No-filler salmon patties

My No-Filler Salmon Patties

Before I started eating low-carb, salmon was a minor part of my diet.  If I ate salmon at all, it was in the form of a grilled or broiled salmon steak, usually in a restaurant.  I never purchased or prepared canned salmon.  But that has changed. Now I look for sales on canned salmon, and try to always have a few cans in the pantry.

(For a new version of this recipe, see “No-filler salmon patties in coconut oil.”)

Canned salmon is usually wild-caught fish, which has a better reputation for purity than farm-raised fish.  It’s typically sold in 14.75 ounce cans, each of which provide 630 calories, 84 grams of protein, and significant calcium and Omega-3 fat.  Salmon is something of a wonder food.  Even the American Heart Association approves of it.

Looking for low-carb ways to cook canned salmon, I came across many recipes for salmon patties, most of which combined the salmon with one or more eggs, herbs, and some sort of filler — bread crumbs, rolled oats, or even crushed saltines or pork rinds.  The filler often adds carbs, though, so I tried it without any filler, and it seemed to work just fine.  Here is my recipe for No-filler Salmon Patties.  It makes four patties. They taste great and can be made in 15 minutes.


  • 1 can (14.75 oz) pink salmon (any brand)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 2 tbs olive oil


  1. Open and partly drain the salmon. (It’s OK to leave in some of the water.)
  2. Place salmon in a mixing bowl, and mash with a fork. (Work in the skin and fine soft bones; that’s where much of the nutrition comes from!)
  3. Start olive oil heating in a no-stick pan.
  4. Add whole egg and garlic powder  to the salmon, and mix those in.
  5. Form four salmon patties of roughly equal size.
  6. Pan fry patties about 3 minutes on a side over medium-high flame. (You want the patties nicely browned on both sides, and heated through.)


Each patty has 240 calories, 1.5 grams of net carbs, and 22.5 grams of protein.

Obviously, there are many ways to vary the recipe.  I have tried it with some lemon juice and Tabasco mixed in, and also with diced onions (though the onions add some carbs and also tended to reduce patty-cohesion).  Since I am the only one in the house who eats fish, I usually eat one or two of the patties and then wrap the others individually in aluminum foil (marking them so that no one has a rude surprise, thinking it is a saved hamburger).  The salmon patties reheat well in the microwave.


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  1. gary lonsberry says

    My grandmother’s recipe for salmon patties is very complicated and carb laden. I’ll admit I was a little iffy the first time around trying these. It just seemed too simple! I am now glad to say I am making them for the second time and I prefer them to the carb filled version of my childhood.

  2. Carmen Williams says

    Made these for the first time, just added a bit of pimentos for added flavoring and they were easy and delicious. I am a fan. Will definitely be adding this to my diet from now on.

  3. says

    This sounds yummy but this: “Work in the skin and fine soft bones” scares me!! I have a can of salmon but have never opened it because I didn’t know what to do with it.

    • 00048560 says

      I thought the same thing when I first started eating canned salmon, but it’s really good. The skin and bones are nutritious, and blend right into everything else seamlessly.

    • JA says

      Depending on the brand, the skin and bones may not even be visible. Lately I’ve been buying Chicken of the Sea (because it’s frequently on sale) and a multi-can pack at Costco. Both wild-caught Alaskan.

  4. Laura Marks says

    I made this last night and even the kids gobbled them up (I had to use 2 cans to make enough!). Thank you!