Old Fashioned Salmon Patties

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These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly. Mixing eggs, cracker crumbs and milk with canned salmon before pan frying creates a delicious patty.

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

Classic Salmon Patties Recipe:

While we were growing up, our mom served salmon patties on a regular basis, especially on Fridays during Lent. Barbara still serves them to her family on a regular basis, and we have been known to invite ourselves to dinner when our mom fixes them.

They are definitely one of those meals that bring back some good memories for us, and we hope they will do the same with our kids. We remember our mom working to make sure all of the bones were removed from the canned salmon, and then she would mix the eggs, seasonings and cracker crumbs into the salmon with her hands.

This Classic Salmon Patties recipe uses canned salmon and some cracker crumbs to make a delicious main dish.

Often, our mom omitted the cracker crumbs from the patties and relied on the eggs to act as the binder. Who knew that she was ahead of the trends and serving us “low-carb” salmon patties! Check out our low-carb version of these salmon patties.

Barbara’s daughters fully approve of these Classic Salmon Patties adapted from a recipe in the Pot O’Gold Cookbook published by the St. Patrick Altar Society in Imogene, Iowa.

How Do You Make Old Fashioned Salmon Patties with Crackers:

  1. Drain salmon and remove bones.
  2. Shred with two forks.
  3. In a small bowl, combine beaten eggs and milk.
  4. Add milk mixture to salmon mixture, and gently stir.
  5. Crush crackers to a fine crumb.
  6. Add crackers, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  7. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  8. Form patties; add to skillet.
  9. Heat until a golden brown crust forms; flip and do the same on the other side.
  10. Serve on a bun or with a side of ketchup.

For the full instructions and ingredient list for old fashioned salmon patties recipe, scroll to the bottom of this post. 

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entree for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

How do I keep my salmon patties from falling apart?

To keep your salmon cakes intact, it’s best to add some type of binding ingredient such as a beaten egg, cracker crumbs or bread crumbs. This pan-fried salmon patties recipe uses both eggs and cracker crumbs.  Any type of cracker crumb will work, and we often make salmon patties with Ritz crackers.

Another helpful tip to keep canned salmon patties from falling apart is to only flip once when frying in butter, and try to resist messing and moving them around during the browning process.

What goes good with salmon cakes?

We love serving canned salmon cakes with a variety of cold and hot vintage side dishes including Creamed Peas, Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes, Grandma’s Deviled Eggs, Sweet and Simple Coleslaw, Crispy Fried Potatoes, Fried Cabbage with Bacon or Buttermilk Mac and Cheese.

What are some canned salmon recipes?

We love using canned salmon for more than just salmon patties. Try these easy Salmon Casserole, Salmon Quiche or these Low Carb Salmon Patties.

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

 

Notes about Classic Salmon Patties Recipe

  • You can use whatever type of cracker you have on hand. They act as a binder to help form the salmon patties. Often times, we make salmon patties with Ritz crackers.
  • This recipe makes six good-sized salmon patties.
  • If the old fashioned salmon patties mixture feels too wet, add a bit more cracker crumbs. If it feels too dry, add a tad more milk or salmon juice (that was drained off).
  • Barbara substituted the shortening in the original recipe with olive oil or butter, and she uses a combination of both to fry her salmon patties.
  • Serve them on a bun with lettuce and tomato or as is with a side of ketchup. Barbara’s daughters prefer the latter.
  • Canned salmon is a great pantry staple. We typically a can or two in the pantry.

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entree for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

Easy Fish Recipes

We try and serve seafood at least once a week in our house, but we live in the Midwest so we rely heavily on frozen and canned options. Sharing some of our go-to fish recipes below.

Low-Carb Salmon Patties recipe

Tuna Barbecue

Tuna Salad Coneys

Easy Baked Tilapia

Mom’s Tuna Casserole

Our Best Fish Recipes (Recipe Roundup)

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
Print Recipe
4.67 from 12 votes

Classic Salmon Patties

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entree for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canned salmon cakes, canned salmon patties, classic salmon patties, easy fish recipes, how do i keep my salmon patties from falling apart, old fashioned salmon patties, pan fried salmon patties, salmon cakes, salmon cakes canned salmon, salmon patties, salmon patties with cracker crumbs, salmon patties with crackers, salmon patties with ritz crackers, salmon patty, what goes good with salmon cakes
Servings: 6
Calories: 272kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 14.75 oz. salmon, canned
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cracker crumbs, fine
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil or butter

