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How To Make Salmon Patties

Southern Salmon Patties are an inexpensive meal and an easy recipe to make, so would you believe the recipe costs less than five dollars? Plus, it is quick to get on the table.

Salmon patties

This deep south salmon patty recipe is made with breadcrumbs and fries up fast. 

So, if you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, this is it.

Fried Salmon Patties

My mom loved salmon patties (also known as a salmon cake recipe) and as a matter of fact, I remember her cooking them quite a bit as a kid. She’d whip them up lickety-split and have them on the table ready to go in no time.

My husband requested Southern Salmon Patties the other night and I got a can of pink salmon from Aldi’s grocery store and got to work. 

You can find canned salmon at just about any grocery store and it was very inexpensive at Aldi’s.

With the exception of the canned salmon, I had all of the ingredients here at the house, which helped make it a very inexpensive main dish.

Furthermore, I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen, so I made this recipe as easy as possible.

Need some sides? Try one of these delicious recipes with your salmon patties.

How To Make Salmon Patties

  • Drain the juice out of the salmon patty can (reserve the juice in case it is needed).
  • Check for bones. But, you can also leave them in, if you’d like, because they are soft.
  • Add the onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, lemon, salt, and pepper and mix together.
  • Shape into patties.
  • Fry in vegetable oil for approximately five minutes on each side.

What Ingredients Do I Need For This Old Fashioned Salmon Patties Recipe?

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

  • Canned pink salmon
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper

Step-By-Step Instructions for Easy Salmon Patties

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

Firstly, 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. 

Add the can of pink salmon to a bowl. 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. 

Secondly, 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.

Thirdly, add the eggs. 

How Do You Make Salmon Patties Stick Together?

  • Drain the liquid off of the can of pink salmon
  • Add breadcrumbs, panko, or crushed saltine crackers to the salmon, along with the eggs. This will help the salmon patties stick together.
  • If the patties are too dry, add a little bit of salmon juice back into the mixture.
  • Shape the southern salmon patties in your hands to fry or bake.
Breadcrumbs are a great way to hold the salmon patties together. The Southern dish is a favorite in the south.

Fourthly, add the breadcrumbs.

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

A lot of people like salmon patties with crackers, and were brought up eating them that way. Plus, it’s a very inexpensive item to add to the meal.

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

Fifthly, add the lemon juice. 

Lemon juice helps get rid of some of the fish smell and adds a little flavor to the Southern salmon Patties recipe.

We live near the beach and decided to go for a walk near the marina last night. When we parked and stepped out of the car we were hit with that fish smell. Somehow the beach smells a lot prettier (unless it’s red tide), but the marina, not so much. 

We need a big jar of lemon juice to pour in the marina – ha! 

The lemon juice won’t totally take away the smell, but it will help. Burning a candle after you eat will help, too. It’s not always easy to get the fish smell out of the kitchen afterward, but, these easy salmon patties are worth it. 

Add salt and pepper to season the salmon patties.

Finally, add the salt and pepper. 

Mix everything together well. I used my hands, so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty with this recipe. 

Shape the mixture into patties. 

Note: 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 skillet. 

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 to the Southern Salmon Patties for some 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. 

How Long Do Salmon Patties Take To Cook?

  • Once shaped, salmon patties generally take about ten minutes to fry. The patties can be fried for approximately five minutes on each side until the patties are browned.

Can Salmon Patties Be Frozen?

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

Why Do Salmon Patties Fall Apart?

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 Leftover Salmon Patties

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

Southern salmon patties are a great meal. These are the best salmon patties. Southern salmon patties with mayo is a wonderful dinner.

What Do You Eat With Salmon Patties?

Add a side of moist Jiffy Cornbread to your table along with the Southern Salmon Patties, as well as some Crock Pot corn on the cob, oven baked potato wedges, or mashed potato cakes.

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

The Best Ever Salmon Patties

Salmon patties are a budget-friendly and easy recipe to make for the family.

The canned salmon patties recipe can be made quickly and in the skillet frying in no time. Make dinner easy and get the recipe below!

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 an easy 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 fries up fast. 


  • 1 - 14.75 oz. can pink salmon
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. 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.
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


Monday 29th of May 2023

My mother was from Georgia and her mother was too. Both were fine Southern cooks. Neither one added breadcrumbs to their salmon patties. They used an egg, white onion, flour, and cornmeal. You can find recipes online with those ingredients. Over 20 women in my family make them this way. I've never heard of using lemon juice, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs. I don't know of any person in NC, GA, or AL making them with those ingredients. Your recipe might be delicious, but I'll stick with flour and cornmeal in mine that I learned to make over 45 years ago. I would think lemon juice would change the taste of the canned salmon.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 30th of May 2023

That sounds like a delicious recipe, as well!


Friday 5th of May 2023

I love these, but my mom used to make them with tuna fish and crushed crackers. I don't guess they had canned salmon back then, or it was just cheaper. Either way, it was so good.

Julie Pollitt

Saturday 6th of May 2023

That's great to hear. Did she use Saltines?


Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

I always like when someone gives baking some of these recipes. My husband cannot have fried foods and sometimes I get defeated before I start.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 2nd of May 2023

Hi Susan,

I can totally understand. Here's a recipe for baked salmon patties:

I do have a lot of recipes that I bake, so hopefully you can find something else on my site, as well.

Linda Broglan

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

These are similar to how mama & I made them, except we always added several shakes of Hot Sauce! It’s not very noticeable so you can kick it up with a few more.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 25th of April 2023

Nice! I bet that is delicious.


Thursday 20th of April 2023

April 20,2023 My mom used to make these.Going to try this tonight after work,something quit and easy. Thanks!!!!

Julie Pollitt

Thursday 20th of April 2023

I hope you love them!

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