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The Best Southern Fried Salmon Patties, Keto Style

Southern-Fried Salmon Patties (Croq... x
Southern-Fried Salmon Patties (Croquettes), Keto Style

This southern-fried salmon patties recipe has been revamped and made with healthy and low-carb ingredients like oat fiber and almond flour for binding the ingredients together. Serve these salmon patties with a crisp salad and keto remoulade (recipe included) for a light, but satisfying southern-style classic dish!

southern fried salmon patties

I will preface this post by saying that I am no stranger to down-home southern cooking. In fact, I consider myself a southern girl myself (albeit “citified, ” as my family used to say). You see, a large part of my family has roots in Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas – ‘yall get it!

And one of my fondest memories growing up would be a big country-style breakfast on the weekends including thick-cut fried ham, cheesy grits, buttermilk biscuits n’ gravy, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and some of my grandmother’s fried salmon patties (sometimes known as salmon “croquettes”)! These breakfast offerings are a far cry from the healthy blue matcha pancakes and homemade muesli I serve my own family these days.

However, I have managed to adapt at least one of those classics to my newer, healthier lifestyle: the southern-fried salmon patties! In fact, it was fairly easy to make a keto version of them by substituting just two ingredients. Good thing too, because I happen to love salmon – so much, that I also adapted a version of The Cheesecake Factory’s Miso Salmon dish a while back. Serve these southern-style patties with a remoulade (recipe below) or my go-with-everything keto yum yum sauce!

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What Are Southern Fried Salmon Patties?

what are southern fried salmon patties

Besides fried chicken, fried salmon patties are as southern as their proteins get! They are a mixture of cooked and flaked salmon, diced vegetables like bell pepper and onion brought together with egg, mayonnaise, and either flour, saltine crackers, or breadcrumbs. Different herbs like thyme, marjoram, and spices like cayenne, or mustard powder can also be added to make a recipe unique. The mixture is then formed into patties and shallow pan-fried in oil until golden brown on both sides.

Can You Use Canned Salmon to Make Fried Salmon Patties?

Absolutely – canned salmon is the traditional way to make southern fried salmon patties! In fact, the recipe originated during the Great Depression out of necessity.

Amid the growing poverty across the United States during the early 1930s, the government-subsidized foods could easily be preserved, fortified, canned, and distributed to the American people at low costs. Foods like beans, soup, and meat were being canned with added vitamins and minerals to make up for the lack of nutrition that was available to people who could not afford fresh meats and produce.

Pellagra, a disease by a niacin deficiency (and the result of a corn-heavy southern diet), affected millions of people in the south during The Great Depression. The U.S. government took action and subsidized canned Alaskan salmon so that sold for less than a nickel per can. As a result, the cash-strapped and disease-ravaged southerners began relying on salmon and other canned foods in an attempt to stay healthy. Recipes like southern fried salmon patties likely originated around this time and have since become part of the cuisine of the American south.

Are Salmon Patties Good For You?

Southern-fried salmon patties can be good for you depending on the ingredients. For example, this keto version makes them healthy compared to a traditional fried salmon patty recipe.

First, salmon is a nutritional powerhouse containing:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids – “essential” fats that protect the heart and brain function (DHA)
  • Astaxanthin – an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory pigment (it gives salmon its pinkish hue)
  • Vitamin B12 – salmon is one of the best natural sources
  • Potassium – it contains the most of any fish at 400mg per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Vitamin D – is also the most of any fish, however wild salmon has the highest amount out of all the varieties

Second, oat fiber and almond flour replace high carbohydrate binders like wheat flour and breadcrumbs as binding agents for the patties. Besides both being extremely low-carb, they provide a good amount of additional dietary fiber and healthy fats!

Third, the fried salmon patties are made with fresh vegetables that contain lots of vitamin C (red bell pepper) and are loaded with vitamin K (scallion).

And lastly, the salmon patties are fried in heart-healthy olive oil instead of soybean or corn oil, and (heaven forbid, but oh-so-good) lard, which is commonly used for frying foods in the South.

Is Salmon Keto?

southern fried salmon patties fresh salmon

Yes, salmon is a perfect keto food! It contains zero grams of carbohydrates and is high in good fats like Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) and protein to help suppress the appetite and maintain the muscle mass needed to burn fat. Salmon is also very versatile – it can be eaten raw as sushi, baked in a cream sauce, pan-fried like in this recipe for miso salmon, or flaked and made into patties as you will see in the recipe below!

