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Southern Salmon Patties (Keto, Dairy Free, Paleo)

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Salmon patties are the poor man’s crab cake and very much a Southern staple. Made without crackers, these keto salmon patties are a clean and low carb version of southern salmon cakes. Dip them in a greek yogurt tartar sauce for a delicious appetizer or dinner.

Keto salmon patties with homemade tartar sauce
Plate of keto salmon patties

What are Keto Salmon Patties?

Keto salmon patties are similar to crab cakes but use canned salmon in place of lump crab. The salmon, which is already cooked, is mixed up with a few flavorful ingredients, shaped into a patty, and fried in a skillet.

What Do Salmon Patties Taste Like?

A salmon patty, including these keto salmon patties, taste very similar to a crab cake or fritter. They are crispy and crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. Seasonings like green onion, celery, and tarragon give these Southern salmon patties a mild but well rounded flavor.

Keto salmon patties are easy to make, dairy free, and gluten free.
Clean, dairy free, and keto salmon cakes on a plate

What is in a Southern Salmon Cake?

Traditionally, many Southern salmon patties recipe include crushed crackers (like Saltines) and old bay seasoning. However, this can vary depending on each family’s unique recipe. This keto southern salmon patties recipe uses green onion, celery, tarragon, organic seasoning salt, and keto breadcrumbs to flavor the canned salmon.

What Kind of Canned Salmon is Safest to Eat?

Canned fish, like salmon, are not all created equal. Unfortunately, the commercial fishing industry, like many other commercial food groups, do not catch sustainably or ethically. When purchasing canned salmon, or any canned fish, it is best to look for wild caught salmon with the following labels:

What kind of canned fish is safest to eat?

How to Make Keto Salmon Patties

This keto salmon patty recipe is incredibly simple. All you need is a mixing bowl and a skillet. All of the ingredients are mixed together and shaped into small-ish patties. Then, you will lightly fry them in a skillet with some oil.

Keto, gluten free, and dairy free salmon patties with homemade tartar sauce.

What Kind of Oil is Best for Low Carb Frying

Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, and coconut oil are best for frying low carb foods. Each oil has different smoke points (i.e. how hot it can get before it burns). Olive oil, coconut oil, and walnut oil have the lowest smoke points. Avocado oil has the highest smoke point which makes it great for frying. In this recipe, you can use whichever oil you prefer because the patties are going to gently fry on a lower heat. Personally, I prefer avocado oil best for it’s mild flavor.

Serving Suggestions for Your Keto Salmon Patties

These salmon patties make a great keto lunch, especially if you’re working from home, but can also be served as a keto appetizer or even an easy low carb dinner! Be sure to make a batch of my greek yogurt tartar sauce for dipping!

Lightly dressed greens make a great accompaniment to these salmon cakes at any time of day. Toss your favorite greens, (arugula, spinach, romaine, etc.) in my lemon garlic vinaigrette or dijon vinaigrette.

Can Tuna be Substituted for the Salmon?

Yes, if you prefer to use canned tuna, it may be substituted without adjustment to the recipe.

Keto, gluten free, and dairy free salmon patties.

What Kind of Bread Crumbs are Gluten Free?

This recipe uses my homemade gluten free bread crumbs. They are grain free, dairy free, and egg free. The bread crumbs are very easy to make and shelf stable so that you can make a large batch and keep them on hand for recipes like this one. This recipe has not been tested with pork rinds as a binder.

Southern Salmon Patties (Keto, Dairy Free, Paleo)

Anna Hunley | Keto In Pearls
Keto salmon patties are a clean, low carb, and dairy free version of traditional Southern salmon cakes.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Seafood
Cuisine Southern
Calories 185 kcal


  • 16 to 18 ounces wild caught canned salmon
  • 1 green onion finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery finely diced
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon organic seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • [3/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs]
  • 3 tablespoons oil for frying


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients (excluding oil) until well mixed.
  • Use your hands to shape into 10 evenly sized patties. Each pattie is roughly 3 tablespoons.
  • Add oil to a non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat.
  • When the oil is shimmery and hot, carefully lay the patties down and fry about 2 minutes per side. Work in batches until all patties are cooked.
  • Transfer the cooked patties to a paper towel lined plate and let cool 5 minutes before eating.



Serving: 1pattyCalories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 2.3gProtein: 15.7gFat: 12.5gFiber: 1.1g
Keyword keto salmon patties, salmon patties, salmon patties keto, southern salmon patties
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