As a child of the Midwest, canned fish patties were a staple in my life. Usually served with homemade tartar sauce, mashed potatoes (yay, midwest!) and carrots, this classic recipe was one of my favorite meals as a kid.
My mom's recipe has been slightly adapted here, because in Portugal, fresh salmon is far more available and far less expensive than canned salmon.
The addition of sautéed vegetables and fresh herbs add delicious complexity to this quick meal, while the saltine crackers bring home the classic salmon patties of my youth.
Let's gather our handful of pantry staples and whip up our best salmon patties ever, team!
Here's what you'll need to make this simple homemade salmon patties recipe:
- sauteed celery and red onion
- olive oil
- fresh dill
- fresh parsley
- Dijon mustard
- zest of 1 lemon
- saltine crackers
- cooked fresh salmon or canned salmon
- fine bread crumbs
- sea salt
- black pepper
Step by step instructions for Salmon Patties With Crackers:
Begin by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup finely diced celery and 1 cup finely diced onion to the hot oil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Saute 4-5 minutes, until tender. Transfer the sauteed vegetables to a small bowl and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the meantime, combine 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each of fresh dill and parsley, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and the lemon zest in a bowl.
Add 2 cups of flaked salmon, saltine cracker crumbs and sauteed vegetables to a medium bowl.
Pour seasoned egg mixture over the salmon.
Stir gently to combine.
Use ⅓ cup measuring cup to shape the salmon mixture into 6 patties.
Lightly dredge top and bottom in the fine breadcrumbs. Place salmon patties on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Fry patties gently for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Once cooked, move patties to a rimmed baking sheet and keep in a 200 degree oven until all patties are cooked and ready to serve.
Serve with lemon wedges and salmon patty sauce
Tips and FAQ's:
Can I use tuna instead of salmon?
Absolutely. For tuna, I would use canned tuna (not fresh) in this recipe - 12-16 ounces.
I don't have fresh herbs - what can I substitute?
Dried herbs will also work here. A good rule of thumb in substituting dry for fresh herbs is 1:3. So if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, you would substitute with 1 teaspoon of dried.
In this salmon patty recipe, just reduce the 2 tablespoons each of dill and parsley to 2 teaspoons of each herb, dried.
My family doesn't like red onions, can I use something else?
So many options! Green onions are milder and absolutely a good substitute here. If you are looking for onion flavor without the texture, a teaspoon of onion powder would also do the trick.
Celery? Yuck. What can I use instead?
Calm yourself. The recipe calls for 1 cup each of onion and celery. Once cooked, this reduces to just over 1 cup of sautéed veggies.
So you can substitute almost any vegetable that you like in the same quantities. Green bell peppers or a red pepper would work really well.
Carrots and onions would be another great combo for this salmon patties recipe, although plan to sauté the carrots for at least 3 minutes longer to soften.
I don't have saltines, what can I substitute?
Ritz crackers, panko breadcrumbs, seasoned breadcrumbs or even homemade breadcrumbs made from the bits and bobs you’ve saved in your freezer would all work great as substitutes.
What can I do with leftover salmon patties and crackers?
I often chop up one of the salmon cakes and serve it over a salad for my lunch the next day with a little salmon patty sauce as dressing.
Another great way to repurpose leftovers is to make salmon burgers by plating the patties on brioche buns with tomato, lettuce, sliced onion, pickles and the infamous salmon patty sauce.
What side dishes go best with salmon patties with crackers?
Is sauce a side dish? It sure is! Be sure to make Easy Salmon Patty Sauce to make these dynamite salmon patties even more delicious.
For veggie and carb options, consider:
- savory slaw
- steamed rice
- mashed potatoes
- tossed salad
- baked french fries
- hush puppies (the southern classic!)