Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burgers: Phenomenal Steakhouse Quality at Home

Steakhouse burgers that are healthier than traditional options but might even be more flavorful and addicting? Yes, please!

Serves: 4 Time: 30 min Cookbook: How to Cook Everything The Basics

Mark Bittman's Salmon Burger

You really can have your burger and eat it (guilt-free), too! We’re talking about salmon burgers. This might come as a surprise, but you absolutely can make burger patties with seafood and they will taste out-of-this-world amazing. The trick to this burger is broiling the patties. This will form a nice crust on the outside while keeping them flavorful, juicy, and tender on the inside.

Salmon is fragile meat, but with a special technique taught by Mark Bittman, we will have a refined burger that is just as satisfying, and much healthier, than a traditional beef burger. What’s better than that?

Pro tip: We highly recommend serving this scrumptious burger with Jacques Pepin’s Blue Cheese Salad on the side.

Jump Ahead:

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Flavor: These salmon burgers are aaaa-mazing! You’ll take one bite and think you’ve gone to a steakhouse instead of your own house.

Crowd Pleaser: Invite friends over who love salmon and they might never leave. This is a clear winner for family, friends, and guests.

Healthy: With this recipe, you can have your burger and eat healthy, too. There’s no beef in this and instead you’re getting all the beneficial Omega 3s that come with salmon.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burgers

Salmon, onion, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic on a cutting board
  • Salmon: You can use fresh or frozen for this recipe. If using frozen, make sure to thaw it completely and pat it dry before you begin to make the patties.
  • Red Onion: If you don’t have red onion, white onion can work in a pinch. Red onion has a sweeter flavor that works exceptionally well with salmon, however.
  • Bell Pepper: Use any color you have. Green, red, yellow, and orange all work well flavor-wise.
  • Parsley Leaf: If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can use other fresh herbs like cilantro, oregano, and even basil. Each herb lends a unique flavor, so choose one you know you’ll enjoy.
  • Garlic Clove: If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of powdered garlic.
  • Burger Condiments: Choose what you like to top off this delicious burger! Add cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayo, ketchup – go to town and make it your own!

Equipment You’ll Need In the Kitchen

  • Food Processor: This is key to making the burgers. You want a food processor, not a blender, to make sure the salmon and veggies turn into the right consistency.
  • Basting Brush: You’ll baste each of the burgers during the cooking process, so a heat-safe silicon basting brush is key.
  • Baking Sheet: The salmon patties will get cooked on the baking sheet. A non-stick sheet is great, but as long as you oil it well, the patties will lift right off.

How to Make Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burgers

This delicious burger makes a great entre for a summertime get-together with friends or family.

Prepare your oven

First, turn on your oven’s broiler and place an oven rack 4 inches below the heating element.

Make the patties

Add one-third of the salmon and 1 garlic clove into a food processor. Blend until it turns into a thick paste. Stop the machine periodically to scrape down any salmon that is stuck to the inside wall. 

Once this is done, add the rest of the salmon, along with the onion and bell pepper, parsley, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Press the pulse button on and off until the mixture resembles coarse ground beef. Be careful not to over-process, here. You don’t want to turn this into a paste or the burger won’t come together. 

Once you have a chunky mixture, divide it into four equal amounts and shape each portion into a patty. Let them rest on parchment paper then brush both sides with oil before placing each patty onto the greased baking sheet.

Broil the patties

Spread a thin layer of oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Brush a layer of oil onto both sides of the patties, then transfer them to the piled baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet with the patties under the broiler, close the oven, and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until the burgers form a nice brown crust. This crust will make sure the patties don’t fall apart as you assemble the burgers later on.

After one side has browned, carefully flip the patties onto the other side with a spatula and return to the broiler for another 3-5 minutes. The salmon is done once it is pink on the edges. 

Once the burgers are done, take them out of the oven and place them on a rack to cool. While the patties cool, butter your burger buns and place them in the oven for 1-2 minutes and toast them.

Assemble the burger

salmon burger with lettuce, mayo, and tomato slices

Now the fun part! Assemble your burger by placing any condiments you wish upon the bun, then adding the patty, then topping off with more condiments. Serve on its own or with a side salad for a complete meal.

Salmon Burger Variations

Mark Bittman's Salmon Burger

This salmon burger patty can pair with a wide variety of condiments, giving you a blank slate to work with. Here are some of our favorite suggestions.

Blu Burger: Combine blue cheese crumbles with your favorite steak sauce until the crumbles are just coated. Spoon this mixture onto your burgers. If you’re really adventurous, make some deep-fried onion rings and add them to your burger, as well. Don’t want to deep fry? Sautee onion slices, instead.

Tropical Island Burger: Top your burger with grilled pineapple rings and teriyaki sauce.

Haute Burger: Make a quick garlic aioli and slather it on in place of mayo. Sautee some fresh mushrooms and add those, too.

Spicy Burger: Substitute half the bell pepper with jalapeno pepper. For an extra kick, top burgers with a slice of pepper jack cheese.

California Burger: Top your burger with slices of avocado and crispy bacon.

Asian-Style Burger: Combine two tablespoons of mayo with a dash of soy sauce and a pea-sized amount of wasabi. Mix together until thoroughly combined and use in place of plain mayo.

Want a different type of salmon dish entirely? Try making teriyaki salmon in an air fryer or some easy canned salmon recipes. Delish!

Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burger Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

Can I substitute canned salmon for fresh salmon?

If you don’t have fresh or frozen salmon, don’t let that stop you! As long as you still have the same amount of salmon and follow the recipe, it should still come out just fine. If you purchase salmon packed in water, make sure to drain the water completely before continuing with the recipe.

What condiments pair well with salmon burgers?

There are many things that pair well with salmon! Mix and match some of these condiments for a restaurant-quality burger. Garlic aioli, blue cheese crumbles, steak sauce, teriyaki sauce, pineapple rings, sauteed mushrooms, and sauteed onions all pair well with salmon.

Do I have to oil the pan?

Nope! Place a layer of foil into your baking pan and oil the foil before placing the fish directly on the foil. By layering your pan with foil, you won’t have to oil the pan and cleanup will be a snap. Just be extra gentle when turning the fish burgers mid-way through baking so you don’t tear the foil.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Mark Bittman's Salmon Burger

Mark Bittman’s Salmon Burgers: Savory Deliciousness On a Bun

  • Author: Matt
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This is a delicious, savory, and flavor-packed burger that is healthier than red meat options. It will leave you happy, satisfied, and wanting to make them all over again because they are just that good.


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinned Salmon
  • 1 small Red Onion
  • 1 Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh Parsley Leaf
  • 4 Hamburger Buns
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Burger Condiments (Lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo, ketchup etc.)


Make the salmon patties

  • Add 1/3 of the salmon and 1 garlic clove to the food processor. Blend into a thick paste.
  • Add the rest of the salmon and onion, bell pepper, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse ground beef.
  • Form into patties and oil both sides.

Cook the patties

  • Place patties under the broiler on a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 min on each side.


  • Assemble your burger by adding all of your favorite condiments and serve!
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Burgers
  • Method: Broil
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Mark Bittman, Salmon, Healthy Eating

Join the Conversation

  1. These are scrumptious! Thank you for adding this recipe to your (and my) repertoire!

    1. We’re so glad you enjoyed them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating

Cook Like a Master © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.