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Air Fryer Salmon Burgers: A Step-By-Step Guide

Air fryer salmon burgers

Salmon patties are a great alternative to red meat burgers and are full of flavor.

They’re as healthy as they are delicious — especially when they’re fresh, and using an air fryer makes whipping them up as simple as possible.

How to cook salmon burgers in an air fryer

When buying salmon burgers, the patties are either fresh or frozen. That changes the cooking time and prep.

How to cook frozen salmon patties

Frozen salmon burgers are as easy as it gets. All you have to do is toss them in a preheated air fryer.


  • Frozen salmon patties


  1. Coat the air fryer basket with oil (optional but easier clean up).
  2. Preheat air fryer to 400º.
  3. Lay patties in the fryer without stacking them on each other.
  4. Cook for ~6 minutes.
  5. Flip.
  6. Cook for ~6 minutes more (depending on the size of the patty).
  7. Make sure patty is cooked to desired temp (usually 120º-145º).
  8. Remove and put on favorite bun and toppings.

How to cook thawed salmon patties

Thawed, pre-made patties are just as easy.


  • Thawed salmon patties


  1. Coat the air fryer basket with oil.
  2. Add a thin layer of oil to the top of the burgers (optional for extra color and crispiness).
  3. Cook ~6-7 minutes and flip.
  4. Add another layer of oil to the top (optional).
  5. Cook for ~5 more minutes (depending on the size of the patty).
  6. Make sure patty is cooked to desired temp (usually 120º-145º).
  7. Remove and put on favorite bun and toppings.

How to make air fryer salmon burgers from scratch

You can buy fresh salmon burgers or make your own using pre-cooked canned salmon or raw filets.

It’s an easy process either way.


  • 1lb fresh or canned salmon (we love Vital Choice).
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko or regular).
  • 2 tbsp mayo (we like Duke’s).
  • 1 tbsp mustard (go Dijon!).
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (can use lemon zest too).
  • 1 egg (optional for additional binding).
  • Any other herbs, seasonings, or spices you want (see salmon burger tips later on).


  1. Take out filet or drain from can if using canned.
  2. If a filet, remove pin bones by pressing against the filet and pulling them out (tweezers optional). You can ask your butcher to do this, and some are already de-boned.
  3. Divide salmon into small hunks.
  4. Take around a third of the salmon and add it to a food processor.
  5. Add mustard, mayo, lemon juice, and egg (optional).
  6. Pulse until it forms a paste (if using canned you can just mix in a big bowl together).
  7. Place into a bowl with the rest of the salmon chunks.
  8. Add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, seasonings, and herbs like fresh dill, diced onion, garlic powder, etc.
  9. Form into 1” patties (use a ½ cup for easy measuring).
  10. If having trouble forming patties, add more breadcrumbs and/or the egg.
  11. Freeze for one hour. This isn’t a necessity but helps the burgers keep their shape.
  12. Preheat air fryer to 400º and coat the air fryer basket with oil.
  13. Add a thin layer of oil to the top of the burgers (optional for extra color and crispiness).
  14. Cook ~6-7 minutes and flip.
  15. Add another layer of oil to the top (optional).
  16. Cook for ~5 more minutes (depending on the size of the patty).
  17. Make sure patty is cooked to desired temp (usually 120º-145º).
  18. Remove and put on favorite bun and toppings.

Extra salmon burger tips

Those are the basics, but here’s how to make your salmon burgers even better.

  • Use fresh herbs. Fresh dill or rosemary is so good!
  • Use spices, sauces, and toppings that complement each other. For example, using chili powder, paprika, and cumin and then topping with avocado, macerated lime onions, and cilantro. Or using a remoulade with fish seasoning.
  • Cut carbs by eating the patties over a bed of lettuce and top with a sauce.
  • The higher the temperature, the more the crisp. Push your air fryer!
  • Use parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  • If there’s room in the fryer, add fresh vegetables to cook at the same time.
  • If too wet, add more breadcrumbs.
  • If too crumbly, add an egg or more mayo.
  • Don’t take timeframes as a source of truth, check your patties after 9-10 minutes.
  • Combine mayo, lemon juice, and capers for a delicious remoulade sauce.
  • Sub lemon zest instead of juice for a sharper lemon flavor.
  • Use a ½ measuring cup to portion out your burgers.

Salmon burger air fryer recipes

Here are a few chefs showing you how to make salmon burgers in the air fryer. Any recipe is good, and don’t be afraid to deviate!

1. Fresh air fryer salmon with onions & chives

This recipe from Crumb Top Baking uses a bit of almond flour as an additional binder to great effect. If you have a raw salmon filet, use this one!

