A juicy fresh salmon cake burger with tartar sauce on the side.

Fresh salmon cake burgers


Moist and flavorful fresh salmon cake burgers are a delicious treat. Mmmmn, they are all kinds of amazing and are super easy to prepare the patties ahead of time. I use fresh salmon in these burgers rather than canned salmon, which is perhaps a little different than the average salmon patty recipe out there.

A juicy fresh salmon cake burger with tartar sauce on the side.
Fresh salmon cake burgers with tartar sauce

We’re fortunate to have access to lots of delicious fresh seafood here in the Pacific Northwest. Use what’s in season and fresh for the best results.  Using a fresh fillet of salmon means you’ll need to do a little prep work ahead of time. But the additional flavor gain is worth the effort. Fresh salmon cake burgers taste great served with a homemade tartar sauce on the side.

A plate with fresh salmon cake burger open faced. Tartar sauce on top.

My favorite kind of salmon to make these with is wild Pacific sockeye salmon. It happens to be my favorite. I love that beautiful color. Salmon is full of omega 3’s and good for you too. Other kinds of salmon like Chinook or Pink are fine too for this recipe. Prepare the salmon by removing the skin, as many bones as possible and cutting it into manageable pieces. Ask your fish monger for help if you’re unsure about how to remove the skin. Tail end pieces tend to have the least amount of bones.

A filet of fresh sockeye salmon.
Fresh sockeye salmon with chives
Photo of the food processor blade pulsing the salmon.
Pulsing the salmon in the food processor

You’ll need a food processor, like this Breville Sous Chef Food Processor to make this recipe. You only need to pulse the salmon 3-4 times to coarsely break it up and get the right consistency for forming patties. I like to use red bell pepper, onion and chives in this recipe. Chives grow in my garden like crazy and I have them on hand all summer. If you don’t have chives, you could substitute a little fresh dill or green onion instead. Fresh salmon cake burgers can also be made with panko or bread crumbs. See the end of this post for gluten-free notes.

Useful kitchen tools for this recipe:

This post contains affiliate links. See policy for full disclosure.

Breville Sous Chef Food Processor

Fresh salmon cake burgers

Moist and flavorful fresh salmon cake burgers are a delicious treat. They can be made with panko or bread crumbs and taste great with a fresh tartar sauce.

  • 1 1/4 lbs fresh wild salmon (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced celery
  • 3 tsp capers (rinsed and chopped)
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • 1 large clove garlic (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Old Bay Seafood seasoning
  • 1 pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp panko or bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Prepare the salmon by removing the skin, bones and cutting the salmon into manageable pieces. Place the salmon into a food processor and pulse 3-4 times to coarsely chop it. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat and add the onion, red bell pepper, celery, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Cook until the onion softens, about 5-7 minutes. Add the capers and chives and remove from the heat. Allow the onion mixture to cool to room temperature.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the salmon, onion mixture, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup panko or bread crumbs, garlic, mustard, cayenne, Old Bay seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is firm and chilled (about 1 hour).
  4. Form the salmon mixture into four 1 inch thick patties. Sprinkle them with 1 tbsp panko or bread crumbs. Heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a skillet on medium-high heat. Saute the salmon patties until they are golden brown and cooked through. Flip the patties once, cooking about 4 minutes per side. Serve on a hamburger bun with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, fresh tartar sauce and a wedge of lemon. Enjoy!

Prep time includes 1 hour of chilling time in the fridge to allow flavors to meld. Thank you for trying this recipe. Join our email newsletter for more great recipes at https://northwestspoon.com

Gluten free notes:

If you’re gluten-free, you’ll need to make or buy gluten-free bread crumbs and hamburger buns. Making your own plain bread crumbs is super easy using a food processor and your favorite kind of gluten-free bread. Simply pulse a few slices of gluten-free bread in a clean food processor a couple times until you have course bread crumbs. I prefer Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread for this purpose. I usually make a couple cups of fresh bread crumbs at a time and freeze them in an air-tight container for use in many different recipes. They defrost quickly and are the perfect replacement for regular bread crumbs.



  1. 5 stars
    This dish looks like something you’d get at a luxurious spa! I love that you can prepare the patties ahead of time. These are happening at my house this weekend!

  2. My fave dish..salmon in many ways. And your salmon cake burger absolutely worth to try..thx for sharing this


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Don’t miss a recipe! Subscribe to our newsletter.