Our Favorite Salmon Burgers

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Try our all-time favorite Salmon Burgers, complete with a buttered and toasted brioche bun, a succulent and well-seasoned salmon patty, and the best tartar sauce. Add a handful of greens and a ripe avocado and be ready to put these Salmon Burgers on permanent dinner rotation!

All out of salmon? Try our Tuna Patties instead! 🙂

Image of the Salmon Burger on a plate

Fresh Salmon Burgers

Wow, are these good! I’m convinced even people that aren’t really all that into fish could get on board with these burgers.

Between the buttery toasted brioche bun, the irresistible lemon tartar sauce, the creamy avocado, and the succulent salmon patty — these burgers are the best! The patties have a nice crisp exterior with a tender interior — no hard and dry salmon patties here!

QUICK TIP

How do you pronounce the word salmon? The letter l is silent, so it’s pronounced SAM-mon. However, if you prefer to pronounce it SALLl-mon, you won’t get any objection here. You do you!

Salmon Burger Toppings

While there are nothing short of a dozen ways to top Salmon Burgers, we think simple is best here — a few toppings make for the most stellar burger! Here’s what we love and recommend:

  • A handful of baby spinach and arugula: We love this blend and add a generous handful to every burger.
  • A ripe avocado: A good avocado is unbeatable! The combination of the salmon patty with a ripe, creamy avocado is the best! See “quick tip” below.
  • The BEST sauce: More on this under “Salmon Burger Sauce” below.

QUICK TIP

You can tell if an avocado is ripe when it yields to gentle pressure (think: touching the tip of your nose). Can’t find a ripe avocado? We love having these perfectly ripe avocado minis on hand. Choose a package that lists “Hass avocados” as the only ingredient instead of getting the guacamole blends. A packet (or half of one) works great instead of avocado on these burgers.

Process shots of all the ingredients being added to a bowl and mixed together

Do You Put Cheese On Salmon Burgers?

Between the sauce, patty, and avocado, we don’t find the need for cheese on this burger! That said, a slice of Havarti would be our first pick.

The Best Buns: Brioche!

In my opinion, there is nothing better than Salmon Burgers using brioche buns. And once you have those buns, you’ve got to toast them with some melted butter. Trust me–they’re the best!

Spread softened butter generously on the insides of the bun. Place them (butter side down) on a large pan or grill over medium heat. Toast buns for about 30 seconds to a minute or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Subsequent batches will be quicker as the pan holds in the heat!

[variation]

Not Into The Bun?

I mean, at least promise me you’ll try it sometime, okay? Just kidding– no worries. These patties and sauce are still tasty without the bun. If you aren’t doing a bun, I’d recommend serving the Salmon Burger patty on a bed of quick coleslaw:

  • Combine a bag of coleslaw mix and some fresh (refrigerated) coleslaw dressing (We love Litehouse®; not sponsored) and toss the two together until the mix is sufficiently mixed. (Here’s a homemade Coleslaw recipe if you’d prefer to make it from scratch.)
  • Place the cooked salmon patty on the coleslaw and add a generous scoop of tartar sauce to each patty. Drizzle on lemon and dig in!

[/variation]

Process shots of the Salmon Burgers-- images of the Patties being portioned out and then cooked

What Are Salmon Burgers Made Of?

It’s like making hamburgers, but using salmon instead of beef! We need a binder to help everything stick together and enough liquid to keep the patties from being dry. Here are a few ingredients worth diving into:

  • Salmon. Use fresh if possible, but if you keep canned salmon in the pantry, you can use that as well. Canned salmon is actually delicious when jazzed up in a burger with all these accompanying ingredients. That said, fresh-cooked salmon also works well — just flake it first. While some canned salmon may be a little iffy, there are certainly good brands and it makes a great pantry staple to have on hand! This Spruce Eats breakdown is helpful; we tested with their favorite: Wild Planet® (great flavor, skinless, and boneless!) and their best budget salmon — Bumble Bee® Pink Salmon (great for the price, but it does have skin and bones to pick out).
  • Use panko breadcrumbs. Panko is similar to regular bread crumbs but creates a much crunchier, crispier, lighter, and more delicate result. 
  • Parmesan cheese. Parmesan from a can will be too salty and overpowering in these patties. Use the freshly grated — sandy-like consistency from the store. Here’s exactly what we use and we’ve also tested this brand.
  • Fresh herbs. Our favorite herb combo in these Salmon Patties is fresh dill, green onions, and flat-leaf parsley. The combination of the three flavors creates a much more nuanced (and delicious!) taste.

Process shots-- images of the sauce being mixed together

Salmon Burgers Sauce

The sauce for these burgers is a quick tartar-style sauce. We’ve tried so many sauces with salmon burgers and we can’t get enough of this one. A few notes on the ingredients:

  • If you don’t use dill for the patties, it’s fine to leave it out of the sauce, but add a touch of dried herbs (dill if you have it) instead.
  • Pick good mayonnaise! We love Hellman’s/Best Foods® in this sauce — the better the mayo, the better the flavor.
  • We love zesting the lemons with a microplane and then juicing them with this citrus juicer. These two tools make the recipe prep a breeze!
  • Sweet pickle relish: This relish really pulls everything together and adds a sweet edge to the sauce which nicely balances the savoriness of the patty. We love Heinz® pickle relish best.

How To Cook Salmon Burgers On Stove

  • Chill the mixture — We pop the formed patties in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Handle delicately — Using a sharp metal turner pick up one patty at a time, (carefully) transferring from tray to skillet. Flip only once using the sharp metal turner.

