Skip to Content

Deliciously Easy Salmon Patties

Southern Salmon Patties are an inexpensive meal and easy to make. The recipe costs less than ten dollars, and they can be ready to eat in about 20 minutes. I offer options for both fresh and canned salmon, and you can pan-fry, bake, or air-fry the patties to suit your preference. Get ready for a flavorful and satisfying meal in no time!

Salmon patties

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes for four
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5-8
Preparation Level: Beginner +


  • 14.75-ounce can of pink salmon (or one pound of fresh cooked salmon)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

Full printable instructions with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card

Add some 5-ingredient buttermilk biscuits from Year Round Recipes to your dinner.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Onions go great with salmon for many different types of dishes.

Drain the juice off of the salmon can. I just used my hands and pressed against the salmon in the can as it drained off, so be sure to save the juice just in case the patties are a little dry after adding all of the ingredients. Then, add the can of pink salmon to a large bowl.

TIP: There shouldn’t be any bones, but I did find a few small ones. I sort of squished the salmon between my fingers to find anything hard and removed it. At this point, it’s going to be rare if you find any hard bones. They’ve been in the can so long that they will be soft–and it’s ok to leave them in. A friend of mine said she always picked out the bones and ate them when she was a little girl while her mom was preparing the meal. 

Next, add the chopped onions. I used my chopper for the onions. It’s a quick way to make them nice and small for the recipe. 

Eggs, onions, and salmon, and breadcrumbs are an easy family meal.

Add the eggs to the bowl.

Breadcrumbs are a great way to hold the salmon patties together. The Southern dish is a favorite in the south.

Next, add the breadcrumbs. You can use breadcrumbs, cornmeal, crushed Saltine crackers, Ritz Crackers, or panko breadcrumbs for this recipe. Panko breadcrumbs will add a crunchier texture to the patties.

Many people like salmon patties with crackers because they were raised eating them that way. Plus, it’s a very inexpensive addition to the meal.

Lemon juice helps get rid of some of the fish smell. Salmon patties are great with a side of mayo.

Pour the lemon juice into the bowl. Lemon juice helps get rid of some of the fish smell and adds a little flavor to the recipe.

Add salt and pepper to season the salmon patties.

Finally, add the salt and pepper. Mix everything together well and shape the mixture into patties. I used my hands, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with this recipe. 

Tip: If they seem too dry, add a little of the salmon juice back into the mixture and reshape. 

This is the best salmon patty recipe. This is an easy salmon patty recipe.

Heat up some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. I filled the skillet up with enough oil that it would cover half of the patties. I made my fried salmon patties kind of thick. It yielded about six large patties. But you can certainly make them smaller. 

My husband ate two patties, and that was plenty. He ate one between two slices of bread and one without and loved it both ways. 

Tip: Add a side of mayo or homemade tartar sauce to the Southern Salmon Patties for extra flavor.

Southern salmon patties are great with mayo. This is the best salmon patty recipe.

Fry the southern salmon patties until they are browned. Flip them over and fry the other side until they are browned. When you take them out of the skillet, place them on some paper towels to soak up the grease and sprinkle a little lemon zest or fresh dill right on top.

Cooking Options, Time, and Temperature

Baked: Baked salmon patties are a great recipe when you want to skip frying. Simply place the salmon patties on a greased baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes. Flip them over and cook another five to ten minutes or until they are golden brown.

Air Fryer: The air fryer is another great way to get that same great flavor but with less grease. Place the patties in the freezer for about 10 minutes to help them hold together while cooking. Then, add them to the air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Be sure to flip them halfway through the cooking period.

Can I Use Fresh Salmon?

Yes, you can use fresh salmon in this recipe. You will need about one pound of fresh salmon. Cook it in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. You will want to grease a cookie sheet and place the salmon skin side down. Bake it, let it cool, and flake it with a fork after it cools. Then, you will add the salmon to the recipe.

How Do You Make Them Stick Together?

The breadcrumbs will help keep the patties together, and the egg will also help bind the ingredients together as they cook.

