Easy Salmon Burgers

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These quick and easy Salmon Burgers are a great, healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers. Made with Greek yogurt, lemon juice, green onions, and fresh parsley, these tasty fish burgers are perfect for pairing with your favorite BBQ side dishes.

293 CAL 2g CARBS 14g FAT 38g PROTEIN 1
2 Comments

These crispy Salmon Burgers are healthy, easy to make, and are seriously some of the best burgers you will ever try! They can be made with fresh, canned, or leftover salmon and make the best protein packed lunch or dinner. 

Now that we’re (finally) getting closer to summertime, I’m experimenting with new burger recipes at home. From vegetarian masterpieces like this Ranch Chickpea Burger to unique fusion burgers like my Pizza Turkey Burger, it’s no secret that I like having fun with new types of healthy burger recipes.

I have always been partial to burgers with seafood like these tilapia burgerssalmon dill burgers, and shrimp burgers because they’re super lean, nutrient-dense, and absolutely delicious. It’s also a fantastic way to use leftover cooked fish if you ever have some laying around in the fridge! In fact, that’s exactly how I came up with this recipe for Easy Salmon Burgers.

This salmon burger recipe uses flavorful ingredients like lemon juice, fresh parsley, spices, panko breadcrumbs, and Greek yogurt to keep the burgers extra juicy and moist. The resulting dish is crispy on the outside yet tender on the inside and bursting with more flavor than you would expect.

Add all your favorite toppings, and dinner is done. We love adding sliced tomatoes, greens, pickled onions, and creamy coleslaw.  Or if I am feeling fancy, I make a quick creamy caper sauce with equal parts Greek yogurt, mayo, capers, lemon juice, and fresh dill. 

Looking for more seafood burgers and patty ideas? Don't miss these delicious Fish Burgers, Salmon Patties, or Fish Cakes (which can double as burgers).

Salmon burger patties coated with panko breadcrumbs on a plate with coleslaw and hamburger buns on the side.

Ingredients and Swaps

Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients needed to make these easy salmon burgers.

  • Salmon: For this dish, fresh salmon gives you the best flavor and texture. Both Atlantic salmon and wild salmon works, just make sure to remove the skin and any bones.  This recipe can be made with leftover or canned salmon as well, just adjust the cooking time. 
  • Greek yogurt: In addition to adding tons of protein and probiotics, Greek yogurt helps keep the burger mixture together and keeps them moist on the inside. You could swap in mayonnaise or eggs for the yogurt if you prefer.
  • Lemons: I like to incorporate both the juice and zest of a lemon to brighten up the dish with the perfect amount of acidity. You could also use lime juice.
  • Green onions: This ingredient is great for adding a crunch and a nice sharp freshness to keep the burgers bright and tasty.
  • Parsley: Fresh herbs like parsley add tons of fresh flavor to the burgers. You can also swap it out for chives, fresh dill, basil, or cilantro. Dried herbs will work if that's what you have on hand.
  • Spices: You will need a basic combination of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and sweet or smoked paprika. You could also swap in a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard.
  • Breadcrumbs: This burger can be made with or without panko breadcrumbs. Coating the exterior of the burger with breadcrumbs gives it a really nice crunch, but leave them out for a gluten-free salmon burger.

How to Make Salmon Burgers

These burgers come together in less than 30 minutes. 

1. Make the salmon mixture

The trick to making a salmon burger with a delicious texture that doesn't fall apart is to add the salmon to the food processor in stages.

Start by adding about one-fourth of the salmon to a food processor and pulse until it forms a thick paste. This will hold the burgers together. Then add the remaining salmon and pulse a couple of times until the salmon is in small pieces, about 1/4 inch thick. This makes the perfect texture for the burgers, so you get fresh chunks of salmon instead of mush.

Add the species and herbs to the salmon mixture. Then press into burger patties, about 1 inch thick. If you make crispy burgers, coat them in panko breadcrumbs on all sides. 

For best results, refrigerate the burgers for 15-30 minutes before cooking. This helps the salmon patties stay together. 

2. Cook the burgers

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add the patties and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until crispy and cooked to your liking. 

These burgers can also be cooked on the grill. Use foil to ensure the salmon burger patties don't fall apart on the grill. Or pop them in an air fryer at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. 

Pro Tips for the Best Salmon Burgers

Want to make the best salmon burgers you’ve ever tried? Here are some of my top tips to help you do just that:

  • Hand vs food processor. I’ve tried preparing this recipe using both methods and here’s my verdict. While chopping the fish into chunks by hand makes for delightfully airy patties, it also takes a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, there is too much time in the processor, and you’ll end up with salmon mush. So, I prefer pulsing it in quick stages to get a chunky mixture and retain the ideal texture.
  • Toast your buns. Toasting the hamburger buns might seem insignificant, but trust me when I say that it enhances the overall flavor of the burgers. Rub them with a little butter or extra virgin olive oil and toast them on the grill or in the oven.
  • Sauce it up. Burgers and sauce go together like peanut butter and jelly, so grab your favorite store-bought condiment or whip up your own like this Creamy Chipotle Sauce or Tzatziki. Store bought dill sauce is also delicious. Slather a spoonful onto your burger, and enjoy!
  • Add breadcrumbs. Add some Panko breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs to the mix for a lighter and more airy burger texture.

