Two of my great loves— salmon and burgers— combined into these summery salmon cake sliders (with homemade buns!)

Salmon Cake Sliders from

While I wasn’t exposed to a wide variety of seafood growing up, I learned pretty early on to love salmon. Salmon cakes have always been a favorite in our family, and it’s a dish my Mom often makes when we get together.

Her recipe has evolved over the years, from it’s humble beginnings using canned salmon into a copycat from a local Seattle restaurant where the chef was kind enough to share his secrets. And our love for them has only grown.

With these sliders I’m taking my Mom’s salmon cakes one delicious step further— stuffing them between two buns and calling it a (mini) burger.

Salmon Cake Sliders from

These salmon cakes start with flaked poached salmon and are flavored with fresh basil and cilantro, onions, and lemon zest. An egg and panko bread crumbs hold them together while they brown and crisp in a skillet.

On their own the salmon cakes are phenomenal, but the sliders are even better than the sum of its parts. For the buns I made a smaller version of my favorite homemade burger buns and a simple lemon aioli, lettuce and tomato complete the ensemble.

Salmon Cake Sliders from
Salmon Cake Sliders from

You might not need your grill for these sliders, but they still scream summer. Light, fresh, and perfect for a warm summer day.

I can’t wait to make these for my Mom!

Salmon Cake Sliders from

Salmon Cake Sliders

Servings: 8 sliders
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Rise Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Salmon cakes flavored with lemon, basil and cilantro are sandwiched between homemade burger buns to make these fun summer sliders.


For the buns:

  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg

For the salmon cakes:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lb salmon
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 dash liquid smoke
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper

To assemble the sliders:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes , thinly sliced


To make the buns:

  • In a small saucepan, combine the milk, water, and butter. Warm over medium heat until butter is melted. Cool for about 5 minutes, or until temperature is 120-130° F.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large bowl if planning to mix by hand), combine 1 cup of the bread flour, the yeast, sugar and salt. Add the warm water mixture, followed by the beaten egg, mixing on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add the remaining bread flour 2 tablespoons at a time while mixing on medium low speed until dough almost clears the bowl and is only a slightly sticky to the touch. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes more.
  • Gather dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
  • Punch down dough and let rest for a few minutes. Divide dough into eight equal pieces and shape into balls. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray some plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and place over the shaped buns. Return to a warm place and continue to rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400° F. Brush buns with egg wash. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the salmon cakes:

  • Place the salmon in a medium skillet and add water. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes until just cooked all the way through. Let cool slightly. Use a fork to gently flake the salmon into a medium bowl.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add onions to the salmon, along with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the cilantro, basil, salt, lemon zest, liquid smoke, egg and bread crumbs. Mix until just combined.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Spoon the salmon mixture in mounds into the hot skillet (an ice cream scoops works great) and flatten into disks. Cook until brown, about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

To assemble the sliders:

  • In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, cilantro and salt.
  • Spread the sauce onto the buns, then top with a salmon cake, lettuce and tomatoes. Serve immediately.


Note: Salmon cakes can be made up to 3 days ahead. Reheat in a greased skillet.
Calories: 511kcal, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 82mg, Sodium: 918mg, Potassium: 396mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Author: Annalise Sandberg
Have you tried this recipe?I’d love to hear about it! Leave a rating and review below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram @completelydelicious with #completelydelicious.