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Salmon Burgers

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

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!

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

Tools You’ll Need

More Burger Recipes to Try

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

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

Ingredients

Old Bay Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Salmon Patties

  • 1 1/4 lb skinless salmon filet, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp minced chives or chopped green onions
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Old Bay Mayonnaise

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Chives
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice

Serve with

  • 4 brioche or hamburger buns, toasted
  • 4 slices dill Havarti Cheese
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 1 Avocado, sliced

Method

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

  2. Add the salmon pieces to the base of a food processor. Pulse 15 times until the pieces are broken down into roughly 1/8-inch pieces. Transfer 3/4 of the salmon to a large bowl and pulse the remaining salmon until a paste forms, about 15 more times. Transfer the salmon paste to the bowl along with the onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay seasoning, mustard powder, lemon juice and minced chives or green onions. Mix until fully incorporated.

  3. Line a plate with a piece of parchment paper. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 equal patties. For best results, cook the salmon burgers right away. They won’t be quite as perfect, but if you’d like to make the patties ahead of time, you can. Simply cover them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.

  4. Make the Old Bay mayonnaise: In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, chives, Old Bay seasoning and lemon juice.

  5. To cook the salmon burgers on the grill: Lay the patties on a medium-hot grill and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip the salmon burger and top it with cheese. Cook for another 2-3 minutes but keep a close eye on it! The length of cooking time will depend a bit on how thick your patties are—if you make them on the thin side, they’ll cook even faster.

  6. To cook the salmon burgers in a skillet: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil until glistening. Cook the salmon patties in the oil until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the patties over and place a piece of cheese on top of each one. Cook until the other side of the patties are also golden brown and the cheese is beginning to melt, another 3 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the salmon.

  7. Assemble the salmon burgers: Spread each side of the toasted buns with the Old Bay mayonnaise. Place a salmon patty, cheese side up, on each lower bun. Top with caramelized onions and avocado and then the top bun.

NOTE: Prepare the caramelized onions a day or two ahead of time, because they take about an hour to make and keep well. If you make them ahead and store them in the fridge and when you’re ready to serve, simply warm up the caramelized onions in the pan after you are done cooking the salmon patties.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 885
  • Protein 42 g
  • Carbohydrates 36 g
  • Total Fat 64 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Cholesterol 147 mg
  • sodium 1357 mg
  • Total Sugars 7 g

Salmon Burgers

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Barbara L Strobel

    how can you decrease the sodium?

    Try buying mayonnaise with the least amount of sodium or reducing the amount of mayo you put on the burger. You could also reduce the amount of old bay seasoning however, that will decrease the flavor. Hope this helps Barbara.

  • Jenn

    Loved this! The combination of all of these flavors is incredible. This will be on repeat many times in my house.

    Thanks, so glad you loved these burgers!