Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties (AKA, salmon cakes or salmon croquettes) are a flavorful, quick and easy recipe that’s crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and perfect for getting more brain-boosting, heart-healthy omega-3s into your diet!

Salmon Patties with text overlay.


Well, we're officially immersed in the no meat on Fridays season of Lent at our house. This means that, once a week, I have to remind myself to avoid meat approximately 47 times over the course of the day. Since fish is allowed on Fridays, however, Lent also means that I tend to make more of it at this time of year than any other.

I don't know why that is. Fish is easy to cook and loaded with nourishing healthy fats and I should be serving it to my family more often. So with y'all as my witnesses, from here on out, I resolve to incorporate more fish into our diets! Fortunately, even if I can't make it to the seafood counter, this easy Salmon Patty recipe requires little more than a trip to the pantry.

Salmon Patty Recipe garnished with parsley and parmesan.

Have y'all cooked with canned salmon before? It's kind of crazy to me that you can buy wild-caught Alaskan salmon in little cans right next to the tuna fish. And honestly, the two can be used pretty interchangeably in a lot of recipes.

Salmon Patties are sometimes referred to as Salmon Cakes (think: Crab Cakes) or Salmon Croquettes (think: throwback to was a mighty good year). As mentioned above, they could just as easily be made with tuna. In this here version, the salmon is mixed with a bunch of other good stuff before being formed into -- you guessed it! -- patties, lightly coated with more crunchy panko, and then pan fried. Dinner. Is. Served!

Salmon Cakes on platter with lemons.


One of the things I love about this Salmon Patty recipe is that it's quick to whip up with ingredients that I can easily keep on hand:

  • Canned salmon. Scroll down a couple headings if you're interested in my extensive thoughts on canned salmon. 😉
  • Eggs.
  • Panko breadcrumbs. I recommend Panko over regular breadcrubs for salmon patties with a nice, crunchy exterior.
  • Parmesan. I prefer freshly grated, but the canned stuff will work in a pinch.
  • Fresh parsley. Again, the flavor of fresh chopped parsley is wonderful, but if you don't have any on hand, you may substitute 1 tablespoon of dried parsley instead. (Since dried herbs are more potent than fresh, you only need ⅓ the amount.)
  • Lemon juice. Fresh-squeezed or bottled will work fine. I keep a bottle of 100% lemon juice in the fridge (with no added ingredients). It sure is a handy time-saver.
  • Worcestershire sauce.
  • Dijon mustard.
  • Garlic salt.
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Hot pepper sauce. I use Tabasco, but whatever you happen to have in your pantry will work fine. Feel free to add more for an extra kick!

(And as for a colorful, flavorful accompaniment, I highly recommend fresh, amazing Mango Salsa!)

Salmon Patty recipe with missing bite.

How to Make Salmon Patties

(The below photos are intended to be helpful, but please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for FULL DIRECTIONS.)

These tasty salmon croquettes mix up in a flash and cook in mere minutes!

  1. Dump drained salmon in a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs, Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, garlic salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
Canned salmon in bowl to make Salmon Patty recipe.
All other ingredients added to bowl.
  1. Mix together until well combined.
Stirring together Salmon Cakes mixture.
All ingredients combined in glass bowl.
  1. Divide the mixture into four equal balls.
  2. Form each ball into a ¾-inch thick salmon patty. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Forming mixture into salmon croquettes.
Salmon cakes on plate covered in plastic wrap.
  1. Place Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
  2. Press both sides of each salmon patty into breadcrumbs.
Parmesan in bowl.
Pressing salmon croquette into parmesan coating.
  1. Heat up a large saute pan and add olive oil and butter to pan; swirl to coat.
  2. Add the salmon patties to the pan.
Oil and butter melted in pan.
Laying Salmon Patties in pan.
  1. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Salmon Patty recipe frying in pan.
Salmon Patties recipe fried on both sides.
  1. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Salmon Patties on a plate, ready to serve.
  1. Serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Close-up of salmon croquettes garnished with parsley.


Canned Salmon Options

Now, before we get on with the recipe, I feel that it's my obligation to educate you canned salmon novices on the different varieties available. Canned salmon is traditionally sold with small, soft bones and pieces of skin intact. Everything in the can is totally edible, and the bones actually add a nice boost of calcium. However, if you happen to be on the squeamish side (like myself)...for the love of all that is good and holy, do yourself a favor and buy boneless, skinless canned salmon.

Because if you don't pay attention to the label, you might be ready to make your recipe. You might open up the cans, and look upon the contents in shock. You might consider pitching them straight into the trash before heading back to the store. And you might decide that you don't have time for a trip to the store. Besides...your German mother ingrained in you an inability to waste perfectly good (albeit, shudder-worthy) food.

Aerial view of Salmon Patties on plate with missing bite.

But you might also know for dang sure that you won't be able to cook with -- much less eat -- any sort of fish that contains skin, small bones, and unrecognizable bits and pieces. So you might resolve to remove every last teeny-tiny particle of non-salmon meat from both cans. It might take you a good 45 minutes to do so. But after all is said and done, you might eat your salmon cakes with an extra sense of satisfaction and accomplishment for not having to bite into any foreign objects after all of that hard work.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

So if you are old-school, if you are tough, if you don't mind ingesting harmless skin and bones (tiny though they may be), go for the regular canned salmon. But if you are a card-carrying member of the Weak Stomach Club, make sure you look for that boneless/skinless phrase on the can (and realize that it may come in a pouch as opposed to a can).

