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Salmon Burgers

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a salmon burger with old bay seasoning and topped with dill havarti cheese, caramelized onions and sliced avocado on a plate
Photography by Gayle McLeod

    Topped with melty Havarti & caramelized onions and seasoned with Old Bay, these homemade salmon burgers are the best ever!

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    Easy & Cheesy, These Super Healthy Salmon Burgers Really Hit the Spot!

    Healthy and easy do not have to mean boring and these generously-spiced, super yummy homemade salmon burgers are the undeniable proof! You can cook them on the grill or in a skillet, they’re ready quickly and they’re easy to throw together—all you need is a food processor and some good salmon. The secret to our super salmon burger recipe? Well, we have a few of them actually! But one of the things that inspired us is the classic combination of seafood and Old Bay Seasoning! You can buy good old Old Bay, of course, but you can also make your own! If you use a lot of Old Bay—like we do!—you might opt to make it yourself! Try our recipe for homemade Old Bay.

    salmon, avocado, caramelized onions, mayo, buns, dill havarti cheese, and spices in bowls on the counter for salmon burgers

    Everything You’ll Need to Make the Best Homemade Salmon Patties

    While a lot of salmon burger recipes call for canned salmon, we’re going whole hog with these! Or maybe we should say whole-fish?! Anyway, we feel like there’s no reason that a salmon burger should be anything less than perfect—a burger is a burger and you’d better make it crave-worthy! Fresh salmon, blitzed right before burger-ification, is the key to a salmon burger that really sings with that clean, meaty, delicious salmon flavor that we all love so much. That said, you don’t need to buy the absolutely most expensive fish for this one. Get something nice, and—as ever—we encourage you to consider sustainability! If you like to eat fish and want to keep on eating it year after year, you’ve got to buy fish that’s caught in a way that ensures catches for years to come—in other words, sustainable salmon. If you have a fishmonger you like just ask them what they think is the best salmon to buy. Otherwise, you can always look for certifications on the fish that is for sale, like those given out by the Marine Stewardship Council. You can also check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s excellent “Seafood Watch” site (or app) for more detailed info about what you see in the fish case. OK, on to the fun part! What’s in these salmon burger patties anyway? Other than salmon, you’ll simply need:

    • Onion powder

    • Garlic powder

    • Old Bay Seasoning

    • Mustard powder

    • Lemon juice

    • Chives

    salmon in a food processor that has been pulsed into small 1/8 inch pieces
    ground salmon, onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, mustard powder, lemon juice and minced chives in a glass bowl

    What Should I Put On My Salmon Burger?

    And, everyone’s burning question—does cheese belong on a salmon burger? Salmon burger toppings are a subject that we get pretty excited about. Honestly, you can sort of play around and see what salmon burger toppings you love most! But we do feel pretty strongly that this particular combination of toppings is about as great as it gets. We’re firm believers that cheese makes everything better, and that includes salmon burgers! However, we don’t reach for American cheese when topping a salmon burger. American cheese is obviously the gold standard for topping a beef burger, but something about salmon and cheddar just doesn’t quite work for us. We still need a good melting cheese, though, and dill havarti is—to us—a salmon burgers’ most perfect cheesy partner. Try it! You’ll see. Herby, umami-loaded, creamy and yummy, our preferred salmon burger toppings are:

    homemade salmon burger patties on a parchment paper lined baking sheet on the counter

    Are Salmon Burgers Healthy?

    You bet salmon burgers are healthy! Yes, even slathered with Old Bay mayo and topped with cheese—at least compared to beef burgers! They may not be the absolute lowest calorie choice ever, but salmon burgers offer a huge nutritional boost to your diet because salmon is just so very good for you. Salmon has a unique combination of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, selenium and vitamin B12 which are all certainly, unquestionably healthy! Studies have shown that eating salmon can possibly protected against basically all of the scary things—some cancers, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, and even asthma, depression, macular degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. So yeah, salmon is a great choice for burger night!

    mayonnaise, chives, Old Bay Seasoning and Lemon juice in a glass bowl to make old bay mayonnaise for salmon burgers
    old bay seasoning mayonnaise in a glass bowl with a spoon. made with mayonnaise, chives, Old Bay Seasoning and Lemon juice.

