Southern Salmon Croquettes

When your taste buds are craving something crispy and tender, this Salmon Croquette Recipe needs to be put on your menu. This is one hearty meal that is oh-so-full of flavor!

close up of salmon croquettes


 

Salmon Croquettes are a southern classic. Full of salmon, peppers, onions and seasoning, this versatile dish is sure to be loved by all! This is a great recipe for busy weeknights, but fancy enough for holidays and special events.

What are Salmon Croquettes?

Some might even refer to them as salmon cakes or a salmon patty, like a crab cake, but with salmon! A salmon burger, but without the bun.

Like crab cakes, seasoning is everything for Salmon Croquettes. This recipe uses a blend of garlic, cilantro (my secret ingredient!), seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce and is then pan fried for a nice brown crisp.

close up of pan fried salmon cake

Salmon croquettes can be served as an entree, side dish or appetizer. If serving as an appetizer, I suggest making them slightly smaller in size.

salmon pattie with white creamy sauce on top

Salmon patties are also great with your favorite dipping sauce. There are many homemade sauce options available, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Use this Sriracha Sour Cream Sauce for zest and tang.
  • Homemade Tartar Sauce is another option for this beautiful salmon creation.
  • Add fresh lemon juice with wedges or slices.
  • If you have kids, ketchup is probably a viable option as a dip for these Salmon Croquettes.
  • And of course, Spicy Cocktail Sauce or remoulade are always an option.
  • Plain Greek yogurt is also a great and healthier option.
stack of salmon cakes with lemon slices

Simple Ingredients

The ingredients for this salmon croquettes recipe are pretty simple and some are easily omitted or swapped.

  • All-purpose flour– Or other flour alternative to make them gluten-free.
  • Yellow Cornmeal- I like the texture of yellow cornmeal, but white cornmeal or even cracker crumbs, like saltine crackers or club crackers, can be used. I highly recommend giving them a quick whirl in the food processor for a fine crumb.
  • Canned salmon- Fresh salmon and leftovers can also be used, it just needs to be cooked. Farm raised can be a tad fattier compared to wild salmon fillets and may require more binder (flour or cornmeal).
  • Veggies– Red bell pepper and sweet onion- but feel free to use red onion, yellow pepper or green pepper. As long as they are finely minced to blend into the mixture, it is fine. Carrots and celery are also welcome.

  • Large Egg– To help it all bind together.
  • Worcestershire sauce– For complexity and depth of flavor, a little goes a long way.
  • Seasoned salt– Using a seasoned salt adds a little more of a flavor profile than just salt, although that is totally acceptable. Use a coarse kosher salt if going the plain route. Old Bay seasoning is another option for some east coast flare.
  • Ground black pepper– Freshly grinding packs the most punch. For a less peppery route, opt for ground white pepper.
  • Garlic powder– More subtle than fresh garlic, but still complements. Onion powder can also be swapped.
  • Mayonnaise– Another binder. I’ve tried this with sour cream and plain Greek yogurt and while both give a nice tang, they create a fragile product since they don’t have egg to help bind.
  • Cilantro– Our secret ingredient- this gives unexpected flavor and oodles of it. If someone doesn’t care for cilantro, omit it or use flat parsley (Italian Parsley) or other fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or fresh dill.
  • Oil for frying – Our original recipe, and many others, call for olive oil to pan fry, but this has a lower smoke point that other neutral oils like canola, peanut or vegetable oil.
two salmon croquettes on a small white serving plate

Add crushed red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos for more heat and great flavor. A dab of Dijon mustard adds acidity and grated lemon zest, brightness.

How to Cook Salmon Croquettes

Are you ready to jump to the recipe for fried salmon patties and start the process of cooking this delicious meal for your family?

  1. Gather Ingredients. Gather all the ingredients for the salmon mixture. I like to measure my ingredients out beforehand, that way everything is ready and all I have to do is dump into bowls.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and cornmeal so it is evenly combined and you will avoid overmixing when the wet ingredients are added.
  3. Make Salmon Cake Mixture. Add the bell peppers, sweet onion, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, cilantro, and egg. You will want to mix until well combined.
  1. Form Patties. From there, you can shape into about 6-8 patties. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook. Once the skillet is hot, go ahead and cook the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are a golden brown color. They will be fragile, so using a fish spatula is best for the delicate nature.
  1. Serve. Remove them to a paper towel lined plate or a warm oven until you are ready to serve. Serve the salmon croquettes while they are warm and don’t forget your favorite sauce!

Salmon cakes can be made year-round. Because salmon is such an affordable protein, you may find that you really enjoy cooking with it. Let us know what you think of this recipe.

browned salmon patties in a white cast iron skillet

Can I use fresh salmon?

You can use canned salmon or fresh salmon, the choice is yours. I’ve made this recipe with both types and they have both turned out delicious.

If you use fresh salmon, make sure to cook it before you add it to the recipe. Baking it for 10-15 minutes at 350°F should do the trick. Make sure the fibers easily separate with a fork and you are ready to go!

bite taken out of salmon cakes with sauce

What are the best sides to serve with salmon croquettes?

