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Southern salmon patties are inexpensive, simple and easy 30-minute meal. All you need is canned salmon and a handful of pantry staples. My secret ingredient ensures moist and tender cakes every time. Yay, no more dry salmon cakes! These salmon patties are crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside.

Ingredient notes:

With a handful of pantry staples, this dish comes together effortlessly.

  • Salmon – We used Wild Alaskan Pink salmon. A big can of salmon is usually “traditional-style” and have skin and bones, but the bones are very soft and you don’t even feel them. You can pick out the larger bones, if you want. Or you can get 3 cans of boneless skinless salmon. They usually come in 5 oz cans.
  • Crackers – I use about 15 saltine crackers. You may substitute Panko or regular breadcrumbs for crackers.
  • Mayonnaise – This is out secret ingredient for incredibly soft and moist salmon patties! Yes, good ol’ mayo! Who would have thought! Dry fish is a pet peeve of mine, so I was determined to find a solution!
  • Old Bay Seasoning is a blend of celery seed, paprika, mustard, salt, red pepper, black pepper, and more. You may also use Cajun or Creole seasonings instead.
  • Bell pepper – Due to its less sweet taste, green peppers are perfect for cooking.
  • Egg acts as a binder to keep the salmon patties together.
  • Seasoning – Use salt and pepper, but I prefer not to add extra salt as the Old bay seasoning is enough flavoring for me!
  • Lemon juice reduces fishy smell of salmon.

How to make this recipe:

  1. Drain and flake salmon, and then combine with the rest of ingredients.
  2. Use a scoop of the salmon mix and shape it into a patty. TIP: The mixture is super sticky, but if you wet your hands, it’ll help to shape the patties easily.
  3. Place the patties on an oiled baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes at 400°F and then flip and bake for another 5-7 minutes and enjoy!

How do you keep the patties from falling apart?

There’re things you could do to prevent patties from falling apart:

  1. Salmon patties will fall apart if the mixture is too wet. Ensure you use enough crackers in order for them to bind together well. However, it’s normal for the salmon mix to be a little sticky!
  2. Also chilling the patties in the fridge for a few minutes prior to baking helps them to keep their shape better.

Do you have to take the bones out of canned salmon? 

The bones in canned salmon are very soft and you don’t even feel them. But you can pick out the larger bones, if you want.

Which is better red or pink canned salmon?

Red salmon, aka sockeye salmon, is the most popular salmon, but it has stronger salmon flavor.

And pink salmon, on other hand, is much milder in taste and low on fat content.

You can learn more about salmon varieties in this article.

Make-Ahead Tip:

Salmon patties are perfect for making in advance as part of meal prepping.

  • Simply form the patties and refrigerate for up to overnight.
  • Don’t forget to cover so they don’t dry out and also make the fridge smell!

What goes good with these patties?

Southern salmon patties pair well with following:

For a low carb meal, pair salmon patties with your favorite green salad.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! Let me know once you’ve tried it by leaving a comment below or sharing a photo and tagging @busy_cooks on Instagram!

Southern Salmon Patties

Southern salmon patties are the perfect inexpensive classic fish dish you can whip up for a quick 30-minute meal.


  • 1 can (14.75 oz) salmon, Note 1
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup onion, ½ of a large onion chopped
  • ¼ cup bell pepper, ½ of a large bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning, Note 2
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup saltine crackers, crush about 15 crackers, Note 3
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a baking sheet with oil. Or you could line it with a foil and then lightly grease the foil for easy clean up.
  • Open and drain a can of salmon. Pick out any large bones or skin, if needed, and flake it lightly with a fork.
  • In a large bowl combine the drained salmon, lemon juice, chopped onions and green peppers, minced garlic, mayonnaise, old bay seasoning, pepper, egg and crushed saltine crackers. Mix well. To crush the saltine crackers, just use your hands. No fancy equipment required.
  • Using a ¼ cup-measuring cup, scoop out the salmon mix and shape it into a patty and place it on the prepared baking pan. We got 8 patties. Lightly spray or brush the top of the patties with oil.
  • Bake at 400°F for 15 minutes. Flip the patties over brush or spray some more oil and bake at 400°F for another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.
  • For a low carb meal, pair it with green salad. It can also be served with rice, egg noodles or any pasta dish of your choice.


Note 1: A big can of salmon is usually “traditional style” and have skin and bones, but the bones are very soft and you don’t even feel them. You can pick out the larger bones, if you want. Or you can get 3 cans of boneless skinless salmon. They usually come in 5 oz cans.
Note 2: Your favorite Cajun or Creole seasoning can be used instead of old bay seasoning. This recipe doesn’t call for added salt. The salt in the old bay seasoning is enough to flavor the patties.
Note 3: Instead of crushed saltine crackers, you can use breadcrumbs or panko, if that’s all you have on hand.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 87kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 157mg, Potassium: 112mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 210IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 1mg
All images and text ©. Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimate only. Read full disclosure here.

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