    How To Cook A Salmon Burger

    You’ve got two options and both are great! While we loooooooove a grilled burger—really grilled food of all kinds—and we get that you might want to grill it, so we’ve included how to do that. But, for salmon burgers, cooking in a skillet might be best because you’ve got a little more control over the heat and you really don’t want to overcook that salmon burger. But it’s really up to you! So, your two choices are:

    1. Cook your salmon burgers on the stovetop! Get that skillet nice and warm, add a little oil and pop that patty into the pan! After you flip the burger, add the cheese and cook until it’s just done.

    2. Or, make it a grilled salmon burger! You can grill salmon burgers over pretty high heat, but just keep a close eye on them because overcooking is really a bummer. Two factors will go into how quickly the burgers cook—how cold they are, and how thick they are. If you made the patties a bit ahead of time and have been storing them in the fridge, you might let them have a few minutes outside the fridge before you start cooking them so they don’t get the shock of going from the super cold fridge to super duper hot grill. Also, if you make your patties on the thick side, you’ll buy yourself a little wiggle room in terms of how long they can be on the grill before they’re overdone.

    homemade salmon burger patties being fried in a skillet next to a plate of sliced dill havarti cheese
    homemade salmon burger patties topped with slices of dill havarti cheese being fried in a skillet

    How Do You Know When Salmon Burgers Are Done?

    Ooooo this is tricky. Knowing when a salmon burger is done is going to depend a bit on what “done” feels like to you. If you like salmon—and if you’re making a salmon burger, we’re guessing you do—you’ll probably not mind a bit of rareness in the middle? But what level of rareness, well, that’s really personal. We’d say that a good rule of thumb is just to go ahead and poke the burgers with your fingers as they approach doneness. Is the outside looking nicely crisped? When you poke the burger patty, is there a springy-ness? If you poke a knife into the center of the burger, do you see a nice pinkness? If you’re a numbers person, 2-3 minutes per side is your guide. The more you make these salmon burgers and time again, the more you’ll be able to tell the doneness by feel, too. It’ll become second nature before you know it!

    a salmon burger with old bay seasoning and topped with dill havarti cheese, caramelized onions and sliced avocado on a plate
    2 plates with salmon burger with old bay seasoning and topped with dill havarti cheese, caramelized onions and sliced avocado
    a salmon burger with old bay seasoning and topped with dill havarti cheese, caramelized onions and sliced avocado on a plate

    The Best Burger of Summer!

    There’s nothing better than a burger and honestly this salmon burger gives regular old classic beef burgers a run for its money! We hope you love this salmon burger recipe as much as we do, and when you make it, let us know how you like it! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

    Salmon Burgers

    Originally published: May 11, 2022

    • Serves:4
    • Prep Time: 45 min
    • Cook Time: 10 min
    • Calories:885

    Ingredients

    Salmon Patties

    • 1ÂĽ pound salmon, skin removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced chives or green onions
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 4 slices Havarti dill cheese

    Old Bay Mayonnaise

    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon minced chives
    • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

    Serve with

    Method

    1. In a small bowl, stir together the celery salt, paprika, cayenne, dry mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger to combine well.

    2. Make the salmon burgers. Add the salmon to the base of a food processor and pulse 15 times until broken down into 1/8-inch pieces. Transfer 3/4 of the shredded salmon to a large bowl and pulse the remaining salmon until a paste forms, about 15 more times. Add the salmon paste, onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, mustard powder, lemon juice, and chives and mix until combined.

    3. Line a plate with parchment paper. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 equal patties. Cook immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

    4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon patties and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and add a piece of cheese on top of each patty, then cook until golden brown, 3 minutes more. Be careful not to overcook the salmon.

    5. Meanwhile make the Old Bay Mayonnaise. In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, chives, Old Bay seasoning, and lemon juice.

    6. Spread the Old Bay Mayonnaise on the cut sides of the buns. Add the salmon burgers, cheese-sides up, to the bottom buns. Top with caramelized onions, avocado, and top buns.

    To make these burgers on the grill: Preheat your grill to medium. Add patties to the grill and cook, until golden brown on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Flip and add a piece of cheese on top of each patty, then cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes more. Be careful not to overcook the salmon.

    Note: If you freeze your patties, cook them for about 5 minutes per side.

    Nutrition Info

    • Per Serving
    • Amount
    • Calories885
    • Protein42 g
    • Carbohydrates36 g
    • Total Fat64 g
    • Dietary Fiber5 g
    • Cholesterol147 mg
    • Sodium1357 mg
    • Total Sugars7 g

    Questions & Reviews

    Avg: 5