It’s funny how your tastebuds change over time.  I have distinct memories of dread from my childhood of mom cracking open a can of smelly fishy salmon, knowing that it would soon be on our dinner table, and I would be expected to eat that weird fish pancake.  Oddly enough it was one of my brother’s favorite meals.  I never did understand how it could be a favorite of his, that is until recent years. 

Now I happily serve it to my family as a nourishing and inexpensive meal, polishing off every last bit of those thin crispy flavorful delights.  I have made some changes from the way my mom and dad used to make them.  Their original version calls for crushed saltines, and as delightful as they are, saltine crackers just aren’t the healthiest if we’re being honest.  I now use blanched almond meal/flour in its place, and honestly I can’t really tell the difference.  Still yummy.  If another healthy cracker or flour is what you have on hand, by all means use that.

The best part about these is that they are super cheap, using pantry staples to create.  I almost always have canned salmon in my pantry for when I need a quick dinner or lunch.  Surprisingly too they are loaded with calcium from the fish bones and fatty acids from the fish itself.  I’m sure it would be more nutrient dense if you used freshly caught salmon, but for us landlocked families on a tight budget, these simple salmon patties do the trick just fine. 

I often serve it alongside mac and cheese, just like my momma used to.  Other simple side dish options could include salad, cut up fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese slices, or roasted root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, or parsnips.  I hope you like this revamped recipe straight from my parents’ Kentucky kitchen.

I like to eat mine plain, my family likes them with ketchup.  They would also be great with a homemade aoli or tarter sauce.  Enjoy!

Simple salmon patties

Simple salmon patties like my parents made when I was growing up.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 14.5 oz. canned salmon
  • 2/3 c blanched almond flour flour, or cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup onion minced or a few shakes of onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste use only a small amount of salt
  • 2 T. fat for cooking butter, expeller pressed coconut oil, olive oil, animal fat, avocado oil, etc


  1. Drain salmon and place in bowl,
  2. Crush the bones with your fingers. You can remove them if you are too freaked out by them.
  3. Add remainder of ingredients and mix well with fork. Let stand for a few minutes to combine.
  4. In cast iron pan, melt 2 T. butter over medium heat.
  5. Scoop out small amount of salmon mixture, flatten in hands and place in pan. I like mine thin, so I sometimes flatten it a bit more when it gets in the pan.
  6. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown and flip, continuing to cook for another few minutes.

Recipe Notes

If you are unsure of salt preference, cook a bite sized patty in the pan first and taste. Then adjust seasonings as desired.