2. Canned air fryer salmon patties

If you have a can or two of salmon around, this The Country Cook recipe shows you how to make something delicious with it. It is literally just throwing everything in a bowl, mixing it up, and then putting it in the air fryer. Couldn’t be simpler!

3. Air fryer hoisin salmon burgers

I live for good hoisin sauce. If you’re in the mood for a spicy mayo, sesame seed, soy sauce angle instead of the usual fishy remoulade, capers, and onions, give this recipe from Cooks Well With Others a shot.

4. Air fryer salmon cakes

These aren’t quite burgers, but it’s the same idea. These bites from The Glam Kitchen make for a great party snack or to serve on top of a salad. Add a homemade remoulade dipping sauce for even tastier results!

5. Blackened air fryer salmon bites

If you are a rice bowl person like me, then this recipe Skinny Taste is for you. It’s the same idea as the salmon burgers and cakes, but in tinier, crispier portions. You could keep these as a snack, add them to a salad, use them as a main alongside veggies — it’s all good!

What to serve with salmon burgers

Burgers are endlessly versatile. Here are a few of my favorite sides and serving ideas:

  • Use a potato bun and top salmon with corn remoulade, a thick tomato slice, and white onion. Serve with coleslaw and fries.
  • Use a sweet brioche bun, keep the salmon patty simple, and top burger with lettuce and a lemon and honey sauce. Serve with brown butter mashed potatoes and a tart salad.
  • Place on a lettuce wrap and eat alongside rice and mixed wok veggies. Top with hoisin.
  • Keep it classic with mayo and ketchup on a white bun. Serve with a pickle, fries, and may coleslaw.
  • Serve the pattie with a corn remoulade on top, no bun. Serve with leafy greens tossed in lemon vinaigrette and roasted potatoes.

Where to buy the best fresh salmon and pre-made patties

Sourcing makes a huge difference in the texture, taste, and health of salmon. The worst of fish farms serve you salmon that have been swimming with dead fish in their own filth for years.

In contrast, companies like Vital Choice Wild Seafood use sustainable harvest methods to catch wild salmon off the coast of Alaska. Wild Alaskan salmon comes from fisheries that are verified sustainable, responsible, and traceable back to its source.

All Alaskan seafood is certified sustainable by Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), programs which are benchmarked by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) and are aligned with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries — the most comprehensive set of international standards and best practices for wild fisheries [*].

This matters for the environment, your health, and your taste buds.

See how good Vital Choice’s salmon burgers really are.

Salmon burger FAQ

Can I put frozen salmon in my air fryer?

Absolutely! A filet placed straight in an air fryer won’t have the ideal texture, but it’s still an easy and tasty weeknight protein.

What temperature do you cook salmon burgers?

Around 400º in the air fryer. Usually the hotter the better to get a good crisp!

How long should I cook salmon burgers in the air fryer?

It changes depending on how big your patties are, but usually 5-6 minutes on each side does the trick at 400º.

How do you keep salmon from sticking to the air fryer?

A few ways:

  1. Preheat your air fryer
  2. Spray the air fryer with oil before placing the patties in
  3. Make sure your patties aren’t too wet
  4. Don’t move them too early

How do you know when salmon burgers are done?

With filets, you can gently twist a knife in the thicket point to see if the filet flakes easily. Cooked fish also tends to lose its translucent appearance, although this can vary if you cook the fish at low temperatures. For patties, I’d use a thermometer at its thickest point if you’re worried.

Can you undercook salmon burgers?

You can undercook anything! But salmon is generally safer than red meat at lower temperatures (think sushi). While the FDA recommends cooking salmon to 145º, that makes for a tough filet. Most people aim for 120-130º when cooking Pacific salmon and 130-140º when cooking Atlantic salmon. This is because Pacific salmon tends to me leaner, responding better to lower temperatures.

The bottom line

Salmon burgers in the air fryer are simple whether you have canned salmon, fresh salmon, or frozen salmon. It’s the perfect weeknight or get-together protein, and they are endlessly versatile.

For the best taste and nutrition, opt for wild-caught salmon from companies like Vital Choice.

Happy cooking!


Nathan PhelpsNathan Phelps

Nathan Phelps owns and writes for Crafted Copy, a boutique copywriting shop that finds the perfect words for interesting products. He is also an ethical foodie, outdoors-aficionado, and hails from Nashville, TN. He splits his time between helping sustainable businesses find new customers and managing his ever-increasing list of hobbies, which include playing guitar, baking bread, and creating board games.