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Salmon Patties (+Video)

These Salmon Patties are a delicious blast from the past. An easy-to-make recipe that has been enjoyed for generations!


When I first traveled to Indiana to visit my husband’s parents for the very first time, everyone told me they loved my mother-in-law’s salmon patties. Especially my father-in-law. They were his favorite. This salmon patties recipe is a classic and very easy to make. Chris also had a Shrimp Dip recipe that people insisted she make and bring to any party so be sure to check that one out too!

HOMEMADE SALMON PATTIES served with tartar sauce on a plate with a sliced lemon


What’s the best salmon to use?

I prefer the pink salmon for this recipe. I think it has a lighter flavor but feel free to use what you enjoy (red or sockeye, etc.)

Why is there some skin and bones in canned salmon?

It’s just how canned salmon is packed. Just remove them. Although, it is possible to eat the thin bones and they can add a lot of nutrition as well. Just make sure they are crushed up very well.

Do I have to use Crisco shortening?

It does add incredible flavor and is how they’ve always been made (unless you had lard) but you could certainly use your favorite frying oil.

Can these be made in the air fryer?

Yes absolutely. If you aren’t a fan of frying in oil, then the air fryer is a great option. I actually have a recipe for Air Fryer Salmon Patties here on the site that you might enjoy.

What does the baking powder do?

It is supposed to help create a lighter, flakier patty.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can be frozen (if wrapped and stored well) for up to 3 months.

a photo of 3 stacked salmon patties on a white plate.


  • canned pink salmon – see my notes above on what kind of canned salmon to use and what to expect when you open one of these cans if you aren’t familiar.
  • egg – this acts as a binder to hold everything together in a patty shape.
  • dried minced onion – this is all that was in the original recipe besides salt and pepper. You could also cut up a fresh onion, about 1/2 cup (I would dice it very small). If you want more seasoning, check out my recipe for Air Fryer Salmon Patties.
  • salt and pepper – generally I use about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon each.
  • all-purpose flour – this helps thicken up the patties and helps it hold its shape.
  • baking powder – see my FAQ above on why this is sometimes used in salmon patties. If you don’t have baking powder, just leave it out.
  • shortening or oil – I prefer Crisco or lard for these since that is the traditional method and I think they just come out better but you could certainly use vegetable or canola oil.
canned pink salmon, beaten egg, dried minced onion, salt and pepper, all-purpose flour, baking powder, Crisco shortening


Drain salmon (reserving 2 Tablespoons of the juice in the can). Remove any skin or bone pieces. In a medium bowl, mix together salmon, egg, onion and salt and pepper (until sticky). Stir in flour. Add baking powder to reserved salmon juice and stir. Stir into salmon mixture. Form into small patties.

Formation of Salmon Patties (before cooking)

Heat shortening in a large skillet until melted and hot. Cook patties until golden brown (about 5 minutes).

prepared salmon patties frying in liquid shortening in a pan

Serve with tartar sauce and lemon slices (squeeze a little lemon on each patty before eating – delicious!)

Fried Salmon Patties served with tartar sauce and lemon


Originally published: August 2017
Photos updated & republished: April 2020

Homemade Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties (+Video)

These Salmon Patties are a delicious blast from the past! An easy-to-make meal (thanks to canned salmon) that everyone loves!
4.91 from 60 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 14.75 ounce can pink salmon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • cup dried minced onion (1/2 cup fresh minced onion can be used)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups Crisco shortening


  • Drain 14.75 ounce can pink salmon (reserving 2 Tablespoons of juice in a small bowl). Remove any skin or bones (see notes below.)
  • In a medium bowl, mix together salmon, 1 large egg, beaten, 1/3 cup dried minced onion and salt and pepper, to taste (until sticky).
  • Stir in 1/2 cup all-purpose flour .
  • Add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder to the reserved salmon juice and stir.
  • Stir that juice mixture into the salmon mixture.
  • Form into 6 patties.
  • Heat about 1 1/2 cups Crisco shortening in a large skillet until melted and hot.
  • Cook patties until golden brown (about 5 minutes). You may have to do this in batches.
  • Serve warm with tartar sauce.



