Chickpea Salmon Burgers

Howdy, friends! It’s been awhile! How’s everyone? I truly hope this finds you all safe and well and still cooking! These chickpea salmon burgers are a take on my Ma’s “salmon patties” that I grew up with and LOVED, and I think she would approve of this version that launches them straight into the heart (or heat?!) of summer.

They’re made with simple pantry ingredients like canned salmon, chickpeas, an egg, a few seasonings, and her secret ingredient: crushed saltine crackers. The saltines give these burgers an irresistible taste and signature texture that can’t be replicated with other binders. But these days, to add a bit of fiber, I use a mixture of saltines and quick oats: enough saltines to give that unique taste & texture while the oats do their thing unobtrusively in the background. I’ve also updated my Ma’s original recipe (which I think was JUST canned salmon, egg, & saltines) to add chickpeas & chopped vegetables. Back when I was a kid, I’m sure I enjoyed Ma’s simple version much more (one less vegetable to worry about!) but now that I’m an adult, I appreciate the colour, flavour, & nutrition that these extra ingredients add.

But one thing we can all appreciate about this recipe is that it’s made in one bowl, in about 10 minutes, and cooks quickly on the stove or even on the grill. So you won’t have to heat up your kitchen… and that is a blessing during these dog days of summer!

Bite mark courtesy of Theda 🙂

These burgers are perfect for a light summer cookout when you don’t want beef, or for the pescatarian in your family. They can also be made gluten-free by using your favourite GF crackers (saltine variety is ideal) and buns. Change the seasonings if you like… serve them as lettuce wraps… add avocado! Whatever makes you smile! And that is so important these days. Stay safe and well, friends!

Chickpea Salmon Burgers

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 burgers

Serving Size: 1 burger

Chickpea Salmon Burgers


  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can (14 oz) pink or red salmon, drained
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • ¼ cup each red bell pepper and cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T. red onion, minced
  • juice of ½ lemon (about 2 T.)
  • 1 T. tahini
  • ½ t. dried dill (optional)
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • ¼ t. salt
  • 10 saltine crackers, crushed (sub GF crackers as necessary)
  • ¼ cup quick oats (use GF as necessary)
  • ~4 T. neutral vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 6 hamburger buns, toasted (use GF as necessary, or wrap in lettuce for a GF/lower-carb option)
  • lettuce, tomato, ketchup, pickle, onion as desired


  • In a large mixing bowl, place the chickpeas and mash with a potato masher until a chunky paste forms. You still want some texture but most of the chickpeas should be broken up. Add the salmon and break up with a fork. Next add the beaten egg and stir to combine.
  • Add the next 8 ingredients (bell pepper through salt) and mix well. Stir in the crushed crackers and quick oats. At this point your mixture should hold together when pressed between your fingers; if too wet, add 1-2 T. more cracker crumbs or oats, if too dry & crumbly, add ½ a beaten egg.
  • Form into 6 patties and chill for 30 minutes if you have time. (It just helps them hold together better when cooking.)
  • To cook, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until heated through and golden brown. Drain briefly on paper towels.
  • Serve warm on toasted buns with desired condiments. Makes 6 burgers.
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Chickpea Salmon Burgers with Tomato Chili Jam

Chickpea Salmon Burgers

My Ma used to make “salmon patties” when I was a kid, and the whole family loved them.  You couldn’t help it… they were crunchy, mild in flavour, and Ma always served ketchup alongside in the cutest little pewter pitcher with a lid you could flip up and down with your thumb.  I ate more just so I could use the ketchup pitcher.  I know why she loved them- there were only 3 ingredients (canned salmon, saltine crackers, and egg) that she had on hand all the time.  Plus, they could be whipped up in less time than it took for me and my brother to watch a Star Trek rerun on TV….

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