17 Ways To Use Up Leftover Salmon

Salmon has a way of taking on new flavors like no other type of fish. Whether you bake, sear, grill, or poach it, you'll find appreciation in salmon's versatility and can delight in the exciting flavors you surround it with. That's because, on its own, salmon holds a lovely delicate flavor which makes it easy for marinades or seasonings to enhance it without much effort.

Beyond flavor, you'll find loads of health benefits in salmon. Filled with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and potassium (per Healthline), you'll gain lots of valuable nutrients by enjoying salmon regularly.

Between the health benefits and mega flavor your tastebuds will joyfully receive, we always recommend buying more than you plan to use up in a recipe. Leftover salmon can take on new forms of delicious entrees with little effort. From layering hot casseroles to crafting quiches and pies, you'll find a newfound admiration for this humble catch.

Whip up a batch of salmon cakes

Salmon cakes are easy to make, taste delicious, and are incredibly versatile. By combining a few staples like breadcrumbs (panko reigns supreme), mayo, a beaten egg, and your leftover salmon, you can quickly whip up a batch and then fry them up in your skillet right before serving.

Otherwise, leftover mashed potatoes, cooked onion and garlic, extra salmon, and a quick pan-frying session will deliver delicious fish patties your family will love, too. Even instant mashed potatoes work in a pinch. Our favorite thing about fish cakes is that you can whip up a batch with whatever your pantry and fridge have to offer, allowing you to make something signature.

If you're new to crafting salmon patties, be sure to learn all the essential tips before running to your kitchen. From measuring perfect portions using an ice cream scoop to making a tasty dipping sauce, you'll appreciate these tried-and-true tricks for making the most mouthwatering salmon cakes every time.

Grill a hot salmon panini

Whether you own a panini press or a traditional cast iron grill pan, there is something special about a sandwich embellished with toasty grill lines. Just about any sliced bread will do, but if you have ciabatta or sourdough kicking around, be sure to grab it for your hot salmon stuffers.

Build your sandwich based on your taste buds, or try a few of our favorite combinations. A cozy hot salmon melt using mild white cheddar and a smear of garlic aioli will taste lovely. Otherwise, find your way to your herb garden and snag a few sprigs of fresh dill. Pile ingredients like cool avocado, sliced tomato, fresh baby spinach, and maybe a few capers. Creamy ranch, cucumber, and red onion are all suitable ingredients too.

Finishing things off with a buttery press and a few grill lines will give you an aesthetic appeal, provide a palatable texture, and taste lovely.

Whip up a salmon dip appetizer

You've heard of spinach and artichoke dip, and you love munching on hot buffalo chicken dip, but have you ever given salmon dip a try? If not, your leftover fish dinner will provide you with the perfect excuse to give it a whirl.

For a cold appetizer, combine softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a bit of salmon. Consider finishing it with a sprinkle of fresh dill, and serve it with crackers or freshly made French baguette slices.

If you'd rather serve something hot, add salmon to a spinach dip recipe you love. Salmon and cream cheese are a match made in heaven, and many recipes call for that creamy ingredient, so see how salmon might fit into recipes you already love. Don't be afraid to do a little experimenting. It's your kitchen, so be your own home chef.

Build a rice bowl

One of the simplest ways to transform leftover salmon is by building a quick rice bowl. Look in your fridge and pantry, check out what you already have, and go from there. Fresh veggies like cucumber, snap peas, shredded carrots, and broccoli provide a satisfying crunch for your palate.

Sweet mango, pickled red onion, and freshly squeezed lime juice will all pack a refreshing punch, and you can pretty much guarantee avocado fits in there too. Beans, roasted sweet potato, you name it — your bowl will embrace the flavors you choose to add to your signature creation.

If you are looking for more guidance, consider trying the TikTok-inspired salmon rice bowl, which gives your leftover fish a whole new life. Kimchi, roasted seaweed sheets, homemade spicy kewpie mayo (don't knock it till you try it), rice, and salmon all come together in a lovely dinner you'll love eating over and over again.

Grill a few salmon burgers

Typically, salmon burgers are made by mincing raw salmon, then combining it with ingredients like panko breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, fresh herbs, and a few other flavorings. Considering you are likely working with leftover cooked salmon, you'll have to return to your salmon patty-making skills.

Instead of making petite croquette-style patties, consider forming bulkier ones that'll match up nicely with a carb-filled bun. From there, add a few toppings that'll accompany it well. Fresh avocado, dill pickles, a slice of mild cheddar, and even a handful of field greens will all taste lovely but don't skimp out there.

Your buns deserve a tasty smear of aioli sauce and chipotle ranch. Even a quick slap of mayonnaise works in a pinch. Serve your tasty burger with a side of French fries, potato chips, or a side salad.

