Salmon Burger healthy Marc Bittman

Salmon Burgers

A technique from Mark Bittman lets you use hardly any binder. Make from fresh, frozen or canned salmon

If you live in the Midwest, you’re probably familiar with Hy-Vee grocery stores. They have a marvelous meat counter with all kinds of grab & cook options. One of those is Salmon Burgers. The only problem? The price.

Salmon Burger healthy Marc Bittman

Salmon Burgers – these are outstanding!

Fresh Salmon is never “cheap” but there are great sales now and then as different varieties come in season, and there are always great specials around Christmas and Lent. That’s when I like to make these Salmon Burgers.

First, I check to see if the store has odd bits at a discount (or if I do in my freezer from trimming fresh salmon) because it will all be chopped up anyway. If you can’t get fresh at a great price, try frozen – and check Aldi. You might even want to consider Canned Salmon, which is a great option for wild caught Alaskan Salmon.

Salmon Burger healthy Marc Bittman

Salmon Burgers – these are outstanding!

These Salmon Burgers are fantastic. They’re off of our local grocery store, Hy-Vee’s Salmon Burgers. There’s a little technique I learned from Mark Bittman, though: process some of the Salmon into a paste which holds the burgers together with only a minimum of breadcrumb. (If you use frozen you may need more breadcrumb than if you use fresh.)

I just love the combination of flavors I’ve come up with here, but you’re free to add in all kinds of goodies, sauces or condiments or just go simple.

Changes in ingredients or different types of Salmon may slightly change the moisture content. Form a small bit of the salmon mixture in your hand and if it holds together, you’re good to go. If it’s crumbly add a bit more moisture. If it feels too wet, a touch more breadcrumb will help.

Salmon Burger healthy Marc Bittman

Salmon Burgers – these are outstanding!

Salmon Burgers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless salmon
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2  to 3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • Lemon wedges

Working quickly to keep as cold as possible, cut the salmon into 1″ chunks. Take about a quarter of the salmon and add to a food processor along with the mustard. Process until the mixture becomes a paste, stopping to scrape down sides.

Add the remaining salmon and pulse off and on until the salmon is chopped into fine pieces. Don’t over process into a paste but make sure there are no large chunks. Remove to a bowl.

By hand, stir in egg, breadcrumbs (start with half a cup, add more after you’ve added the rest of the ingredients if the burgers seem very wet) green onions, peppers, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt, and pepper.

Shape into four burgers. If desired, burgers may be refrigerated at this point. (I find the burgers hold together better if they spend some time in the refrigerator, 30 minutes to four hours.)

If grilling, brush the patties with butter or oil and grill about 4 minutes the first side (don’t turn too soon or they won’t be firm enough to remove from the grate) then turn and finish for a moment or two.

If using a pan, place butter or oil in a nonstick skillet and heat to medium-high. When the foam subsides or oil is hot, cook burgers for two to three minutes per side, turning once.

Doneness can be checked by making a small cut with a knife, but be careful not to overcook.


You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #31 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

Of course, I can’t miss bringing this to Fiesta Friday #112, hosted by Angie and cohosted this week by Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine. Wow, 112 consecutive weeks!


34 thoughts on “Salmon Burgers

  1. This looks so amazing love salmon and it is a great idea to make burgers out of it. Loved all the collection of your recipes posted for mother’s day.What a wonderful treat .Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks, Liz! I am going to have to try the ricotta cheese – that would make them lower carb! 🙂 I just realized I ha ven’t been by for awhile, so I’m glad you stopped by to comment.

  2. I love shopping at Hy-Vee (and Aldi!) You named my two favorite stores! I haven’t tried Hy-Vee’s salmon burgers though. Now I don’t have to, I’ll just make these instead!

    • I shop at aldi all the time when I’m in the Twin Cities, and they just got their first Hy-Vee last summer. Then when I’m at my folks here in South Dakota, I shop at their Hy-Vee and they are getting thier first Aldi – soon! Store is done and they’re hiring. 🙂

    • I think it is hard to get them done all the way through without them being dry or falling apart. Part of the problem is, I think, that any piece of salmon may be more moist or more dry, so it’s a judgement call. That and don’t overcook! 🙂

    • Thanks, Rhonda! I’m smack dab in the midwest and it’s easy to forget to eat fish right in beef/pork country! These are nice, too, because even those who’d rather not eat a fillet will typically enjoy a salmon burger.

  3. Abby

    these sound & look yummy… do you think I could use canned salmon with all the seasonings & get about the same results ?? I just used the last of my fresh salmon making a smoked Asian dish…
    thanks for any help..

    • Canned salmon is quite a bit wetter and doesn’t need to cook as long – I think instead of an egg (because I’m concerned about raw egg) I’d use a little mayo for the binder, a tablespoon or so, and you’ll probably need to use the larger amt of bread crumb. 🙂 Smoked Asian salmon – yum!

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