These moist, flaky, and simple Salmon Patties are an easy, versatile recipe to serve as an appetizer or main dish. Topped with healthy Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lemon, one bite of this healthy salmon patty recipe will transport you to your favorite coastal city.

A plate of the best canned salmon cake recipe with Greek yogurt, parsley and lemon

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Also known as a salmon cake, these light and lean salmon patties are not quite as hefty as large-scale Salmon Burgers but just as satisfying when it comes to ease and flavor.

I wanted this salmon patty recipe to be reminiscent of the old-fashioned salmon patties I’ve tasted in my travels.

That meant a tender, creamy interior, a lightly crisp exterior, and a touch of spice.

Inspired by the fresh salmon patties I’ve eaten in Seattle and the Southern salmon patties I’ve tried in Charleston and Louisiana, these simple salmon patties adopt a little Midwest practicality in the form of canned salmon.

(I also use good-quality, responsibly sourced canned seafood for these delicious Salmon Croquettes and the bell pepper Salmon Quinoa Cakes in my cookbook.)

A closeup of the best salmon patties recipe in a skillet

As much as I adore cooking fresh salmon—evident from my extensive collection of healthy salmon recipes—the idea of making fresh salmon patties is just too much for a typical weeknight.

Benefits of Canned Salmon

In the context of salmon patties, canned salmon has distinct advantages over fresh:

  • It’s available at any grocery store, no trip to the seafood counter required.
  • It’s convenient. No need to separately cook the salmon before adding it to the salmon patty mixture.
  • Canned salmon is packed with the same nutrients as fresh salmon, meaning these salmon patties are just as good for you as if they were made with fresh.
  • It costs a fraction of the price.

Maybe someday I’ll live in a city with amazing access to affordable fresh salmon but for now, I’ll cope with a platter of these crispy, tender canned salmon patties.

Simple canned salmon patty recipe cooked in a skillet

5 Star Review

“Just made these along with some tzatziki sauce and they were absolutely devoured by my wife and grandkids. The recipe was so quick and easy to make that I’ll surely be making them again .”

— Derek —

How to Make the Old Fashioned Salmon Patties

Seasoned simply and served with a dollop of healthy Greek yogurt, fresh herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon, this is the best salmon patties recipe you can enjoy any night of the week in under 30 minutes.


The Ingredients

  • Canned Salmon. Loaded with healthy fats, Omega-3s, and vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin E, salmon is without a doubt one of my favorite protein sources. Its firm, meaty flavor and texture make it ideal for these hearty salmon patties.

Substitution Tip

If you prefer to make salmon patties from fresh salmon, cook your salmon first, then flake it and add it to the recipe as directed. Two easy ways to cook salmon are Grilled Salmon in Foil and oven Baked Salmon in Foil.

  • Greek Yogurt. Rather than make salmon patties with mayo, I swap Greek yogurt for a healthy touch. It provides a creamy interior texture and a bit of tang. I also used this Greek yogurt trick in my tasty Smoked Salmon Dip recipe.
  • Egg. Binds with the breadcrumbs to give the salmon patties body and structure.
  • Breadcrumbs. An essential ingredient for binding the patties together and locking in moisture to prevent the salmon cakes from being dry. Breadcrumbs give a more tender texture than salmon patties with flour (which I find too dense).

Substitution Tip

If you don’t have breadcrumbs, you can make your own with extra pieces of day-old bread or swap them for an equal amount of finely ground whole wheat cracker crumbs. Avoid saltine crackers.

Panko bread crumbs or cornmeal might work here too.

  • Dijon + White Vinegar. To give the patties punch.

Substitution Tip

If Dijon mustard carries too much of a bite for you, try swapping it for an equal amount of brown mustard which has a milder flavor.

  • Garlic Powder + Onion Powder. Two everyday pantry staples that add a whole lotta pizazz to these simple salmon patties.
  • Cayenne Pepper. For a little southern flair that gives these salmon cakes just the right amount of kick. For more spice, try this Blackened Salmon.
  • Parsley. For a little freshness and a finish of color. Fresh dill would compliment the salmon as well.
  • Lemon. Brightens and compliments the salmon (as in this Garlic Salmon with Lemon Butter) and the tangy Greek yogurt.

Serving Suggestions

Once the salmon patties are cooked, you can take the recipe in two directions for serving.

  • On a bun, slider style. Add thinly sliced tomatoes, red onions, and a smear of Greek yogurt or tartar sauce.
  • On their own (my favorite), with a big dollop of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.
  • On a Salad, choose your favorite crisp greens and veggies for a nutrition-packed meal.
salmon patty recipe without mayo on a plate with lemon wedges and fresh parsley

The Directions

a bowl with canned salmon and ingredients for salmon patties
  1. Combine the salmon patty ingredients in a large bowl.
mixing ingredients for salmon patties
  1. With a fork, gently toss to combine.
shaped salmon patty
  1. Scoop and shape into 6 equal patties.
shaped salmon patties cooking in a skillet
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet (I like cast iron but any sturdy frying pan will do) over medium heat. Cook the salmon patties on the first side for 3 minutes, until deep golden brown.
salmon patties cooking on a skillet
  1. Flip and cook salmon patties on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more, until deeply golden and cooked through inside. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and fresh parsley. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Uncooked salmon patties can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Individually wrap each patty and store it in an airtight container. Cooked salmon patties can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat gently in a lightly oiled skillet on the stove. I like to splash a little water in the skillet with the salmon, then cover it to lock in moisture and help the patties steam and prevent them from drying out.
  • To Freeze. Cooked salmon patties can be frozen for up to 3 weeks in the freezer. Let thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop as directed above.