How to Make Southern Fried Salmon Patties The Low-Carb Way

Salmon patties can easily be made into a low-carb/keto recipe by swapping just two ingredients: all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs. Instead, this recipe uses oat fiber and almond flour to bind the patties. The table below shows the difference in the carb counts for the traditional ingredients vs. the keto ingredients:

almond flour and oat fiber
Left: Almond Flour Right: Oat Fiber
Traditional BindersWheat Flour – 21
Cornstarch – 26
Breadcrumbs – 20
Saltine Crackers – 20
Cornmeal – 22
Keto BindersOat Fiber – 0
Almond Flour – 6
(Total Carbohydrates Per 1/4 cup or 28 grams)

What You Need to Make Keto Salmon Patties


  • roasting pan (if using fresh salmon)
  • mixing bowl
  • silicone spatula or spoon for mixing
  • non-stick skillet
southern fried keto salmon patties ingredients
(Ingredient links are in the recipe card)


  • salmon
  • bell pepper
  • scallion
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • egg
  • oat fiber
  • almond flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • cilantro
  • olive oil

How To Make Southern Fried Salmon Patties, Keto Style

(With Slideshows)

Step 1:

  • If using fresh salmon, place the fillet(s) on a lined baking tray and bake just until they are opaque approximately 10 min. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  • If using canned salmon, discard the liquid from the can.
  • fresh salmon fillets
  • baked salmon fillets

Step 2:

Into a mixing bowl add the almond flour, oat fiber, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.

southern fried salmon patties almond and oat fiber

Step 3:

Flake the salmon (cooked or canned) into the mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.

  • southern fried salmon patties ingredients in bowl
  • southern fried salmon patties mixture

Step 4:

Preheat a non-stick skillet. Equally divide the mixture and form it into patties. Add the oil to the skillet. Fry the patties until golden brown on each side, flipping once. Drain the patties on a plate lined with paper towels.

  • southern fried salmon patties divided
  • southern fried salmon patties formed
  • southern fried salmon patties flipped in skillet
  • southern fried salmon patties draining

Step 5:

Make a quick keto remoulade sauce with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, chopped green onion, pickles, paprika, and pepper (or this keto yum yum sauce that would also taste amazing with this recipe). Serve the sauce with the fried salmon patties.

  • keto remoulade

Variations to The Southern Fried Salmon Patties Recipe

Once you have the basic ingredients in place, you can mess around with variations by using different seasonings like:

  • Lemon pepper – for citrus and black pepper notes
  • Cajun – chili flakes and garlic gives the patties a “kick”
  • Italian – fragrant basil and oregano for Mediterannean flare
  • Indian – add warm spices like cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon (garam masala)
  • Latin – herbs like coriander and spices like vibrant annatto for color
  • Asian – a Chinese five-spice blend takes these to another flavor dimension

Can You Make Southern Fried Salmon Patties in the Air Fryer?

Yes, you can absolutely cook salmon patties in the air fryer:

  • Simply coat the tray with an olive oil spray before placing the patties on top.
  • Then spray the tops of the patties before frying (8-10 minutes at 400 F/200 C) or until golden brown (you can flip the patties over halfway through the cooking time and spray again with the oil if you wish).

The Recipe:


The Best Southern Fried Salmon Patties (Keto Style)

These Southern Fried Salmon Patties are a healthier alternative to the patties that grandma used to make at only 3 net carbs per serving! By replacing carb-heavy flour and breadcrumbs with oat fiber and almond flour to bind the patties, you can now enjoy this southern classic on a keto diet – even with a big dollop of sugar-free remoulade!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Brunch, dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 310 kcal


Keto Style Southern Fried Salmon Patties

Quick Keto Remoulade


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Dry Ingredients

  • In a mixing bowl, add the almond flour, oat fiber, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until combined.

Preparing Fresh Salmon:

  • Place the fillets on a baking tray and bake (unseasoned) for 10 minutes or until opaque. Remove the salmon and allow it to cool completely before the next step.
  • Using your hands or a fork, flake the salmon into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Proceed to the step: "Salmon Patties."

Preparing Canned Salmon

  • Drain and discard all of the liquid from the can. Place the salmon into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients. Proceed to the step: "Salmon Patties."

Salmon Patties

  • To the bowl, add the egg, cilantro, scallion, bell pepper, mayonnaise, and Worcestershire sauce. Sir all of the ingredients until well combined and the mixture resembles a paste (see video).
  • Divide the mixture into four equal sections (or per your serving amounts). Take each section and form the mixture into round patties and place them on a tray or plate until you are ready to fry them.
  • Add the olive oil to a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the salmon patties into the skillet and fry on each side until golden brown (about 4-5 minutes per side). Remove the patties from the skillet and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate or tray to remove excess oil. Serve immediately with the keto remoulade if desired.

Quick Keto Remoulade

  • In a bowl add the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, onion, pickles, paprika, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until combined.



  • The nutrition information in the recipe card is for the salmon patties only.
  • If using a standard 14.75 oz canned salmon, double the ingredients.
  • The mixture should be firm and hold a patty shape easily; however, if you find that there is a little too much moisture, you can add small amounts of oat fiber or almond flour at a time until the desired consistency is reached.


Sodium: 554mgCalcium: 300mgSugar: 1.3gFiber: 8.1gPotassium: 519mgCholesterol: 163mgCalories: 310kcalSaturated Fat: 3.1gFat: 19gProtein: 29gCarbohydrates: 5.3gIron: 1.8mg
Keyword croquettes, fried, salmon, southern
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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