Crispy salmon burgers with cabbage and carrot coleslaw served on a white burger bun.

Best Salmon Burger Topping Ideas

Now it’s time for the all-important question—what goes with salmon burgers? There’s no right or wrong answer here. There are tons of burger topping ideas that would all work great, depending on what you have and what you like.

Here are some of the best burger topping ideas to try out:

  • Coleslaw
  • Sliced avocado
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Pickled red onions
  • Diced jalapenos
  • Ranch dressing or ketchup
  • Mayo, aioli, or sour cream
  • Flavored mayo like caper, lemon basil, or chipotle mayo
  • Tzatziki, dill dressing
  • Cheese like havarti, goat cheese, or feta cheese
  • Mango salsa

How to Store Salmon Burgers

These burgers are so easy to make ahead and store that I always try to double up the recipe and then freeze the uncooked patties for later. To store salmon burgers, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and store them in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Pro tip: To ensure the burgers don't stick together, place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let the outside freeze for 3-4 hours.

When you’re ready to enjoy them, let them thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking. They are delicious in these salmon and rice bowls if you want to serve them a different way.

Storing leftovers? Store your salmon burgers in the fridge in an airtight container or storage bag for up to 2-3 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this easy salmon burger recipe:

Salmon cooks fairly quickly, so you’ll only need to cook it for around 4-5 minutes on each side. The best way to tell if your burger is done is by inserting a thermometer in the middle of the patty. If it’s at least 145°F, then you’re done. Another easy way to tell is if the meat has turned to a light opaque pink and can easily be flaked with a fork.

You can serve these easy salmon burgers with any dish you would normally serve with burgers. Some of my top picks include green salad, roasted potatoes wedges, pasta salad, potato salad, and grilled vegetables. Feel free to choose your favorites!

Salmon can begin to smell overly fishy if it’s no longer fresh, so always check the label before using it. However, the oxidation of fatty acids could also be to blame and doesn’t mean the salmon is bad.

An easy way to reduce the fishy smell and flavor in this case is to brine your fish in an acidic liquid like vinegar or buttermilk for 20 minutes before cooking with it.

This recipe works bets with fresh salmon fillets since they have a different texture than precooked canned salmon. With that said, you can make these with canned salmon, the result will just be slightly different the burgers won't have as much texture.

Homemade salmon burger patties served with tricolor coleslaw and green onions on a roll.
The Recipe
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Easy Salmon Burgers

293 CAL 2g CARBS 14g FAT 38g PROTEIN 1
PREP TIME: 10 Min
COOK TIME: 10 Min
TOTAL TIME: 20 Min
2 Comments
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Ingredients

US METRICS
  • 1.5 lbs wild salmon (boneless and skinless, or any fresh salmon)
  • 2 tbsp nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (+ 1 tsp lemon zest)
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, diced (or cilantro)
  • 2 tsp paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (for cooking in a skillet)

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Instructions

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1

Add about 1/4 of the salmon to a food processor with the yogurt and lemon juice. Pulse until the mixture forms into a thick paste. This will hold the salmon patties together. Add the remaining salmon and pulse just a couple of times so the salmon is in smaller pieces, about 1/4 inch thick, but not fully processed. You want the salmon to have some texture and larger pieces.

2

Remove from the food processor and gently stir in the onions, parsley, paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. Once combined, divide the mixture into four patties about 1 inch thick, pressing them together with your hands. Optional: For a crunchy burger, press each burger into Panko breadcrumbs to create a crunchy exterior. You will need 1/3-1/2 cup total for 4 burgers.

3

Refrigerate the patties for 15-30 minutes. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes until cooked to your liking. You can also cook these on the grill, place on foil so they don't break apart, for 4-5 minutes per side. Or cook in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.

4

Serve with lettuce, tomato, onion, and your favorite sauce. We recommend crunchy cabbage slaw. (you can use the one below to top the burgers if you like or just use classic toppings)

Equipment

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 burger
Amount Per Serving
Calories 293
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
6%
Saturated Fat 3g
2%
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
0%
Cholesterol 77mg
0%
Sodium 527mg
23%
Total Carbohydrate 2g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 38g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Notes

For crispy salmon burgers, add 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs for a serving of 4 burgers.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
2 Comments
On Easy Salmon Burgers
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Debra
March 3, 2023 - 13:30
Add a Rating:
5
Can you use can salmon
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March 28, 2023 - 16:32
This will work with canned salmon! The texture will just be a bit softer than with fresh.
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