Put together a French-Canadian salmon pie

If you have pie dough chilling in your freezer, take it out for this easy leftover salmon dinner! Any French Canadian will tell you holiday dinner is incomplete without tourtière. Tourtière is a cozy minced meat pie filled with ground beef or pork, cooked onions, warm spices, and potatoes. Come on — meat and potatoes encased in flaky pie dough? It doesn't get better than that ... unless you have salmon. Salmon pie is a French Canadian variation usually made by inhabitants along the coast of Canada.

Hear us out — it might seem strange to combine mashed potatoes with cooked salmon before stuffing it between two layers of pie dough, but it is scrumptious. If you also have leftover mashed potatoes, you're looking at one helluva straightforward dinner. Consider serving this meal with a side salad, buttered corn, or any vegetable of choice.

If that's a bit too much, another simple way to appreciate a salmon and pie mashup is by following a chicken pot pie recipe and swapping out the chicken for salmon. 

Cook up a hot salmon pasta

Sandwiches, pies, and rice bowls are all tasty ways to use up last night's fish dinner, but let's be honest, we all love a good pasta meal. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to make pasta while incorporating cooked salmon.

Before coming up with a signature recipe, brainstorm a list of pasta recipes you love, then figure out how to make a simple protein switch. For example, consider making your famous chicken piccata, but substitute the chicken with salmon.

You can swap out the shrimp in a shrimp scampi dish and instead add warmed salmon towards the end. Pretty much any lemon garlic butter sauce will accompany salmon and taste amazing. Spaghetti carbonara, pesto pasta dishes, and fettuccine alfredo will all welcome the addition of salmon.

Throw it over a plate of fresh greens

Throughout the months of spring and summer, we encourage you to look for fresh ways to use up that pink fish. Using seasonal fruits and vegetables not only tastes better than out-of-season produce, but you'll appreciate the friendly price tag that comes along with it.

But if you find yourself in a cold season with fewer options, salmon salads still make a lovely dinner option. You can serve your salmon cold or warm it up before laying it over a bed of fresh greens. Salmon Caesar is excellent, as the anchovy dressing pairs well with the mild salmon. Plus, you can make it with a simple premade salad mix.

Otherwise, go big with a hearty Cobb salad, or give Mediterranean cuisine a shot and make a lovely Greek salad topped with kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber. Just don't forget the salmon.

Add some omegas to your breakfast scrambles

In the busy world we all live in, breakfast is often overlooked and forgotten. If you ever find yourself with ample time in the morning (say the weekend), then be sure to give your scrambles an extra dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

Perfecting scrambled eggs is one thing, but using tips and tricks to amp them up is a whole other ball game. From cooking your eggs in bacon grease or clarified butter to understanding temperature and time play vital roles in the best scrambles, there is a lot to know.

When it comes to adding soft protein (like salmon) to your eggs, remember to wait until your eggs are almost cooked all the way through. If you want to enjoy plump pieces of salmon, be sure to add them to your pan towards the end of cooking time rather than in the raw egg mixture. Otherwise, you will end up with tiny broken-down salmon pieces.

Pile up a cold salmon salad sandwich

Unless you fear mayo and fish, there's a good chance you've had a tuna salad sandwich at some point in your life. If you are open to it, you can enjoy something similar, with a lesser dose of mercury, when you craft a cool salmon salad sandwich.

Yup, that's right — salmon salad sandwiches are a thing, and man, are they delicious. You can keep it simple by combining mayonnaise with the fish or amp things up with other ingredients. Fresh dill, lemon juice, and kewpie mayo all mesh well with the mild fish and create a tasty sandwich filler your taste buds will love.

For healthier alternatives to mayo, consider Greek yogurt or mashed avocado instead. Fresh slices of multigrain or sliced sourdough will close things up and taste amazing. Don't forget the side of chips.

Bake up a casserole

Just like you can replace tuna with salmon in a cold sandwich, you'll appreciate how easily they swap for one another in a creamy hot casserole. Egg noodles, peas, dill, Dijon, and cream of celery all come together in a flash in this easy dilly tuna casserole recipe.

However, there are a few ways to upgrade this classic family favorite, and it's especially fitting when salmon is included in the mix. Instead of using canned cream of celery, consider making a scratch béchamel sauce flavored with a swirl of soy sauce.

Egg noodles are lovely in baked casseroles, but firmer kinds of pasta like bowties, penne, and cavatappi all look beautiful and provide a nice "to the tooth" bite your palate will appreciate. Peas are traditional, but asparagus and broccolini all provide an upgrade feel to the dish too. For a final touch, consider using panko breadcrumbs instead of fried onion straws.

