Want to mix up your burger routine? Try these tender Salmon Burgers with Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce. Lighter than your standard beef burger and packed with flavor, use a food processor to make quick work of the creamy sauce and chopping the salmon. No knife-work required!
Burger season is here (does it ever leave?), and these salmon burgers are the perfect way to mix things up beyond the standard beef variety. These burgers can be prepped ahead and cook fast, making them fit in right at home on a weeknight. A creamy sauce does double duty, spooned over top of the finished burgers but also mixed right in to add moisture and flavor to the patties as they cook.
The method to chop the salmon in the food processor is very loosely inspired by Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burgers. He has you blend ¼ of the fish into a paste to help bind the burgers while you chop the rest by hand, but I’ve found that if you gently pulse the salmon in two batches, you naturally get a mix of well blended “paste” and larger pieces that give the burgers texture.
Here’s how to do it.
- Salmon - Save yourself a ton of work and get salmon with the skin removed. Often the fishmonger behind the counter at your grocery store seafood section will do this for you.
- Panko breadcrumbs - I keep Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs (like these) and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs in my pantry. Japanese breadcrumbs work best in recipes like this one because they have a large porous shape that soaks up moisture and then releases it as the burgers cook. Panko is unseasoned, so you have to make sure you add other flavors when using them. If Italian-style breadcrumbs are all you have on hand, they’ll work just fine, but be sure to adjust the recipe as you go - you may need more to help the burgers hold together.
- Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce - Though you can use substitutes (see below for ideas), it’s hard to beat the creamy lemon herb sauce for flavor. Since you have to get the food processor out anyway, use it first to make this simple sauce which will top the burgers and go into the patties themselves to add moisture and flavor.
- Dijon mustard - This adds a subtle tart flavor that goes so well with salmon.
- Chili powder - Just use a small amount of chili powder in the burgers to add a small amount of flavor. I also loved the red specks that gave the burgers some added color. This amount of chili powder should not make the burgers spicy, but if you’re really concerned about spice, use paprika instead.
How to Freeze Salmon Burgers
Almost every burger makes a great freezer meal, and salmon burgers are no exception.
To freeze: Form the salmon patties and spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Freeze until solid, 3 to 5 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
To cook from frozen: Lay the salmon burgers flat on a sheet pan and defrost in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours (the timing will vary slightly depending on the temperature of your fridge and thickness of the burgers). Cook according to the recipe instructions.
- Change sauce - Skip the Lemon Herb Sauce and use Sriracha mayo or your favorite creamy salad dressing (Ranch Dressing is good here!). Just be sure you have enough to add some to the burger patties as well as use as a topping.
- Add spices - Add your favorite spices to the burgers to change up the flavors. Dried herbs like oregano or thyme work well or a spice blend like blackening / Cajun seasoning.
More Salmon Recipes
- Blackened Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde
- Foil-Roasted Salmon with Chickpeas and Greens
- Broiled Honey Lime Salmon
- Pan Seared Salmon and Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
- Lemongrass Roasted Salmon
- Honey Lime Salmon Tacos
- Salmon with Sweet Chili Lime Butter and Roasted Broccoli
- 6-inch Global Knife
- Cutting Board
- Anchor 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowls
- Half Sheet Pan
- Parchment Paper Sheets
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
- Cuisinart Food Processor
Salmon Burgers with Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce
- Food Processor
- Mixing Bowl
Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce:
- ¾ cup Mayonnaise
- ¼ cup loosely packed Fresh Herbs (dill, chives, cilantro, parsley, or any combination)
- 1 tablespoon Capers, drained well
- 1 clove Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Zest
- ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Pinch each of Sugar, Salt, and Black Pepper
For Salmon Patties:
- 1 lb Salmon, skin removed, chopped into large pieces (see note)
- 2 tablespoon Creamy Lemon Herb Sauce (ingredients listed above)
- 2 tablespoon Panko Breadcrumbs (see note)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoon Chili Powder
- 4 Hamburger Buns (I like potato rolls or brioche)
- Sliced Avocado
- Arugula or other Greens
- Onion or Tomato Slices
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine all sauce ingredients. Blend or pulse until the herbs and garlic are very finely chopped and sauce is smooth.
- Divide sauce into two parts. Put 2 Tablespoons of sauce in a large mixing bowl (to add to the salmon patties). Refrigerate all remaining sauce to use on top of the burgers).
- Wipe out the bowl of the food processor. Add salmon to the food processor in two batches and pulse until it forms pieces about the size of peas. Transfer each batch of chopped salmon to the bowl with the 2 Tablespoons of sauce. Add panko, mustard, salt, and chili powder. Gently stir until evenly combined.
- Line a small sheet pan or plate with parchment or wax paper.
- Form salmon mixture into 4 even patties. (To prevent sticking, wet your hands with some water or a bit of cooking oil before shaping the patties.)
- Spread patties out in a single layer on prepared sheet pan or plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to a day (cover if refrigerating for more than 30 minutes).
- Cook salmon patties in a well-oiled skillet over medium heat until patties are cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes per side.
- Toast hamburger buns.
- Spread toasted buns with reserved sauce and top with salmon patties, greens, sliced avocado, and other toppings. Enjoy!
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