Transform a can of salmon into juicy blackened salmon burgers! With these easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll make perfectly spiced salmon patties from scratch with a handful of gluten-free and grain-free pantry staples. Great for keto, paleo, and Whole30. Makes 4 burgers.
Incorporating shelf-stable canned meats and seafood into your healthy meal routine is a great way to save money and time on high-protein dishes. This recipe features a can of wild salmon and a handful of pantry items. In about 15 minutes, you’ll make mouth-watering blackened salmon burgers with simple real food ingredients the whole family will love.
This quick and easy Whole30 recipe is all about seasoning. A generous amount of blackened seasoning sets this recipe apart from other salmon burgers and cake recipes. It adds a savory and spicy blend of herbs and spices while creating a light sear on each burger. Imagine biting into a salmon burger with a lightly crisped surface and succulent, tender center. YUM.
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s a delicious way to use canned salmon.
- There are no binders or breadcrumbs (these salmon cakes are 100% gluten-free and grain-free).
- Plenty of room to customize spices, mix-ins, and toppings.
- Tasty served hot or cold!
- You can freeze it for later and reheat it in the air fryer.
🐟 Ingredients You’ll Need
Typically salmon cake recipes include breadcrumbs to bind the ingredients together. There are no breadcrumbs necessary for these gluten-free and Whole30 compliant salmon patties. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canned Salmon: I used a can of wild salmon with the skin and bones. It’s much cheaper and works just as well in salmon cakes as fresh salmon (if not better). It stays juicy and doesn’t dry out when made into burgers.
- Dried Parsley: Parsley enhances every flavor. You can also use fresh parsley (double the amount).
- Garlic Powder: Blackened spice blends typically include garlic, but a little extra only makes these burgers more savory and delicious.
- Blackened Seasoning: Blackened spice is rooted in cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, basil, garlic, and oregano. You can also use creole and cajun spice blends as they have a similar spice and herb blend.
- Cooking Oil: Use a quality oil that holds up to high heat, like avocado oil, ghee, or olive oil.
📖 How To Make Blackened Salmon Burgers
1️⃣ Prep canned salmon.
Drain away as much of the canning liquid as possible. Discard any pieces of skin or bones (if there are any).
2️⃣ Make salmon burgers.
Add salmon, eggs, dried parsley, garlic powder, and blackening season to a large bowl and mash with a fork to combine the ingredients (you can also do this in a stand mixer). Using about a 1/3 cup per burger, form the mixture into four patties.
3️⃣ Season salmon burgers.
Sprinkle a generous amount of extra blackening season on both sides of each patty. Using your hands, gently press the layer or seasoning into the burger to pack the flavor in.
4️⃣ Cook salmon burgers.
Heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon patties and pan-fry on each side until the surface develops a light crust (about 4 minutes per side). Serve in lettuce wraps, on top of a salad, or on a bun with your favorite burger toppings. Enjoy.
🧑🍳 Recipe Tips
- Drain salmon well – Excess moisture will make the burger mixture too wet and sticky, so be sure to drain the can of salmon well. Since we aren’t working with any binders, the burger mixture will be delicate.
- Remove bones – You can easily pick the bones out. I tend to remove as much as possible while leaving the pieces of skin be.
- Using the salmon skin – The skin also packs in more flavor, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins D & E.
- Chill burger mixture – Placing the salmon mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes will firm it up, making it easier to form into patties.
- Ensure the pan is hot – The oil must be hot to develop a nice blackened crust on each burger. When the patties touch the pan, they should sizzle.
The simplicity of these burgers leaves plenty of room for customizations and enhancements. Check out the list below for ideas:
Herbs & spices – Feel free to get creative with your seasonings. Creole and cajun seasoning are great options. Make them spicier with cayenne, chipotle chili powder, or cumin.
Lemon juice & zest – Add a tablespoon of lemon zest to the salmon mixture and squeeze lemon juice over each burger while cooking.
Blackened tuna (or chicken) burgers – Canned salmon is similar enough that this recipe works great with canned tuna and canned chicken.
Salmon sliders – Divide the burger mixture into 8 patties instead of 4 and serve on slider buns.
Serving Salmon Burgers
Bun – For keto and Whole30 purposes, enjoy your burger in a lettuce wrap or over top of the salad. Otherwise, serve on your favorite burger bun.
Toppings – Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion are classic, but the options are endless. Check out my favorites below:
- Mango Cucumber Salsa
- Herbed Cream Cheese (cream cheese and fresh herbs whipped into a creamy spread)
- Tartar Sauce
- Dijon Mustard
- Paleo Ketchup
- Mayo-based Aioli
🧊 Storing & Freezing
Storing: After cooling to room temperature, place the salmon patties in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Another option is cooking the salmon patties and freezing them for later. Once the burgers are cool, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set them in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, transfer the frozen patties to a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating from frozen: Learn how to reheat frozen salmon burgers in the air fryer.
Classic condiments like ketchup, mustard, and mayo are great options. You can also use your favorite remoulade or tartar sauce.
Salmon burgers pair perfectly with soft, creamy cheeses like brie, cream cheese, gorgonzola, and feta. Blue cheese crumbles taste excellent melted over the top of blackened meats and seafood.
Blackened, cajun, or creole seasoning is an excellent place to start. Enhance the flavors with extra garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, chives, etc.).
Yes! Salmon is a fantastic source of good fats and is low in saturated fats. Blackened salmon burgers are made without breadcrumbs or processed ingredients, so they’re a great source of protein for keto, paleo, and Whole30.
More Burger Recipes
Blackened Salmon Burgers
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 large skillet
- 15 ounce wild salmon canned; with or without the skin and bones
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons blackened seasoning or cajun/creole seasoning
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil avocado, ghee, or olive oil
- Drain away as much of the canning liquid as possible. Discard any pieces of skin or bones (if there is any).
- Add salmon, eggs, dried parsley, garlic powder, and blackening season to a large bowl. Mash with a fork to combine the ingredients (you can also do this in a stand mixer).
- Using about a 1/3 cup of the mixture per patty, form the mixture into four patties. The salmon mixture will be delicate until they are cooked.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of extra seasoning on both sides of each patty. Using your hands, gently press the layer or seasoning into the burger to really pack in the flavor.
- Heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon patties and pan-fry on each side until the surface develops a light crust (about 4 minutes per side).
- Serve in lettuce wraps, sliced and served on top of a salad, or on a bun with your favorite burger toppings. Enjoy.
- Store leftovers in fridge for up to 4 days. The leftovers are great enjoyed hot or cold.