Pan-Fried Salmon Croquettes Recipe

While nutrition experts are always telling us to eat more salmon, sadly, this fish isn't always the most budget-friendly of foods, especially king salmon, which can get crazy expensive. Luckily, canned salmon is a far more affordable version, as our ancestors in the Great Depression knew well — salmon croquettes, aka patties, date back to this era and they're still a budget-friendly option today. However, if you've just had a big payday, and you're feeling like Daddy Warbucks, recipe developer Molly Pisula notes "You can replace the canned salmon with 1 ½ to 2 pounds of cooked salmon fillet."

Pisula describes this salmon croquettes recipe as having "big flavor," so she says she doesn't feel they need anything more than rice or steamed vegetables on the side. She likes to season the croquettes with Old Bay, something she says is "delicious with salmon," but she adds that "You can add more flavor to the dip by adding garlic or onion powder, or freshly-chopped chives."

Assemble the ingredients for the pan-fried salmon croquettes

One reason why these salmon croquettes are such an affordable dinner option is because you're not only using canned salmon as the base, but you're also filling it with some vegetables. Here, Pisula is using shallots and a bell pepper. You'll also need an egg, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs to help bulk up the patties, as well as some Old Bay, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dill to season them. Other ingredients include oil for frying, as well as sour cream and a lemon (both the juice and zest) to serve as a dip or topping.

Sautée the vegetables

Peel and chop the shallots, then chop the bell pepper. Zest ½ the lemon, leaving the peel on the other half. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice out of the zested part, then cut the un-zested part into wedges. Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then sautée the vegetables for about 6 minutes until softened. Take the vegetables out of the pan, and also turn off the heat, for safety's sake.

Make the salmon croquettes

Drain the cans of salmon, then flake the fish in a bowl. Discard any stray bones or skin bits. Now, stir in the cooked vegetables, egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay, garlic powder, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped dill, and ½ cup breadcrumbs. Mix well until combined. 

Form the salmon mixture into hamburger-sized patties. If you can't do this because your mixture is too dry, Pisula suggests that you can "add either more mayonnaise, or an additional egg to the mixture." Once you've shaped the patties, pour the remaining breadcrumbs onto a plate or shallow bowl, and press each patty into them until they're entirely coated.

Cook the salmon croquettes

Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot and looks shimmery, carefully slide half the croquettes into the pan. Fry them for about 5 or 6 minutes until the bottoms are brown, then flip and fry them for another 5 minutes. Take them out of the pan, add the remaining oil, and fry the second batch of croquettes.

Pisula does say to watch how quickly the croquettes are cooking. She says they shouldn't brown too rapidly, explaining "You want to give them enough time to fully heat through," so she advises turning down the heat if they get too brown, too fast.

Make the dipping sauce, and serve

Stir the lemon zest and juice into the sour cream, then add the rest of the chopped dill, along with some salt and pepper. Serve the croquettes with the sour cream sauce, and remaining lemon wedges. If you have any leftover dill, you can always use it as a garnish.

Pisula says that these croquettes should be okay in the refrigerator for 2 days, but adds that they can be frozen if you can't manage to eat all of them within that time frame. When you reheat them, though, she advises doing it on the stovetop or in an air fryer, as this will help to re-crisp the crumb coating.

Pan-Fried Salmon Croquettes Recipe
4.9 from 38 ratings
Repurpose that forgotten can of salmon with this easy and flavorful pan-fried salmon croquettes recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
salmon croquettes with sauce
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 2 large shallots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 30 ounces (or 2 14.75-ounce cans) canned salmon, drained
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill, divided
  • 1 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  1. ‌Peel and finely chop the shallots. Finely chop the bell pepper. Zest ½ a lemon, leaving the other side with its peel intact. Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the zested side until you have 1 tablespoon of juice. Cut the unzested lemon half into wedges.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then sautée the shallots and pepper for about 6 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
  3. Drain and flake the salmon, discarding any skin or bones. Stir the sautéed vegetables into the salmon.
  4. Mix in the egg, mayonnaise, Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of dill, and ½ cup breadcrumbs in with the salmon.
  5. Form the salmon mixture into hamburger-sized patties. Spread the remaining 1 cup of breadcrumbs over a plate, and press each patty into the crumbs until fully coated.
  6. Warm 4 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook ½ of the croquettes in the oil for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned. Flip the croquettes over, and cook them for another 5 minutes. Remove the first batch of croquettes, then add the remaining oil to the pan, and cook the rest of the croquettes.
  7. Mix the sour cream with the lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining dill, then season the mixture with salt and pepper. Serve the croquettes with the sour cream dip and lemon wedges, garnishing with extra dill if desired.
Calories per Serving 913
Total Fat 65.3 g
Saturated Fat 14.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 251.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 28.5 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Total Sugars 7.2 g
Sodium 1,008.6 mg
Protein 55.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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