Lemon Herb Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli


This month Recipe Redux challenged us to recreate the “pattie,” into a healthy, but satisfying experience in honor of St. Patty’s Day. Worthy of a facelift, let’s give patties a fighting chance.

So, turkey is out, right? Is anyone besides me sick of eating 98 difference recipes for healthier turkey burgers? Maybe I’m the only one who has killed that one.

I strongly considered bison or buffalo. Love both, and they are super lean and low in cholesterol, with tons of flavor. So similar to a beef experience. But holy cow (no pun intended), so expensive.

I landed on salmon. One of my favorite fish. I used frozen, to bring the cost down. The irony, however, frozen sockeye is pricey! So, feel free to use a cheaper frozen salmon if the sockeye blows your budget. The sockeye, though…even frozen, it stayed tender and moist, rich in color. Deep in flavor, but not fishy at all.

The bottom line? This pattie facelift resulted with a lemon herb salmon burger that my husband requested be added to the weekly dinner menu rotation. We both loved them. They didn’t have a prayer of lasting longer than 1-2 days. So, thank you Recipe Redux. You inspired a tasty recreation!

This Recipe Works if You Are Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, or Not

If you are familiar with my “free food” recipes, you know I work with dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, sugar-free ingredients. But many of my recipes give options for those who aren’t because many of these ingredients have simple swaps. I’ve included notes about these swaps in the recipe below.

Swap Out Tips:

  • If you want to use an egg as the binder in your salmon burger, go for it. OR you can use the ground chia of flax seed/water mixture I give you in the recipe.
  • Dairy-free/egg-free mayonnaise and sour creams are 1:1 swaps for dairy ones, so use what suits you. Know you have options and can make this recipe work for you. I use Spectrum Egg-free, Dairy-free Mayo or Earth Balance Dairy-free Olive Oil based for mayo. I live Vegan Gourmet for dairy-free, vegan sour cream.
  • Gluten-free or wheat breadcrumbs will work to tighten your salmon burger mixture. OR you can use a grain-free (and gluten-free) nut meal. I prefer almond flour (raw, blanched, finely ground almonds, Honeyville brand), or even ground pepitas.

Whatever breadcrumb/nut meal binder you choose, your mixture should look like this:


Mmm, so much flavor!

Let’s Make Lemon Herb Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli!

Dairy-free, Egg-free, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Wheat-free, Soy-free, Nut-free (Pick Your Version!)

Lemon Herb Salmon Burgers with Avocado Aioli
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Serves 4-6
Salmon Burgers
  • 1 lb salmon, skinned, small dice (I used frozen sockeye)
  • ½ TBS chia seeds, ground, mixed in 3 TBS water OR 1 egg
  • 1½ TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 TBS fresh mint, minced
  • ½ -1 jalapeño, small dice
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated
  • ¼ cup sour cream (dairy-free/vegan or dairy)
  • 1 tsp course salt (sea or kosher)
  • 8-10 TBS gluten-free or wheat breadcrumbs OR grain-free nutmeal (I use almond flour or ground pepitas)
  • 1-2 tsp coconut, avocado oil, or pure olive oil (to coat your pan when cooking your burgers)
Avocado Aioli
  • 1 large avocado (need about 1 cup avocado)
  • 2 TBS mayonnaise (egg-free/dairy-free OR dairy-based)
  • 2 TBS sour cream (dairy-free/vegan OR dairy)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • ¼-1/2 of a jalapeño
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, unchopped
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley, unchopped
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
Ahead of Time
  1. Defrost salmon. (You can use fresh salmon, I find it more economical to use frozen. If I spend money on fresh, I'm not dicing it up into a burger!)
  2. Once defrosted, skin salmon and dice into ¼" pieces (small dice).
  3. Grind chias and put them into water. You can use 1 TBS flax seeds in 3 TBS water for ½ TBS chias OR 1 egg.
  4. Wash and dry all veggies and herbs.
  5. Slice green onions.
  6. Mince parsley and mint.
  7. Dice jalapeño (for the burger and aioli). Use as much to your taste. I used ½ in the burger and didn't find the burger spicy, but I used more in the Avocado Aioli for added spice.
  8. Grate garlic.
Mix Your Salmon Burgers
  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, add diced salmon, ground chia and water mixture, fresh lemon juice, green onions, minced herbs, diced jalapeño, grated garlic, sour cream, and coarse salt.
  2. Stir together well, but gently.
  3. Once incorporated add breadcrumbs, nutmeal, or ground pepitas. Start with ½ cup, add 2 TBS more, if needed.
  4. The mixture should come together so you can form a pattie.
  5. Form into uniform size patties (I use a scale to weigh mine, making 3-4 ounce patties so they are easy to flip), setting on wax paper so they will be easy to remove and place in the pan when you are ready to cook them.
  6. You can mix these yummy burgers in advance and let sit in the fridge. The longer you let the flavors meld together, the more flavorful your burgers will be.
Mix Your Avocado Aioli
  1. Put all aioli ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add as much or as little jalapeño as suits your spice preference.
  2. You can use all mayo or all sour cream if you prefer. I like the balance of the two. I eat dairy-free, so I use all the vegan/dairy-free versions of mayo and sour cream, but this recipe works great with the dairy versions of these foods.
Cook Your Salmon Burgers
  1. Over medium high heat in a non-stick, iron, or green pan skillet, add a small amount of coconut or grape seed oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add your salmon burgers to your hot pan.
  3. Let the first side sear, getting a golden crust and setting the burger. This will take about 4 minutes, depending on the size of your burger and how high your heat is.
  4. Once you have a golden crust and your burger is set (the sides will start to change color, getting white), flip and sear the second side. This side should not need to cook as long as the first side, another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Use these times as a guideline. Your heat and pan may cook differently. Go by the sear you are able to get and if your burger is done. You can always temp it, knowing that salmon is usually served at 145 degrees (medium). Just try not to overcook your beautiful salmon burger and dry it out! (165 degrees is well done.)
  6. Once cooked, remove from pan and top with avocado aioli, You can serve on a bun, on top of a salad, or veggies. I ate mine on top of baked sweet and white sea salt fries tossed with kale. Delish!
Makes 4-6 burgers, depending on size.
Aioli makes about 1¼ - 1⅓ cups.
Copyright: Angela Marinelli, M.S., M.Ed., Nourishment Connection 2014
When you make your Avocado Aioli, it should look like this:


I served my Lemon Herb Salmon Burger with Avocado Aioli on top of Baked Sweet and White Sea Salt Fries tossed with Kale and Broccoli.


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