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Easy Classic Salmon Croquettes

4.97 from 65 votes

My easy classic Salmon Croquettes are pan fried and packed with great flavor! This classic preparation uses grocery store staples to make a quick, inexpensive and elegant weeknight dinner. Serve with your choice of tartar sauce, garlic aioli, or horseradish-dill cream.

Salmon croquettes on a serving platter.

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Salmon Croquettes were a staple of my childhood dinner table. I remember Mama’s croquettes being moist and flaky on the inside and wonderfully crunchy on the outside.

Mine don’t quite live up to hers, but they’re a close second. Plus salmon is one of the good-for-you foods so it cancels out the frying. Right?

Actually, the more I looked into the history of these simple fried salmon patties, the more I realized how elegant they are. Croquettes originated in France in about 1898 by the founder of classical French cuisine, Escoffier.

They were originally made of beef, probably leftovers that needed to be used up. As Escoffier’s chefs started to travel throughout the world, they took the recipe with them to other cultures where it was transformed based on local cuisines. From the original beef croquette, it branched out into salmon croquettes, fish, chicken, vegetarian, and many other versions.

So, that old-fashioned, simple salmon croquettes recipe that many of us enjoyed in childhood, turns out to be fancy French cooking invented by Escoffier himself. Who knew!?

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • This recipe is pure and simple nostalgia for me.
  • Fish is a good-for-you protein
  • It’s easy to make and inexpensive

🛒 Ingredient Notes


All the ingredients required for the recipe.

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  • Salmon (I’ve only used the commonly available canned pink salmon for this recipe. if you’re looking for the “cleanest” choice of canned salmon, it’s my understanding that a good Alaskan salmon should meet those needs.)
  • Onion (Regular old yellow onions, chopped finely are great for this recipe. You can substitute finely chopped red onions or green onions if you like.)
  • Dill Weed (If you don’t have it, you can substitute dill seed or fresh dill or simply omit it.)
  • Bread Crumbs (Use the plain dried boxed bread crumbs or make your own from leftover bread on hand.)
  • Oil (Like most southern cooks, I use peanut oil for frying anything. You can use canola or vegetable oil if you like. I don’t recommend olive oil for frying because of its low smoking point.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Salmon Croquettes


Do the Prep Work

Drain the canned salmon. Remove and discard any bones and skin. Use a fork to break up the salmon. Finely dice the onion and celery.

Mix the Ingredients

All ingredients i a mixing bowl.
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the salmon, egg, celery, onion, dill, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and one cup of bread crumbs.

Form the Patties

Patties formed and resting on a plate.
  1. Using your hands, form the salmon mixture into eight patties just like you would if you were making burgers.
  2. Lightly dust the patties with the remaining bread crumbs. Set aside while the oil heats.

Fry the Croquettes

  1. Add oil to a depth of approximately ¼-inch in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Fry for about 8-10 minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown.
  3. Remove the completed croquettes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Finished salmon croquettes on a white serving platter.

❓ Questions About Salmon Croquettes


What’s the difference between salmon croquettes and salmon patties?

The terms “salmon croquettes” and “salmon patties” are interchangeable. If you’re really into technical terminology, the difference is that croquettes typically use breadcrumbs, and patties typically use flour. A croquette mixture is flakier and lighter than a patty mixture. So now you know!

What sauce goes best with salmon croquettes?

There are loads of choices for sauces to serve with your salmon croquettes. Kids love good old ketchup. I like them with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. They’re also great with tartar sauce, garlic aioli, or a horseradish-dill cream.

What are the best sides to serve with this?

There are so many good choices of sides to serve with salmon croquettes! My mother always served them with English peas and mashed potatoes. I like them with roasted asparagus and baked macaroni and cheese.

Can I use other kinds of fish for this recipe?

Yes, you can. Canned tuna works very well for making croquettes.

Can you make these in the air fryer?

You bet! Most cooks recommend freezing the croquettes for about 30 minutes before cooking in an air fryer. After the freezing time, prepare the fryer by spraying the basket with oil. Place the patties in a single layer in the basket and cook for about 6 minutes at 400 degrees. Flip the patties, spray the basket again, and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.

One bite on a fork.
Lana Stuart.

More Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

Salmon croquettes on a serving platter.

Salmon Croquettes

Easy Classic Salmon Croquettes are pan fried and packed with great flavor! This classic preparation uses grocery store staples to make a quick, inexpensive and elegant weeknight dinner.
4.97 from 65 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 247kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces canned salmon drained and flaked
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup finely chopped celery
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion or sliced green onions
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs plus ¼ cup for coating
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the salmon, egg, celery, onion, dill, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1 cup bread crumbs.
  • Form the mixture into eight patties.
  • Dust patties with remaining bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil to a depth of approximately 1/4-inch in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Fry for about 8-10 minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown.
  • Remove to paper towels to drain.

