Southern Salmon Patties

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Southern Salmon Patties are quick and easy to make from canned salmon and just a few other ingredients you are likely to have on hand. Serve them with tartar sauce and a few southern sides, over mixed greens with a little balsamic vinaigrette, or make a sandwich out of them.

Southern Salmon Patties


Any way you do it, they make an inexpensive but delicious meal with plenty of protein.

I love salmon and almost always use fresh salmon. Salmon Patties are really the only time I use canned salmon.

Southern Salmon Patties - so easy to make from canned salmon.

I like to keep one or two cans in my pantry. The other ingredients are all things you are likely to have on hand so this recipe can be whipped up for a quick meal.

The canned salmon, I buy Pink Salmon, needs to be drained and mashed up with a fork. You’ll want to pick through it and remove any pieces of skin and bone. If you are a little squimish about skin and bone being in canned salmon, Chicken of the Sea sells it in 5 ounce pouches. It is more expensive than the cans but it tends to be much more cleaned up than the canned stuff and I have never had to pick any skin or bone out of it.

The salmon gets mixed with mayo, onion, cajun seasoning (I love Tony Chachere’s), lemon zest, and an egg, plus some crumbled Saltine crackers. They are formed into patties and coated in more Saltine cracker crumbs, then pan-fried until crispy. Since the salmon is already cooked, this only takes a few minutes.

Tip: Refrigerate the formed patties for at least 30 minutes before frying and they will hold their shape better.

Southern Salmon Patties - so easy and inexpensive to make from canned salmon.

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Southern Salmon Patties - so easy and inexpensive to make from canned salmon.

Southern Salmon Patties

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 patties
Calories: 280kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Southern Salmon Patties are quick and easy to make from canned salmon and just a few other ingredients you are likely to have on hand. Serve them with tartar sauce and a few southern sides, over mixed greens with a little balsamic vinaigrette, or make a sandwich out of them.
Print Recipe


  • 1 (14.5 or 15-ounce) can pink salmon
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's, or another cajun seasonilng like Old Bay
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 10 saltine crackers, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 15 saltine crackers, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  • Drain salmon and remove any skin or pieces of bone. Place in a medium bowl.
  • Add mayonnaise, seasoning, lemon zest, and 10 crushed Saltine crackers to bowl. Stir well. Taste for seasoning and add desired amount of salt and pepper.
  • Mix in egg.
  • Place the remaining Saltine cracker crumbs on a plate.
  • Form salmon mixture into 6 patties. (If you can, refrigerate them for 30 minutes and they will hold together better.)
  • Heat vegetable oil and butter in a large pan.
  • Dredge both sides of salmon patties in cracker crumbs.
  • Place in pan and cook until golden on both sides.


Calories: 280kcal


More Southern Favorites

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Southern-Style Green Beans

Southern-Style Green Beans

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

29 thoughts on “Southern Salmon Patties

  1. I use cornmeal to coat them prior to frying. Also, I refrigerate them which makes them hold together better.
    I remember my Mother making these exactly like this as we are from Louisiana except she used corn meal to coat them prior to cooking. Saltine crackers are what we used in the recipe. The onions should be very well diced. Optional Bell peppers would need to be sauteed some before including.

  2. Setting up in frig as I watch a game. No lemon ,and sub some ghost pepper hot sauce . Was wondering about using a can of mackerel. Thoughts?

  3. I have oyster crackers I wantto use for the salmon patties. How much should I use for 1 14 oz. can of salmon?

    1. Yes,it is omited bit why cant you figure it out and add it in,it don’t take a genius to figure it out!!!

  4. I love salmon patties I do clean the canned salmon to some extent for excess fat and skin. But, I think the bone is very healthy and unnoticeable once cooked. By the way a question earlier asked could you substitute tuna? Yes. I have done it in a pinch and it’s very good in its own way.

    1. My cardiologist said to leave bone, skin and juice as it is very healthy for the heart and osteoporosis. I always did anyway because my mother did too! You will not know the bones or skin are in it after it is mixed. I always add onion and saltines too. I put an egg, 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup self rising corn meal. This makes it brown and very crispy if you drop it by tablespoon when oil is sizzling hot. I don’t like to make into patties because I love the crisp edges when you just drop into oil. I always keep a couple cans in my pantry! You can add any other ingredients you like. Some people like bell pepper, red peeper hot sauce etc. You will find so many different ways to amke salmon patties on the net.

  5. I tried this recipe because I had a couple of cans of Trader Joe salmon that I needed to use. All I can say is WOW! If I didn’t have some self control I would have eaten everything in one day. Instead of cracker crumb coating I used Louisiana Fish Fry Seafood Breading Mix. I highly recommend this recipe.

    1. We tried them with the Louisiana breading vs saltines. The saltines won hands down. We made them with louisiana fish fry seafood breading first. My family’s response was “meh”. I went back to original recipe with the saltines; all is well in the kingdom.

  6. I’ve tried these twice. They are perfect! They smell AMAZING when they’re cooking in the butter and oil mixture. I serve them with a side of jasmine rice and green beans. Tonight I will be making them again. I have company over. I hope this recipe works well being doubled. I had bad experiences before so I might just prepare them in two seperate bowls to be on the safe side.

  7. Remove the bone? Please, this fish is processed in pressure cookers. If there is any bone in it, it’s made soft and almost indistinguishable from the rest of the can.

    1. The cans of salmon I have used have round pieces of vertebrae in them that are crunchy and very white in color and totally distinguishable from the rest of the can. They are about the size and shape of a spaghettio. Must depend on the brand.g

      1. Heavens!Please do not tell people to remove the bones. They are one of the best sources of calcium on the planet, plus lots of trace minerals. They crush easily with a fork and will help hold the patties together. No one will notice them in the finished product. Let’s use all the nutrient sources we can!

        1. When we were little children, my sister and I fought over salmon bones. Also the pork fat in pork and beans! Go figure.

  8. These look delicious. I have made very similar ones not long and they were great as well. They were eaten so fast I didn’t even manage to make some photos. πŸ™‚

  9. I love salmon, fresh, baked, smoked, you name it. And I only use canned salmon for making a salmon cheese ball (the recipe coming later this week). Now, it looks like I’ll be adding another recipe to use them more often. πŸ™‚

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