We set out to make a foolproof Salmon Burger Recipe with fresh salmon filet, and we nailed it. They taste great and are tender and juicy. Extra bonus, they stay together on the grill, but you can also cook them in a skillet if that is preferred! There is a perfect mixture of small salmon pieces, ground salmon, and panade to keep them moist. The burger itself is full of flavor, but we take it to the next level and top it off with a delicious lemon caper mayo when serving.
Next time you are craving a burger, consider making this Salmon Burger instead of a traditional ground beef burger.
RELATED: Grilled Pork Burger
Salmon- use fresh salmon filet, not canned salmon! Skinless is preferred if you can find it. If your salmon has skin-on, remove that before blending in the food processor.
Ritz Crackers- a lot of our burgers and ground meat recipes use something called a panade, a starch and liquid mixed together to keep ground meat recipes moist and tender. For this salmon burger recipe the panade is made with Ritz crackers.
Mayonnaise & Dijon Mustard– this helps keep the salmon burgers nice and moist and they won’t dry out on the grill!
Capers– such a great flavor and texture added to the burgers. Plus they are used in the lemon caper mayo, so the flavor is repeated.
Lemon- classic ingredient used with salmon. It not only adds flavor, but adds moisture to the panade.
Dill– opt for fresh dill in your burgers. The flavor blends perfect with the lemon, garlic and capers.
Red Onion- make sure that you finely mince the red onion so you don’t have crunchy onion pieces in your salmon burger. The onions not only add nice flavor, they add a lot of moisture too!
Garlic- fresh minced garlic is SUCH a great addition to just about any burger. It lends a more intense and delightful garlic flavor than garlic powder.
Seasonings- salt, pepper and onion powder all enhance the other flavors added to the salmon patty mixture.
The nice thing about these Salmon Burgers are that they can be made a day or two ahead. Simply prep the salmon patties and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge.
If the salmon patties have been in the fridge for more than 24 hours remove from the fridge and let them sit at room temp for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Step By Step Salmon Burgers
- Blend crackers and seasonings.
- Add wet ingredients.
- Puree some of the salmon.
- Add more salmon.
- Mix salmon with panade.
- Prep baking sheet.
- Form the salmon patties.
- Pop salmon burgers in the fridge.
In a food processor add the ritz crackers, dill, garlic, lemon zest, salt, pepper and onion powder. Pulse until the Ritz resembles breadcrumbs.
Pour into a separate bowl.
Add the mayo, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, capers and red onion to the Ritz mixture. Stir everything together, making a panade.
A panade is a starch and liquid mixture that prevents the protein fibers in meat from constricting and stiffening. Bread and milk make up the iconic duo that is a traditional panade. In fact, the word panade comes from the French for “bread mash.”
If the salmon has skin, remove that before moving on.
Cube all of the salmon into ½ inch pieces. Add about ⅓ of a pound of the salmon to the food processor. Run the machine for about 15 seconds until the salmon becomes a nice paste.
Add the remaining salmon cubes and pulse about 15 times so that the salmon pieces break down to about ⅛-1/4 inch in size.
Combine the salmon mixture with the panade and stir together.
Prep a rimmed baking sheet with squares of parchment or wax paper. Spraying each one with non-stick spray.
Using a ½ cup measuring cup, scoop out portions of the salmon mixture. Divide it out onto the pieces of parchment. Then form into patties.
This should make 5 equal patties.
Pop the salmon burger patties in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can also make them a couple days ahead, in that case cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap.
These salmon burgers can be cooked on the grill or in a skillet. See below for more detail. You want to use an instant read thermometer to make sure they reach 145° internal temp.
Cooking on the Grill
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, direct heat cooking. Spray the top side of the salmon burgers with non-stick spray. Cook over direct heat for about 3 minutes per side. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure they reach 145° internal temp.
Cooking in a Skillet
Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmery and hot add the salmon burgers. Cook for about 4 minutes per side. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure they reach 145° internal temp.
Toppings For Salmon Burgers
There is a delicious recipe for a Lemon Caper Mayo in the recipe card below. Place a generous amount on both pieces of a toasted brioche bun, then add some greens or lettuce, a salted tomato slice, and some thinly sliced red onion. You will love the flavor combos!
Side Dish Ideas
This Salmon Burger is nice and filling, so no need to go crazy with the side dishes. Of course “burger and fries” is always a good combo, especially sweet potato fries with this burger, but let’s get into some other ideas:
- Side Salad with Warm Balsamic Dressing
- Caesar Salad
- Cucumber and Onion Salad
- Cheese Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Bacon Salad
- Crispy Skillet Potatoes
- Roasted Asparagus
- Cilantro Lime Slaw
TL;DR Recipe Tips To Remember
- Remove the skin from the salmon before making the salmon patty mixture.
- Use a food processor to make quick work of making the salmon patty mixture.
- Use fresh dill and fresh garlic for the best flavor.
- Zest the lemon with a zester or microplane before squeezing the juice.
- Make sure to refrigerate the patties before cooking, this helps them set up.
- Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the burgers reach 145° internal temp.
More Salmon Recipes To Love
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Salmon Burger Recipe with Lemon Caper Mayo
- 14 Ritz crackers crushed
- 1 Tbsp. fresh dill lightly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon capers chopped
- 1 Tbsp. red onion finely minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1.25 pound skinless salmon fillet – cut into small ½ inch cubes
- non-stick spray
- Lemon Caper Mayo (Recipe below)
Brioche buns, lettuce, tomato and red onion
- In a food processor, pulse together the Ritz crackers, dill, chopped garlic cloves, lemon zest, onion powder, salt and pepper, until the crackers look like breadcrumbs. Pour into a separate bowl.14 Ritz crackers, 1 Tbsp. fresh dill, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. kosher salt, ½ tsp. black pepper
- To that cracker mixture add the mayo, onion, Dijon mustard, capers, and lemon juice, stir to combine.2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp. red onion, 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoon capers
- In the empty food processor add about ¼ of the salmon pieces. Run until the salmon is a nice paste, about 15 seconds. Then add the remaining salmon and just pulse about 15 times until there is mixture of paste and ⅛-1/4 inch pieces. *If you do not have a food processor you can finely chop the salmon with a sharp knife.1.25 pound skinless salmon fillet
- Add the salmon mixture to the cracker panade and stir to combine.
- Place 5 squares of wax paper or parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet. Spray the paper with non-stick spray. *these squares will help you transfer the salmon patties to the grill or pan.
- Lightly fill a ½ cup measuring cup with the salmon mixture and place on each square of paper. Then form each ½ cup portion into a burger patty that is thicker in size (you should be able to make 5 patties).
- Spray the top of the patties with cooking spray and place the tray with the patties into the refrigerator for 30 minutes up to 4 hours to help them set up.
Cooking on the Grill
- While the patties are in the refrigerator heat the grill to medium-high.
- Remove the patties from the refrigerator and place them on the hot grill. Cook for approximately 3 minutes per side (internal temperature reads 145℉ with an instant read thermometer)
Cooking on the skillet
- Add a tablespoon or two of oil to a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmery add the salmon burgers.
- Cook for approximately 4 minutes per side (internal temperature reads 145℉ with an instant read thermometer)
Lemon Caper Mayo
- In a bowl mix together the ingredients. Can be made up to a week ahead!½ cup mayonnaise, 2 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp. capers
- Serve the burgers on lightly toasted brioche buns with a generous amount of lemon caper mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.