A step-by-step recipe for making the most moist, tender and flavorful salmon cakes at home. Learn how to bake fresh salmon, make a flavorful sauté of onion and bell pepper, then combine with panko crumbs, eggs, seasonings to form crispy, golden brown salmon patties ready in under 30 minutes. 

This easy homemade salmon cake recipe made from scratch includes tips for getting the texture just right – tender flakes of salmon paired with crunchy outer edges. 

Discover how simple ingredients like fresh salmon, onion, bell pepper, parsley and eggs can come together into a delicious, healthy weeknight meal the whole family will love. 

Serve these homemade baked salmon cakes with lemon wedges, tartar sauce or cocktail sauce. They also make excellent salmon burgers.

How do you keep salmon cakes from falling apart?

Using fresh salmon and avoiding over-mixing helps them hold together. Refrigerating the mixture before frying also firms them up. Adding a binder like breadcrumbs or eggs is key as well.

Can you make salmon cakes without breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use crackers, panko, or other binders like mashed potatoes instead of breadcrumbs. But some sort of carb is needed to hold the cakes together.

What is the best salmon to use?

Wild-caught salmon is great, but farmed salmon tends to have more fat, flakes better, and holds together more. Any fresh, boneless salmon works well.

How do you cook salmon cakes without oil?

You can bake salmon cakes in the oven at 400°F for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. Line the pan with parchment and spray with nonstick spray instead of frying.

Should you flip salmon patties only once?

Yes, resist the urge to move the cakes while pan-frying. Let them brown 3-4 minutes then gently flip only once. Frequent flipping leads to breaking and uneven cooking.

Can you freeze homemade salmon patties?

Absolutely! Let the cooked salmon cakes cool completely then place on a baking sheet in a single layer to freeze solid. Transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers for 2-3 months.

Baked Salmon for the Salmon Cakes


  • 1 lb fresh salmon fillet
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1⁄4 tsp garlic salt
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place salmon fillet in center of prepared baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over salmon and season with garlic salt and black pepper.
  3. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Allow baked salmon to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, flake salmon into bite-sized pieces using two forks. Discard any bones. Set flaked salmon aside.

Sautéed Veggies


  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1⁄2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter


  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter.
  2. Add diced onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned.
  3. Transfer sautéed veggies to a large bowl. Let cool slightly.

Salmon Cake Assembly


  • Flaked salmon from step 1
  • Sautéed onions and peppers from step 2
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter for cooking patties


  1. In a large bowl, combine cooled salmon, sautéed veggies, panko breadcrumbs, beaten eggs, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, pepper, mayonnaise and parsley. Stir gently until fully incorporated.
  2. Form mixture into equal sized patties, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. An ice cream scoop works great for getting uniform sizes.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter. Carefully place patties in a single layer in pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Work in batches if needed, adding remaining 1 tbsp butter as needed.
  4. Serve salmon cakes warm, with desired condiments like tartar sauce or lemon wedges. Enjoy!

These flavorful salmon cakes are tender on the inside with crispy edges. The fresh salmon and veggies make them absolutely delicious. They’re easy to make with common ingredients and bake up in less than 30 minutes. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or luncheon entrée.


  • Choose high-quality, fresh salmon. Farmed salmon tends to hold together better than wild salmon. Make sure there are no bones.
  • Don’t overmix the salmon filling. Gently fold the ingredients together to keep the texture chunky. Overmixing will make the cakes dense and rubbery.
  • Refrigerate the salmon mixture for 15-30 minutes before forming patties. This helps firms them up so they hold their shape better during cooking.
  • Resist the urge to press the patties down with a spatula while pan-frying. Let them cook undisturbed to get an even, crispy crust.
  • Use a nonstick pan and don’t crowd. Getting a nice brown crust depends on direct contact with the hot pan surface.
  • Drizzle a little olive oil around the salmon cakes while they cook. This helps them develop color on the sides too.
  • Check internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer to confirm doneness. Salmon cakes should reach 145°F at a minimum.
  • If the cakes fall apart, they may need more binder. Try increasing the breadcrumbs or eggs next time.
  • Get creative with flavors! Consider additions like mustard, hot sauce, lemon zest, dill, capers, or smoked paprika.

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1 Comment

  1. Rachel A Clayton

    When I went to the recipe and the directions, it was not the right recipe. It was a potato recipe.

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