These air fryer salmon patties are made with fresh (or thawed) salmon, not canned, so they are juicy and delicious! Thanks to air fryer technology and a few modern tweaks to a classic recipe, these Air Fryer Salmon Patties are flavorful, easy, and cook up light and crisp in the air fryer.
People have been making salmon patties for years, but they have gotten a bad reputation. When made with canned salmon, they have no texture, little flavor, and just aren’t very good or memorable.
But using fresh salmon to revitalize this nostalgic dish, along with a touch of onion, and some other flavors, makes this is a bistro-quality salmon patties recipe. And it cooks in just minutes!
If you love seafood but don’t want to go to the fuss and bother making a big meal, then salmon patties in the air fryer are the way to go! Add this classic recipe to your list of easy seafood dinners for Lent.
Why You Will Love These Salmon Patties
It’s a quick and easy recipe.
Hardly any mess – you make these patties in your food processor.
They’re light and crispy without frying in oil.
You can eat them as salmon burgers or just as they are.
They’re great for meal prep – make them ahead of time and eat them later!
For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below
Salmon – You’ll need one pound of fresh (or frozen and thawed) boneless and skinless raw salmon. I prefer to use wild-caught salmon when I can get it.
Breadcrumbs – Plain breadcrumbs are perfect for air-fried salmon patties.
Onion and parsley – These add taste and texture to the salmon patties, along with a nice pop of color from the parsley.
Mayonnaise, Lemon juice, Dijon mustard – These ingredients add layers of fresh flavor and help hold the patties together.
Cayenne, salt and pepper – These spices add flavor. Use the cayenne if you want a little bit of extra heat in your burgers!
How to Make Salmon Patties in Your Air Fryer
Cut the salmon into a few chunks so they’ll fit easily in your food processor, then pulse it a few times to pulverize the salmon. You want the salmon to be pasty and not have recognizable chunks. You might need to stop the food processor and scrape the sides down.
Make sure you divide the breadcrumbs into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup portions! Add the 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs to the food processor. In addition, add the mayonnaise, onion, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne, parsley, and salt and pepper to the salmon mixture.
Pulse a few times to mix it thoroughly. Don’t overmix it.
2. Make Patties
Divide the salmon into 4 medium size balls or 3 larger ones, depending on how many people you want to serve.
Put the rest of the breadcrumbs onto a shallow plate. Press the salmon balls into patties while on top of the breadcrumbs. Flip the patty over and press the other side gently into the crumbs. This will coat them with bread crumbs and flatten them into a burger shape.
Roll the patties through the crumbs to coat the sides, a little bit too. You don’t want a thick coating of breadcrumbs, and you will have some leftover on the plate when you are done.
3. Air Fry
Carefully lay each salmon patty into your air fryer basket and set it to 380 degrees F degrees.
Air fry for 6-8 minutes, flipping them over after 3 minutes. The cooking time can vary, depending on how many patties you made and how thick they are.
When they are done they golden brown and have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook them so they stay nice and juicy.
How to Serve Air Fryer Salmon Patties
Salmon patties, or air fryer salmon cakes, are easy and versatile! You can eat them in several ways. Here are my favorites, and please pass the lemon wedges!
- Air fryer salmon burgers – Turn your patty into a burger! Pop those air fryer salmon burger patties onto a toasted bun, add some spicy or garlic mayonnaise, fresh lettuce, and dig in!
- Salmon croquettes in the air fryer – You can get fancy and call these salmon cakes salmon croquettes! Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or a dollop of this Whipped Feta Dip.
- Salmon patties with salad – These patties pair perfectly with your favorite salad, making it a lighter but still delicious meal.
- Serve as an appetizer – Make the patties smaller and serve them as finger food or party appetizers. Instead of 4 large ones, make a dozen small ones. Just make sure to reduce the cooking time.
Air Fryer Salmon Patties Variations
There are a variety of tasty ways you can change up the flavor of your air fryer salmon cakes. Here are some ideas:
- Go Cajun! Add a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to the breadcrumbs you coat the patties in and serve them with your favorite remoulade.
- Mediterranean style. Use a tablespoon of fresh dill instead of parsley and add a tablespoon of chopped capers to the mix to give your salmon patties or salmon burgers a Mediterranean flavor.
- Wrap it up! Try your salmon patties in a wrap with fresh, crisp veggies instead of on a bun.
- Make it low-carb! Use crushed pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs to make keto salmon patties.
- Use Panko breadcrumbs instead of regular to add a bit more crunch.
How to Store Air Fryer Salmon Patties
Once cooked, you can store any leftover salmon patties in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To reheat them, pop them back into the air fryer and warm them through for 3-4 minutes.
Can You Make These Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can prepare them up until it’s time to air fry them. Prepare the recipe and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. They will keep 2 days in the refrigerator.
Can You Freeze Salmon Patties?
Yes, you can. Cook them thoroughly, then wrap them tightly in a freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
Key Tips for This Recipe
Be sure to check out the step by step instructions
Make sure you divide the breadcrumbs! Don’t add them all to the salmon mixture, most are used on the outside of the patties.
Don’t overcook, so they stay fresh and juicy. If you make smaller patties cook them for less time.
Wet your fingers if you are having trouble with the mixture sticking to your hands as you form the balls.
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- 1 pound raw salmon, (thawed if frozen), skin and bones removed
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, divided into 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, optional
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional
- Thaw the salmon if it was frozen and remove the skin and any bones.
- Cut salmon into smaller chunks and put it into a container of a food processor. Turn it on and let it run until the mixture becomes pasty, stopping to scrape down the sides if needed.
- Add mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs, diced onion, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, cayenne pepper and parsley to the food processor. Make sure you don't add all the breadcrumbs, just 1/4 cup of them!
- Pulse a few times until all the ingredients are combined.
- Put the rest of the breadcrumbs to a medium plate. Divide salmon mixture into 4 medium balls or 3 larger ones and gently form into balls.
- Once the balls are formed, dip each patty into breadcrumbs and flatten slightly. Coat all the surfaces of the patties with breadcrumbs.
- Put the patties in an air fryer basket, cooking in batches if necessary. Air fry at 380 degrees F for 6-8 minutes. Flip them over after 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Check that the salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. If not air fry them for another few minutes.
- Serve these as salmon burgers with your favorite lettuce and vegetables, add mayonnaise and a drizzle of hot sauce on both bottom and top buns.
- Make sure you divide the breadcrumbs! Don't accidentally add them all to the salmon mixture, most are used on the outside of the patties.
- If you make smaller patties cook them for less time. Don't overcook.
- Wet your fingers if you are having trouble with the mixture sticking to your hands as you form the balls.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 561mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 28g
Nutrition facts are estimates.