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

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

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • 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.

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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 Patties

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Showing 4 of 65 Comments

  • 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.


  • Kathy

    Do you think this recipe would work with fresh Lake salmon? My husband caught a ton and the fish is tasteless (blah). I am looking for a way to dress it up. Any other ideas would be appreciated. I thought it would taste like the salmon from the store but it doesn’t.

    Note from Elise: Sure, why not? Just poach it or fry it first. You want to use cooked salmon for this recipe.

  • Andi

    I love salmon cakes/patties/croquettes. I use a recipe for Deviled Salmon Cakes that adds a bit more filler but very tasty. I usually serve them over mixed greens with honey mustard. I also coat mine in Panko and bake in the oven, as the smell of frying them in a skillet tends to permeate my house.

  • Peggasus

    I sneak about 1/2 can of mashed chick peas into mine too, and sometimes add some shredded cheese as well. Everyone in the house loves them, year round.

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