Instructions

  • Drain salmon and remove bones and skin.
  • Flake salmon with fork.
    These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
  • Mix eggs and milk, and then add salmon.
    These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
  • Add salt, pepper and cracker crumbs.
  • Form into large patties.
  • Melt olive oil or butter in skillet over medium heat.
  • Brown patties on first side.
    These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
  • Flip, and brown on the second side.
    These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.
  • Serve on a bun or eat with a fork (with ketchup).
    These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

Video

Notes

  • You can use whatever type of cracker you have on hand. They act as a binder to help form the salmon patties.
  • You can use a combination of olive oil and butter.
  • This recipe makes six good-sized salmon patties.
  • If the old fashioned salmon patties mixture feels too wet, add a bit more cracker crumbs. If it feels too dry, add a tad more milk or salmon juice (that was drained off). 
  • Barbara substituted the shortening in the original recipe with olive oil or butter, and she uses a combination of both to fry her salmon patties.
  • Serve them on a bun with lettuce and tomato or as is with a side of ketchup. Barbara's daughters prefer the latter.
  • Try our low carb version: Low-Carb Salmon Patties recipe.
  • Canned salmon is a great pantry staple.
These would pair great with creamed peas

Nutrition

Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 432mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Calcium: 225mg | Iron: 1mg

These Classic Salmon Patties are kid-approved and an easy weeknight entrée for busy families who need to get dinner on the table quickly.

 

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59 Comments

  1. Absolutely great recipe. Easy, quick and delicious. We have these 2-3 times a month with baked tater tots or fries, coleslaw or salad.

      1. You can definitely use fresh salmon to make “burgers” or “patties” but we’ve never tried it so I’m not sure what modifications you should make. I bet there are recipes out there using fresh salmon!

      2. I use fresh salmon that’s leftover from another meal…..i.e. cooked then flaked and made into patties.

      3. That sounds like a great idea! We’ll have to try it…if we ever have any leftover fresh salmon!

      4. Absolutely! It is much better than the canned, but more expensive; you are worth it!
        Cook the fresh salmon first in a frying pan about 3/4 done. Then let cool and mix the ingredients with the salmon into parties and fry. Delicious!!

    1. I grew up on these. My mom was a great cook and the receipe is the same. We’d have the patties with rice and a great salad with vinegar and oil dressing. Yummy!

  2. These are the ones I make that my mother used to make except she & O put in chopped onion also. Yum! My grandson loves to take them to work for lunch. 🙂

    1. I’m a Midwest girl from Kansas City And my mom used to make these at least 2 or 3 times a month and I did as well throughout raising my children. We also added a little onion Maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons or a quarter cup chopped very small And my mother used just salt and pepper but I use lemon pepper seasoning and squeeze some fresh lemon over the tover the top just before done. And we always had them with macaroni and cheese and peas! We also just crushed the whole can of salmon up with 2 forks never had to take out any bones they broke up with just the forks and the skin was left in. I didn’t know it until later that the skin is healthy to eat. One more thing that would gross most people out, I’mthe middle of 5 kids and usually have always been the forgotten 1 but my mother used to call me into the kitchen and let me drink the juice!! Guess I have always leaned towards salty things lol!

  3. I have been making salmon patties over 40 years. Our recipes are similar with the exception I add a little sprinkle of old bay seasoning.

    1. me, too. my Northeastern grandma and great-grandmother used to make these every other week. a staple in my gastronomic arsenal.I am a great-grandmother now and I still enjoy them on occasion. Only thing better is a classic giant fried shrimp sandwich on the boardwalk. 😉

  4. This is an easy recipe that my family loves. I dust my patties in cornmeal before frying to add an extra crunch. Yum!!

      1. My Mom didn’t remove them either. The bones are very soft and a good calcium source but they always kinda freaked me out to bite into one!

      2. Oh wow, I’ve never heard of leaving the bones!! I am sooo OCD when going through my salmon making SURE not to leave any!! Lol, I was always told people could CHOKE On them! I am making these tonight! My recipe is just like this one I don’t like bread crumbs in mine! It just changes the whole taste of them to me

      3. Mine didn’t either. She left skin and bones in. They cook up enough that you don’t even notice.

      4. I never remove the bones or skin. Just dump the salmon into a bowl and squish it up with your hands (washed thoroughly, of course). The bones and skin crumble nicely and are a good source of protein and calcium.

