Salmon Croquettes {Easy Southern Recipe} – WellPlated.com

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Salmon Croquettes are a classic Southern dish that sound fancy, but it’s easy enough for a weeknight dinner! They’re made with mostly pantry ingredients and pan-fried to crispy perfection. Don’t skip the creamy dipping sauce!

Why You’ll Love This Easy Salmon Croquettes Recipe

  • A (Surprisingly!) Easy Weeknight Dinner. Although “croquette” might sound refined and complicated (because doesn’t every French word?), salmon croquettes are straightforward to make. Totally doable for a busy evening.
  • Upscale Yet Affordable. To make these Southern salmon croquettes more budget-friendly and quicker to prep, I use canned salmon. Keep a few cans of salmon and tuna stashed in your pantry, and you can pull together a fast, healthy, and legitimately tasty dinner on the fly (these Avocado Tuna Cakes and the Salmon Cakes in my cookbook are perfect examples).
  • So Flavorful. Canned salmon is widely available, even if you don’t have easy access to fresh seafood, but these croquettes don’t taste canned! Spices, herbs, and colorful vegetables add flavor and freshness to salmon croquettes.
  • Crispy Without Deep Frying. A crispy crust on the outside gives these easy salmon croquettes a tantalizing texture and Southern vibes. Instead of deep-frying the croquettes, I lightly pan fry them with oil.
A plate of salmon croquettes with dip

5 Star Review

“Simple and delicious, I loved it!”

— Alexis —

Salmon Croquettes vs. Salmon Patties

Since I love this Salmon Patties recipe, I spent some time digging into the difference between a salmon patty and a croquette.

  • Salmon croquettes are a Southern take on a salmon patty.
  • “Salmon patties” is a more general term and doesn’t necessarily dictate a particular profile of spices or herbs.
  • Croquettes are more typically Southern (I still remember the Louisiana salmon croquettes I ate in New Orleans) and thus usually include more southern-inspired spices.
  • Croquettes are lightly breaded to create a crispy crust. Dredging the salmon with cornmeal or with flour creates that tasty exterior.
  • Croquettes are typically made with canned salmon. (For a patty with fresh salmon, check out Salmon Burgers.)

TIP!

For another easy appetizer recipe that uses already prepared salmon, Salmon Dip pleases a crowd with hot smoked salmon.

Healthy salmon croquettes with dip

How to Make Salmon Croquettes

The Ingredients

  • Canned Salmon. Canned salmon is incredibly easy to use for recipes like this one, and it’s just as healthy as fresh salmon. If you would like to make fresh salmon croquettes, flake your own cooked salmon. (Pan Seared Salmon and Baked Salmon are easy ways to make it.) Or go totally gourmet and make Smoked Salmon croquettes.
  • Eggs. To keep salmon patties from falling apart, you need a binder. That’s the egg!
  • Bell Pepper + Onion. Beautiful color and Southern flavor.
  • Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt helps make the patties creamy on the inside and gives them a hint of tanginess. It’s low calorie swap for mayonnaise.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. A dash of Worcestershire adds umami goodness.
  • Hot Sauce. Gives just the right amount of heat without making this recipe spicy. Feel free to kick it up a notch if you please.
  • Celery Salt. Salty and unexpectedly wonderful.
  • Fresh Parsley. For a touch of freshness. Cilantro would also be tasty here.
  • Cornmeal. Cornmeal creates the scrumptious crispy exterior for the croquettes.
  • Salmon Croquettes Sauce. Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, and herbs create a sauce that’s a little tangy, zippy, and creamy all at the same time. You’ll never want tartar sauce again.

Substitution Tip!

If you’d rather make salmon croquettes with flour or with panko breadcrumbs, you can swap it for the cornmeal.

