How to Make the Best Salmon Cakes

When I was a kid one of my favorite recipes mom used to make was salmon cakes with mac & cheese. Over the years I’ve tried different versions of salmon cakes, but they were all too…shall I say… fancy. This is NOT a fancy recipe. This meal is inexpensive, fast, and delicious. Also makes for nice leftovers too.

The recipe: 

1 can red salmon (save liquid. You will use it when you mix the ingredients) Rubinstein’s is a delicious canned salmon if you can find it. 
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup parsley, fresh, finely chopped (1/4 saved for coating)
1 cup bread crumbs (I like Progresso’s Italian Style) separated (1/2 cup saved for coating) (You can substitute panko but I prefer the bread crumbs.)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
Salt/Pepper (be liberal with the pepper) 

When mixing all the ingredients together, I prefer to do it by hand. I recommend using gloves. 


Combine egg, Old Bay Seasoning, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/2 cup bread crumbs with salt & pepper. 

Place the other 1/2 a cup of breadcrumbs and the remaining parsley in a bowl and set aside. You’ll use this to coat the salmon cakes. Add salt & pepper. I was very liberal with the pepper and it turned out to be a good thing. 

Open the can of salmon. Pour the liquid into a little bowl and set aside. Put the salmon in a bowl. Then (with gloves on) break up the salmon so you can fish out (ha ha) the “yucky” stuff. Crush bones with your fingers. You want the salmon all broken up. 

Using your hands combine the salmon and the seasoned breadcrumb and mix thoroughly. 

Shape into balls with hands, any size you want

Roll into breadcrumbs/parsley so the salmon cakes are nicely coated.  

Right now is a good time to get your water boiling for the mac and cheese. 


In a large skillet or frying pan melt butter with some olive oil.

Place the salmon cakes into the pan and heat over medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes per side. Check your cakes to make sure you flip them when they are golden brown. Don’t let them get too dark or burn. 

Flatten the cakes just slightly in the pan. 

Serve with mac & cheese. Enjoy! 

When mom can’t be here. At least her food can be.

This post was originally published on June 26th, 2011, and updated Nov 22, 2022 when I actually made the salmon cakes for the first time.

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