They are super versatile, so basically anything goes, but here are my favorites.

plate of salmon croquettes with dipping sauce

Can I freeze salmon cakes?

You can! Make sure they are cooked so they hold together better. Wrap them individually in freezer paper, aluminum foil or plastic wrap. They can stay frozen for up to 6 months.

Can I make salmon cakes ahead of time?

Yep. Either form them and place them in the fridge until you are ready to cook or you can cook them and reheat when ready to serve. Leftover salmon cakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I suggest reheating them in a skillet over medium heat or for 2-3 minutes in an Air Fryer. My husband would even argue that they are better the next day.

Where did salmon croquettes originate from?

If you looked at the word “croquettes” and guessed that it was French, you are correct! They were originally made using beef, and then other variations arose like chicken, salmon and even vegetarian. They were originally made to use up leftover meat pieces, and then became widely popular!

Some folks also call them fish cakes, because really any flaky fish can be swapped in. Next time we are trying them with red snapper. It’s a great way to use up leftovers.

stack of salmon cakes with lemon slices

Is canned salmon cooked?

Yes, it is! Canned salmon is just like canned chicken or tuna; it’s already cooked and all you have to do is drain the liquid and you’re ready to go! canned salmon can vary in color- some is more grayish while others red and some pink. All are good!

What can I substitute for cilantro?

For some, cilantro tastes like soap or dirt. In fact, it is a traceable DNA trait. If you fall into this category, omit the cilantro and replace it with flat leaf parsley.

What can I garnish them with?

My favorites are with chopped cilantro, curly parsley but also scallions (green onions) or chives. A dusting of smoked paprika works well too.

collage of salmon croquettes

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Salmon cakes care about to become your new best friend. For dinners, appetizers and to take to parties. They are delicious!

stack of salmon patties

More Favorites from Savory Experiments

salmon pattie with white creamy sauce on top

Southern Salmon Croquettes Recipe

4.29 from 940 votes
Salmon Croquettes are a southern classic! Full of salmon, peppers, onions and seasoning, this versatile dish is sure to be loved by all!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large bowl whisk together flour and cornmeal.
  • Add salmon, bell peppers, sweet onion, seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, cilantro and egg. Mix until well combined.
  • Shape into about 6-8 patties. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Once skillet is hot cook patties for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are a golden brown color.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 186 kcal, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 15 g, Fat: 9 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 68 mg, Sodium: 410 mg, Potassium: 258 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 1 g, Vitamin A: 564 IU, Vitamin C: 20 mg, Calcium: 156 mg, Iron: 1 mg
Calories: 186
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: salmon cakes, salmon croquettes, salmon patties
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
overhead of salmon croquettes on a serving platter with sauce
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and food lover behind Savory Experiments. She is obsessed with butter, salt and bacon and spends all her time in the kitchen and behind a camera. Jessica is a contributor to PopKitchen by Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal Food + Travel and more!

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve tried a few different salmon patty recipes, none of them turn out right. This one was very delicious with good texture. The addition of the cilantro was perfect. I didn’t have cornmeal so I used Maseca and it was the perfect crunchy texture with moist flavorful middle.

  2. 5 stars
    Never been a fan of salmon cakes but my hubby does so I came across this recipe and decided to make it (cilantro is what caught my eye) Oh my they were delish and flavorful! Thanks for sharing

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing! They’re packed with flavor and the cilantro was the perfect touch. My family now requests them every Sunday for breakfast with grits. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    I am a southern girl and this recipe brought back memories of my mom’s recipe. Love this, it will be cherished as a definite go to for my salmon cravings. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    My husband loves salmon Pattie’s and to please him, I made your recipe. Great hit. Said it was the best he has eaten. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious! I used leftover seared salmon and subbed a grilled jalapeño for the red bell pepper, dill for cilantro, added finely crumbled bacon, and served topped with a Mayo/sriracha chili sauce. This and salad made a lovely Sunday supper.

  7. I can’t wait to try it. Doing them for Mother’s Day brunch. Has anyone tried baking in the oven instead of frying?

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is better than my grandma’s and thinking of her coming is what made me look up a recipe. I added a tsp of Old Bay seasoning. This recipe is do yummy, perfectly seasoned, and lightly crisp on the outside while warm and moist and tender on the inside. This is definitely a recipe to keep in file when you want to cook something impressively delightful. My kiddo tried a bite and grabbed a plate before I could even finish saying “Have some”….LOL.

    1. Usually the canned salmon doesn’t have that much liquid/water, so maybe you do need to drain depending on the brand. But they aren’t a dense cake, more light and fork tender.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for the first time tonight and loved it much better than my traditional recipe. This once

    I made this recipe for the first time tonight. It tastes much better than my traditional recipe, so I will definitely be using this one again. I served it with rice, biscuits, and syrup.

  10. 5 stars
    This recipe hit the spot! I’d been wanting salmon croquettes for a while, and when I found this recipe I had to try it. I used leftover salmon we’d grill earlier in the week. I also added chopped celery and carrots to the mixture. So, I had to add bread crumbs. But it turned out GREAT! I’ll definitely be making them again.