Tender and juicy, this recipe for Salmon Burgers is the best you’ll ever have! Salmon patties are held together with mayonnaise and breadcrumbs, and seasoned with fresh dill, chives, lemon juice, and mustard. These low-carb and healthy burgers are flavorful on their own, or take them over-the-top with a homemade avocado ranch dressing!
We’ve all been there. You’re craving a burger but you don’t want the heavy feel of beef or red meat.
Luckily, there’s a healthy option that’s full of flavor! (And has many of the same ingredients as this Lemon Dill Salmon recipe!)
Try your hand at homemade Salmon Burgers using either fresh, frozen, or canned salmon.
These easy-to-make patties are filled with fresh herbs for the best flavor. And, there’s no egg! Mayo is used instead as the binder.
They’re great with a gluten-free bun, or go bunless for a low-carb or keto option.
BONUS- you can make a double-batch and freeze a bunch for a super easy meal in the future!
And that Avocado Ranch Dressing?! It’s a must-make!
Dreamily creamy, and uses similar herbs as in the salmon patty, so you’ll already have them around. This dressing will take seemingly normal salmon burgers to a restaurant-quality level!
In fact, the hubby just said the other night while gobbling up his last bite of burger, “I would be so pumped if I got this at a restaurant!” And I have a feeling your loved ones will feel the same way, too!
The simple ingredients you need to make this Salmon Burgers recipe include:
- Salmon – You can use fresh, frozen, or canned fish. Fresh salmon will taste the best, frozen is a close second, but canned is the quickest to use.
- Mayonnaise – Since it is made up of eggs, mayonnaise makes a great binder.
- Dill – Fresh is used in this recipe for the best flavor. However, you can use dried, just use one teaspoon instead of one tablespoon.
- Chives – These mix in great because of their small size. Green onions will also work, but make sure to chop them as finely as possible.
- Mustard – Dijon mustard is recommended, but yellow or even stone ground can be substituted.
- Lemon juice – Fresh-squeezed lemon juice will give the best taste. Bottled can be used as well if needed.
How to Make
Here are the step-by-step instructions to follow when making homemade Salmon Burgers:
- Whisk together the mayo base. (step 1 above)
Stir mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together until combined.
- Add salmon and remaining ingredients. (step 2 above)
Mix the finely chopped salmon, mayonnaise base, chives, dill, and the breadcrumbs by hand until well incorporated.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and form each into a patty. (step 3 above)
You can either do this by hand or use a round biscuit cutter. Make each burger 1-inch thick and 4-inches in width. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before cooking so they hold together better.
- Cook the patties in a preheated large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
Arrange the burgers in a single layer. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side. You want them to have a nice crusty sear and the the internal temperature to reach 145°.
What kind of Salmon is best?
A fattier variety of fresh salmon is ideal when making burgers. The common types you will find, from fattiest to leanest, are:
Atlantic – These fish are larger in size and have a mild flavor. However, they are not wild-caught, meaning you can only get farm-raised. Atlantic salmon contains 27 grams of fat in ½ a filet making it one of the fattier options.
Verlasso – A very unique type of salmon that is a sustainably farm-raised option. It has a light and delicate taste that’s also quite buttery. It has a similar amount of fat as the Atlantic and King varieties and is my pick to use when making burgers.
King – This is arguably the most desired salmon for its rich flavor, but it does come with a heftier price tag. The flesh ranges from white to deep red. King salmon packs in 21 grams of fat in ½ a filet.
Sockeye – AKA Red Salmon has a bright red/orange flesh. The flavor is deep and rich, although the most fishy. Sockeye salmon contains 10 grams of fat in ½ a filet.
Pink – This is the most common Pacific salmon. Both the color and flavor are quite light. Pink salmon has 7 grams of fat in ½ a filet.
Coho – Otherwise known as Silvers, these salmon have a bright red flesh with a delicate texture and more of a subtle taste. Coho salmon features only 6 grams of fat in ½ a filet.
Preparing the Salmon
Before you can make this salmon patty recipe you need to get the salmon ready.
First, remove the salmon skin by peeling it back from one corner. Move slow and steady as you pull back the skin. Try to keep the skin in one piece if possible, most filets you’ll be able to. (step 1 above)
There will still be a little bit of shiny flesh underneath, this is OK. As long as you don’t see any scales you’ve totally removed all of the skin!
Next, and arguably the most important step is to FINELY chop the salmon. A finely diced and almost mushy salmon will give you the most moist and tender patty.There are 2 different ways you can do this:
- Food Processor – This is the fastest and easiest way. Cut the salmon filet into 1-inch chunks and then add half of them to the food processor. Process 15-20 times, or until the salmon is finely chopped. Add in the remaining cubed salmon and process for another 10-15 times. (step 2a above)
- Cut with a Knife – Make sure you’re using a REALLY sharp knife and a flat, smooth cutting board. (Avoid using the rough plastic ones as these make it really hard to finely cut the salmon.) (step 2b above)
Air Fryer or Grilled Salmon Patties
You can also cook these salmon patties in the Air Fryer, the oven, or on the grill.
To cook salmon burgers in an Air Fryer:
- Preheat a 6-quart Air Fryer to 400°F for 3 minutes. Then lightly spray the grate with non-stick cooking spray.
- Arrange salmon patties in a single layer in the Air Fryer basket and cook for 9-10 minutes. Flip the burgers over halfway through.
To cook salmon burgers in the oven:
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon patties, evenly spaced, in a single layer.
- Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 15-20 minutes. Make sure to flip the patties halfway through to ensure even cooking.
