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Quick and Easy Salmon Burgers

These easy salmon burgers, flavoured with lemon and dill, are the perfect weeknight meal.  Using simple ingredients, and minimal prep, these delicious burgers are on the table in less than 30 minutes. 

This recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments where I am a contributor.

Salmon burger with onion, tomato and sprouts on a wooden board with lemon wedges.
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We love burgers in this house.  They are one of those meals that are easy to prepare, quick, and have endless flavour combinations. The leftovers also make a great lunch the next day.

While beef burgers are our go-to, salmon burgers make a nice alternative when you feel like something lighter or don’t have any thawed beef in the house.  

While I normally stay away from canned fish, I do use canned sockeye salmon for my burgers.  Canned salmon is much easier on the pocketbook than fresh salmon and you can store it in your pantry so it’s available whenever you need. But if you have fresh salmon, you can use that too.

We like to top these burgers with fresh veggies and pair them with a simple salad. Sometimes we pop some fries in the air fryer.  They are also fine on their own.  

Salmon patty on a bun with tartar sauce and pickled onions.

Ingredients

  • Canned Sockeye Salmon – Yes, these are made with canned salmon and, yes, they taste great.  Just be sure to choose a high-quality salmon, like sockeye for best flavour and texture.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – The breadcrumbs help absorb some of the moisture and bind the ingredients.  I use whole wheat as I like the flavour, but you can use white or gluten free. 
  • Egg – Another binding ingredient.
  • Seasonings – Dill, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  • Lemon
  • Hot Sauce
Ingredients to make salmon patties.

Instructions

Mix the ingredients

Start by draining the salmon.  You want to make sure it is well drained or it will be harder to form the patties. Once drained, place it in a medium sized bowl and flake it apart.  I also like to remove any skin, but that is up to you.

Next, mix the ingredients together until well combined.

Salmon and other ingredients in a bowl mixed together.

Make the Salmon Patties

Form the mixture into 4 equal sized balls and place on a piece of parchment or waxed paper.  Gently press the salmon balls into patties with your hands. You are looking for patties that are about ½ inch thick.

Let the salmon patties rest for about 10 minutes before cooking.  This will help them hold together better.

Forming salmon mixture into balls and pressing out into patties on parchment paper.

Cook the Burgers

Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot add a drizzle of oil to coat the bottom, then gently lift the patties from the parchment paper and place in the pan.  

Allow them to cook for 4-5 minutes until the bottoms are slightly browned then carefully flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. 

Four salmon patties in a non-stick pan before and after cooking.

Pro Tip:  When forming the patties, you want to handle the mixture as little as possible.  Form the salmon into balls, then place on parchment or waxed paper and press with your hand to form the patties.  If handled too much, they will want to fall apart. 

Open salmon burger on a wooden cutting board with an assortment of toppings.

Serving Suggestions

The first thing you need is a great bun.  

I like to use brioche hamburger buns as they are light, buttery, and slightly sweet which pair so well with the salmon. Potato rolls are another nice alternative. But you can use whatever you like.

You will also want some fresh toppings and a delicious sauce.

Our favourite sauce for salmon burgers is tartar sauce.  The tangy flavours in tartar sauce pair really well with the rich salmon.

For toppings, we like pickled red onions, tomato and alfalfa sprouts.  The pickled onions add some tang and crunch while the tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts add freshness.

Some other great choices are:

Close up of salmon burger with tartar sauce dripping out, topped with fresh veggies and french fries in the background.

FAQS

Can I use fresh salmon instead of canned?

Yes, you can.  In fact, these burgers would be a great way to use leftover cooked salmon.  You can replace the canned salmon with equal parts cooked, flaked salmon. 

Can I make these patties ahead of time?

Yes.  If you’d like to form the patties ahead of time simply store them in the fridge and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use. 

Can I BBQ these burgers instead of cooking on the stove?

Because these burgers are so delicate they will fall through the grate of a standard BBQ.  However, if you have a grill stone or griddle that fits on the BBQ, these will cook perfectly on the BBQ. 

More Easy Meals

Recipe

Salmon burger on brioche bun topped with tomato, sprouts and onion.

Easy Salmon Burgers

These easy salmon burgers, flavoured with lemon and dill, are the perfect weeknight meal.  
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Deanna

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans sockeye salmon, drained (15 oz total)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp kosher salt reduce to ¼ tsp if using regular salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 6 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 4 Hamburger buns

Instructions

  • Drain the salmon well and add it to a medium size bowl, flake the salmon apart using a fork.
  • Add the egg, mustard and lemon juice to the salmon and mix with a fork to combine.
  • Add the seasonings and breadcrumbs and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add a dash or two of hot sauce, if desired.
  • Form the salmon into 4 balls and place on a piece of parchment or wax paper.
  • Using your hand, press into patties about ½ inch thick.
  • Let the salmon patties rest for about 10 minutes, this will help hold them together.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add a bit of oil to coat the bottom.
  • Once the skillet it hot, carefully add the patties. Cook for 5 minutes, then gently flip and cook 5 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat and serve on hamburger buns with your choice of toppings.

Notes

If you prefer not to use canned salmon you can use fresh.  Cook the salmon first and then allow it to cool before flaking apart to form patties. 
As all canned salmon has a slightly different water content, you can add an extra tablespoon or two of breadcrumbs if you are finding the mixture too wet to hold together. 

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 676mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 3mg
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