15-Minute Air Fryer Salmon Cakes Recipe

If you're looking for a quick appetizer that tastes oh-so-satisfying, this recipe for 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes has you covered. They come together seamlessly with canned salmon, breadcrumbs, eggs, Old Bay Seasoning, green onions, and mayonnaise.

Salmon cakes typically come in two forms: greasy and wrapped in checkered paper from a shack by a New England beach or expensive morsels served with a fancy side salad and an overpriced glass of chardonnay. They may taste quite good in either form, but neither inspires you to recreate them at home on a busy weeknight. That's where this recipe by food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table comes into play. These 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes are made with affordable and easy-to-find canned salmon. They are filling, savory, and fun to eat. Paired with a dab of mayo and relish, or a more elaborate homemade sour cream and herbs dipping sauce, they make for an easy appetizer when your fridge feels bare.

Pair a few of these with a side of rice or potato wedges for a satisfying main, or even use them as patties in a fish burger. Whatever way you decide to enjoy them, these salmon cakes are effortless and great tasting when made in the air fryer. And you can still pour yourself a glass of that overpriced chardonnay, just to feel fancy.

Gather the ingredients to prepare 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes

This is one of the easiest recipes when it comes to busy weeknight meals, and the best part is that they require very few ingredients. As a matter of fact, these salmon cakes are what you can whip up when it feels like you have nothing to cook with.

Most of the ingredients here come from the pantry and are fairly customizable. To start, you will need some cans of salmon. (Any kind you like works well, but we prefer wild sockeye salmon.) Then, to bulk up the cakes, you will add some breadcrumbs. The binders will be mayonnaise and egg. For flavoring, we recommend green onion and Old Bay Seasoning, however, you can also substitute this for regular onion, garlic or garlic powder, paprika, dill, or any other seasoning you like.

For serving, consider pairing these salmon cakes with sour cream or mayonnaise, fresh chives or dill, and lemon wedges. All of these ingredients are optional, and they'll also taste great when served with simple ketchup and relish, or layered in a bun.

Drain the canned salmon, then mix it with the breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, egg, green onion, and Old Bay Seasoning

Drain the canned salmon. If your salmon cans contain any bones, remove them for the smoothest texture. Then, whisk the egg.

In a large bowl, combine the canned salmon, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, egg, green onion, and Old Bay Seasoning. Mix well with a spatula to combine. You can also taste your salmon cakes mix prior to adding the egg to gauge the seasonings. If you'd like to add salt and pepper, do so, as per your preference. For other flavor combinations and adaptations to our 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes, check out our suggestions at the end of this recipe.

Shape the patties

You will be using a ½-cup measuring cup to shape the patties. This is not strictly necessary, but it helps keep your patties mostly uniform and makes the initial work of scooping and shaping them a touch easier. You can also use a ¼-cup sized measuring cup if you'd like to shape these into smaller appetizer-style patties.

Use a ½-cup measuring cup to scoop out the mixture, and pack it with patty filling. Lightly moisten your hands with water or oil, and transfer the filling to your palms. Using patting motions, shape the salmon mixture into patties that are no more than a ½-inch in thickness. Flatten them with your palm, if needed. Keep in mind that thicker patties will take longer to cook, while smaller patties will cook faster.

Cook the salmon cakes in the air fryer

With your patties formed and ready, it's time to move on to cooking them. Have we mentioned this is one of our favorite easy and quick recipes? Well, it's about to get even better with a total 10 minutes of cook time!

To get started, spray the air fryer basket with oil. If you don't have an oil spray, you can also gently coat it with a teaspoon of the oil of your choice. Transfer the salmon cakes to the air fryer, and arrange them in a single layer. It's okay for them to touch, as they won't expand any further. You'll then cook the salmon cakes at 400 F for seven to eight minutes on one side. Turn them over, and cook for an additional three to four minutes, until they are golden brown all over.

Serve the salmon cakes with a dipping sauce and your choice of sides

Congratulations, your salmon cakes are ready, and it's probably been less than 15 minutes! Now it's time to pour that expensive chardonnay.

Serve these 15-minute salmon cakes immediately with your choice of toppings. Sour cream or mayonnaise, chives or dill, and lemon wedges are our top recommendations for an easy appetizer. As previously mentioned, we also love to pair salmon cakes with rice or potato wedges for a more substantial main, or to layer two of them in a nice, hefty fish burger with mayo, relish, some thinly sliced sweet-and-sour pickles, and anything else you'd like. Leftover 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for four to five days.

Tasty spins on this recipe

If you are not a fan of Old Bay Seasoning or green onions, then we recommend the following adaptations and flavor combinations for your salmon cakes. First off, Spanish-inspired 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes are a tasty alternative. Use finely diced regular onions in place of the green onions and paprika (or even smoked paprika) in place of the Old Bay Seasoning. 

For Greek-inspired air fryer salmon cakes, you can use finely diced regular onions in place of the green onions and oregano in place of the Old Bay Seasoning. Add a few finely diced kalamata olives and 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta to round out these patties.

Last but not least, for Mediterranean-inspired air fryer salmon cakes, use finely diced regular onions in place of the green onions, add 1 clove of garlic (minced), and use oregano or fresh diced basil in place of the Old Bay Seasoning. Add 1 tablespoon of pesto to the mix in addition to 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.

15-Minute Air Fryer Salmon Cakes Recipe
4.9 from 19 ratings
These 15-minute air fryer salmon cakes are made with affordable and easy-to-find canned salmon. They are filling, savory, and fun to eat.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
5
Patties
salmon cakes on plate
Total time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 (5-ounce) salmon cans
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
Optional Ingredients
  • sour cream or mayonnaise, for serving
  • chives or dill, for serving
  • lemon wedges, for serving
Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the canned salmon, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, egg, green onion, and Old Bay Seasoning. Mix well to combine.
  2. Use a ½-cup measuring cup to pack it with the salmon patty filling. Transfer to moist hands, and shape into patties that are no more than ½ inch in thickness.
  3. Spray the air fryer basket with oil.
  4. Transfer the salmon cakes to the air fryer, and arrange them in a single layer.
  5. Cook at 400 F for 7 to 8 minutes on one side. Turn them over, and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, until they are golden brown all over.
  6. Serve the salmon cakes immediately with your choice of toppings — sour cream or mayonnaise, chives or dill, and lemon wedges are best.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 179
Total Fat 11.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 54.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.6 g
Sodium 132.2 mg
Protein 11.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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