Speedy Salmon Patties Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep/Total Time: 25 min.
Salmon patties are quick and easy! Prepare this versatile recipe the night before for a simple lunch, or turn it into a vibrant appetizer platter, and serve with a creamy dipping sauce.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2024

Salmon patties are fancy enough to serve at a restaurant yet simple enough to whip up as a light meal or snack at home. This easy salmon recipe uses basic pantry ingredients and can be prepared start-to-finish in under 30 minutes. The salmon patties contain crushed crackers for crunch and Worcestershire sauce for umami flavor. Pan-fried in butter, the patties crisp up on the outside while staying sweet and moist on the inside.

How to Make Salmon Patties

Our recipe for salmon patties is quick and versatile. Start by draining the juice from the salmon can. Check the salmon for bones and skin. We usually discard them, but some people enjoy them. The canning process makes the bones soft enough to chew.

Next, shape the patties. We use simple pantry staples in this recipe, but you can easily dress the patties up with your favorite seasonings. Once shape, you can either put the patties in the refrigerator to firm up or simply cook them right away. When you’re ready to eat, pan-fry the patties in butter until their exteriors are golden brown and slightly crispy.

Salmon Patties Ingredients

  • Canned salmon: Drain the salmon well before making this salmon patty recipe. Too much moisture can make the salmon patties fall apart.
  • Egg: The egg acts as a binding ingredient, holding the flaked salmon and the remaining ingredients together.
  • Saltines: Crushed saltines are another binding ingredient. Like bread crumbs, they mix with the egg and hold the salmon patties together. If you don’t have saltines, use another crushed cracker, such as buttery Ritz crackers.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Worcestershire sauce is a fermented condiment that adds tangy, savory flavors to salmon patties. This umami-rich sauce was initially considered a mistake. In 1835, an English lord commissioned two chemists to duplicate a sauce he had tried in India. The pungent batch was disappointing and wound up in the chemists’ cellar. When the pair stumbled upon the aged concoction two years later, they were pleasantly surprised by its unique taste.
  • Butter: We pan-fry the salmon patties in butter for wonderful flavor and color, but other cooking oils can work, too.

Directions

Step 1: Shape the salmon patties

dry ingredients for salmon patties ready to mix in a glass bowl on a wooden surfaceTMB Studio

In a large bowl, combine the onion, beaten egg, saltines, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

minced salmon in a glass bowl on a wooden surfaceTMB Studio

Crumble the salmon into the mixture, and mix well. Shape the mixture into six patties.

Editor’s Tip: Save the juice when you drain the canned salmon. Then, if the patty mixture is too dry, you can mix in some of the reserved liquid.

Step 2: Pan-fry the patties

a person frying Salmon Patties in a cast iron skilletTMB Studio

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry the salmon patties in butter for three to four minutes on each side, until set and golden brown.

frying Salmon Patties in a cast iron skilletTMB Studio

Editor’s Tip: You can tell the salmon patties are done when they’re golden in color and crispy on the outside and they hold their shape. Since the salmon is already cooked, you just want to make sure the eggs are cooked through. To be sure, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of each patty should read 160°F.

Salmon Patties with Lemon Wedges on a White PlateTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Use fresh salmon: Canned salmon recipes are convenient and economical, but you can use leftover salmon if you have it on hand. You’ll need about 1-3/4 cups flaked cooked salmon for every 14-3/4-ounce can. To start with raw salmon, cook 1 pound boneless salmon using your favorite cook method.
  • Swap in smoked salmon: Add a smoky element to this salmon patty recipe by using smoked salmon. Hot smoked salmon—like this easy smoked salmon recipe—works better than cold smoked salmon (aka “lox”).
  • Make them in the air fryer: Shape the patties, and arrange them on a greased tray in the air-fryer basket. Spritz with cooking spray. Air-fry at 375° until set and golden brown, six to eight minutes.
  • Switch up the flavors: Boost the flavor of these patties with Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, lemon pepper or dill weed. You can also add finely chopped veggies or condiments like red peppers, olives, sun-dried tomatoes or pickles. Add jalapenos or crushed red pepper flakes to make spicy salmon patties.

How to Store Salmon Patties

Store leftover salmon patties in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can reheat them in the microwave, or use the air fryer to refresh the crisp exterior.

Can you make salmon patties ahead of time?

You can assemble the uncooked salmon patties one day ahead of time. Shape the patties, and store them, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. Add the patties directly to the buttered hot skillet when you’re ready to cook!

Can you freeze salmon patties?

Yes, you can freeze uncooked salmon patties. Shape the patties, and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container, and store in the freezer up to three months. Let the frozen patties thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and pan-fry as directed. Alternatively, cook the frozen salmon patties in an air fryer (375° for 8 to 10 minutes) or on a greased baking sheet in the oven (400° for 12 to 15 minutes).

Salmon Patties Tips

Salmon Patties Served on Two Small Plates with Lemon Wedges and Some Steamed GreensTMB Studio

How do you keep salmon patties from falling apart?

There are a few tricks to ensure salmon patties don’t fall apart. First, finely chop the onion and crush the crackers. Bigger pieces can cause the patties to come apart, especially when flipping. When shaping, press the patties gently but firmly to help the ingredients adhere. Some people like to refrigerate the uncooked patties before cooking to help them hold together, but it isn’t essential. Also, be gentle when you flip the patties in the skillet.

What other binders can you use to make salmon patties?

These salmon patties use egg and crushed saltines as binders. You could substitute about 3 tablespoons crushed Ritz crackers or dry bread crumbs for the saltines. Stay away from dense crackers like Wheat Thins, which won’t absorb moisture or bind as well. We use egg as the liquid binder in this recipe for salmon patties, but mayonnaise or heavy whipping cream can also work.

What do you serve with salmon patties?

Serve these salmon patties over a bed of arugula with a lemon wedge and a dipping sauce, such as tartar sauce, lemon-yogurt dip or the dill sauce used in this pan-seared salmon recipe. You can also pair these patties with any of our fave side dishes for salmon. Steamed asparagus and roasted potatoes are classic choices, as are sauteed Brussels sprouts and a rice pilaf. Greens and grains for the win!

Watch how to Make Speedy Salmon Patties

Speedy Salmon Patties

Prep Time 25 min
Yield 3 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 5 saltines, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) salmon, drained, bones and skin removed
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Crumble salmon over mixture and mix well. Shape into 6 patties.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, fry patties in butter for 3-4 minutes on each side or until set and golden brown.

Nutrition Facts

2 patties: 307 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 179mg cholesterol, 896mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 36g protein.

I combine seven easy ingredients for these salmon patties. When I was a girl growing up on the farm, my mom often fixed these when we were late in the field. They're are also tasty with chopped green peppers added to the mixture. —Bonnie Evans, Cameron, North Carolina