The Simple Customizable Salmon Cake That Uses Canned Fish and Whatever’s in Your Fridge

Salmon cake

May 29, 2020

By Beth Lipton

Whether saving money is on your mind, or minimizing trips to the grocery store, or using up what’s in your pantry, or all of the above, it’s hard to argue with canned wild salmon. It’s shelf stable, it’s far cheaper than fresh, and it’s super versatile.

Patties are one of the easiest ways to dress up canned fish; it lets you turn those cans into a healthy hot meal that works any time of day. Use them as a base for eggs benedict in the morning, have them on a salad for lunch, or make a quick sauce and serve with sauteed vegetables for dinner. Heck, you could even eat one cold out of the fridge as a healthy, protein-rich snack.

The best part: You can customize salmon patties simply by changing up the flavorings you put in them. Here’s a simple recipe to start with, and 5 ways to make it different each time. Of course, you don’t have to stick to these — add whatever herbs you have in the fridge or spices from your pantry to make it your own. They’re gluten free, rich in omega-3s and protein, and even have some minced vegetables, so they’re great for you, too.

Salmon Patties

  • Serves: 8


  • 2 6-oz cans boneless, skinless wild-caught salmon
  • ½ cup minced scallions
  • 2 large or 3 medium ribs celery, minced (about ¾ cup)
  • 3 tbsp flour (such as all purpose flour, coconut, or almond)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp whole-milk yogurt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Olive or coconut oil cooking spray


  1. Flake salmon into a medium bowl. Add onion and celery; stir until well combined. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Fold in yogurt and eggs. (Add another 1 tablespoon of flour if mixture is very wet.) Use a dry 1/3-cup measure to make 8 portions; shape into ½-inch- thick patties. Place patties on a tray, cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
  2. Place a large rimmed baking sheet in oven; preheat to 400ºF. When hot, remove baking sheet from oven and mist with cooking spray. Carefully place patties on baking sheet, spacing them apart, and mist tops of patties with cooking spray. Bake until bottoms of patties are golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully flip and continue baking until golden all over and heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  3. Serve hot, or let cool, cover and refrigerate to serve later.

The Variations Are Endless

  • Asian inspired: Add 1 tablespoon each minced ginger and garlic (stir in 1 tablespoon sriracha as well if you like some heat). Mix soy sauce or coconut aminos with toasted sesame oil and serve alongside as a dipping sauce.
  • Lemon-herb: Add the zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon juice, and any fresh herbs you have. Parsley or dill work well, or combine them and add a little mint or tarragon, too.
  • Old Bay: Add a teaspoon or two of Old Bay seasoning.
  • Buffalo: Add a tablespoon of Frank’s Red Hot or another hot sauce. Drizzle with blue cheese dressing right before serving.
  • Bagel: Swap in red onion for the scallions and sprinkle in some everything-bagel seasoning.

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