For a flavorful fish fry, make these Pioneer Woman salmon patties! These golden patties have a flaky texture on the outside, and a rich, moist interior.
The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, has a blog where she posts delicious recipes, such as these salmon patties. And her country cooking is simple to make but packed with flavor.
I’ve adapted these copycat croquettes from her recipe, but I’ve amped up the seasoning. So, they’re still her amazing crispy patties, but taken up a notch!
And in addition to tasting amazing, these patties are good for you! Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect you from heart disease and inflammation. Plus, these croquettes are cheap to make.
All About Pioneer Woman’s Salmon Patty Ingredients
Whether you use fresh or canned pink salmon, always choose “wild-caught” instead of “farmed.” Wild salmon grow up in a natural environment, so the meat has more minerals in it, such as iron and calcium.
But regardless of whic salmon you choose, this type of fish is packed with protein. As well, it has lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your brain and heart.
We’ve all heard that olive oil is good for us, right? Well, so is avocado oil!
Avocado oil has similar nutrients, but it has a higher smoke point. That means that you can fry things better, and there’s less of a risk of burning the oil.
Also, the flavor of avocado oil is milder than olive, so it won’t interfere with the other flavors of your dish.
In this salmon patty recipe, the main seasonings are freshly ground black pepper and salt. And since everyone has a different palette, you add them to taste.
Kosher salt is my favorite to use, but you can substitute table salt if you prefer. And since fish is already a little salty, keep that in mind before you add a lot of extra salt.
When you add vegetables to your salmon patties, you add freshness! So, consider throwing in some green onions for spice or red bell pepper for sweetness.
And, don’t forget the fresh herbs! Chopped parsley, chives, and fresh dill all make great additions to these salmon burgers.
I think using panko instead of traditional breadcrumbs makes perfect salmon patties. Panko is very light and crunchy, so it will give your salmon cakes a great texture.
Also, panko doesn’t absorb as much oil as other types of breadcrumbs, so your patties won’t taste greasy.
Eggs give these salmon burgers structure. They help to bind the other ingredients and hold everything together.
For this recipe, lightly beat 2 large eggs before adding them to the salmon patty mixture. That way, everything will combine properly.
This is one of the secret ingredients in these Pioneer Woman salmon patties! In addition to adding richness and deepening the flavor, mayo also keeps the inside of the cakes moist and juicy.
Just a teaspoon of this sauce packs a punch of umami, and it makes a great seafood seasoning. This condiment has a base of vinegar and fermented anchovies, along with spices and sugar.
Easy Tips for the Best Salmon Patties
- Use Cast Iron. My favorite pan for frying these patties is my trusty cast iron skillet. Cast iron acts like a non-stick pan, and it gives the salmon burgers a lovely golden-brown crust.
- Don’t Move the Patties. Cooked salmon patties are very delicate, and they can fall apart very easily. Therefore, try to leave them alone in the pan as much as possible.
- Add Enough Eggs. If your mixture won’t hold its shape or the salmon patties fall apart when you put them in the pan, you may need to add extra binder. And this means adding another egg! Just make sure you whisk the egg thoroughly before you add it to the batter.
- Pack Patties Tightly. When you shape the salmon burgers, try to pack the mix tightly so it won’t fall apart. In addition, press the edges gently towards the center, so they won’t crumble as the patty cooks.
Also, try to make the salmon patties as even as possible so they’ll cook properly. And in general, you want them to be about half an inch (or just under) in thickness.
- Remove Extra Oil. After you take the salmon burgers off the skillet, place them gently on a plate lined with paper towels. That way, the towels will absorb any extra oil, and the patties won’t be greasy.
- Add Extra Breadcrumbs. If you think the mixture is a little too thin, simply add a few more breadcrumbs to absorb the moisture.
Pioneer Woman Salmon Patties Recipe
- Prep Time15 min
- Cook Time25 min
- Total Time1h40 min
Chill Time: 1 hr
- Prepare the Salmon
First, set your oven to 450 degrees F and allow it to preheat.
