Salmon Patties

Raising six kids on a teacher’s salary, my parents were always cooking on a budget. Being Catholic, with the Lenten requirement of meatless Fridays, this meant that we ate a lot of tuna macaroni salad and fried fish. Frequently mom would make tuna patties for us, and less often, because they were more expensive, salmon patties. For the last 3 years my father and I have been trying to talk my mother into making salmon patties for us again. For some unfathomable reason she has refused, even going as far to claim that she never made them in the first place. So dad finally gave up and made these salmon patties himself, with his own spur-of-the-moment recipe. Salmon patties, or salmon cakes, are wonderfully easy to make. The base is just cooked salmon, shredded bread, bread crumbs or even saltines, chopped onion, and egg to bind it all into patties, which are then quickly fried. In this recipe my father dresses up the patties with garlic, dill, bell pepper, and paprika. You could also use parsley, Old Bay seasoning, lemon zest, Worcestershire sauce, or cilantro.

Salmon Patties Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.


  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, undrained and flaked
  • 1 slice of bread, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp chopped green onion, including the green parts
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill weed, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3 Tbsp minced green bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil


1 In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon, bread, green onion, garlic, dill, bell pepper, flour, egg, paprika, salt and pepper. Form into 8 patties; each about 1/2 inch thick.

2 Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the patties until nicely browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.

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Salmon cakes from Chez Megane
Salmon burgers from Erin's Kitchen, based on a Rachael Ray recipe
Salmon potato galettes from Habeas Brulee, based on a Mark Bittman recipe

Showing 4 of 80 Comments

  • nicole

    My parents too were employed by the state with my mom being a teacher. She too often made Salmon patties. When I need to feel closer to home I make them for my family too. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • lydia

    My grandmother used to make salmon croquettes, using canned salmon and Old Bay Seasoning. Thanks for your post — I haven’t thought about those wonderful croquettes in years.

  • Jerry

    These look simply amazing. And being canned salmon, I can even afford to try this out here in TX! (Salmon fillets are a premium item here,as they have to be shipped a very long way)

  • drew

    I have been making salmon patties for years, having learned how to make them in my family at a young age. Our “family recipe” calls for a full medium-sized onion chopped medium-small and cracker crumbs rather than bread. I really appreciate your ideas about the seasoning varieties and will assuredly be tweaking my old favorite soon.

    One thought — I recently stopped frying the patties in an oiled skillet and have been grilling with a George Foreman grill. It’s a lot lower fat and brings more to the flavors of the patties and less from the oils.


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