Wild Salmon Burgers Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Wild Salmon Burgers Recipe

Wild Salmon Burgers | Pamela Salzman
Photos by Erica Hampton

The past two nights I set 5 places at the dinner table and I could not have been more grateful or HAPPY.  All three of my kids are home, and although it will be a short time that we’re all together, I’ll take what I can get!  I am going to pull back a little from social media and lengthy blogposts in the very short term, so bear with me.  I have to walk the talk and enjoy some balance in my life.  So I am going to spend some more time with my kids over the next week or so.  And then I have to get cracking on several projects which I have mentioned in a previous post.  It’s all super exciting, but something’s gotta give!

Wild Salmon Burgers | Pamela Salzman

I posted a tease of this salmon burger on Instagram a few weeks ago and I know many of you are excited about this recipe.  It really came as a response to one of my students asking me how to get her kids to like wild salmon. Ah, yes.  Wild salmon is the only salmon I buy and I don’t bother with any kind of farm-raised salmon, even the fancy ones from Scotland.  I want Omega-3 fats and antioxidants, not pro-inflammatory fats and food coloring.  Plus, fish farms are destroying the aquaculture and I am not going to use my dollars to support that.  But wild salmon has a stronger flavor, more salmony, than farm-raised which has more fat and oil and is definitely blander.  Wild salmon is also easier to dry out which is a bummer.  In my cookbook, there is a two-page spread on “How to Cook Wild Salmon 7 Ways.”  Definitely check that out if you’ve ever come back from the market with wild salmon and no plan.

Wild Salmon Burgers | Pamela Salzman

I immediately suggested a salmon burger to this mom because you can really doctor up the fish with lots of great flavors and kids love burgers!  Set out a topping bar and you’re halfway there.  The technique here may be a little scary because you have to make a paste with some of the salmon and a few ingredients, but go with it and have faith.  This is how the salmon gets bound together and turns into a moist burger.  These are different from the salmon patties on my site which are made with canned salmon.  Those are fabulous and you should give them a try, but they’re much thinner and not burger-like.

I like topping my burger with avocado blended with cilantro and lime, plus some pickled onions (how to quick pickle onions in the roasted broccoli recipe in my cookbook) and arugula or in a big lettuce leaf instead of a bun.  Basic avocado slices + chipotle Vegenaise + caramelized onions are always a favorite. Or do what my picky son does and eat it plain with nothing on it and touching nothing else on his plate.  I am just grateful and happy he’s eating wild salmon.


You can shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below!

3.7 from 3 reviews
Wild Salmon Burgers Recipe
Serves: 4-5 Patties
  • 1-1 ¼ pounds wild salmon filet, skin and pin bones removed, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg or 3 Tablespoons Vegenaise or your favorite mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs or oat flour (use GF if needed)
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves and tender stems, finely chopped (dill is also nice)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined, cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • accompaniments: toasted buns, arugula, avocado, garlic aioli, or tartar sauce
  1. Cut three-quarters of the salmon (just eyeball it) into ¼-inch pieces. Put in a large bowl. Cut the rest of the salmon into chunks; transfer the chunks to a food processor along with the mustard, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice and cayenne. Pulse to make a paste.
  2. Add the salmon paste mixture to the bowl with the diced salmon. Add the minced shallot, panko, parsley, salt, and black pepper to taste. Gently mix until just combined. The mixture will seem like a sloppy mess.
  3. Line a platter or a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment paper (if you started with 1¼ pounds of salmon, you can probably squeeze out 5 patties.) Form into 4-inch-wide, ¾-inch-thick patties. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 12 hours ahead. This step helps bind the burgers.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat or 375 degrees on a griddle. Add the patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, about 4-5 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the center, 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately with desired accompaniments.


Related Recipes



  1. Can you confirm salmon is raw to start? And what if it’s already cooked, how might you amend the recipe? Thanks always!

    • Salmon is raw to start. You can probably used cooked and just cook the patties less. Or look at my salmon patties recipe which uses canned salmon. It’s a little different, but delicious and easy.

  2. Planning to try these but without panko. GF panko lacks the same texture as regular. I’d rather not buy GF oat flour sine I don’t use it regularly. I’m thinking that cooked quinoa could be subbed.

    • I haven’t tried that, but it may work!

  3. Can we use canned salmon as a substitute? Thank you!

  4. Hi Pamela,
    Been making these a lot! Found great wild ground frozen salmon! Any mustard sub recommendations?

    • Nice! I would sub mayonnaise for the mustard.

  5. Hi Pamela, is there any way to make these without the eggs? We’ve been planning these for our July 4th grill and I just saw the egg.

    • Use a tablespoon or 2 of vegan mayo! Happy 4th!

      • These were amazing!!! I used wild king salmon (with soy-free veganaise instead of egg) served on Macrina baguette with vegan green goddess dressing from the Vedge cookbook. These have quickly become a summer staple. Thank you for another fantastic recipe (and your quick response)!!!

        • Perfect! Thanks for letting me know how they turned out! 🙂

  6. Made these tonight for my husband and son (who LOVES salmon and always steals some off my plate when I order it). My husband went back for seconds and my son said, “Mmm, I love it! Cheers to the chef!” Thanks for another good one 🙂

    • Love when that happens! Good job, Christy!

  7. Hi. Have you ever heard that the depletion of the wild salmon population is the number one reason why orcas are becoming endangered? Agreed that fish farms are bad, period. But eating species directly linked to the possible extinction of one of the most amazing animal on Earth is not a good idea, either, no matter how good it tastes. National Geographic ran an interesting piece about this: http://bit.ly/2MyLP1J. There’s a good reason why sensible people do not eat panda bears or rhinos, no matter how good they may taste.

    • Wow I’d never heard this! Thanks for sharing this is sad.

  8. Looks great! How do you prepare the garlic aioli?

    • I just took soy-free Vegenaise and blended it with some avocado and lime. If you wanted a garlic aioli, just take your favorite mayo and blend it with roasted garlic.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe:  

Signup to receive updates about new recipes and more

I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

Buy on Amazon
Buy on Amazon