Whatever your preference, either variety is already cooked. And either will work perfectly fine in this Salmon Patty recipe! 😉

Salmon Croquettes piled on platter.

My picky kids were all over these salmon cakes (dipped in ketchup, of course, but hey...I'll take it). And I loved that they were getting a nice dose of the healthiest-of-healthy fish oils as a part of their ketchup-dredged dinner. Thanks to the crunchy coating and all of the layers of flavor, they don't taste fishy at all.

The next time you're in the mood for an easy, pantry-staple meal that will make your family smarter while simultaneously improving their cholesterol, I hope you'll give Salmon Patties a spin! I can safely say that they'll be going on our regular rotation 'round these parts. Even long after Lent is over. 🙂

Plate of Salmon Patties.

More Easy Seafood Dinners

The BEST Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties (AKA, salmon cakes or salmon croquettes) are a flavorful, quick and easy recipe that’s crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and perfect for getting more brain-boosting, heart-healthy omega-3s into your diet!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 182kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 (7.5-ounce) cans canned salmon (Alaskan wild-caught and boneless/skinless), drained
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs, DIVIDED
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A few dashes hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • In a medium bowl, mix together drained salmon, eggs, ¾ cup panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, garlic salt, pepper (to taste), and hot pepper sauce (to taste). Divide the mixture into four equal balls and form into ¾-inch thick patties. Place patties on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Place the remaining ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and press both sides of each salmon patty into breadcrumbs. Heat a large saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter to pan; once melted, swirl pan to coat. Add the salmon patties and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.



If you're short on time, you can skip the step of chilling the patties before cooking. This step is intended to help the patties hold together, but the recipe will still work if you cook them immediately after forming.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 770mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 533IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from Food Network.
Post originally published on February 26, 2015, and updated on September 23, 2019, and May 7, 2023.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    So yummy and easy to make. I prepped them ahead of time yesterday morning and then cooked them last night for dinner!

  2. 5 stars
    This salmon patty recipe is amazing! I make these often. I pair my salmon patties with mashed potatoes and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad. My kids always look forward to this meal! Always a hit at our house.

  3. These look great can't wait to try them. How long can you leave them in the refrigerator before frying? For example can I make them in the morning and fry them for dinner?

    1. Yes, that's fine, Renee! You can make them up to 24 hours ahead of time, then cover tightly and refrigerate until you're ready to cook them. 🙂

    1. Hi Elaine! I've only cooked these patties as directed, but I don't see why they couldn't be baked? You might consider lightly spraying them with cooking oil, and perhaps flipping them halfway through the cooking time. Good luck if you decide to give it a try! 🙂

  4. I have been making salmon patties for years and I use the regular cans but I too pick out the small bones. I put the bones and skin in a dish and a little of the juice and mix in some dry cat food and give it to my cat. She absolutely LOVES it. The rest of the salmon I mix with either panko or sometimes cracker crumbs, minced onion or chives, Parmesan cheese and egg. My whole family loves them!! Of course the grandkids all use ketchup just like their parents did when they were their age!!

  5. I finally tried these and they were so good! I paired them with some sliced fresh tomatoes, homemade tartar sauce and red wine. I made a batch to eat and have some for leftovers but, after seeing them, Danny decided he needed to try one as well. I haven't seen skinless, boneless canned salmon here in Japan but the regular canned salmon doesn't bother me so I'll probably stick to that.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed these, Sarah, and your accompaniments sound perfect. 🙂 Also, I'm sure I'm the only one who's squeamish about the random bits in canned in Japan, I have no doubt you're much tougher than I am! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to let me know that this recipe was a hit, and I hope you're having a great week!

  6. never cease to amaze me!! Your salmon patties are absolutely beautiful. I've been making them for a long time...using fresh Alaska salmon many times. Yours are so thick & inviting! Pinning this lovely recipe. SO happy you shared it with us at Weekend Potluck!

    1. Thank you so much, Marsha! I appreciate the pin and I love joining y'all for Weekend Potluck each week. 🙂 And I can't imagine how amazing salmon patties would be with fresh Alaskan salmon -- yum! You've made me drool all over my keyboard... 😉 Hope you're having a wonderful week!

  7. Hey Sam,
    This is an old favorite of mine, I grew up eating and loving these. My family always bought the bone in salmon; don't think the boneless, skinless was even a choice back then! I still buy that kind, but I pick out as many bones and as much skin as possible!
    We're having Lent here, because hubby is Catholic, but I never get tired of fish It all works out! Thanks for sharing your recipe, will definitely make it this way!

    1. Ha, Deb...I think you're right in that cans of boneless, skinless salmon are a newer phenomenon. 😉 I'm sure most people don't have a problem with the little bits and pieces in regular cans of salmon, but I'm a spending a bit more on the already boneless/skinless stuff is worth all of the labor it later saves me! 😉 Hope y'all enjoy these Salmon Patties when you try them, and hope you've been having a great weekend!

  8. Great quick and healthy dish! We are big fans of salmon cakes here. I don't tell anybody about the skin and bones, and nobody can detect them once the patties are cooked

    1. That's so good to know, Mila! I bet you're right, and my kids wouldn't even notice if the tiny bones were in there. The problem is that I would know, and I'm probably the most squeamish member of our family. Ha! 😉