Notes

  • For this recipe, the commonly available canned pink salmon is perfectly suitable.
  • I use peanut oil for any type of frying. You can use canola or vegetable oil if you like. I don’t recommend olive oil because of its low smoking point.
  • To make salmon croquettes in the air fryer, first freeze the croquettes for about 30 minutes. Then preheat the fryer to 400 degrees. Spray the basket with oil. Place the patties in a single layer and cook for about 6 minutes. Flip, spray the basket again and continue cooking for another 4 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Serving 2croquettes | Calories 247kcal | Carbohydrates 21g | Protein 25g | Fat 7g | Saturated Fat 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat 2g | Monounsaturated Fat 2g | Trans Fat 1g | Cholesterol 112mg | Sodium 834mg | Potassium 393mg | Fiber 2g | Sugar 2g | Vitamin A 151IU | Vitamin C 1mg | Calcium 304mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on April 7, 2009. It has been updated with additional information and new photos.

Classic Salmon Croquettes - a very classic preparation using the common grocery store canned salmon. Inexpensive and elegant. https://www.lanascooking.com/salmon-croquettes/

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Recipe Rating




39 Comments

  1. Mary Scott says:

    Love the recipe 🎶💃 Used Panko instead of breadcrumbs .

  2. 5 stars
    I put everything in a greased baking dish. I baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. It was gone in 10 minutes it was so delicious.

  3. 5 stars
    Love the simplicity. Added chopped peppers and other heat. Also added mayo. Fried in garlic olive oil— yes, was smokey.

  4. Christina Wooten says:

    5 stars
    Very great recipe thank you.
    I have a husband and a roommate that love to eat and I won the hearts of the both of them with this meal!!!!
    So simple and easy packed with flavor….
    Thank you 😊

  5. Val Wells says:

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try it. It is the same way my late Mom used to cook it 🥰Thanks so much for posting.

  6. Estel Cooper says:

    5 stars
    Mom made this recipe often.

  7. 5 stars
    Great tasting recipe…..I make once a week

  8. 5 stars
    My Mama used to make these, and when times got bad, she would use canned Mackerel, which I didn’t care for!! But we ate it! When she had it, she would dip the patties or croquettes in egg and flour before she fried them. My husband, of 56 years, likes Salmon croquettes. I fix them following yours and Mamas recipe. Linda

  9. Can you use a deep fryer for the croquettes?

    1. I’ve never tried salmon croquettes in a deep fryer. My intuition is that they might not hold together.

  10. 5 stars
    Simple and classic! I served mine with a garlic and dill sour cream drizzle to really bring those flavors forward in the patties.

    1. Your garlic-dill-sour cream sauce sounds great. It would be perfect with these.

  11. Lisa Shafferman says:

    My Mama made Salmon Patties when we were growing up. She put flour in hers along with an egg as binders. The crust was corn meal. She served them with English peas android white rice. I loved to dip them in ketchup. Still do. Thanks for a different version that I’ll give a try this weekend. My Husband doesn’t like salmon so, I get to keep them all to myself.🤤

  12. Matt Osgood says:

    Good recipe! I made a very similar recipe recently and used some canned smoked salmon that I happened to have. The extra smokiness added another flavor to the mix that was really nice! Give it a try!

  13. I noticed that the ingredient list calls for a cup of bread crumbs PLUS 1/4 cup for dusting. The directions do not state that the cup of bread crumbs goes into the mix. Am I wrong, or should this be edited in? This recipe looks great, like what my mother used to make.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Joan – yes, you are correct! I must have just overlooked that in writing the recipe. Thanks for letting me know. I’ve republished the corrected recipe :-)

  14. gloria patterson says:

    YOU have a great crunch on these cakes. These are about the way I make my salmon cakes except I put my cakes in the frig/freezer about 15 minutes then do a final breading on them

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      That’s probably a good idea, Gloria. I should do that, too.

  15. you do add the cup of bread crumbs to the mixture don’t you?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You do, Sylvia. Then the 1/4 cup is used to lightly dust the outside of the patties/cakes/croquettes before frying.

  16. gloria patterson says:

    Silly question is there a difference between salmon cakes and salmon Croquettes?

    One of my favorites to make to go with my salmon “whatevers” is a mayo, lemon, dill sauce.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I don’t think there’s much of a difference, Gloria. Sometimes croquettes are shaped more like little footballs than patties like the cakes are. That may account for the difference in names.

  17. Love this simple recipe and salmon. Thank you.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      You’re welcome, Liz!

  18. Can’t wait to make these tonight! My mouth is watering just reading about it…it’s still breakfast time!

  19. duodishes says:

    Oh goodness, these are a nice throw back to our Southern roots. Mmmm mmm good.

  20. Made your salmon croquettes last week, and they were a big hit. I’ve been trying to reproduce the ones Mama always made, and haven’t quite done it yet. She didn’t use celery at all, but it sure gave these a wonderful added taste. I judge everything by whether Ted says, “Do this again”, which he did emphatically on these. Loved them!

  21. Yep. LeSeur english peas were as much a staple dinner menu item in our house as the salmon croquettes. Mama’s croquettes are prettier than mine, though. She makes them in the correct croquette shape…like little oval footballs.

  22. Those look pretty good. Mama uses flour, not bread crumbs. Maybe that’s why, when I make them, they sometimes come out a bit heavy. But, I still love them. And, forgive me, but if you have LeSeur english peas, it is indeed STRAIGHT OUT OF OUR CHILDHOOD.

    Miss P

  23. breadplusbutter says:

    Those croquettes look delish. A nice combination with the mac ‘n’ cheese and asparagus. I’ll have that with some tartar sauce and we’re good to go.