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Southern Salmon Patties combine canned salmon, cajun seasoning, and cornmeal in this easy crispy Southern style salmon patty recipe.

Easy dinner recipe of southern salmon patties
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Why this recipe works:

This recipe is a spin on my classic salmon patties. I changed out a few of the ingredients, including adding some of my homemade cajun seasoning, to give them a subtle spicy flavor and a crispy cornmeal coating. If you are a salmon patty fan, you’ll love this variation of the recipe!

Crispy Southern Salmon Patties are the kind of easy dinner recipe that is perfect for a busy weeknight.

First of all, you might just find that you already have the ingredients needed to make Southern Salmon Patties on hand. I’ve taken to buying the boneless skinless canned salmon at Costco. This allows me to avoid having to pick the bones, skin, and dark flesh out. I never let my pantry run out.

stack of salmon patties cooked in cornmeal with lemon

How to make this recipe:

You’ll see how easy these pan fried salmon patties really are to make.

The first step is to saute up some diced onion in butter. It was one of my readers, in fact, who told me to saute them first. This would not only make them more mild in the finished salmon patty, but it would allow them to not burn when cooking the salmon patty in some hot oil. You’ll want to set those sauteed onions aside and let them cool a bit.

Next step is to combine all of the ingredients except the oil and the cornmeal, including the cooked onions, in a large bowl. You can use a wooden spoon but you’re going to have to get your hands dirty to form the salmon patties, so you might as well get them in there to do the final mixing.

Form this mixture into four patties, then coat both sides in the cornmeal.

Using the same pan you used to cook the onions, heat the oil to just below the smoking point and cook your Southern salmon patties until they’re nice and crispy, turning only once.

You can eat them hot for dinner or eat them cold on a salad the next day!

bite of salmon patties made with canned salmon

What to serve with Salmon Patties?

With my traditional salmon patty recipe, I almost always serve them with brown rice and a salad. For this Southern version, I like to break out my favorite Southern sides.

You can’t go wrong with a good mac and cheese recipe on the side. How about grits? I think I may have made grits only once or twice, but they’d be great with these cajun salmon patties. Anyone like collard greens? Those would be fantastic as well.

To be honest, salmon patties are pretty versitile and easy side dish recipes that would taste great with them aren’t difficult to find.

Crispy Southern Salmon Patties

Prep10 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Southern Salmon Patties combine canned salmon, cajun seasoning, and cornmeal in this easy crispy Southern style salmon patty recipe. 


  • 1/2 yellow onion minced
  • 1 T butter
  • 12 oz salmon 2-6oz boneless skinless cans, drained
  • 1 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup saltine crackers crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 T olive oil more or less, depends on size of pan


  • In large saute pan over medium high heat, saute onions in butter until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In large bowl, combine salmon, cajun seasoning, lemon juice, crushed saltines, salt, pepper, egg, and the cooked onions. Stir well to combine. Form into four patties.
  • Place cornmeal in shallow dish and coat each patty on both sides.
  • Using same pan you cooked the onions, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the salmon patties and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5-8 minutes each side. Serve hot or cold.


Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 460mg, Potassium: 543mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 465IU, Vitamin C: 2.5mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. 5 stars
    I have been making and eating these since I was about 10 or 11. STILL love them!! I aways serve mine with mashed potatoes and baby green peas (fresh in the summertime). A little ketchup or cocktail sauce on the patty and dig in!! I don’t bother to pick out the skin and bones … my brother and I used to fight over them, after our mother told us they would make out bones and teeth strong!!

    1. I used to use red because I think it is better, but pink is much more cost effective. So, I’ve made them both ways.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these and they turned out fantastic! I modified the recipe by adding my personal touches; I added a quarter finely diced green pepper (not sautéed), 2 T. Chopped green bell pepper, panko crumbs instead of thé crackers, 2 eggs, coated in panko crumbs and fried in a cast iron skillet with 1 T. Olive oil and 1 T. Butter. Served with rémoulade sauce which provides a slightly sweet tangy finish.