Main dish Seafood

Jalapeño salmon patties

Jalapeno salmon patties DSC 1169

When I was in college, a friend went over to a guy’s house one night after a party. They were hungry and he offered to make her dinner. After a quick survey of his kitchen, however, he discovered he only had a can of salmon, a couple of eggs, and some bread crumbs. “How do you feel about salmon patties?” he asked.

The next day when she was telling our group of friends this story, we laughed. Why? Because there is probably nothing less romantic than a salmon patty. My friend, however, disagreed.

She explained that she not only encouraged him to whip up a batch, but they were just as delicious as the ones her family made. While their relationship didn’t go very far, she always felt fondly towards that guy because he was welcoming and genuine, much like a patty made from canned seafood.

Now, if you grew up in Texas or the South, chances are that you have also had a patty made from canned salmon. Or perhaps, it was given the fancier name of salmon croquette. No matter what you call it, however, most will agree that this dish prepared with humble ingredients is satisfying and good. In fact, they were my grandfather’s favorite meal.

Jalapeno salmon patties | Homesick Texan

For those who are unfamiliar, salmon patties are similar to crab cakes in that you take cooked, flaked seafood and bind it together with egg, bread crumbs, and seasonings before cooking. While you could make salmon patties with freshly cooked salmon (which I’ve been known to do myself), in a pinch using good quality canned salmon can be just as fulfilling, especially if you spice it just right.

For instance, for mine, I add plenty of dill, onion, lime juice, and garlic. I also dice up some jalapeños for a pop of heat. So, while they’re not quite as simple as the ones your great-grandmother probably made, they’re still familiar yet fresh.

To serve, you can present them on their own, or plate them with a salad or potatoes. Though I’m all about placing my patty on a bun along with slices of juicy tart pickles, shredded iceberg lettuce, and a creamy, tangy remoulade or buttermilk dressing to bind it all together. It’s crisp, cool, and refreshing.

Jalapeno salmon patties | Homesick Texan

Jalapeño salmon patties may not be the most romantic meal, but serving this welcoming and genuine dish is a wonderful way to show how much you care.

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Jalapeno salmon patties DSC 1169
5 from 5 votes

Jalapeño salmon patties

Author Lisa Fain


  • 2 (6-ounce) cans boneless, skinless salmon, drained
  • 1/4 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Remoulade, for serving (optional)
  • Buttermilk dressing, for serving (optional)
  • Buns, for serving (optional)
  • Hamburger fixings such as pickles and lettuce (optional)


  1. Mix the salmon, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, dill weed, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and egg until well combined.

  2. To assemble the salmon patties, form into 4 to 8 balls (depending on how large you want them) and then lightly press until it’s a hockey-puck shape.

  3. To cook the salmon patties, melt the butter in a skillet set on medium-low heat. Add the salmon patties to the skillet using a spatula, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown.
  4. Serve warm with limes and your preferred dressing such as remoulade or poblano ranch. Can also serve on buns with hamburger fixings.
  1. Karen Diaz

    Those of us of a certain age remember with fondness the salmon croquettes that were a staple on Fridays during lent. Thank you for featuring this recipe at a time when we all need a dose of comfort.

    • Lisa Fain

      Karen–You’re welcome. I’m so glad the memory brings comfort to you in these challenging times.

  2. Mary Urban

    My grandma used to make these. I make them now when we have leftover smoked salmon from a party. Next time, I’ll add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno!

  3. Lisa Dowdy

    Luby’s cafeteria – Salmon patties, mac and cheese or buttered new potatoes, and green beans. My childhood. Memories! Thank you! 🙂

  4. Stephen Yoder

    This recipe led me to your Jalapeño-Cheese Bread recipe which my wife made a loaf of yesterday. SO GOOD! But I also wanted to say that I really like your website and always have. I like the background you give and I appreciate that you have not joined the recipe blogs who all seem to use the same template: WAY too many photos and WAY too much gushing about how whatever they’re cooking is the “Absolute best you’ve ever eaten!”. Your site is so much more genuine-feeling. And, of course, the food is THE ABSOLUTE BEST I’VE EVER EATEN!

