Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli

October  4, 2022
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 3
Author Notes

This flavorful salmon patty is a light alternative to a beef burger. The avocado aioli is based off of a recipe from Marcella Valladolid, and adds a bit of heat to the burger, along with extra richness. I prepare my salmon in a meat grinder on the coarse setting, so it has a texture similar to ground beef. If you don't have a meat grinder at home, you can finely chop the salmon by hand, or pulse it very lightly in a food processor. Make sure you don't grind it into a paste! —Kitchen Sink Diaries

Test Kitchen Notes

I liked this recipe a lot. The extra fat from the avocado aioli kept the patty nice and moist, and the addition of red onion gave the whole thing some crunch. I would recommend adding a step to run the raw onion under cold water for a few minutes to mellow it out. I cooked the burger on an outdoor grill, and it worked perfectly. Overall, this recipe has good flavor, and is a great option for those who don't eat red meat. —Steve301

What You'll Need
  • Salmon Burgers
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons chives, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 handfuls mixed greens
  • 3 burger buns, toasted
  • Avocado aioli, recipe below
  • Canola oil, for brushing
  • Avocado Aioli
  • 1 very ripe avocado
  • 1 serrano pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 scant cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  1. Salmon Burgers
  2. Cut the salmon into pieces and freeze for about 20 minutes. Pass the chilled salmon through the coarse setting of a meat grinder.
  3. Season the ground salmon with salt, pepper, and chives, then mix to combine. Form the salmon into 3 equal-sized patties and lightly brush them with canola oil.
  4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Grill the salmon for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
  5. To assemble the burgers, spread some of the avocado aioli on the bottom bun, then top with a patty, a few slices of red onion, a handful of greens, and the top bun.
  1. Avocado Aioli
  2. Scoop the flesh of the avocado and add it, along with all remaining ingredients ,into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  3. Check for seasoning. Note: You can keep the seeds in the serrano if you want it to be spicier.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Molly
  • Claire
  • Mark
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    Nan Williams
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31 Reviews

Molly September 10, 2019
We love this recipe! Very flavorful and easy. I just finely chop the salmon instead of using a meat grinder or grating. Quick question: could I freeze these? And if so, should I freeze them before or after cooking?
brigidm85 April 9, 2020
Molly - did you try freezing this recipe?
Molly December 9, 2021
I haven't tried it yet!
Claire August 12, 2019
Delicious. I used a cheese grater to break down the salmon then a chefs knife on what I couldn’t grate. We will be having these again.
Ghazzzit May 14, 2017
These salmon burgers were magic! Thank you for such a simple and delicious recipe!

Made these for a pescetarian picnic, approximately doubling the recipe and preparing the salmon ahead. As the salmon wasn't binding together, the mods below were incorporated based on other's feedback. Formed patties and grilled in olive oil in a cast iron pan over a rustic bbq grille on-site.

- 1/2 a finely shaved large scallion to the salmon
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp almond flour

Prepared it per other comments by chopping the salmon then hand mixing to incorporate.

Skipped the aioli out of laziness as we'd prepared a number of dishes and just opted for sliced avocado and sprouts on a bun - incredibly delicious!
emstreet April 23, 2017
Large holes of a box grater actually make a great substitute for a meat grinder in the case of salmon!
emstreet April 23, 2017
Oh, and no freezing necessary! Just grate down to the skin. MUCH better than the mush you get with a food processor.
Kitchen S. September 2, 2018
This is a great tip! Thanks
Mark September 2, 2015
To keep patties together in case of having problems after using a processor, use some flour or breadcrumbs and an egg. This will help for sure ;)
Cliff April 21, 2015
Wow, one tablespoon of salt must be a typo!! Horribly too salty and I'm a salt freak. Will try recipe again with maybe one teaspoon of salt.
Nan W. April 15, 2015
Oh, used just a scant teaspoon of salt, based on other comments.
Nan W. April 15, 2015
Really quite delicious. Too lazy to dirty up the food processor, so I finely chopped most the salmon and pounded the rest to a pulp inside a zippie. Will make this again!
MJ April 14, 2015
Loved to
Loved thatthe

Loved that the actual burger was purely salmon and simple herbs and spices..... but holy cow 1 tablespoon of salt was WAY too much. Will definitely cut back next time..
Maricar F. April 13, 2015
New here! Will most definitely try "ALL" the recipes! One day... At a time! Thank you!
Cristian M. August 17, 2014
Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you guys know I tried this recipe with canned salmon and added some bread crumbs with an egg to ensure the patties held together, and I worked out! Although this was my first time having a salmon burger, it was too fishy for my taste. The cooking technique was spot on though.
Kitchen S. December 28, 2014
Thanks for letting us know! Using fresh salmon might change your mind about the fishy-ness. Thanks for giving it a shot.
Flora August 7, 2014
I found these very salty!
Megan July 29, 2014
We tried these and they were great. We didn't have a meat grinder so we chopped the salmon up pretty fine and then pulsed about a third of the mixture in the food processor and mixed it all up. The patties held together wonderfully. I was really pleasantly surprised by how flavorful these were and the avocado aoili was easy and delicious. We tripled this for 9 people and it was a hit. Highly recommend!
Kitchen S. August 3, 2014
So glad you liked it! Glad that you had success making the patties without the meat grinder.
Sharon H. July 27, 2014
I have made patties from fresh Alaskan salmon and just chopped it up. Tried a processor and it was way too mushy. Don't have a meat grinder. What I would like to know is how do you keep the patty together? I've always used organic saltines and an egg. I also mix the chopped onion in with the patty. Used to use canned until I moved to Alaska. Wild is so much better.
Kitchen S. August 3, 2014
Hi Sharon. It looks like some people have had success by grinding a small amount in the food processor and chopping the rest up finely. Hopefully that would work better for you. I agree, wild salmon is much better!
Cristian M. July 24, 2014
Could I possibly use canned salmon?
Kitchen S. July 25, 2014
I'm really not sure. But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out.
Ellen July 24, 2014
Think this would work with canned wild salmon?
Kitchen S. July 25, 2014
Unfortunately, I'm not sure. If you try the recipe with canned salmon please let me know how it works.
Sarah C. July 20, 2014
These look delicious. Any suggestions if you don't have a meat grinder?

Kitchen S. July 24, 2014
Thanks Sarah! If you don't have a meat grinder, you can try pulsing the salmon in a food processor or chop very finely by hand. Just make sure that you don't grind the salmon to a paste in the processor.
wietje July 25, 2014
If you don't mind some muscle work, you can also use a slotted spoon (with little round holes) over the fillet. Press it a few times.
Kitchen S. July 25, 2014
Never heard of this method before. Very inventive!
Sarah C. July 26, 2014
Thanks for the idea.
Kitchen S. July 17, 2014
Thanks for the Community Pick! @Steve301 - Nice suggestion about mellowing the raw onions under cold water. I am one of those people who actually loves potently raw onions, but I think it's a great idea.