patties on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cook: Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the same skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties in batches for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown.
Tips for Success
Pretty simple, right? Here are a couple of extra tips and tricks on making the best salmon patties:
- For Fresh Salmon: If you’re using fresh salmon, check for any small bones that could have been missed before starting. (Even if you are using canned salmon it’s never a bad idea to do a quick check.)
- If the Salmon Mixture is Too Dry: Don’t add water – add a little more mayonnaise instead!
- If You Don’t Want to Fry Them: You can bake them instead. I recommend 18-20 minutes at 375F. Flip the salmon patties halfway through to make sure both sides cook evenly. This is a great low-fat dinner variation.
Serving Suggestions for Salmon Patties
Looking for sides to go with your crispy salmon cakes? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Garnishes: Enjoy warm with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley for garnish.
- Tartar Sauce: If you make these as an appetizer, this is an especially good idea.
- A Simple Salad: I like to make a light green salad to go with these salmon patties.
- Roasted Veggies: Roasted veggies are usually our go to with Salmon Patties. We love roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts and green beans with anything fish!
- Fries: Sweet potato, regular, curly, etc. – pick your favorite! You can also try these Oven Roasted Potatoes.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover salmon patties in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. To reheat, warm them up in a pan on low heat on the stovetop, with a little bit of olive oil. You can also reheat them in the oven at 375F for about 8-10 minutes if you prefer to skip the oil.
Can I Freeze These?
Want to freeze your salmon cakes? You can do that too! I recommend freezing them before you cook them. To do this, place the salmon cakes on a lined baking sheet that will fit into your freezer and then freeze them in a single layer for 1-2 hours. Once they are frozen through, wrap each patty in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight, freezer safe container. These will keep for 3 months.
When you are ready to eat the patties, let them thaw overnight in the fridge. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe above, cooking them as if you had just formed the patties.
- 1 pound salmon, cooked, skin removed and flaked into pieces (*see note)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ¾ cup minced yellow onion
- ¾ cup minced celery
- ½ cup minced red bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place all ingredients including the sautéed onion mixture in a large bowl and mix until well combined using a spatula.
- Scoop out about 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into patties using your hands. Place patties on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and butter to the same skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties in batches for about 4 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Enjoy warm with lemon wedges and additional chopped parsley for garnish.
More Reader Favorite Seafood Recipes
- Smoked Fish Dip
- Air Fryer Shrimp
- Shrimp Creole
- Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Crusted Salmon
- Blackened Fish Tacos
- Sheet Pan Cajun Garlic Butter Shrimp
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