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.Jump to Recipe
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?
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’s the difference between salmon patties and salmon croquettes?
Do not confuse these salmon patties with croquettes. They are both delicious southern classics made of salmon, some sort of breadcrumb, and egg to bind it all together.
The key difference is that the salmon in a croquette is pounded and ground into a paste and often mixed with flour whereas the salmon in a patty is generally flaked.
Croquettes are fried whereas salmon patties can be baked, fried, or pan-fried. The latter tend to have a denser, less airy texture.
What kind of salmon goes in salmon patties?
This recipe uses canned wild Alaskan salmon–it has the best flavor and quality.
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.
You will pay more for it, but you can avoid getting quite as messy. Buy at least two cans if you go this route.
Ingredients you’ll need for salmon patties
Here’s a list of what you will need to make southern salmon patties:
- Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon OR canned cleaned salmon
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Old Bay Seasoning
- Saltines or Ritz crackers or gluten-free bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley
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.
Do I need to clean canned salmon?
I prefer buying the taller cans of salmon. The quality is just a little better. The only downside is that their contents have not been cleaned of bones and skin.
I highly recommend sorting through the can and discarding any skin you find.
You can leave the bones in the salmon. They are very fine and will not cause any harm if ingested. In fact, they will add a little extra calcium to the mix.
Not in the mood to clean your salmon? You can easily find canned salmon that has already been cleaned. It comes in small cans and can be found where you might find canned tuna.
Make sure to buy a product that has been packed in water as opposed to oil.
Should I fry or bake salmon patties?
You can do either! I lean toward baking as it produces less of a mess, but frying adds a depth of flavor that is to die for.
If you choose the fry, I recommend using a high-quality oil such as lard or avocado oil.
You can use coconut oil as well. Just make sure you buy refined coconut oil unless you want coconut-flavored salmon patties.
How to keep salmon patties from falling apart
Flaky salmon won’t bind together on its own so it’s important to add other ingredients to the patties that will help them stay together.
Eggs are a pretty universally used binder. When combined with the bread crumbs (crushed crackers or almond flour will work too) in this recipe they work well to pull everything together. The mayonnaise has a similar binding effect.
All that being said, it is still important to handle the patties with care, especially if you choose to fry them.
Can salmon patties be frozen?
They can! You can freeze them before or after cooking them. Arrange either cooked or uncooked patties in a single layer in an airtight container.
If you find yourself with multiple layers, separate each with a piece of parchment paper to prevent the patties from sticking together.
Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months before thawing them in the refrigerator.
If you freeze the patties uncooked, thaw them in the refrigerator before baking as you would had they never been frozen.
If you freeze cooked patties, thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating.
Once thawed, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover the patties loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
You can also reheat them in a little bit of oil over medium heat on the stovetop.
What to serve with salmon patties
These baked salmon patties are delicious on their own as a snack or an appetizer but I love serving them as an entree with a simple side dish or two. Here are some ideas for you.
- Salad. Lighten things up with a simple salad. Try my wedge salad, this broccoli salad, or my charred caesar salad.
- Pasta-ish. Plop these patties on top of a delicious nest of buttered egg noodles or lightly dressed couscous.
- Cooked veggies. I love serving these patties with a side of steamed or roasted vegetables. Try steamed broccoli or green beans, roasted zucchini, roasted radishes, or even my orange and ginger roasted asparagus.
How to Make Salmon Patties (Southern, Baked)
- 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.