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Southern Salmon Patties

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 on a bed of lettuce.

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

Use Canned Salmon

I love salmon and almost always use fresh salmon. Salmon Patties are really the only time I use 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. I like to pick through it and remove any pieces of skin and bone. Note: If you like the skin and bones, there is no need to remove them. The bones are actually very brittle and soft and you will not notice them.

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.

Southern Salmon Patties on a plate with lettuce and lemon slices.

Other Ingredients

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.

Recipe Tip

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

Southern Salmon Patties on top of bed of lettuce.

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Southern Salmon Patties

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.
PREP: 15 mins
COOK: 10 mins
TOTAL: 25 mins
SERVINGS: 6 patties


  • 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
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: salmon

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Originally posted September 21, 2015.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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34 thoughts on “Southern Salmon Patties”

  1. This is an easy recipe, easy to sub in other ingredients if needed. My mom in law approves!!! thanks

  2. Judy Bunnell

    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!!!

  3. Vicki Emerson

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      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. Robert Black

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

  7. 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™‚

  8. These look so crunchy and flavorful! I wonder if subbing canned tuna would work? The fam is still a little ehhh on salmon lol πŸ™‚

    1. Yes I know you can substitute tuna for salmon cause I’ve done it in a pinch and it is very very good also.

  9. I eat salmon all the time, but I’ve never had it Southern style! These look so golden brown and crispy — I definitely need to try these!

  10. Jessica @ Sweetest Menu

    Oh we are always trying to eat more salmon, these look so good! Can’t wait to try them – love their crispy coating!

  11. the variety of meals is what you make your blog one of the best, I love these pieces of salmon with mayonnaise and

  12. Amy @ The Blond Cook

    You always take me back to my roots with your recipes! I haven’t had salmon patties in FOREVER… now I must make them ASAP! Yours look and sound delicious!

  13. 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™‚

  14. Ashley | The Recipe Rebel

    I just love the crispy, crunchy crust on these patties! Looks delicious Christin!

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