Salmon Patties with Quinoa

Salmon patties with quinoa -

Salmon patties (salmon cakes, salmon burgers) are a pretty common, basic American dish. You take the readily available can of salmon – a good pantry item – and add an egg and some kind of breading to hold it together, season it, and either pan fry or bake it. Leftovers reheat well, and aren’t bad cold, so they work in lunchboxes. All together, good for a range of needs – from “I didn’t get to the store” to “Sure he can stay for dinner!” And some people who don’t like other fish do like these.

For some reason, despite these advantages, I’d never made them much. I’d never really settled on a recipe, I rarely had bread crumbs, pan frying them felt like too much fuss for what should be a simple meal…

Bread crumbs. Well, now I need to find a substitution for them anyway… I’d used oatmeal in meatloaf and the like, but that doesn’t work for me any more, either. I decided that I’d rather experiment with salmon patties, since I didn’t have a firm idea of what they Should taste like… and could just see if various subs worked or not.

Adding cooked quinoa to makle a gluten free salmon patty -

I settled on quinoa. Cooked quinoa does cling together a bit, and it does still absorb moisture. The breading is in dishes like this to absorb egg and moisture from the meat or fish, so the food binds together nicely, and is moist, not dry. (You can also add more to stretch a recipe – useful in some cases, but not the only reason.)

The recipe is easy enough. I opened the can of salmon, and put it in a bowl. I use canned salmon rather than fresh, because the canned is wild caught Alaska salmon, and the fresh is farmed… and there are issues with farmed salmon. (Some fish – tilapia and catfish, for instance, can be farmed without problems. Salmon, though…) I can sometimes get frozen wild caught Pacific salmon, but for this, canned is fine.

Adding seasoning to salmon to make patties -

So I put the fish in a bowl and flake it, mushing in all the bones (which you can remove, if you prefer – but they are a good source of calcium. Another advantage to the canned.) Then I added seasoning – some minced onion, dillweed, and a touch of smoked paprika, for depth of flavor more than heat or a specific taste. I stirred it in well, added an egg, stirred it in, and added the quinoa. I used a quarter of a cup of cooked quinoa – a ridiculous amount to cook by itself – so I cooked a batch, used this, and put the rest away for a later meal. (One can also, of course, efficiently cook it earlier and just reserve the amount you’ll need for the recipe.)

GF salmon patties, ready to bake -

Once everything was added, I stirred it in very well, wanting a consistent texture and flavor. Then I formed patties and placed them on an oiled baking pan. Then I put them in a preheated oven and baked at 350° for half an hour. When I took them out of the oven, I let them rest a few minutes.

Baking worked well, though it didn’t give me the crunchy bits that frying would. I was willing to take the tradeoff for ease – I made these for lunch, so being able to just stir a few things together then bake them was ideal. I made 6 patties – ate some then, microwaved 2 that night for Rich when he got home late and hungry (He’d had dinner, sort of… but…) They reheated quite nicely.

Salmon cakes fresh out of the oven -

We ate them plain, but a touch of tartar sauce, remoulade sauce, or dill mixed in yogurt would have been a nice touch.  It would be easy to double or triple the recipe, for more people, of course, but also to have some to pack in lunches or have on hand for a super quick meal. I think the quinoa worked nicely – they were tender and moist, not bready (as an earlier version had been) but didn’t fall apart, either. The salmon flavor came through clearly. I will definitely double this recipe and freeze the baked patties, for an easy and quick meal on a long day.

Bakes Gluten Free Salmon Cakes -

Linking to Gluten Free Wednesdays, at the Gluten Free Homemaker

and Gluten Free Fridays  with the Vegetarian Mamma


Salmon Patties with Quinoa

Bake gluten free salmon patties with quinoa, for a quick and easy meal from foods you can always have on hand.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 patties


  • 1 can salmon 14.75 oz
  • half a small onion chopped fine
  • 2 t dried dill or 2 T minced fresh dillweed
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c cooked quinoa


  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Place salmon in a mixing bowl. Remove bones if desired, or else break them up well. Flake the fish.
  • Add all other ingredients, stirring well.
  • Form 6 patties. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350 for half an hour.
  • Let rest for five minutes, then serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Salmon Patties with Quinoa”

  • Interesting recipe. I make salmon patties (and also lamb or grass-fed beef patties) about like that but I have been using rice flour, the quinoa sounds a lot healthier, great idea! I put in a Tbsp of mustard and some Turmeric powder, basil, so my seasonings are different but I’ll have to try yours too. I haven’t baked them, that would make them hold together a lot better for lunches.

    • I played around with flour, too, but I like the texture of this better.

      I hope you enjoy them! (Mustard. I should try mustard…)

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