How to cook them in the oven instead: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (not olive oil — it burns) and heat the pan for 1 minute. Add patties in a single layer with plenty of space and then bake for 12-15 minutes. Use a sharp metal turner to flip and bake another 4-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve promptly.

Image of the Salmon Burgers on a plate

STORAGE

The patties are such a great make-ahead and meal-prep option. You can make up a bunch of patties and have them ready to go in the freezer when you’re craving a good Salmon Burger.

Store patties in the freezer in an air-tight container. Allow patties to thaw in the fridge for about 6-8 hours and cook straight out of the fridge.

More Tasty Burger Recipes:

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Salmon Burgers

5 from 1 vote
These are our all-time favorite Salmon Burgers, complete with a buttered and toasted brioche bun, a succulent and well-seasoned salmon patty, and the best tartar sauce. Add a handful of greens and a ripe avocado and be ready to have these burgers on permanent dinner rotation!
Print Recipe

Salmon Burgers

5 from 1 vote
These are our all-time favorite Salmon Burgers, complete with a buttered and toasted brioche bun, a succulent and well-seasoned salmon patty, and the best tartar sauce. Add a handful of greens and a ripe avocado and be ready to have these burgers on permanent dinner rotation!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine American, Healthy
Keyword salmon burger recipe, salmon burgers
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Chilling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 46 minutes
Servings 9 patties
Calories 131kcal
Cost $14.32

Ingredients

Patties

  • 14-15 ounces cooked salmon (Note 1)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large yellow (or red) onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: garlic powder, paprika
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (we like a combo of chives, parsley, & dill)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1 tsp zest
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Note 2)
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper, olive oil for pan-frying, additional lemon for serving

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1/2 tsp zest
  • 1/2 cup full-fat mayonnaise (Best Foods/Hellman's preferred)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard

For Serving

Instructions

  • PREP: Peel off outer layer of onion and grate on the large holes of a box grater. Measure to get about 1 scant cup grated onion. Finely dice the parsley, chives, and dill; measure after being diced to get 2 tablespoons of each. Zest and juice a lemon. Drain salmon, discarding any bones and skin, and set aside for now. Set out a large sheet pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • PATTIES: In a large bowl, combine all of the patty ingredients EXCEPT the drained salmon. Season to taste; I add 1/4 tsp each of salt & pepper. Mix well and then add in the salmon. Gently mix, leaving the salmon in flakes instead of mixing until it disintegrates. See Note 4 for troubleshooting. Once ingredients are incorporated, use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop up the mixture and pack it tightly. Release the packed tuna mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and press down to form round patties that are just under the width of the buns and about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with the rest of the mixture to get about 9 patties. Place the tray of patties in the freezer for 15-20 minutes (as long as it takes to make the tartar sauce and prep the rest of the burger ingredients!).
  • SAUCE: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt & pepper (I add 1/8 tsp of each). Mix well, taste, and adjust to personal preference. Refrigerate until ready to use (great sauce to make ahead of time -- it only gets more flavorful as it sits).
  • COOK PATTIES: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Carefully take patties from the freezer into the pan and cook until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. (I use a sharp metal turner so they don't break apart!) Transfer cooked patties to a paper-towel-lined plate, repeating until all patties are cooked, wiping out the skillet, and adding more oil as you go. (Want them all cooked at once? See Note 5).
  • ASSEMBLE: Toast the buns (Note 6). Place the bottom of the bun on a plate and spread on some tartar sauce. Add a handful of the greens then the patty. Top with a thinly sliced avocado. Add sauce to the top bun. Press together and enjoy promptly. Yum!

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Salmon: Fresh salmon (already cooked) works well -- just flake it first; make sure you have 14-15 oz. Canned salmon is often more convenient -- this Spruce Eats breakdown is helpful; we tested these patties with their favorite: Wild Planet® (great flavor, skinless, and boneless!) and also with their best budget salmon -- Bumble Bee® Pink Salmon (great for the price, but does have skin and bones to pick out). 
Note 2: Parmesan cheese: Parmesan from a can will be too salty and overpowering in these patties. Use the freshly grated type with the sandy consistency you'll find at the store. Here’s exactly what we use.
Note 3: Burger toppings: We love a good ripe avocado on these burgers. Can't find a ripe avocado? We love having these perfectly ripe avocado minis on hand. Grab the pack that lists Hass avocados as the only ingredient instead of getting the guacamole blends. 
Note 4: Trouble-shooting: If the mixture is coming up dry, add a touch more mayo. Too wet? Add a touch more panko or stir the mixture a little more. Patties should be more on the moist side and can be prone to falling apart (depending on the salmon used), which is why it's important to tightly compact the mixture, shape compressed patties, chill the patties, and handle them delicately.
Note 5: Bake patties: We prefer these patties sautéed, but if you want them all done at the same time you can't beat baking! Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (not olive oil -- it burns) and heat the pan for 1 minute. Add patties in a single layer with plenty of space and then bake for 12-15 minutes. Flip and bake another 4-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve promptly.
Note 6: Toast the buns: This adds tons of flavor and keeps the buns from getting soggy too quickly. Spread softened butter generously on the insides of the bun. Place them (butter side facing down) on a large pan or grill over medium heat. Toast buns about 30 seconds to a minute or until golden brown. Remove from heat (subsequent batches will be quicker as the pan continues to get hotter!)
Nutrition information does not include the tartar sauce or buns as amounts and bun brands will vary.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.5g | Protein: 13.3g | Fat: 3.9g | Cholesterol: 25.7mg | Sodium: 198.4mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 1.5g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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