A delicious southern tradition for any occasion, these classic salmon patties are packed with flaky salmon and held together with a lightly seasoned breading.

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Close up side view of two salmon patties, stacked, with the top salmon pattie cut in half, showing off the filling inside.

About Salmon Patties

A southern tradition for a reason, these delicious salmon patties are made with a simple, light breading (that’s not overpowering) and are easy to customize to your own tastes. Anyone who loves salmon is guaranteed to love these classic fish cakes.

Great for serving as an appetizer, dinner, side, or even a quick snack!

What are salmon patties?

The origin of salmon patties comes in two parts: the style and the filling.

For the style, the overall shape and concept of these patties – also called croquettes – originated in France. Made as a way to use up leftover ingredients, croquettes are like deep-fried dough-less dumplings, with a key filling (like meat or vegetables) that’s held together with a thick bread-based binding.

And as far as the filling, salmon patties were made popular in the southern United States thanks to the abundance and low price of canned salmon during the early 1900s. With their cheap ingredients and simple cooking instructions, salmon patties quickly became a southern tradition that’s lasted well beyond the hard times of the Great Depression.

What’s in salmon patties?

  • Cooked salmon – Can either bake it yourself or use canned salmon.
  • Breadcrumbs and egg – Used to create the bread-based binding. Unflavored breadcrumbs are recommended, but you can also use your favorite flavor breadcrumbs.
  • Scallions, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper – Adds some delicious flavoring.
  • Vegetable oil and flour – For frying the outside of the patties to a nice, crispy finish.
Top down view of two prepared salmon patties on a plate served with a bowl of tartar sauce and a lemon wedge.

What can you serve with salmon patties?

The best part about salmon patties is that they can be served as an appetizer, dinner, or side dish. Feel free to dress up your serving plates with any of the following:

  • Sauces like tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, remoulade, and various flavors of aioli sauce.
  • Keep it simple with wedges of lemon or lime for a dash of citrus flavor.
  • A helping of coleslaw or have a simple side salad with a refreshing dressing.
  • With dinner rolls or french fries.
  • With roasted vegetagles, butter corn, or Brussels sprouts.
  • Pasta with a simple butter, garlic, or lemon sauce. You could even serve salmon patties with your favorite pasta salad.

Can you make salmon patties in advance?

Certainly! Salmon patties are great to make in advance.

To do this, follow the recipe instructions up until forming the patties and placing them in the refrigerator to firm up. From there, cover patties with plastic wrap and store for in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

When ready to bake, take the salmon patties out of the refrigerator and immediately fry them; there’s no need to let the patties come to room temperature first, as the colder they are the better they’ll hold together while frying.

How long are salmon patties good for?

Once prepared and cooled, salmon patties can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

For reheating, warm the salmon patties up in the microwave or in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Be sure not to pan-fry the patties again; this will sear the outsides again and burn the patties.

Can you freeze salmon patties?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and cooled, salmon patties can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.

Notes & tips for salmon patties

  • These salmon patties are designed to have a minimal and mild filling so that the salmon can be the star of the show. But if you’d like to add more flavor, consider adding up to one teaspoon of sweet paprika, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, Old Bay seasoning, blackening seasoning, cajun seasoning, or cayenne pepper.
  • Don’t have breadcrumbs? No problem! You can put stale or thoroughly toasted bread in a food processor and pulse it a few times to create your own breadcrumbs in a pinch.
Close up side view of two salmon patties on a plate, showing off the golden brown breading on the outside.

Other great seafood recipes

How to make salmon patties

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – In a large bowl, add the cooked salmon, then use a fork to break up any clumps.

Step 2 – Add the following ingredients to the bowl: breadcrumbs, egg, scallions, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Use a spatula to thoroughly mix everything together.

Step 3 – Lay out a large plate or baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Scoop up some of the salmon mixture and firmly pack it into a pattie shape that’s about 1/4 inch thick, then place the prepared pattie on the plate or baking sheet.

Step 4 – Transfer the salmon patties to the refrigerator so that they can firm up some (this will help with frying).

Step 5 – Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. While the oil warms up, take the salmon patties out of the refrigerator and dust the tops and bottoms with flour, gently pressing the flour into the breading. Once done, fry salmon patties until they’re a rich golden brown on each side. TIP: Whenever possible, use a wide, flat spatula to move and handle salmon patties to help them keep their shape.

Step 6 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Close up side view of two salmon patties, stacked, with the top salmon pattie cut in half, showing off the filling inside.
4.84 from 6 votes

Salmon Patties

15 mins prep + 30 mins cook + 30 mins Chilling Time
106 kcal
Yields: 8 salmon patties
A delicious southern tradition for any occasion, these classic salmon patties are packed with flaky salmon and held together with a lightly seasoned breading.

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Prepare your work area by setting a large parchment paper-covered plate or baking sheet nearby.
  • In a large bowl, add salmon. Use a fork to mash it and break up any clumps.
    14.75 ounces cooked salmon
  • Add breadcrumbs, egg, scallions, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper to bowl and mix thoroughly until ingredients are incorporated.
    1/3 cup breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, 2 scallions, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Form salmon mixture into 8 round patties about 1/4 inch thick, packing them tightly so they don’t fall apart. Arrange patties on prepared plate or baking sheet.
  • Refrigerate salmon patties for at least 30 minutes or until they feel firm.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the skillet.
    1 cup vegetable oil
  • Remove salmon patties from the refrigerator. Lightly dust the top and bottom of patties with flour and pat it in.
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Working in small batches of 2-3, use a wide spatula to transfer salmon patties to the hot skillet. Cook until the bottoms of patties are golden brown (about 4-5 minutes) then use a spatula to gently flip them over. Finish by cooking until the opposite side is also golden brown, about another 4-5 minutes. Once done, transfer salmon patties to a serving plate. Repeat this step until all the patties have been fried.
  • Serve immediately with sauce and garnish (all optional).

Nutrition

Serving: 1salmon pattie | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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2 comments

    • DL Parkinson
    • 5 stars

    This is such a great recipe! Although I have not made these delicious, golden salmon patties yet, I can tell they will be the best I’ve ever made!I like the way this recipe gives you the ingredients as you go along~very well thought out~Thank you!

    • HOLLY
    • 5 stars

    Hey these look fantastic ,My roots are from Ky. I Grew up with my Mom always making Salmon patties and then making white gravy with the fried crispy sediment and oil after frying the patties always the best thankyou !