Salmon Burgers With Avocado
It’s grilling season and delicious salmon burgers with avocado and homemade ranch are the BEST way to celebrate! They’re easy, tasty and super healthy. Serve them in hamburger buns or with a salad!
This salmon burgers recipe made with fresh salmon, chunks of creamy avocado and a flavorful ranch dressing is a nutritious, protein-packed option for grilling season. When the weather starts to turn warm, and it’s time to grill burgers, I love swapping the classic beef burger with this lighter, yet super flavorful alternative.
When I was experimenting with creating a homemade salmon patty mixture, I really wanted to make sure that the salmon patties would hold together well on the grill. I totally succeeded with this combo of ingredients! No crumbly mess! And the avocado, jalapeño, lime and garlic all meld together with the delicious meat from the salmon for next level deliciousness. Oh and that creamy homemade ranch topping on these burgers is totally next level. Fire up the grill!
The simple ingredients you need to make this salmon burgers recipe include:
- Salmon. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned fish. Fresh salmon will taste the best, frozen is a close second, but canned will work in a pinch.
- Binders. The combination of Panko breadcrumbs and 1 egg act as a binder, so that all of the ingredients are easy to form into burger patties.
- Avocado. We’re adding chunks of avocado to the patties for wonderful flavor and texture.
- Jalapeño. Adds a subtle spice to the burgers that pairs so well with the cool creamy ranch dressing. Feel free to omit.
- Lime juice. Fresh-squeezed will give the best taste. Bottled can be used as well if needed. And if you only have lemons on-hand, lemon juice works too.
- Seasonings. To give your salmon burgers incredible flavor, we’re using a simple mix of fresh garlic, dried basil, red pepper chili flakes, salt and black pepper. You can leave the chili pepper flakes out if you’re sensitive to heat.
- Dressing. A combination of mayonnaise, full fat coconut milk, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper mixed together make an easy, yet impeccable sauce for salmon burgers that adds even more moisture.
How to make this recipe
These flavorful salmon avocado burgers paired with homemade ranch sauce are officially a new fave. You better believe, I’ll be making them all summer long. And with a few simple ingredients, they come together so easily. You can either grill your burgers or simply cook them on the stovetop in a pan. Here’s the simple process:
For the printable recipe, scroll down to the recipe card below.
- Prep the fish. Start by removing the skin of the salmon with a sharp knife. Then, either chop the salmon into small pieces or use a food processor for quick preparation and minimal mess. You can also use a high speed blender as well. I like to keep chunks of salmon in the mix for extra texture, and not make it an entirely smooth puree.
- Make the patties. Now, place the chopped salmon in a large mixing bowl with all of the other burger ingredients and stir well to combine. Form the salmon mixture into 6 salmon patties. Good news is these 1/2-inch salmon patties don’t drastically shrink on the grill like beef or turkey burgers.
- Cook. Salmon patties cook super fast. On a medium heat to medium-high grill, cook for about 4 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other side. Definitely keep a close eye on these burgers. If they’re on the grill too long, they will dry out and won’t be near as juicy and delicious.
If you don’t have access to a grill or grill pan, no worries. These salmon patties will work great cooked up in a heated non-stick skillet as well. Simply heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and cook salmon patties over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on one side and 3-4 minutes on the other side. They will feel firm in the center when cooked through.
How to know when the patty is done cooking
The best way to tell if your patty is done cooking is by using an instant read thermometer.
- Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the patty. When it reaches 145 degrees F, it is done.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, check that your patty is lightly crisp on the outside and that the meat inside is pink and flaky. It should not still look raw.
The toppings are truly what makes the burger, right? Pick your favorite buns, use lettuce wraps or serve over greens in a salad. Here’s some of our favorite topping options:
- Fresh produce. If I’m serving these on buns, I like to add some fresh produce like tomato, lettuce, red onion and red onion.
- Sauce. There are a variety of sauces that you can top your salmon burgers with, and the homemade ranch that I used for my burger is a great choice! It’s super tasty, creamy and pairs so well with all of the flavors in the salmon patty. Other sauce options are dijon mustard, spicy mayo, regular mayonnaise or secret sauce.
- Cheese. Instead of cheese, I opted to use just the ranch sauce for my burger. If you would like to add cheese, provolone or Mozzarella are great choices.
- Buy wild caught salmon. Fish that is wild caught is usually the healthiest and most sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; for more information read this Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.
- Removing the skin. I like to use a sharp knife to start the process, but then you should be able to easily pull back the skin. Move slow and steady as you pull it away from the fillet. Try to keep the skin in one piece if possible, to make this process easier. There will still be a little bit of shiny flesh underneath, this is fine. As long as you don’t see any scales, you’ve removed all of the skin.
- Canned salmon. Wondering if you can substitute the fresh salmon with canned? I really love the texture of these fresh salmon patties, but if you’re in a pinch, try canned salmon. Use a 14.5 ounce can of wild salmon for this recipe. Canned wild salmon is less expensive than fresh or frozen wild salmon and it’s just as healthy.
- Gluten free option. If you’d like to make this burger gluten free, just be sure to use gluten-free panko bread crumbs.
- Refrigerate before cooking. If you feel the the patties could stand to be a bit firmer, pop the patties in the fridge for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Storing, make ahead & freezing tips
- Storing leftovers. Refrigerate burgers and sauce separately in airtight storage containers for up to 2 days.
- Reheating. Warm patties in a nonstick skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel and pop them in the microwave.
- Freezing. Individually wrap cooked or uncooked burger patties, and freeze them in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let the frozen salmon patties thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or cooking.
- Make ahead. Assemble your patties up to 1 day in advance, storing them in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator. You can also prepare your sauce up to 1 day in advance and store it in a separate airtight storage container in the refrigerator.
If you try these salmon burgers, let me know! Leave a comment and if you loved them as much as I do, be sure to give them a five star rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking up! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
Happy summertime grilling, friends!
Salmon Burgers With Avocado
- 1 pound salmon fillet, skin and pinbones removed
- 1/2 cup Panko style breadcrumbs or almond meal for Paleo and Whole30
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 large ripe avocado, cut into chunks
- 1 medium jalapeño pepper (remove seeds for less heat), minced (optional, but recommended)
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- pinch of chili pepper flakes, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- For serving: Bun, red onion, tomato, lettuce, condiments
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons mayo, (for Whole30 use Primal Kitchen brand)
- 1/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, plus more to taste as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, plus more to taste as needed
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Remove skin from salmon fillet and dice salmon or pulse it in a food processor a couple of times.
- Add salmon and remaining ingredients to a bowl and toss to combine. Do not over mix. Form into 6 patties.
- Heat grill pan, BBQ or skillet to medium to medium high.
- Cook 4 minutes on one side and 2-3 on the next side or until completely cooked through and center feels slightly firm. These cook fast – be careful not to overcook or they will become dry.
- Serve burgers with dressing on a bun, in a salad or on its own. Enjoy!
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Taste and add more seasonings as needed.