Salmon Burgers with Pickles & Homemade Tartar Sauce

  • By Jackie Sun
  • July 12, 2015

Salmon Burgers with Pickles and Homemade Tartar Sauce | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmartsWhenever it’s summer, there’s always that one dish that you can count on anyone to make – burgers.

Sure, there’s bbq ribs or chicken, but you can bet that the vegetarian camp does not have those on their menu. Potato salad and coleslaw are great to have at a picnic, but can be a hit or miss with some folks, and maybe you just don’t feel like doing much prep work or chopping. And yeah, there’s a bunch of salads that everyone can make…but carnivores will most likely be like, well…like this:

Parks and Rec Ron Swanson meme

But then there are BURGERS. The ever-so-versatile burger that everyone can enjoy. Meat eaters get their beef fix. Vegetarians can experiment with different beans, veggies, and grains for a veggie burger. Gluten-free and paleo folks can skip the bun, but still not miss out, because there are so many yummy bun substitutions – grilled eggplant and portobellos, lettuce wraps, or just go bunless. And if you don’t eat red meat, there’s the option of using chicken, turkey, or fish instead. All the possibilities!

“This was awesome. I have really never liked salmon burgers but these were amazing.”

Salmon Burgers with Pickles and Homemade Tartar Sauce | Weeknight Meal #recipe via @CookSmarts

So to celebrate all the good things about summer, which of course, includes burgers, we’re going to share one of our favorite burger recipes. We use salmon, which is not the classic, traditional beef burger, but still amazing, and we serve it with a flavorful homemade tartar sauce and classic, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.

For you beefetarians out there, we highly recommend trying this out before writing this off immediately. While we love burgers and have made a lot, we have yet to feature a fish burger, which is why this salmon burger is stealing the show this week…And also because it had the most votes on our Facebook page, beating our Lamb & Feta Burger.

To make the salmon patties, you want to coarsely chop the salmon with a knife, rather than with a food processor, so that the patty will stay juicy and tender. They’re quick to cook, and so light and healthy, you won’t feel too guilty if you had a second patty!

“Very delicious, tasty, and felt good about eating it. Will make again!”

Mix together a quick homemade tartar sauce, slice some flavorful summer tomatoes, peel off a few leaves of crisp romaine, and a refreshing summer dish is ready and waiting for you.

But if you insist on having a beef burger, then this Guacamole Chipotle Burger will surely hit the spot! (Vegetarians, we have an insanely good Black Bean, Corn & Farro Burger for you!)

Before we let you go, so you can start making this Salmon Burger recipe, we’re going to let you in on a little secret – Burgers are too awesome to just devote one blog post to them. We’ve got something in store for you that is all about burgers. You won’t want to miss it, so be sure to check back or sign up for our newsletter so you can hear about it first!

For More Smarts:

  • Buy skinless, boneless salmon, so that prep will be easier.
  • On a budget? Try canned salmon! Some of our Kitchen Heroes used canned instead of fresh salmon for a more budget-friendly, but just-as-tasty meal.

Prepping Smarts:

Learn how to rinse and dry fish with our cooking video here:

Fresh herbs add flavor, which is why we add some fresh parsley in the patties (you can learn more about fresh herbs with our Guide to Fresh Herbs). Here’s how to chop them:

Equipment Smarts:

These salmon patties cook quickly on the stove top. All you need is either a non-stick pan or a skillet.

Calphalon Nonstick Pan via

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’

Salmon Burgers with Tartar Sauce
Author: Jess Dang
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
These salmon burgers are a tasty way to get your omega-3’s! With refreshing lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles, this is the perfect way to get your burger fix.
  • Ingredients
  • Salmon Burgers:
  • Salmon – 1 lb
  • Parsley – 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Capers – 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Panko breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Eggs – 1
  • Dijon mustard – 2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Tomatoes, large – 1, sliced
  • Romaine lettuce – 2 leaves
  • Cooking oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Buns – 4
  • Pickles – 4
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Mayonnaise – 1/2 cup (sub with Greek yogurt if you prefer. You may need to thin it out with some milk unless you like it thick and creamy!)
  • Capers – 2 Tbsp, chopped
  • Lemon juice – 1 Tbsp
  1. Salmon – Rinse and dry. Use a knife to chop up the salmon meat.
  2. Parsley / Capers (for burgers and sauce) – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  3. Make patties – Combine salmon, panko, egg, parsley, capers, Dijon, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Form into 3/4” / 2 cm thick patties (1 patty / serving). (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  4. Make tartar sauce – Combine mayo (or sub plain yogurt), capers, and lemon juice. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
  5. Tomatoes / Romaine – Prep for burger toppings.
  1. Heat a non-stick pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then patties to heated oil. Sear on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, cover pan with a lid or foil, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Toast buns according to package instructions.
  3. Assemble burgers by layering patties, tartar sauce, tomatoes, and romaine. Enjoy with a side of pickles!


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