  5. Very good Salmon patties! I had never cooked them in olive oil and butter, but so good. Served with green peas, corn and mashed potatoes. Thanks for an easy recipe. Used Costco’s Salmon, which is skinless and boneless.

  6. A dear friend in Kentucky told me his secret to a great salmon pattie was adding a can of tuna to the mixture. Next time I make some I will try the addition of a dusting of cornmeal, sounds yummy.

      1. My Mom made these when I was growing up. It was one of the few seafood dishes I would eat. She didn’t put milk in it. I remember watching her pick out the tiny bones and skin, use saltines or Ritz crackers and eggs. Then mix it up with her hands. We just ate them with a fork 😋

  7. Growing up, my mother, a nurse, always crushed salmon bones between her index and thumb or by the back of a fork and also kept the skin in the mixture for healthier patties. Being from Texas, I also like to add additional seasoning of a couple of dashes of celery seed, chili and onion and garlic powders, old Bay and Tony Chachere’s blackened Seasoning. And always crushed saltines. While all those spices look hot, they are not, they just add umph not heat. Always have to make two size 15 cans so my son has some to take to work the next day. These are great hot or cold.

  8. My mom always served salmon patties with macaroni and cheese and green peas. Sometimes fried potatoes too.

  9. I’ m a little late to the party, but I couldn’t resist commenting on this Old School recipe that is such a classic! A childhood favorite of mine that my children and grandchildren also love.

    What really surprised me — given the simplicity of this dish, with so few ingredients — was that your recipe differs from my mother’s in 3 very distinct ways. A regional thing, I suppose. (I’m from the Deep South.) First, the addition of milk was simply unheard of in my little part of the world. I’m a little afraid it will make the patties too loose, but I’m definitely going to try it next time. Even very old dogs can sometimes learn new tricks. :))

    Secondly, onion was a key ingredient in ours. My mother’s secret was to grate the onion rather than chopping it, so that the flavor just blended in rather than adding ‘crunch’.

    Last but not least, we ALWAYS had homemade tartar sauce on the side. Although I guess that’s a totally separate recipe, we considered them inseparable. Serving one without the other would have been like serving french fries without catsup. Since it takes about 5 minutes to whip up and elevates the taste so phenomenally, omitting is just not an option.

    Mama always served them with mashed potatoes and tender young peas and her phenomenal coleslaw. And, oh yeah, we didn’t call them “salmon patties”. They were salmon croquettes. And leftovers are sooo good cold!

    Thanks for reminding me of something I’ve failed to serve my family in way too long!

  10. I just commented above. My Mom’s family was originally from SC and she didn’t use milk
    either. We usually had boiled potatoes with ours and probably green beans. Ugh always had alot of green beans or corn. Now I’m married to a man who only likes green beans and corn!😄 life’s funny like that and he loves seafood but won’t eat salmon patties.

  11. This is a wonderful recipe. Thanks so much! I make mine in the air fryer.. 370 degrees 5 minutes, flip, then 5 minutes… thanks again for a wonderful classic!

  12. Wow! So many different ways to make the salmon patties. I make them like my Mama did. She used eggs, flour and salmon. Fried in oil. We ate them with biscuits and gravy with the gravy on the salmon also. We also ate them for breakfast too! Good any meal. We grew up eating them for breakfast so we didn’t know any difference.

    1. You can use bread crumbs instead of crackers. There is seasoning in your bread crumbs so that will play into the taste of the salmon patties!

  13. I enjoyed these a lot (with some ketchup for dipping). I used saltine crackers, because it was all I had on hand, and I had to use another 1/4 cup of them because my “batter” was a bit wet. I didn’t remove the skin or bones from the canned salmon. I made my patties a bit bigger, so I was only able to make five. The only reason for four stars is because I was able to use only 2-1/2 tbsp of unsalted butter and have these turn out great. I think 6 would have been way too much, but that’s just me. I try to cut some cals where I can! Thanks for the recipe! Reminded me of my mom making these back when I was a kid. Such a good memory. 😊

  14. I never liked Salmon but this recipe I love! I tried instead mashed potato flakes to roll the patties in and boy were they nice and crispy. I also added a little oregano in the mix with onion and garlic powder; then I also used a couple squirts of lemon juice. I will be making them again! I live in a low income apt building and like o share my dinners with some of the residents. They sure loved them. I’ll have to make many more of them next time. Thank you soooooo much for the great recipe. Will try others as well.

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