    • Lisa Fain

      Stephen–Thank you for the kind words! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the blog and the recipes over the years, and that the jalapeño-cheese bread was a hit. So good indeed!

  5. I made these last night. These are DELICIOUS! A definite keeper in my favorites.

    • Lisa Fain

      LuAnn–That’s high praise! Thank you–I’m so glad they’re a keeper!

  6. Cristal Ortiz

    I’m going to try these next time I have leftover salmon. I’ve never had salmon patties like this but I grew up in Seattle and eating tons of salmon but my parents were originally from New Mexico. It was much harder in the 70s and 80s to get real Chiles up here. Even jalapeños were kind of hard to find. We used leftover salmon when I was a kid in Seattle to make a salmon loaf. It is a very Seattle thing never heard of anyone else making them. It’s basically a meatloaf topped with a white sauce green olives lemons and slivered almonds. That was tied for my favorite meal growing up. The other one was traditional New Mexican style flag enchiladas with home made blue corn tortillas and a sunny side up egg on top. Your recipe feels like both of my favorite meals mixed together. As soon as I can get my hands on some salmon I’m doing it!

    • Cristal Ortiz

      Oops. Silly phone. Autocorrect changed flat enchilada to flag enchiladas. Lol.

      • Lisa Fain

        Cristal–Your salmon loaf sounds wonderful, as well! And it’s funny, when I first read “flag” enchiladas, it made sense to me as in Mexico they often serve red, green, and white items together to represent their flag. Though I also love flat enchiladas! Enjoy the salmon patties!

  7. Shirley Thompson

    Thank you for this reminder to make some salmon patties; it has been too long since I have done so. My Mother was born in Abilene, TX and moved to Arizona as a girl. Her cooking was completely influenced by my Grandmother. As a consequence, I grew up eating salmon patties, and they were one of my favorite dinners. So simple, yet so utterly delicious. When there were leftovers, I ate them cold the next day. I usually top mine with some sort of vinegary hot sauce.

    • Lisa Fain

      Shirley–You’re welcome! It’s been fun hearing stories everyone’s stories about how much they love them. And eating them cold topped with a vinegary hot sauce sounds like the beginnings of a good sandwich.

  8. Nancy Wagner

    As a kid, I loved fried fish and especially salmon patties with bechamel on Fridays, as I grew up Catholic in south Texas. Any ideas about why bechamel would be served over salmon patties? It seems like an odd combination, but we loved it. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized my mom’s recipe for the patties had chopped bacon in them, breaking the rule of “no meat” Fridays! Oh, what a laugh my sisters and I had about mom sneaking bacon into our patties. I plan to try your recipe with jalapeños very soon — maybe I can even get my husband to try them, because he loves jalapeños on just about anything.

    • Lisa Fain

      Nancy–That’s hilarious your mom slipped in some bacon! The béchamel addition harkens back to some of the earliest recipes I found from the late 1800s. I suppose it was a way to keep them moist and perhaps make them seem more fancy. I’ve never tried it but I can see its appeal.

  9. Michael

    5 stars
    googled – or should I say – duck duck go’d – salmon patties – this was the first hit (granted, I’m a fan) – worked out great, better (more Texan) than the standard/can recipes for sure – thanks!

    • Lisa Fain

      Michael–Thank you! I’m so glad you found it in search and enjoyed the recipe!

  10. Theresa Keller

    Sunday night supper with cheese grits & greens 💕

  11. Glenda Rutherford

    What a great way to change up salmon patties! I grew up with them in Alabama (my mother called them croquettes) and I love them still. I always look for different ways of doing them and this is completely different from others I’ve seen. Will definitely try them!! Thank you!

    • Lisa Fain

      Glenda–My great-grandmother also called them croquettes! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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