Can The Patties Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze salmon patties. But I would freeze them before you cook them. Be sure to place them on some parchment paper or wax paper and then inside a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container.

Why Do They Fall Apart Sometimes?

Salmon patties need bread crumbs to hold them together. If your patties are too wet, they will fall apart. If they seem like they are too wet, add some more breadcrumbs and mix them in, and you should be in good shape.

How To Store Leftovers

Store any leftover patties in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Variations and Additional Flavor Options

  • Spicy: Add a little kick with chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes.
  • Asian-inspired: Add a little bit of grated ginger, soy sauce, and chopped scallions.
  • Mediterranean: Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese to the salmon mixture.
  • Smoked: Get some smoked salmon instead of canned to add a smoky flavor.
  • Use some fresh salmon, Old Bay seasoning, and fresh herbs, and cook the salmon cakes until they are golden brown. One of our favorite things is to dip the southern classic in some Worcestershire sauce or mayo.
Southern salmon patties are a great meal. These are the best salmon patties. Southern salmon patties with mayo is a wonderful dinner.

What To Serve With Salmon Patties

How to make salmon patties: prepare the salmon patties and fry in oil.

Salmon patties are a great southern dish. The easy fried recipe makes several salmon patties for a delicious meal.

Salmon Patties

Yield: 5-8 patties
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Southern Salmon Patties are an inexpensive meal and a simple recipe to make. The canned recipe costs less than five dollars and is quick to get on the table. This Deep South dish is made with breadcrumbs and is one of the easiest ways to get a weeknight dinner on the table fast.


  • 1 - 14.75 ounce can pink salmon
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


Add vegetable oil to a skillet and preheat medium to medium-high. Add enough oil to cover half of the salmon patty.

  1. Drain the juice off the can of salmon. (Save in case the juice is needed later)
  2. Check for bones.
  3. Add the chopped onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
  4. Mix together and shape into patties.
  5. Fry in vegetable oil for approximately five minutes on each side, or until each side is browned.
  6. Place on a paper towel to soak up the grease.


  • You can use Panko or regular breadcrumbs. Some people love to use Saltine cracker crumbs.If the patties are too dry, add a little bit of the reserved juice. If they are too wet, add some more breadcrumbs.
  • Have some lemon wedges nearby to squeeze a little on top.
  • You can use canned or fresh salmon (cooked). If you have leftover cooked salmon from another recipe, that would make great patties.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 patties Serving Size: 1 patty
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 138Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1.3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 552mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0.6gSugar: 1gProtein: 14g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Cheesy Diced Baked Potatoes go great with any meal, including holiday meals. The potato recipe makes a great side dish at Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any holiday.

Cheesy Diced Baked Potatoes

Jiffy Creamed Sweet Cornbread is one of my favorite side dishes. Cornbread is a staple in the south. Spoon it on a plate, add a little butter, and you have the perfect sweet cornbread.

Jiffy Cornbread with Creamed Corn

Check out more delicious recipes at Julia’s Simply Southern, South Your Mouth, and Southern Home Express


Tuesday 30th of April 2024

We always put yellow mustard on them. That’s very good and for me, the only way to eat them.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 30th of April 2024

Definitely a great way to eat them!

Nancy Rogers

Friday 22nd of March 2024

These were delicious! Thank you for the recipe! Will definitely make again!!

Julie Pollitt

Friday 22nd of March 2024

You're welcome and I am so glad you liked them!


Sunday 21st of January 2024

I never thought about making salmon patties with canned salmon, but they were so good. We loved every bite!

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 21st of January 2024

So glad you liked them! It’s budget-friendly, too!


Saturday 20th of January 2024

I am so glad I found this recipe! I made them with my daughter and every bite was pure nostalgia. They are just like what my Mama used to make! We always had a little ketchup on the side to dip them in.

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 21st of January 2024

Thanks, Wilhelmina! I am so glad you both liked it.


Wednesday 17th of January 2024

My husband grew up eating salmon patties and he said these were just as good as he remembered. We served them up with tartar sauce and they will be going on our dinner rotation.

Julie Pollitt

Thursday 18th of January 2024

Thank you so much!

Skip to Recipe