Using canned salmon is the trick to making these baked salmon patties fast and easy for a healthy weeknight dinner. These flavorful patties crisp up beautifully in the oven and feature a nice all-purpose flavor. On the table in about 40 minutes!
This recipe for baked salmon patties is one I started making in college, and I mean that in a broad sense. Back then I'm pretty sure I cracked open a can of salmon, added an egg, breadcrumbs, dried spices, and some onion if I had one and shaped and baked a fairly decent dinner.
Edible and healthy salmon cakes, yes, but still. A real embodiment of the word "decent".
Needless to say they've gotten an upgrade throughout the years! Similar in style to my baked tuna cakes, this salmon version features bursts of sweet pepper flavor for an enjoyable and healthy meal that pairs easily with many cuisines.
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- You get a crisp, wonderfully-browned crust on both sides just by baking. No frying necessary.
- Starting with shelf-stable canned salmon not only simplifies the process of making baked salmon patties, but is a more cost-effective option, too.
- Onion and sweet pepper pieces provide delicious flavor and a satisfying crunch throughout.
- With different ways to switch up the fresh herbs and spices, this recipe has wiggle room for you to make it your own. Same goes for this similarly weeknight-friendly panko baked cod.
- Salmon: One full-size (15 ounces or so) can of pink salmon is used. The salmon is cooked and in large pieces. It's not necessary to buy skinless/boneless.
- Panko: Larger-sized panko bread crumbs (vs. regular) bulk up the salmon patty mixture and make it less dense.
- Peppers: Mini sweet peppers are my pick for their bright flavor and crunch, but regular bell peppers are fine, too.
- Onion: Use a fine dice so the small pieces more easily integrate into the mixture.
- Eggs: To bind everything together.
- Mayonnaise: This helps bind the ingredients and provides moisture. I use a "lite" variety, but any kind would do.
- Parsley: Other herbs can be substituted in, such as fresh dill.
- Dijon Mustard: For a little background flavor.
- Lemon Zest: This packs more of a punch than adding lemon juice, which I tested but got lost among the other ingredients here.
- Hot Sauce: Several dashes provide flavor, not heat. If you'd like spicy, add as much as you like.
I recommend serving these baked salmon patties with healthy tartar sauce. Prepare it up to one day ahead of time and refrigerate to streamline recipe prep and allow the flavors time to meld.
- Add the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk well until combined.
- Add the salmon, panko, peppers, and onion.
- Stir to break up the salmon into smaller pieces until everything is evenly combined.
- Form quarter-cup patties and place on a well-greased sheet pan.
- Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Flip each salmon patty over then bake for another 5-7 minutes, or until nicely browned on both sides.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- While the skin and bones found in canned salmon are entirely edible, I do prefer to remove any large pieces before mixing everything up. Any smaller ones blend right in.
- Using gluten-free panko breadcrumbs will make this recipe gluten-free (though please verify all of your specific ingredients to be sure).
- Be sure to oil the sheet pan very well. This, combined with the higher oven temperature, ensures you get a crisp, golden-brown crust on these baked salmon patties.
- Use a cookie scoop to make shaping the salmon patties easier. I use one with a two tablespoon capacity. I place two level scoops right into my hand and shape the patties from there, knowing each is the same quarter-cup size.
- Do your best to make each salmon patty the same height/size so they cook evenly.
I prefer to buy Alaskan wild-caught pink salmon as it is widely considered to be a sustainable option. Prices will vary, though I've found it's not necessary here to spring for the more expensive "skinless/boneless" kinds. Bones in canned salmon are entirely edible (and rich in calcium!) with larger sections easy to pick out if you prefer.
Different fresh herbs, such as dill, can work in place of (or in conjunction with) the parsley. Lots of dried spices can join the mix, such as a Cajun-esque blend of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, etc. You may also use a leftover cooked salmon fillet flaked up into smaller pieces instead of canned salmon.
The tartar sauce can be made the day before. You can also assemble the salmon mixture (before or after shaping into patties) and refrigerate for up to a day ahead of baking. Cover snugly with plastic wrap.
It's best to reheat salmon patties in the oven to help them crisp up again. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet with foil over the top. Bake them lower this time, around 350°F, for 10-15 minutes or until heated throughout. You can also reheat them in the air fryer.
- Healthy tartar sauce: this is a perfect pairing for baked salmon patties. It's quick, easy, and made with dill relish to keep the sugar content low. This is great to make-ahead.
- Lemon wedges: After zesting it for the patties, slice the rest of the lemon into wedges to sprinkle fresh lemon juice over top for serving.
- Old Bay buns: This easy homemade roll recipe gives a nod to a classic seafood spice blend.
- Green side salad: My all-time go-to that can be thrown together so many different ways. You can also supersize it, using a nice greens blend with mixed lettuces or arugula, and serve the salmon patties over top with a vinaigrette.
More Easy Seafood Recipes
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Baked Salmon Patties
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup lite mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic minced/pressed
- 3 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 4-5 dashes hot sauce
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Big pinch of ground black pepper
- 1 14.75-ounce (418g) can pink salmon (12 ounces drained)
- 1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup finely diced sweet peppers
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- Olive oil for brushing pan
- Healthy tartar sauce for serving
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Generously grease a large rimmed sheet pan with olive oil, using a brush to really coat the surface well.
- Drain the canned salmon, then remove any large bones and pieces of skin if you like. Set aside for now.
- Add the eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, hot sauce, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Whisk well to beat the eggs until everything is evenly mixed.
- Add the drained salmon, panko, diced peppers, and diced onion to the bowl and stir to combine until combined evenly. You don't have to focus on breaking up every little chunk of salmon, but try not to leave any big ones in there as they make the patties harder to stay together.
- Scoop roughly one-quarter cup of the salmon mixture, then form it into a densely-packed patty around 1 inch tall. Place on the greased pan and repeat for the rest of the mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip each salmon patty over. Bake again for another 5-7 minutes, or until nicely golden-brown on both sides. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
- Make sure the sheet pan is well-coated with a layer of olive oil. This is critical in prevent sticking and produces the golden-brown, crisped surface.
- Use a cookie scoop to evenly portion out the salmon patty mixture. Two level measures of a two-tablespoon capacity scoop is an easy way to scoop one-quarter cup.
- The uncooked salmon patty mixture can be assembled and refrigerated for up to one day, either before or after shaping.
- Leftover baked salmon patties can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 3 days or frozen for 2-3 months. If freezing, place a layer of parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer