Skip to Content

How healthy is salmon patties?

Salmon patties are a popular way to incorporate salmon into a meal. They are typically made by combining cooked salmon with eggs, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, then forming the mixture into patties and pan-frying. But how healthy are salmon patties really? Here we will examine the nutritional benefits and drawbacks of salmon patties to determine if they make a nutritious addition to your diet.

Salmon Nutrition Facts

Salmon is well known as a healthy fish filled with omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. A 3 ounce serving of cooked salmon contains:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 175
Fat 10g
Saturated Fat 2g
Protein 22g
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1.5-2.5g
Vitamin D 11% DV
Selenium 50% DV
Vitamin B12 50% DV
Potassium 15% DV

As you can see, salmon contains high quality nutrition packed with heart healthy fats, protein, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, and potassium. Consuming salmon regularly has been linked to many health benefits including improved cardiovascular health, better brain function, reduced inflammation, and protection against cancer.

Benefits of Salmon Omega-3s

One of the biggest benefits of salmon is its high omega-3 fatty acid content. Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat with potent anti-inflammatory properties. The two main omega-3s found in salmon are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

Omega-3s provide many vital functions in the body including:

  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Improving heart health by lowering blood pressure and triglycerides
  • Supporting brain function and mental health
  • Fighting oxidative stress and damage from free radicals
  • Supporting healthy vision and development of the eyes
  • Slowing the growth of cancer cells

Consuming at least 250mg per day of EPA and DHA is recommended for optimal health, and salmon is one of the best food sources for obtaining anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

High Quality Protein

In addition to healthy fats, salmon provides high quality protein with all the essential amino acids your body needs. Protein plays many critical roles including:

  • Building and repairing muscles and tissues
  • Supporting bone health
  • Boosting metabolism and promoting satiety
  • Transporting oxygen and nutrients in the blood
  • Regulating hormones, enzymes, and immune function

Salmon contains approximately 22 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving, making it an excellent choice post-workout or as part of a balanced meal.

Key Vitamins and Minerals

Salmon also contains a variety of important micronutrients:

Vitamin D – Salmon is one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, which supports bone health, immune function, and cell growth. Vitamin D deficiency is common and associated with many diseases.

Selenium – This mineral has antioxidant properties that support thyroid and immune system health. Salmon is one of the richest sources of selenium.

Vitamin B12 – Critical for nerve tissue and red blood cell health, salmon provides over 50% of the recommended daily amount of B12 per serving.

Potassium – Important for controlling blood pressure, salmon contains 15% of the RDI of potassium per serving.

Overall, salmon boasts an impressive nutrition profile. But how much of these health benefits remain once salmon is processed into patties? Let’s take a look.

Salmon Patty Nutrition Facts

To determine the nutrition of salmon patties, we need to look at the most common ingredients used to make them beyond just salmon. Typical salmon patty recipes call for:

  • Cooked salmon
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs or crackers
  • Onion
  • Seasonings like salt, pepper, paprika
  • Oil or butter for cooking

When comparing 3 ounces of cooked salmon fillet to one average salmon patty (about 74g), the nutritional differences are:

Nutrient 3 oz Salmon Fillet Salmon Patty (74g)
Calories 175 166
Fat 10g 8g
Saturated Fat 2g 1g
Protein 22g 13g
Omega-3s 1.5-2.5g 1g
Sodium 50mg 260mg

As you can see, the salmon patty contains fewer calories, fat, protein and omega-3s compared to an equal weight of salmon fillet. The sodium content increases due to the salt added during cooking and in the breading.

The patty would retain most of the micronutrients found in salmon like vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins, though in slightly lower amounts.

So while salmon patties offer the nutritional benefits of salmon, the concentrations are reduced. This is especially true for the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease by about 30-50% compared to salmon fillets.

Drawbacks of Making Patties

There are a couple reasons why the nutrition in salmon patties is slightly degraded compared to salmon fillets:

  • The patties contain extra ingredients like breadcrumbs that dilute the salmon’s nutrients when you look at equal weights.
  • Forming the fish into patties and then cooking again leads to some loss of delicate fats like omega-3s and protein denaturation.
  • Frying the patties adds extra fat and calories compared to baking salmon.

However, the overall nutritional differences are small, and salmon patties still provide far more nutrition than many other fried foods like hamburgers or chicken nuggets.

Benefits of Salmon Patties

While less nutrient-dense than salmon fillets, salmon patties confer many of the same health benefits associated with salmon:

Heart Health – The omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and decreasing risk for abnormal heart rhythms.

Brain Function – Omega-3s and B vitamins help support optimal brain function and may guard against dementia.

Vision – Lutein, zeaxanthin and omega-3s in salmon promote eye and vision health.

Anti-Cancer Effects – Selenium, vitamin D and omega-3s in salmon may help prevent several types of cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory – Omega-3s powerfully fight inflammation to reduce pain, risk of chronic diseases, and symptoms of conditions like arthritis.

Bone Strength – The protein, vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium in salmon benefits bone health.

Overall salmon patties provide many of the same benefits associated with salmon consumption, just in smaller amounts. But the convenience of patties makes it easy to enjoy salmon more frequently.

Potential Drawbacks of Salmon Patties

While salmon patties have excellent nutrition, there are a couple potential drawbacks to keep in mind:

High Sodium – Due to salt added in cooking and processing, patties contain over 500mg sodium each. This may be concerning for those limiting sodium intake.

Can Contain Fillers – Some commercial patties add fillers and binders like wheat flour or starch, which dilute nutrition and add quick-digesting carbs. Check ingredients.

Fried in Oil – Salmon patties are typically pan fried in oil, contributing extra calories, fat and oxidized cholesterol compared to baking. Opt for baking patties to reduce these downsides.

Risk of Contaminants – Certain types of salmon like farmed Atlantic have higher levels of contaminants like PCBs, so opt for wild-caught salmon.

Allergy Risk – People with allergies to fish or eggs should avoid salmon patties due to potential reactions. An egg-free option is mixing the salmon with mashed potatoes instead.

As long as you choose wild-caught salmon and prepare the patties healthfully, these drawbacks are relatively minor.

Healthiest Way to Make Salmon Patties

To maximize the nutritional quality of your salmon patties, follow these tips:

1. Choose Wild-Caught Salmon

Wild Alaskan salmon varieties like sockeye and coho have higher omega-3 levels with fewer contaminants than farmed Atlantic salmon. Canned wild-caught salmon works great for patties.

2. Use Healthy Binders

Instead of breadcrumbs, try rolled oats, quinoa flakes or mashed potatoes to hold the patties together with fewer refined carbs.

3. Minimize Extra Oil

Brush patties lightly with oil instead of soaking in oil when cooking to reduce unnecessary fats and calories.

4. Bake Instead of Pan-Fry

Baking salmon patties eliminates the extra fat used for frying while still providing a crispy outside and tender interior.

5. Boost Nutrition With Veggies

Add shredded carrots, spinach, chopped broccoli or other veggies to the patties for a nutrition boost.

6. Use Lean Proteins

Choose egg whites instead of whole eggs to cut back on saturated fat and calories while still binding. Chicken, turkey or plant-based proteins also work.

7. Cut Back on Sodium

Limit added salt by using lemon juice, herbs, garlic and other spices to flavor patties instead of relying on salt.

8. Serve on Nutrient-Dense Buns

Rather than white buns, use whole wheat buns or lettuce wraps for more fiber, nutrients and protein.

Following these simple guidelines allows you to maximize the nutrition of your salmon patties for optimal health benefits.

Healthy Salmon Patty Recipe

This baked salmon patty recipe incorporates several nutrition boosting ingredients:


  • 2 (5oz) cans wild-caught salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine drained salmon, egg white, oats and almond flour. Gently mix.
  3. Add onions, carrot, parsley, lemon juice and spices. Stir to distribute evenly.
  4. Form mixture into 4 patties, about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Place patties on parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly brush tops with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Serve on whole wheat buns with desired condiments and toppings.

This recipe takes just 15 minutes for a salmon patty meal that’s nutritious and delicious. The use of wild salmon, egg whites, oats, veggies and healthy cooking methods ensures you get excellent nutrition in a convenient patty form.


Salmon patties provide much of the same excellent nutrition you get from salmon fillets. While the protein, omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals are somewhat reduced when made into patties, salmon remains one of the healthiest protein choices overall.

To maximize nutrition, choose wild-caught salmon and incorporate healthy ingredients like veggies, spices and nutritious binders. Baking instead of frying further improves the nutrition profile. With some simple tweaks, salmon patties can be an easy, tasty way to get in two servings of the well-researched health benefits of salmon.