This recipe has converted many a fish-hater into a fish-lover (or at least, tolerator).

For one, parsley, dill, green onions, lemon zest & juice do a pretty impressive job at masking the “fishy” taste of oily fish (the main reason why so many people avoid it).

This is how my salmon burgers look once assembled. (This is a stock photo; burgers only look good from the side, which is something my smartphone “photo studio” isn’t set up for.)

To make these burgers even more irresistible, I serve them in a fluffy hamburger bun (they make great keto buns these days if that’s your thing) with creamy honey-dill-mustard sauce, tangy dill pickles, and sweet-sour onions. Anything in a burger shape makes many of us — including kids — salivate. (Take a look at the salmon burger to the right — see what I mean?). My hope is that this presentation will make fish-phobes more willing to at least take one bite (and get hooked).

The reason I’m trying so hard to convince you to eat salmon? It provides top-quality protein and is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are needed for dozens of bodily functions and are near-impossible to obtain from any foods other than oily fish. (More on the health benefits of salmon & omega 3-s here.)

While I generally favor wild-caught salmon for its assertive flavor and superior fatty-acid profile, sockeye (the type of wild-caught salmon that’s most easily available in American supermarkets) is rather lean, and when I used it in this recipe it resulted in dry, crumbly patties. King (Chinook) salmon is a wild-caught salmon with a higher fat content, but it’s seasonal and can be quite expensive. Thus, for moist & juicy everyday patties, I recommend using high-quality farmed fish; I like Skuna Bay salmon, which is fatty, more affordable, and has a milder taste than some wild varieties.

Flavor-wise, these patties are highly versatile. I went for a Scandinavian vibe here (complete with Swedish gravlax-inspired sweet mustard & dill sauce), but you could just as well veer towards the Mediterranean or Asia, depending on your mood and what’s in your fridge. (See notes below.)

These patties freeze well, so why not make a double batch? Also, they make great “fishballs” (like meatballs) that you can add to soups, salads, and lunchboxes — or just enjoy as a snack, dipped in a little honey-dill-mustard sauce or tartar sauce.

Salmon Burgers with Honey-Dill-Mustard Sauce

Keyword: Dairy-Free (or can be), Fish & Seafood, Gluten-Free (or can be), Low-Carb
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 burgers (patty + sauce + bun)
Calories: 368kcal
Delicious hot or cold, in buns, wraps, on toast, or as-is
Print Recipe


  • 1 food processor or a sharp chef knife


Salmon Patties

  • 2 tbsp fresh dill coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions (green onions) coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly pressed
  • 1 tsp lemon zest freshly grated (preferably from an untreated/organic lemon)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • lbs fresh salmon ⅔ coarsely cubed, the remaining ⅓ cut into ¼-inch cubes; choose a fattier type of salmon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for frying

Honey-Mustard Cream Sauce

  • ¾ cup sour cream or plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • a generous pinch salt
  • pinch black pepper freshly ground

To Serve & Garnish

  • 6 medium burger buns or English muffins. For people on ketogenic diets I recommend keto burger buns like these
  • raw fermented dill pickles, sliced lengthwise if you like, dice these finely and add them to the mustard sauce
  • sliced raw onion or sweet pickled red onions here's a pickled-onion recipe I like; well worth making as these keep for weeks in the fridge and add a delicious touch to sandwiches, salads, tuna melts, quesadillas, burgers, etc.


  • Place green onions, dill, parsley, and lemon juice & zest in a food processor and chop for a few seconds until coarsely chopped.
  • Add the larger-cubed ⅔ of the salmon, and salt & pepper, and process for about 5 seconds into a coarse paste. Transfer this to a medium mixing bowl, add the remaining ⅓ of finely cubed salmon, and combine using a spatula. (Adding a few larger cubes of salmon makes for a more appealing texture.)
  • Moisten your palms and shape six equal fish patties (about ⅓ cup or 4-4.5 oz salmon mixture per patty). Place these on a damp chopping board or plate.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and stir with a wire whisk until they come together in a smooth emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour into a small serving bowl, cover, and chill until needed.
  • In a large (approx. 12-inch) non-stick skillet, warm oil over low heat and cook salmon patties until golden on one side, about 2 minutes; flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. A cooking thermometer should show an internal temperature of 140℉. Don’t overcook or they will become dry.
  • While the patties are cooking, lightly toast the burger buns (if using) and slice the pickles.
  • Once the patties are done, serve immediately: slather the base of the buns with sauce, top this with a layer of sliced pickles followed by the hot fish patty, then a layer of pickled red onions, and finally another dollop of sauce and the top of the bun.
  • Accompany with a crunchy salad like coleslaw or my herbed radish & cucumber salad.


If using keto buns, 1 burger (patty + sauce + bun) would provide the following: Calories: 263 | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 598mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 544IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg
Flavor Variations:
  • Mediterranean: Replace smoked salmon with 4 oz fresh; omit dill & parsley, and add Mediterranean flavorings such as chopped olives or tapenade, chopped sundried tomatoes, and fresh minced garlic, basil, and oregano. Replace cream sauce with pureed roasted red peppers or Trader Joe's fabulous roasted pepper & eggplant spread
  • Asian: Replace smoked salmon with 4 oz fresh; omit dill & parsley, replace lemon zest & juice with lime zest & juice, and flavor with minced, fresh ginger (or ginger paste out of a tube or jar), minced garlic, minced lemongrass (fresh or out of a tube or jar), red Thai curry paste and fresh, chopped cilantro. Omit cream sauce.


Serving: 1burger (patty + sauce + regular bun) | Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 544IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 3mg