Next, use the tweezers to remove any bones in your fish. As well, use the paper towels to pat the meat dry.
Place the fish skin-side-down on your baking sheet. Take 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil and spread it evenly over the flesh.
Also, sprinkle the fish with pepper and salt. Then, cook it in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes.
When the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees, take the fish out and let it cook for a few minutes. Finally, remove the skin and put the salmon meat into the mixing bowl.
- Make the Patty Mixture
Now, use your fingers to gently break the salmon meat into small pieces. Next, add all of the remaining ingredients except for the avocado oil.
Stir the ingredients together carefully so that everything is well-combined, but there is still some texture. Then, cover the bowl and refrigerate everything for about an hour.
- Form the Patties
When you’re ready to make the patties, divide the mixture into 12-14 portions. And pat each portion into a circle that’s about 2 to 2½ inches in diameter.
If the patties are dry or won’t hold together, try adding a little more mayo.
- Fry the Patties
Put your pan on the stove and turn the burner to medium heat. Also, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and let the skillet preheat.
Once it’s hot, add some of the patties to the skillet, but make sure not to crowd the pan. Then, cook them for about 3-4 minutes on one side, or until the bottom is golden-brown.
Next, flip the patties and cook them until the other side is the same color. Remove them from the skillet and put them on the plate with paper towels to drain.
Then, cook the rest of the patties in batches. If you don’t have enough oil in the pan, add a little extra.
Finally, dish up your salmon cakes, serve your favorite dips or sides, and dig in!
Ways to Adapt Pioneer Woman Salmon Patties
Use Canned Salmon
If you want to make these patties even simpler, you can substitute boneless canned salmon for the fresh meat. But always make sure you drain salmon from a can so your patties aren’t too wet.
Also, you don’t have to remove the bones from canned salmon – they’re much softer than the ones in fresh fish, and you can digest them.
Add other Veggies
Up the freshness of your patties with additional veggies.
For instance, you can toss in chopped shallots or onion for more spice. Since onions have a very intense flavor, I like to use shallots because they’re milder and won’t overpower the fish.
Or, you can add cherry tomatoes for a burst of sweetness. But make sure you chop and drain them first!
Spice it Up
For a different flavor, try adding a spice blend! I love making the patties a bit spicy with Cajun spices, or using classic Old Bay seasoning.
I also like to eat these salmon patties with dijon mustard.
Also, keep in mind that many spice blends include salt, so you probably want to skip any extra salt if you add these.
Make it Saucy
For extra zinginess, add 3 tablespoons of lemon juice or lime juice to the patty mixture. And an extra tablespoon of soy sauce will also add a hit of flavor.
Ways to Enjoy Pioneer Woman Salmon Patties
Traditionally served with a delicious lemony caper sauce, here are some other serving ideas!
As a Main Course
These salmon cakes make a delicious and filling main course. The Pioneer Woman suggests serving them with her mango salsa and fresh white rice topped with butter.
At home, I like to make an easy side of roasted veggies: Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, or green beans. Or, I’ll just make classic buttery mashed potatoes.
If you prefer to serve these patties burger-style, layer one (or more!) on toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, and hot sauce. You can also make a great salmon patty sandwich.
And, of course, serve a side of fries!
All sorts of sauces and dips go well with these patties, so try out a bunch to find your favorites. For example, remoulade, tartar sauce, ketchup aioli, cocktail sauce, or barbecue sauce all taste delicious.
Or, make an Asian-inspired dish with teriyaki sauce and pickled ginger.
On a Salad
For a power-packed, healthy lunch, put these patties on a salad. The protein in the salmon will keep you going through the afternoon, and the omega-3 fatty acids will help your brain.
In addition to lettuce, I like to add cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, roasted asparagus or squash, or steamed broccoli to my salad. And, of course, a creamy dressing on top!
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Storing Pioneer Woman Salmon Patties
If you have leftover patties, put them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Or, tightly package them with plastic wrap or tin foil.
In the refrigerator, your leftovers will stay good for about 3 or 4 days. But if you want them to last longer, you can keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months.