Get creative with salmon sushi rolls

We know sushi tends to hold raw ingredients, like raw tuna, salmon, and other fruits de mers. However, we also know there is also the crowd that steers clear from the raw selections and prefers their seafood cooked.

If you're open to either and love trying new rolls, you'll love this simple baked salmon sushi. The recipe will take you through each step for crafting the rolls and using a bamboo mat to get an excellent tight fit of all ingredients.

Sliced avocado, cucumbers, carrots, and a few other ingredients will make their way into these tasty rolls. For a bit of a spicy (and delicious) touch, don't leave out the spicy mayo made with mayonnaise and sriracha. Serve with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce, and you have a restaurant-worthy meal before you.

A hot salmon chowder wins hearts

Salmon chowder (or chow-dah, as it's pronounced in New England) will fill you with all the warm fuzzies. When made right, you'll swoon over every hearty spoonful. Start by cooking up evenly chopped mirepoix over medium heat until they soften.

Add a bit more butter, then toss in some flour to create a blonde roux. From there, work a couple of cups of lobster or fish stock into the mix. Better than Bouillon is our favorite brand of stock concentrate as it seriously boosts flavor with just a swirl in the pot, so be sure to look for their lobster or fish flavors for fish chowders and sauces.

Add cooked cubed potatoes, a generous swirl of heavy cream, and finally, your leftover salmon. The stock will add authentic flavors, but old bay seasoning will help round out the flavors of your chowder. If you aren't a fan of Old Bay, consider using creole seasoning instead. It will add a nice touch of spice without overpowering your dreamy chowder.

Make a lovely salmon quiche

If you're looking for a healthy rendition of your favorite brunchtime dish, be sure to reach for a crustless spinach and salmon quiche. You'll appreciate the sweet onion and shallots mixed in with the egg, spinach, and cheddar cheese. Instead of the calorific heavy cream addition, this recipe uses half and half to cut down on fat.

Before adding your egg mixture to the pie dish, mix in your leftover salmon. Because salmon is so mild in flavor, the egg, spinach, and white cheddar pair beautifully. White flakey fish doesn't work as well in eggy quiches, so we don't recommend trying anything other than salmon. Consider making this for dinner alongside a few croissants or homemade biscuits with jam.

There is no better way to bring breakfast to the dinner table than with a classic (and fancy) salmon quiche.

Spice things up a salmon curry

Curry and coconut offer parallel flavors that taste amazing when combined. The creamy sweetness of coconut milk helps temper the punch of spice found in curry. Together they form a sauce-like duo that pairs well with fish, seafood, chicken, and veggies.

Because salmon takes on flavors so well, you'll love adding it to a warm curry meal. One of the best ways to execute a salmon curry is by following a vegetable curry recipe and adding your cooked fish toward the end.

Keep in mind that while the recipe calls for eggplant, red bell peppers, cauliflower, and butternut squash, you'll have no trouble using veggies you already have on hand. Sweet potato, summer squash, zucchini, and snap peas taste lovely in a curry. You'll even appreciate spinach, kale, and mushrooms in this one-of-a-kind meal. Pair with warm naan bread and you have a meal fit for royalty.

Toss a cold pasta salad

Pasta salads are exactly what every summer barbecue needs on the table, but there are many ways to screw them up. From selecting the proper pasta shape to incorporating ingredients at the right time, it's essential to make a pasta salad that doesn't suck.

After you've taken a gander at all the ways to avoid messing your pasta salad up, be sure to look at all the stellar recipes available. From there, find one that will gladly welcome a touch of fresh salmon into the mix.

A summer pesto pasta salad filled with arugula, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and red onion is a great place to start. If you are no fan of the basil-forward pine nut paste, try this creamy crab pasta salad instead. The combination of salmon and crab will undoubtedly turn heads for seafood lovers out there.

Change things up on taco Tuesday

If you or your family is a big fan of taco Tuesday, but you are looking for new ways to appreciate a shelled dinner, reach for your leftover salmon. Either follow a recipe that calls for baked salmon, avocado crema, and cabbage, or line your counter with simple toppings you already love.

A homemade pico de gallo will provide bursts of juiciness in every bite, but there are plenty of other salsas that reign superior to the jarred stuff. Mango salsa, corn salsa, and avocado salsa pair beautifully with mild fish and we recommend taking the extra few minutes to prepare one of the three.

While cabbage slaw will provide an unforgettable crunch, you can keep things simple with shredded lettuce. Be sure not to forget to finish things string with a sour cream drizzle, chipotle ranch, or hot queso over the top. Serve your tacos with rice or tortilla chips with salsa and queso.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.