Leftover Ideas

Leftover salmon patties are the perfect easy weekday lunch. Enjoy cold or warm over a bed of your favorite greens (like this Arugula Salad) for a simple salmon cake salad or warm a patty and serve it on a toasted English muffin with a fried egg. The possibilities are endless!

Old fashioned salmon patty recipe with canned salmon served on a white plate

What to Serve with Salmon Patties

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Mixing Bowls. This space-saving set of nested glass mixing bowls is my favorite for tossing together ingredients for sweet and savory dishes.
  • Skillet. No kitchen should be without a trusty cast iron skillet.
  • Citrus Juicer. This handheld juicer is my fav for freshly squeezed lemon juice without any seeds.

The Best Cast Iron Skillet

I love this Le Creuset cast iron skillet with its enamel coating that doesn’t need pre-seasoning and superb heat retention.

A plate of easy and healthy Salmon Patties

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Midwest sensibility, meet coastal living!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Canned Salmon Always Have Bones?

If you do not want bones, look for canned salmon labeled boneless. Most canned salmon does contain small pieces of bones, but if you select boneless, you are not likely to notice. The bones in canned salmon crush extremely easily and are NOT a choking hazard to be overly concerned about. If your can isn’t labeled and you are not sure of the amount of bones, compare calcium content on the nutrition label between brands. If the calcium content is low, most of the bones have likely been removed. If it is high, the bones are likely included in the salmon.

Can You Make Salmon Patties in an Air Fryer?

While I have not personally made salmon patties in an air fryer (only this Air Fryer Salmon), several readers have reported success doing so. I suggest preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees F while prepping the patties. Then, spritz the formed patties with oil and cook for 6-8 minutes. Then, flip the patties, spray with additional oil and cook for a few more minutes until brown and crispy. Note that the time and temperature may need to be adjusted depending on the model of your air fryer but this is likely a good starting point to experiment with.

How Do You Make Salmon Patties Without Canned Salmon?

Sure! These salmon patties can also be made with any leftover cooked salmon you have in your fridge. Readers have reported using leftovers of this Poached Salmon and Pesto Salmon with success.

Can I Use This Recipe To Make Crab Cakes?

Although I haven’t tried it, this would be a good base for crab cakes.

Can I Use this Recipe for Tuna Patties?

Sure! I would suggest adding a little more lemon. Or, see these Avocado Tuna Cakes for inspiration.

A plate of easy and healthy Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties

4.98 from 70 votes
The BEST canned salmon patties! This old fashioned salmon patties recipe is lightened-up with Greek yogurt and has a touch of Southern spice.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins

Servings: 6 patties

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (15-ounce) can salmon drained (wild-caught if possible)
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley plus additional for serving
  • 1–2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for cooking the patties

For serving:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions
 

  • In the bottom of a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add the drained salmon to the bowl. Add the bread crumbs, Greek yogurt, Dijon, white vinegar, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne.
  • With a fork, lightly mix to combine, breaking apart the salmon further. Gently stir in the parsley.
  • Scoop the mixture by 1/3 cupfuls and shape into 6 patties that are about a 1/2 inch thick. Arrange on a plate.
  • In a large cast-iron or similar sturdy-bottomed skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium. Swirl to coat.
  • Brown the patties on both sides, until the outsides are very deep golden brown and the patties are cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes total. When flipping the patties, be very gentle and use a long, flexible spatula, such as a fish spatula. Serve topped with Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Notes

  • TO STORE: Uncooked salmon patties can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Individually wrap each patty and store it in an airtight container. Cooked salmon patties can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat gently in a lightly oiled skillet on the stove. I like to splash a little water in the skillet with the salmon, then cover it to lock in moisture and help the patties steam and prevent them from drying out.
  • TO FREEZE: Cooked salmon patties can be frozen for up to 3 weeks. Let thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat on the stovetop as directed above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1patty (without yogurt topping)Calories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 3gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 207IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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183 Comments

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  1. I just made this but I didn’t have yogurt or sour cream so I used blue cheese dressing. Excellent recipe! Will definitely make it again.5 stars

  2. Perfect salmon patties. I didn’t have Dijon so subbed some honey mustard and a dash of worcestershire. Chef’s kiss delicious.5 stars

  3. I made these tonight, only have one word to describe them, delicious! Will definitely be making them again and again…
    Thank you for a great recipe.😋5 stars

    1. Hi Margot! You’ll find all of the storage information in the recipe card under the section “Notes”! Hope this helps and hope you enjoy them!

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