Perfect Salmon Burgers

salmon burger topped with dilled mayonnaise

Perfect salmon burgers are tender, juicy, laced with fresh dill and incredibly delicious, not to mention the healthiest burger you’ll ever eat.

salmon burger with chips and toppings

I do salmon burgers the right way!

Lots of salmon burger recipes use cooked fish, but in my book, that’s a salmon cake, not a salmon burger. Salmon burgers should be made with raw fish. They’re no more difficult to make than a hamburger, and such a nice change of pace. We should all be eating more salmon and salmon burgers are a delicious way to summerize your weekly intake of this incredibly healthy fish.

what you’ll need

  • salmon fillet ~ we’re using raw salmon, skin removed.
  • smoked salmon ~ my secret ingredient to infuse incredible flavor into these burgers. I use cold smoked salmon (it comes thinly sliced in the flat package.)
  • fresh dill
  • olive oil ~ just a tablespoon for added moisture
  • lemon juice

processing salmon for salmon burgers

I pulse the salmon in my food processor for burgers

My preferred way to make salmon burgers is to pulse the salmon in my food processor. It’s quick and mess free. I use the pulse button because I want to control the way the salmon is broken up. I want the texture of a burger, not paste.

can you chop the salmon with a knife?

Yes, for sure, it will just take longer.

uncooked salmon burgers on a tray

tips for making fish burgers

Add a bit of olive oil and fresh herbs to your minced salmon, it adds extra moisture and flavor. There is no need for binders like egg or bread crumbs with these burgers. We want the texture and flavor of the fish itself to shine through.

Your salmon burger mixture will be very moist and you may wonder if they’ll hold together as they cook ~ no worries, they do!

Don’t make your burgers too thick or too thin. If your burgers are too thick they will take too long to get cooked through in the middle and the outer portion of your burgers could dry out. If too thin, you burger can dry out also. I think somewhere around 1/3 pound is the sweet spot.

If you want to grill your salmon burgers outside, I would use a grill pan. I usually do them on the stove, I have more control that way.

Salmon burgers need a little lower heat than beef burgers because, again, you don’t want them to dry out before the insides get cooked.

Check your burgers with an instant read thermometer ~ the FDA says salmon should be cooked to 145F in the center. I like to remove them from the heat before this because they continue to cook as they rest.

toppings for salmon burgers

serving suggestions

Choose a soft style bun, and don’t overwhelm your delicate salmon burger with too much bread.

Salmon burgers benefit from the added moisture of some sort of creamy spread (on both sides of the bun!) It can be a mayonnaise or yogurt based spread like I used, or a pesto, or tartar sauce, etc. A horseradish sauce or aioli would also be delicious. You can also use thousand island dressing, or a classic fast food secret sauce.

We like to top our burgers with thinly sliced red onion. Sometimes coleslaw or lettuce as well.

salmon burger on a bun with all the fixings

what goes with salmon burgers?

a salmon burger on a brioche bun.
salmon burger topped with dilled mayonnaise
5 from 5 votes

Perfect Salmon Burgers

Perfect salmon burgers are tender, juicy, laced with fresh dill and incredibly delicious, not to mention probably the healthiest burger you'll ever eat. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 burgers
Calories 289kcal
Author Sue Moran


for the burgers

  • 1 1/2 lbs raw salmon fillet, skin removed*
  • 4 ounces cold smoked salmon
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

for the dill sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise (you can use Greek yogurt instead) make your own, here.
  • 3 Tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch salt


  • Cut your salmon fillet into large chunks.
    salmon fillet cut into chunks
  • Put the salmon into a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the smoked salmon as well, breaking it apart as you add it. Pulse the machine until the salmon is well chopped but still retains some texture. Note: use the pulse button to control the processing and break up the salmon without pureeing it.
    processing salmon for salmon burgers
  • Mix the salmon with the minced dill, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice.
    Making salmon burger mixture in a bowl.
  • Form into patties 6 patties. I use a heaping half cup measure to portion out the salmon.
    salmon burgers, on a tray.
  • Cook the burgers over medium to medium high heat until done in the center. An instant read thermometor inserted in the center of the burger should read 145F. Salmon burgers do not take very long to cook.
    cooking salmon burgers in a cast iron skillet
  • Serve your burgers on buns with the dill sauce and your favorite toppings, or over a salad.
    salmon burgers with all the fixings

dilled sauce

  • Whisk together the ingredients and taste to adjust to your liking.

Cook’s notes

*salmon skin has high nutritional value, and you can leave it on if you like, but I’m not sure how well it will break up in the processor.
The nutritional value is for the burgers and sauce only.


Calories: 289kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 594mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 85IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

e book

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2022 at 9:15 am

    5 stars
    Sue, these ARE the perfect salmon burgers to start the summer time dining in fresco! You are such a great chef!

  • Reply
    June 1, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    Hello there,have you tried using a food grinder? I recently upgraded my K/A with the metal grinder attachment that includes a coarser die and a metal worm(auger). Apparently they do this in Mexico for Ceviche Tostadas with very cold fish(Mahi Mahi) and refrigerated grinder parts to avoid mushy texture.What do you think? Any input appreciated. Thx

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 1, 2022 at 4:58 pm

      That should work fine. You can do it by hand as well. Anything that gets the fish chopped will work.

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