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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.

Variations and Additional Flavor Options

Salmon patties are delicious all on their own, but you can try different variations and flavor options. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spicy salmon patties: Add a little kick with some chopped jalapeños or red pepper flakes. Just add them into the salmon mixture for some spicy flavor.
  • Asian-inspired salmon patties: Add a little bit of grated ginger, soy sauce, and chopped scallions to the salmon patty mixture for an Asian twist. Make some rice on the side for this delicious meal.
  • Mediterranean salmon patties: Mediterranean flavors are always fun. So you can add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese to the salmon mixture for a Mediterranean flavor profile. It’s so good!
  • Smoked salmon patties: Get some smoked salmon instead of canned to add a smoky flavor.

Try one of these today!

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.

If you need a little more food to go around with your salmon patties, make some Jiffy corn dressing, a little bit of homemade creamed corn, or some Jiffy hush puppies, which are some of our favorites.

You can also add some pure comfort food with 5-ingredient ground beef casserole and the best grilled pork loin.

But, who can resist some good old fashioned buttermilk cornbread to go along with your flavorful salmon patties?

And if you can’t decide, make some corn casserole. There are 13 choices to choose from in this post on baked corn casserole. Your dinner promises to be the best one yet.

And don’t forget about dessert with some super delicious chess squares or some buttermilk Texas sheet cake.

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


Sunday 12th of November 2023

Mom added onion and celery to hers. Yes with the bones crushed,and saltines. I leave out the celery. These are super good with creamed peas and mashed potatoes. My favorite sides with salmon patties. Has anyone tried a thin coating of cornstarch for extra crispness?


Friday 27th of October 2023

I tried the recipe and it is delicious it reminds me of my dad. He would make them for us on Fridays. We were catholics and ate fish on Fridays

Julie Pollitt

Saturday 28th of October 2023

I love to hear this! Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday 10th of October 2023

These always remind me so much of my childhood in the midwest, & I always serve with buttery Southwestern corn, fried potatoes w/ onions, & my Kentucky bourbon BBQ baked beans, and honey cornbread. Gonna be my first autumn/fall dinner of the season, tomorrow night! South Central TX seasons make it hard to get into seasonal cooking, but FINALLY getting some cooler weather!

Julie Pollitt

Wednesday 11th of October 2023

Sounds like such a great round up of foods to add to the table! Glad you're getting some cooler weather. I heard you guys got some brutal summer heat. We have been a little cooler here in Florida the past few days. I am loving it.


Wednesday 27th of September 2023

Hi Julie, I made the salmon cakes for my wife an of course for myself i followed your recipe to a T. Totally Delicious 😋 😍 😊 😜

Julie Pollitt

Thursday 28th of September 2023

That's fantastic to hear! So glad you loved them!


Saturday 16th of September 2023

I remember these from my southern childhood! We always liked eating the tiny bones! Thanks for the recipe.

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 17th of September 2023

I've heard that from so many people! They love eating the bones and they are so good for you.

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