  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
  • The onion amount can be adjusted to taste. If you like a vibrant onion flavor, use the amount given in the recipe. If you like less of an onion flavor, then cut down on the amount of dried minced onion. 
  • Canola oil can be used in place of shortening.
  • I prefer the pink salmon for this recipe. I think it has a lighter flavor but feel free to use what you enjoy (red or sockeye, etc.)
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American


Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 52g | Sodium: 14mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hello! I’m from (live) in Indiana and grew up on Salmon patty’s, my husband didn’t like salmon patties so I haven’t had them in about 25 yrs. I made these last night and he LOVED them!!! The only thing I did different was I used Kentucky Kernal seasoned flour instead of regular flour and they were sooooo good. Thanks!! BTW
    I use your website ALOT and just want to say I have not found 1 recipe that we didn’t absolutely ❤️ Love thanks so much for sharing

  2. For the people asking about the minced onions, I am pretty sure that it’s “fresh” minced onion and not the dehydrated.

    I love the smell of salmon patties frying, it smells divine, but they are way too funky tasting for me no matter how they are made. Salmon is a really funky fish and kind of reminds me of the catfish that I ate (also smelled amazing while frying) fresh out of the Maumee River. Or, bka the Muddy, Mucky Maumee.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was and is really on the money with one exception, I put Old Bay seasoning in mine to enhance the flavor of the Salmon just like Mom use to make . Thank you for the recipe .

  4. 5 stars
    Made these today using Kentucky Colonel seasoning flour and they turned out terrific. Been looking for a simple recipe that gave me salmon patties reminiscent of my grandmother’s. This is it. Thank you so much.

  5. 5 stars
    Oh, my goodness! This recipe is exactly like the salmon patties my mother made when I was growing up. I am now almost 80 years old, and my mother lived through the Great Depression. This was one of my favorite dishes, and after I married, my late husband loved them as well. I am currently staying at home because of the COVID-19 virus, and now I will make these salmon patties for my dinner! Brandie, thank you so much for brightening my day!

  6. 5 stars
    This sounds so delicious and I’m not a fish lover. I bought some salmon to make patties for Lent and I didn’t have a recipe…until now. Lent is almost over and I still hadn’t made them.Thank you. My mom used to make tuna patties and they were so good. Hubby’s mom made salmon patties too, but they are both gone now and didn’t leave recipes. I miss them so much. Question—in the picture of ingredients you have dried onions and in the instructions also, but in the recipe you say to use 1/3 cup of onions. Do I reconstitute the dried onions first or is there a different measurement for dried and the 1/3 is for fresh? I’m easily confused so please forgive this 75 yr old lady.

  7. 5 stars
    This was our Wednesday night staple at our house when I was growing up. ( We wont talk about the fried liver night…yuk…but it smelled good). Any, salmon patties, mashed potatoes and creamed corn was what we had! I dont like fish…but, mama’s were awesome! I of course didnt write it down and as far as I can find…neither did she. But, I do remember watching, so I do have some idea. I found your recipe and I think its spot on. I dont remember the baking powder part…but the other is right….right down to the crisco! So, tonight I plan on trying it. Thanks again, so much for posting it. I did write it down and it will go in my cookbook with kudos to my mom AND you! God bless!

  8. 5 stars
    I have been eating these all my life, 65 years! My mom passed the recipe along to me. They are my husbands favorite meal. Taking a leftover patty and a biscuit and making his breakfast the next day. I always make a double batch for this reason.

  9. 5 stars
    Just made these for supper tonight and WOW are they delicious! I didn’t quite understand the baking powder addition but it seems to have taken the “fish” taste down a notch. This is a “keeper” recipe for me. As with other commenters, my Mom would make these for us and I’ve loved them for decades now.

