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How to make salmon patties (Southern,Baked)

How many fishy, bland salmon patties have you had? Say “y’all drive safe” to those things and dive in to big flavor with these southern classics. They’re easy to make with pantry staples and you’ll never have to dig anything out of the freezer to get it done.  Fabulously low carb and easy to make gluten free, too.

Low Carb | Pantry Staples | Gluten Free Option

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I am so bad about the freezer. I love to freeze extras and  make food ahead so I can have it on hand.

But did you notice that frozen food isn’t exactly on-hand?

It’s frozen

Sometimes you just need a recipe that’s always ready. A pantry staple that tastes wonderful and hits the table in less than 30 minutes. (Hello, something that’s not spaghetti.)

These salmon patties are it.

Salmon patties run the gamut from basic fish (skin and bones included) and saltine crackers to a more dressed up version like these. We like a little dash of hot sauce on ours, but you could add a cheese sauce which is classic but I never do.

What kind of salmon goes in salmon patties?

This recipe uses canned wild Alaskan salmon–it has the best flavor and quality.  

Ingredients for salmon patties laid out on a table

You will need to clean away the skin and bones from the meat. If you think that might make you puke, buy your salmon in a can already cleaned.

Some people get really grossed out cleaning it themselves.

Purchase already cleaned wild Alaskan salmon on Amazon

You will pay more for it, but you can avoid getting quite as messy. Buy at least two cans if you go this route.

The steps

How to make salmon patties gluten free and low carb

You can make this dish gluten free and low carb by swapping the crackers with parmesan cheese.

About 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup will do perfectly. Just until the cakes hold together.

You can also use gluten free bread crumbs. If you tolerate wild yeast sourdough, use dried bread crumbs from a few old slices.

How to make ahead or freeze for later

To make ahead, mix and shape your patties. Lay them on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to two days before baking. You can also mix them and just put the bowl in the fridge. Shape them just before baking.

Freeze them already baked (my preference) or shape them into cakes and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze solid, then transfer them to an air tight container. Baking from frozen is allowed–you would just need to tack on an additional 20 minutes or so to the cooking time.

What goes good with salmon patties

I serve mine with steamed broccoli and butter parsley egg noodles on the side.

a bowl of buttered noodles with spoon on a wooden table
salmon patties on a plate with lemons and sauce

How to Make Salmon Patties (Southern, Baked)

Salmon cakes are an easy and fast pantry staple that tastes great! Gluten free and low carb options are available.
4.88 from 24 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard


  • 1 14-ounce can Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon OR two cans of cleaned salmon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or any mustard for that matter
  • 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning this is a must
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder or 3 tablespoons diced onion
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 sleeve of crumbled saltine or Ritz crackers if making gluten free or low carb substitute 1/4-1/3 cup good Parmesan cheese or gf bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley optional


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment.
  • If cleaning your salmon, open the can and empty contents into a medium bowl. Clean away any skin or bones and transfer the cleaned fillet into a separate medium bowl.
  • If using already cleaned salmon, just drain away any water and empty the contents into the bowl.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, leaving the crackers or Parmesan cheese until last.
  • Divide the mixture as evenly as you can, making five or six balls. Transfer the balls to the cookie sheet and press them down until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Drizzle with a little olive oil (optional) before baking.
  • Bake until evenly browned, about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm.


Calories: 85kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 259IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating


Saturday 15th of January 2022

I've always fried mine ... glad to see they can be baked. Will put them on the same baking sheet with my brussel sprouts and potatoes.

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Yes I fried mine for years and now this is the only way I do it. Less mess!


Monday 11th of October 2021

Should the patties be turned over halfway thru cooking time?

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

I don't bother Sharon but you can if you want to. --Rachel


Sunday 2nd of May 2021

Sooo good! Best ever recipe for canned salmon/salmon patties! I’ll be relying on this frequently since salmon is highly recommended in the diet for AMD (Macular Degeneration) and, truthfully, I’ve steered away as much as possible since I don’t like the taste . . . until now! Thank you for this recipe!

I served this in Joseph’s Pitas with dill pickle slices, tomato slices and lettuce! Yum!


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Awesome! Saving!

Lew Newby

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

I made it last night following the recipe exactly and used Saltines. The taste was new to us but it was so salty that it detracted from the flavor. It has potential but if I try it again I'll eliminate the salt and 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce.

April Foley

Monday 28th of June 2021

@Lew Newby, I agree. I've had these for over 30 years We only used a can of salmon( didn't remove anything except the water), add saltines or a little bread crumbs, an egg, and garlic & onion powder. Hand mixed then formed into paddies. Cooked in skillet in a little oil till brown on each side. Simple but we loved it!!!! Can't beat a budget meal that's this good Trust me... We were so broke iT was like having red lobster

Rachel Ballard

Sunday 4th of April 2021

I've never had trouble with the salt in this Lew. Are you someone who avoids salt otherwise? I also think the brand of saltine can vary a lot. --Rachel

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