How Long to Cook Salmon Patties?

Salmon patties are a beloved meal for many reasons. The combination of flaky salmon, eggs, breadcrumbs and seasonings makes a flavorful and tender patty that can be enjoyed as a main course or an appetizer. However, one of the difficulties with salmon patties is determining the proper cooking time. Undercooking leads to a mushy interior, while overcooking results in dry, rubbery patties. So how long should you cook salmon patties to perfection?

What Are Salmon Patties?

Before jumping into cooking times, let’s first define what salmon patties are.

Salmon patties are a type of fish cake made primarily with salmon. The key ingredients are:

  • Fresh or canned salmon, broken into flakes
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs

These three base ingredients are combined and shaped into round, flat patties. Additional ingredients like onions, bell peppers, herbs and seasonings can also be mixed into the salmon cakes to add more flavor.

Salmon patties make an easy weeknight dinner, especially when made with canned salmon. They also are a great way to use up leftover cooked salmon or open packages of fish. The salmon cakes can be served on their own, placed on greens, tucked into sandwiches or slider buns, or served with classic sides like coleslaw, potato salad or tartar sauce.

How Long To Cook Salmon Patties?

When it comes to cooking salmon patties, the goal is to achieve a crispy, golden outer crust with a moist, tender interior. The patties should be cooked through but not dried out.

On average, salmon patties take 20-25 minutes to cook fully. However, cooking times can vary based on several factors:

  • Cooking method (oven, air fryer, stovetop, grill)
  • Thickness of the patties
  • Whether you prefer a crisper exterior or softer interior

The cooking times provided in recipes are simply guidelines. With a little trial and error, you can determine the perfect salmon patty cooking time for your personal preferences.

What Cooking Temperature is Optimal for Salmon Patties?

What Cooking Temperature is Optimal for Salmon Patties?

Monitoring the temperature is key for properly cooked salmon patties. Fish needs to reach an internal temperature of 145°F to be considered safe to eat.

For the oven, an ideal temperature for baking salmon cakes is 350°F. This allows the patties to cook through gently without over-browning or burning the exterior before the inside is finished.

You can also bake salmon patties at a higher temp like 400°F or 425°F to reduce cooking time. Just watch them closely to prevent burning.

How Long to Cook Salmon Patties in the Oven?

Baking salmon patties in the oven results in an evenly browned crust. Here are the steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet with oil or cooking spray.
  3. Arrange patties on the sheet, leaving space between each one.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, gently flipping halfway through.

Be sure to flip the patties during baking to ensure both sides develop color and crispness. Check for doneness after 20 minutes. Salmon cakes may need up to 35 minutes in the oven depending on thickness. Let patties rest 5 minutes before serving.

How Long to Cook Salmon Patties in an Air Fryer?

Air fryers provide a quick cooking option for salmon patties with crisp results. Follow these steps:

  1. Lightly oil air fryer basket to prevent sticking.
  2. Place patties in a single layer, leaving space between.
  3. Cook at 350°F for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Gently flip patties and cook 4 more minutes.

Total cooking time is just 10-12 minutes. Thicker salmon cakes may take 1-2 minutes longer. Be careful not to overcook the patties in an air fryer as they can dry out quickly.

How Long to Cook Salmon Patties on the Stove?

You can also pan-fry salmon cakes for a quick weeknight meal.

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
  2. Carefully add patties without overcrowding the pan.
  3. Cook 4 minutes per side until deeply golden.

It’s important to let the patties develop a crust before attempting to flip them. Total stovetop cooking time is just 8-10 minutes. Check for doneness by cutting into the thickest portion of a patty.

How Long to Cook Salmon Patties on the Grill?

How Long to Cook Salmon Patties on the Grill?

Grilling is fantastic way to prepare salmon patties in the summer. Simply:

  1. Oil grates and preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Grill patties 4-5 minutes per side.
  3. Allow to rest 3 minutes before serving.

Aim for a crispy exterior while keeping the interior moist. Brush with melted butter, garlic and herbs for extra flavor.

How Long to Cook Frozen Salmon Patties?

Frozen pre-made salmon patties require longer cooking than fresh patties. For best results:

  • Thaw frozen patties overnight in the fridge before cooking.
  • Bake frozen patties at 350°F for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway.

Watch closely as cooking times for frozen items can vary greatly.

How Do You Know When Salmon Patties Are Cooked?

Checking doneness of salmon patties can be tricky. Here are some tips:

  • Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should hit 145°F.
  • Press down lightly with a spatula – patties should feel firm and flake easily when fully cooked.
  • Cut into the thickest portion of a patty to inspect the inside color.

When salmon cakes are properly cooked, the exterior will be browned while the interior remains moist and tender.

Storing and Freezing Salmon Patties

Properly stored salmon patties will last 3-4 days refrigerated. To store:

  • Allow patties to cool completely before refrigerating.
  • Place in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag.

To reheat, place in microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat in a skillet over low heat.

To freeze uncooked salmon patties, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm. Transfer frozen patties to a resealable plastic bag. They will keep for 6-7 months frozen.

Thaw frozen uncooked patties overnight in the fridge before baking or frying as directed.


How long do you cook premade salmon patties?

Pre-made or store-bought frozen salmon patties take 10-15 minutes to cook through. Follow package instructions and watch closely to prevent overcooking.

How can I keep salmon patties from falling apart when cooking?

To help hold salmon patties together, make sure the salmon is drained well and finely flaked. Use a light touch when shaping patties and allow them to set in the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking. Chilling firms up the patties so they hold their shape better.

Why are my salmon patties dry and what can I do?

Overcooking is the main reason for dry salmon cakes. Try reducing oven temperature and cooking time. Also, allow patties to rest 5 minutes after cooking so moisture can redistribute. Adding mayo or sour cream to the mix makes patties more moist.

Is it safe to eat salmon patties that aren’t fully cooked?

Salmon patties should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F to kill any potential bacteria or parasites. Partially cooked fish patties could pose a food safety risk.

What are good side dishes and sauces for salmon patties?

Great pairings include lemon wedges, tartar sauce, coleslaw, dill sauce, remoulade sauce, potato salad, roasted veggies or fresh green salad. Salmon cakes also work well in sandwiches, tacos, wraps or slider buns.


Finding the perfect salmon patty cooking time for your taste may require some trial and error. A kitchen thermometer helps eliminate the guesswork. While general guidelines suggest 20-25 minutes, adjust cooking times and temperatures based on factors like patty thickness and desired crispness.

With a deliciously easy meal like salmon patties, play around to find that ideal balance between a crispy exterior and moist, flaky interior. In no time, you’ll be serving up tender, golden salmon cakes for any occasion.

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