  10. I got a recipe about 28 years ago for tuna patties from a friend who said it was her moms recipe who got it from Weight Watchers. I can’t find it but if this isn’t it, it’s darn close! I will see if she still has it somewhere. Thanks so much!

  11. 5 stars
    my Fav. recipe for Salmon patties is this recipe + add dill, old bay, pepper, parsley, an extra egg and instead of 16 oz bone in can..(use 4 cans of Chicken of the sea small cans or if you can find a 16 oz and 1 small can of boneless and skinless salmon…its wild caught.) use all the juice.
    sauce: 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1cup of sour cream, a splash of Louisiana hot sauce, dill, parsley..1.5 tsp each. refrigerate while cooking
    makes 10 nice size perfect patties. bake in oven with olive oil all over cookie sheet.400 degrees 5 min each side 350 didn’t do it for my oven. I used a spoon and fork to form perfect patties. the beat I ever made. thank you for this recipe!!!

  12. This is soooo retro. I have been making these for at least 45 years. This is the recipe from the Crisco can. Unbelievable!!

  13. 5 stars
    My mother always made these as well, always had macroni and cheese and spinach as sides, she used a few crackers and flour in mix , along with coating the outside with flour, gives it a nice crispy texture, I’ve tweaked mine by using white pepper and dried cilantro , minced onions, eggs, Italian bread crumbs and flour, salt. chill in refrigerator helps patties form and fry. Yum

  14. Try it sometime using cornmeal instead of flour and 3 or 3 saltiness crushed up.

    That’s how I was taught to make them by my grandmother.

  15. yum how does this recipe have 506 calories? sounds strange to me. waiting for shrimp dip. thank you in advance

  16. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for all of your receipes, especially the vintage ones. My Grandma and Mother-in-love always seemed to cook without any directions as they were taught by their mothers or by trial and error. Everything they cooked was always so very good. I wrote some of the receipes of hers and mine in a journal for both of my sons when they were getting married. That way they always had a little remembrance of past loves who have passed on. You are greatly appreciated.

      1. Brandie, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I have enjoyed reading all the comments. My mother and grandmother made them often. My mother made a sauce to go with them using mayonnaise, lemon juice, creole mustard, and black pepper. No recipe though, I just make it and adjust. Some time I use a little yellow mustard but just a drop. I look forward to the Shrimp Dip, too! Thanks again.

  17. 5 stars
    We love salmon patties. I found long dated canned pink salmon for .59 a can not long ago and bought every can the store had. Nothing wrong with it and long expiration dates. The store was putting on clearance what was not selling fast enough. I think I got 13 or 15 cans.

    I have always removed the black skin and given it to the cat. I leave the soft bones because they add nutrients. My mother removed both the skin and the bones and I would eat the bones. Mom used cornmeal in her salmon patties along with an egg. No onion. She fried them thin, crispy and golden brown. I use saltines and an egg. I want to try your Mother’s recipe the next time I make them. I love to try new ways for old favorites.

  18. 5 stars
    Have been making this recipe for years! We are lucky enough to be able to catch and can our own salmon/kokanee. We treat them like hamburgers – place on burger buns, lettuce, onion – whatever + fries or chips. The baking powder and Crisco – creates a great crunchy outside – the inside stays moist. Try this recipe – you will love it! Great cold, too!

  19. 5 stars
    This 70 something gal grew up eating salmon patties. My mother used crushed saltines, and I remember sometimes having creamed peas or if it was spring or summer creamed peas and new potatoes. Being married to an avowed nonfish eater for over 50 years, I don’t get to eat these as often as I would like to but do occasionally make them just for myself. Next time I make them, I am going to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing a great, economical recipe that people should know about.

  20. 5 stars
    With 4 kids in our family my Mom would always make us whatever we wanted for our birthday dinner. My pick was always salmon patties and mashed potatoes. My Mom passed away almost 3 years ago and this post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for posting this so I can make them myself. I know they will never be as good as my Mom’s but I’ll still think of her and smile when I eat them!
    p.s. We would pick out the skin but we ate the bones right out of the can, I loved the texture of them as a kid!