The Directions

Fish in a bowl
  1. Drain the Salmon. You want it as dry as possible!
A whisked egg in a bowl
  1. Beat the Eggs. These hold the salmon croquettes together.
Recipe ingredients in a mixing bowl
  1. Combine. Add all the croquette ingredients (except the cornmeal) to the large bowl with the salmon.
The ingredients for salmon croquettes being stirred together in a bowl
  1. Stir. Mix until everything is incorporated.
A salmon croquette being rolled in cornmeal
  1. Dredge. Create 8 salmon patties, and coat them in the cornmeal.
Salmon croquettes on a baking sheet
  1. Chill. Place the patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.
A dip being made in a bowl
  1. Mix. Prepare the dipping sauce.
Patties in a skillet
  1. Pan Fry. Cook the salmon croquettes in a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate salmon croquettes in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • To Reheat. Very gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Place croquettes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen croquettes to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Easy salmon croquettes on a plate

Leftover Ideas

While you may not immediately think of salmon croquettes for breakfast, they’re delicious served alongside eggs. Pair them with my Egg White Frittata or Egg Muffins and Fruit Salad for a scrumptious spread.

What to Serve with Salmon Croquettes

Salmon croquette sides can include anything from starchy vegetables like potatoes, to green vegetables, crisps salads, or even eggs for a breakfast version.

Simple salmon croquettes with dip

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Pan-Fry for Best Results. I tested cooking the croquettes on the stovetop and in the oven. Overall, we greatly preferred the pan-fried croquettes over the baked salmon croquettes. The pan-fried croquettes stayed much more tender on the inside, while the baked croquettes were more prone to drying out.
  • Wait for the Oil to Get Hot. If you place the salmon croquettes in the pan before the oil is hot-hot-hot, they’ll absorb the oil and get soggy instead of getting that nice crispy, seared crust.
  • Keep Them Warm. Place the finished croquettes in a 250 degree F oven to keep them warm while you cook the rest. It’s better to do this than to dry to cram all of the croquettes into the pan at the same time! They need space to get crispy.

FOR THE CROQUETTES:

  • 15 ounces canned boneless, skinless salmon packed in water* look for a sustainable brand and make sure the bones/skin are removed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 small red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 small white or red onion finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce optional; I used Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/3 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal or all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided (for cooking the patties)

FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 dashes hot sauce optional
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley cilantro, or basil (optional)

  • Drain the salmon well and place in a large mixing bowl.

  • Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

  • To the bowl with the salmon, add the bell pepper, onion, Greek yogurt Worcestershire, kosher salt, pepper, celery salt, hot sauce, parsley, and beaten eggs.

  • With a fork, mix until evenly combined.

  • Place the cornmeal in a shallow dish (a pie plate works well). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place it near the cornmeal.

  • Shape the salmon mixture into 8 patties, then lightly coat both sides of each in the cornmeal. To shape the patties, squeeze lightly with your hands discarding a little bit of liquid that may come out of the patties. Press them together gently but with enough force so that they hold together. The patties will feel loose, wet, and delicate; be patient and do your best, they’ll cook up fine! Place the patties on the baking sheet as you go.

  • Cover the pan with plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 day.

  • While the patties chill, prepare the dipping sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Dijon, salt, hot sauce, and herbs. Refrigerate if you won’t be serving within 30 minutes.

  • To cook the patties, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, swirl the pan, then gently place the first batch of patties in the skillet so that they are not touching (I can fit 4 at a time in my skillet, but you may need to cook additional batches if your skillet isn’t large enough). Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the outsides are crisp and golden and the interiors are cooked through. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, swirl, then repeat with remaining patties. If at any point the croquettes begin to stick, add more oil as needed. If desired, keep the croquettes warm in a 250 degree F oven between batches. Enjoy hot with dipping sauce.

  • *Depending upon the size of salmon cans available at your store, you may have a little more or less than 15 ounces if you use the full amount in the cans; err on the side of a little more salmon, vs. less (for example, if your store carries 6-ounce cans, use 3 for 18 ounces of salmon total vs. 2 for only 12 ounces salmon total).
  • TO BAKE IN THE OVEN (will be drier than stovetop method but certainly very edible!): Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the patties on the baking sheet as directed (no need to refrigerate). Mist the tops with nonstick spray. Bake in the center of the oven for 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, gently flip the patties, and coat the other side with nonstick spray. Return to the oven and continue baking until the croquettes are golden and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes more.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate croquettes in an airtight storage container for up to 2 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Very gently rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Place croquettes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen croquettes to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving: 1(of 8), without dipping sauceCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 15gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgPotassium: 285mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 647IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 1mg

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