Salmon Patties

Family-FriendlyComfort FoodQuick and EasyFish CakesSalmon

How to make salmon patties with cooked salmon, bread, green onion, dill, bell pepper, egg, lemon, and paprika. These easy salmon cakes make a perfect midweek meal.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Raising six kids on a teacher’s salary, my parents were always cooking on a budget. Being Catholic, with the requirement back then of meatless Fridays, Lent or not, this meant that we ate a lot of tuna macaroni salad and fried fish.

My mother often made tuna patties for us, and less frequently, because they were more expensive, salmon patties.

For several years, my father and I tried to talk my mother into making these salmon cakes again for us. For some unfathomable reason, she refused, even going as far as to claim that she never made salmon cakes in the first place.

After a while, we gave up and made our own version of the recipe.

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How to Make Salmon Patties

Salmon patties, or salmon cakes, are wonderfully easy to make. You make salmon patties with just a base of canned salmon, shredded bread (or breadcrumbs or even saltines), chopped onion, and egg to bind it all into patties, and then these salmon cakes are quickly fried.

In this easy salmon patties recipe, we dress up the salmon cakes with garlic, dill, bell pepper, paprika, lemon zest, and lemon juice. You could also add parsley, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, or cilantro. Feel free to improvise and make these salmon cakes your own!

Easy Salmon Patties on a plate

What to Serve with These Salmon Patties

Salmon patties can be served with a wedge of lemon, or a dollop of mayonnaise or tartar sauce. Round out your meal with a simple side salad or a scoop of coleslaw.

Storing and Freezing Salmon Patties

Once cooked, leftover patties can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. Eat them cold, or warm them up briefly in a skillet over low heat or in the microwave.

Salmon patties also freeze well. Wrap them in plastic and foil, and defrost them in the fridge before reheating.

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Updated February 3, 2020 : We made some minor adjustments to this recipe to address some issues a few readers were experiencing. The recipe has been re-tested and updated!

Salmon Patties Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

If the mixture is too wet to form patties, add a little more shredded bread (not the crusts) to the mixture. If too dry, add a tablespoon of water.


  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can salmon, drained of all but 2 tablespoons of the can liquid, flaked
  • 1 large slice bread (crust removed), shredded (1 cup, 50 g)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onion, including the green parts
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 3 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


1 Mix patty ingredients: In a large bowl, gently mix together the salmon (including 2 tablespoons of the can liquid), bread, green onion, garlic, dill, bell pepper, flour, egg, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

The salmon mixture for making homemade salmon patties in a bowl

2 Form into 8 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick.

Shaped salmon patties ready for cooking

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

Cook the salmon cakes in a skillet Sear the homemade salmon patties in a skillet on both sides

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Salmon Patties or Salmon Cakes ready to serve

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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124 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Janean

    These are so yummy & what a quick, good for you meal! Served on a whole grain bun with avocado, fresh garden tomato & spinach. Who says eating healthy can’t be fun?


  2. Tricia Mangus

    This is a great recipe! Not only did my husband love it, my 6year old granddaughter, who can be a fussy eater, said that I was ” the best cooker ever! ” Quite a compliment coming from her and she ate a whole patty! I served it a miracle whip and capers dressing for the adults. Only thing I didn’t have was the flour, but they were delish!


  3. Connie

    They are lovely. I didn’t have bread or bell pepper, so I crunched up saltines. And they were terrific. My husband is from Scotland, so I serve them with authentic English mushy peas, sliced homegrown tomatoes, sheep herder bread and lemon wedges. A winner!!

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  4. HCA

    These were so easy and absolutely delicious. Great use for leftover baked salmon. I used flaked leftover sockeye, added diced shallot, and make Covid-substitutions of panko for the bread crumbs and parsley for the dill. I also omitted the green pepper because I didn’t have it. Served with a really simple salad, lemon wedge and sour cream.


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  5. gayle

    These were easy to make. Most items on hand in the pantry. Quick appetizer or dinner and would freeze well. Most importantly they were awesome. My husband was wild about them. I did bump up the seasoning according to his preference and I used mayonnaise in place of healthier olive oil. He said “make them again!” So Mr Italian loved them!


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Homemade Salmon Cakes on a plateSalmon Patties