Easy Salmon Recipes: Salmon Burgers with Tangy Parsley Sauce

by Pamela

salmon burgers, salmon cakes, easy salmon recipes

Homemade salmon burgers are an easy to make and delicious alternative to your standard meat burgers. These use fresh, wild salmon so they don’t have that fishy canned flavor. They’re perfect served with a tangy parsley sauce by themselves or topped with a few lettuce leaves on a bun. They’re a great way to get your daily dose of Omega 3’s.

I know that there is an ongoing burger battle regarding what meat blends are best, which toppings are best, what kind of bun enhances all the sloppy, drippy goodness of a burger. I am TOTALLY aware. But at the end of the day…I just want something simple and a bit lighter than all of that, much to Craig’s dismay. Because when I said I was making salmon burgers, he selectively decided not to hear the salmon part and gave me a ration of crap when he saw the pink/orange patty on his bun. Big surprise, he got over it.

Growing up, my mom made salmon patties (which I suppose the proper term for what she made is actually salmon cakes – whatever). They were good. She used the canned salmon and mixed it up with some seasoning, formed the patties/cakes and pan fried them. These were the salmon burgers I have been making ever since…until recently.

I picked up a can of salmon one day and just thought…can’t I just make salmon cakes using fresh salmon? Why does it need to be cooked first? A lot of times they come out like salmon flavored particle board. From what I’ve been able to piece together, I couldn’t make salmon cakes from fresh salmon (it seems that those are made from previously cooked salmon) but I could make salmon burgers from the fresh fish.

Easy salmon recipes - salmon burgers

I started by using the same ingredient mixture I grew up with and then poked around to see how others were making their salmon burgers. I quickly realized that this would not be one of my go to easy salmon recipes if I followed what some of these other people were doing and right now, I don’t need complicated anything in my life…let alone my kitchen. Are you with me on this?

Bottom line…these salmon burgers definitely belong in your recipe box, filed under easy salmon recipes. You can put these together in about 10-15 minutes, they don’t use eggs and they don’t use bread crumbs (so you can serve these to people who have allergies or are doing the gluten free thing). If you’re wondering how they stick together it’s really quite simple, the salmon holds itself together. You could really go crazy with the seasonings (if you want) but I’ve kept them really simple to enjoy the flavor of the salmon.

Oh, and if you’re lucky enough to find wild salmon on sale (which there have been quite a few good sales here this time of year) you can make up a bunch of these and freeze them so that you have them for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner.

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Recipe: Salmon Burgers with Tangy Parsley Sauce


For the Salmon Burgers

  • 1 Pound Fresh Wild Salmon Filet
  • 2 Green Onions (tops included – minced)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon Grainy, or Dijon, Mustard
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Olive Oil

For Tangy Parsley Sauce

  • 1/2 Cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Small Handful of Parsely (chopped)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


For the Salmon Burgers

  1. Remove the skin from the salmon filet by sliding the knife between the flesh and skin. While holding the knife, gently pull the skin which will allow you to separate the two.
  2. Remove any bones that may be in the filet.
  3. Take 1/4 of the salmon and finely mince it and place into a bowl.
  4. Chop the remaining salmon into 1/4 inch pieces and place in the same bowl.
  5. Add the onions, lemon zest, mustard and a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the salmon.
  6. Stir to combine everything together.
  7. To make the patties, you can either form them by hand or press them into a round cookie cutter (which is what I did to get a consistent pattie size).
  8. Place the patties onto a plate or board and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  9. While the salmon patties are chilling, make the sauce.

For the Tangy Parsley Sauce

  1. Place all of the sauce ingredients into small container and stir to combine then set aside.
  2. Add a teaspoon of oil to a non-stick pan and heat it over medium high heat.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the pattie to the pan and cook for 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  4. Remove the pattie to a plate and continue with the remaining patties.
  5. Serve salmon burgers over a salad or on a bun topped with the tangy parsley sauce.

Quick notes

If you use a heavier flavored bun, you may need to add additional seasoning to the patties as these are very lightly flavored.


You could also use frozen wild salmon filets in this recipe, just thaw them first.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 3 minute(s)

Diet type: Pescatarian

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Recipe by Pamela Braun.



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CJ at Food Stories October 11, 2012 at 7:44 am

I have never made salmon burgers from fresh but this does look interesting … Happy Thursday 🙂

Belinda @zomppa October 10, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I simply love salmon burgers but never made them on my own. Love the sauce too.

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