To cook the salmon burgers on the grill:
- Preheat the grill. Set the temperature to medium heat.
- Add salmon patties. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
Avocado Ranch Dressing
These Salmon Burgers are made even more amazing when paired with the perfect creamy dressing! Here is how to make the best Avocado Ranch Dressing:
- Add avocado, sour cream, and lemon juice to a food processor. Mix for 30-60 seconds, or until the avocado is smooth.
- Add mayonnaise, dill, parsley, powders, salt, pepper and pour in milk. Process until ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix this as the mayonnaise may begin to separate.
For more information, make sure to check out the full recipe for this Avocado Ranch Dressing.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: You can prep these in advance in a few ways. Cook the patties completely and store until ready to assemble and eat. Or, just prep the dressing and salmon ahead of time. You can also mix everything up and form the patties and refrigerate for up to two days before cooking.
- To Store: Keep leftover patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze: Wrap the salmon burgers in foil or plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Defrost patties if they are frozen. For best results warm the burgers in a skillet over medium-low heat. You can also reheat in a 350° oven, in an Air Fryer, or in the microwave.
The recipe you’ll find below is already low-carb as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:
- Gluten-free – Use gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs.
- Keto – Swap out the breadcrumbs for pork rind crumbs.
- Paleo – Use almond flour breadcrumbs and a soybean-free mayonnaise.
- Dairy-Free – Use a plant-based sour cream or yogurt.
Get creative with toppings! Avocado Ranch, tomatoes, and arugula are great.
You can also go more classic with tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, or ketchup and mustard. Add texture with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, or avocados.
Yes they are healthy! Salmon is high in protein, low in saturated fat, and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Serve the salmon patties atop greens for a healthy low-carb meal.
You need the correct combination of wet ingredients to act as the binder (mayonnaise or eggs are typically used) and dry ingredients (such as breadcrumbs). Too much of either one and they’ll end up falling apart.
Also, letting them rest in a patty shape 15-20 minutes before cooking will also help them hold their shape.
Avocado Ranch Dressing is amazing on salmon burgers. You can also use regular ranch, mayonnaise, basil pesto, or even a pesto-mayo combo.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Finely chop the salmon. This is what makes the most moist and tender patties.
- Use the right tools. A food processor is the quickest and easiest way to prepare the salmon for patties. But also, an extremely sharp knife and a smooth cutting board work equally as well.
- Pick fresh herbs. The flavor will really pop when using fresh herbs as opposed to dried.
- Don’t overcook the patties. This will dry them out. Cook until they just reach an internal temp of 140°.
- Let the patties sit before cooking. If you give the patties 15-20 minutes to rest before cooking they’ll hold together much easier and won’t fall apart.
- Double the batch. These freeze exceptionally well and reheat wonderfully.
Salmon Burgers Recipe with Avocado Ranch
Tender and juicy, this recipe for Salmon Burgers is the best you'll ever have! These healthy burgers are flavorful on their own, or take them over-the-top with creamy avocado ranch dressing!
- 1 -1 ¼ pounds salmon skin removed
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp. mustard
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs gluten-free
- 2 Tbsp. chives fresh, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. dill fresh, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive oil
- 1 large avocado pitted, peeled, and quartered
- ¼ cup sour cream vegan or plain*
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or lime juice
- 2 tsp. dill fresh (¾ tsp. dried)
- 2 tsp. parsley fresh
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ½ – ¾ cup milk regular, oat, cashew, or buttermilk
- Gluten-free buns or lettuce cups
- Arugula optional
- Tomatoes optional
Remove the skin from the salmon by gently peeling it back with one hand, and holding down the filet with your other hand.
Finely chop the filet small ⅛-inch pieces with either a knife or a food processor. If using a food processor, cut the salmon filet into 1-inch chunks and add half of them to the processor. Pulse 15-20 times and then add in the remaining cubes. Pulse for an additional 10-15 times or until the salmon is finely diced.
In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Add salmon to a large bowl along with the whisked mayonnaise mixture, finely chopped chives and dill, and the breadcrumbs. Mix by hand until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Divide mixture into 4 equal portions. Form each portion into a patty by hand or by using a round biscuit cutter. They should end up being about 1-inch thick and 4-inches in width. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before cooking.
In a large skillet over medium heat add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Place salmon patties into the skillet in a single layer.
Cook salmon burgers for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F. (See recipe notes for Air Fryer and Grill directions.)
Avocado Ranch Dressing:
Add avocado, sour cream, and lemon juice to a food processor. Process for 30-60 seconds, or until the avocado is smooth.
Add mayonnaise, dill, parsley, powders, salt, pepper and milk. Process until ingredients are just combined.
Serve salmon burgers on a bed of arugula or in a hamburger bun with Avocado Ranch and slices of tomato. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is for 1 salmon patty with 2 tablespoons of avocado ranch. The ranch makes enough for 15 servings.
- Can also use plain yogurt in place of the sour cream.
- Other Ways to Cook:
- Air Fryer: Preheat a 6-quart Air Fryer to 400 degrees for 3 minutes. Lightly spray the grate with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange salmon patties in a single layer in the Air Fryer basket and cook for 9-10 minutes, flipping over halfway through.
- Grill: Add salmon patties to a medium-heat grill and cook for 4-5 minutes per side.
- Oven: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place salmon patties, evenly spaced, in a single layer. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure even cooking.
- To Store: Keep leftover patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- To Freeze: Wrap the salmon burgers in foil or plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to three months.