Quick and easy salmon burgers with canned salmon and a quick homemade tartar sauce.
FOR THE TARTAR SAUCE (optional)
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons minced dill pickles (you could also use capers)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard
- Salt to taste
FOR THE SALMON BURGERS
- 2 6-ounce cans of salmon, drained
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon canola or avocado oil, for frying
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked until crispy (see recipe notes)
- 4 sandwich rolls or burger buns, halved
- 1 heaping cup fresh arugula
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
MAKE THE TARTAR SAUCE (optional)
- Combine greek yogurt or mayo, pickles, lemon juice, and mustard in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
MAKE THE SALMON PATTIES
- Use clean hands to mix salmon, bread crumbs, mustard, eggs, parsley, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.
- Divide salmon mixture into four equal-sized portions. Use your hands to shape each portion into a patty, about 1/2 inch thick.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- Carefully place salmon patties into skillet (you may need to work in batches depending on the size of your skillet). Cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until patties are cooked through. When done, patties will be golden brown and lightly crispy.
ASSEMBLE YOUR BURGERS
- If you have time, lightly toast your burger buns (use a toaster, toaster oven, or hot oven).
- In a small mixing bowl, toss together arugula, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside. Note: If you're short on time, skip this dressing step and just use plain arugula!
- Time to assemble! Spread a thin layer of tartar sauce across each bun piece. Top each bottom bun with a salmon patty, another spoonful of tartar sauce, crispy bacon, and a small handful of the arugula. Top with the other half of the bun and serve immediately.
If you’re adding bacon to your burgers, cook it right before you cook the salmon patties. Cook bacon in the oven (our favorite method) or crisp it up in a skillet. If you use the skillet method, remove the bacon once it’s crispy but leave the bacon fat in the pan! Use that fat instead of canola or avocado oil to cook your burgers later on.
What kind of salmon should I use? We developed this recipe with canned salmon to keep things simple. We recommend using pink (usually cheapest), coho, or sockeye salmon (we like Vital Choice or Wild Planet). You can swap leftover baked salmon for the canned salmon here if you like - just flake your leftover salmon into the bowl before you mix the patties. You can use a fresh salmon fillet if you prefer (see the post above for instructions on how to make this swap) but we prefer to use canned salmon here to keep things easy and save those beautiful salmon fillets for recipes like this easy Mustard Roasted Salmon!
How to cook salmon burgers. We prefer cooking these salmon burgers on the stovetop (in a large skillet with a light layer of canola or avocado oil) or in the oven on a lined baking sheet (at 400°F for 15-20 minutes). If you’d like to grill these burgers, chill the patties for at least an hour in the fridge, then oil your grill grates and cook over medium-high for 3-5 minutes per side. Flip seafood burgers carefully on the grill, as fish patties like to fall apart! See the post above for more detailed instructions on these alternate cooking methods.
Additions and Substitutions. Use cilantro or dill instead of parsley in the salmon patties. Skip the homemade tartar sauce and use store-bought tartar sauce, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, or blue cheese dressing instead. Use tuna instead of salmon if you like.
A note about the tartar sauce. This is a very basic recipe that leans on fridge staples: feel free to riff! Use Greek yogurt if you like more of a tart flavor; use mayonnaise if you’d like the sauce a bit mellower (or use a mix of both!) Use capers instead of pickles if that’s what you have on hand. Add a handful of chopped dill or parsley to brighten up the sauce. Add more or less lemon juice depending on your tastes. Spice it up with some cayenne pepper, hot sauce, paprika, or horseradish.
Toppings! We kept things simple with a bit of crispy bacon and dressed arugula here. Add sliced tomato, mustard, sliced or mashed avocado, a quick cabbage slaw, or cheese (white cheddar, whipped feta, and whipped goat cheese are all good) if you like.
Make Ahead Tips. Uncooked salmon patties store well in the fridge or freezer if you’d like to make them ahead of time! Mix and shape the patties as directed, then store in an airtight container for up to 24 hours in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer. Store patties in a single layer or, if you need to stack them, layer a small square of parchment paper between each patty to prevent sticking.
Keywords: seafood, summer, sandwich