Pesto Salmon Burgers

By  |  3 Comments

salmon, salmon burgers, salmon recipes OK…so I totally forgot yesterday was Monday and I needed to have a post up.  Sorry guys!  Hope you still enjoy this one…even though it’s a day late!

One of the hardest things I find about being a vegetarian is dealing with sandwiches – making them, buying them, eating them…  You might not think they’re so complicated.  But when you can’t slap a slice of turkey or ham between 2 pieces of bread for a quick sandwich, things can get complicated.  And sometimes a little frustrating.  Especially in the summer.  When I all want is a big juicy something between two fluffy sides of a hamburger bun.  A burger!

Bean burgers, lentil burgers and tempeh sliders are all well and good.  And don’t even get me started on those fake, questionable-ingredient frozen veggie burgers…yuck is the nicest I can be about those!  But we all know there is something about a REAL burger.  The texture, the taste and the juiciness of the meat.  In that sense, meat has a lot going for it.   But instead of giving into the ease of using meat, I decided I would make the most perfect, juicy, ultra satisfying burger ever…without the meat.  Protein of choice?  Salmon!

I choose to use a meaty fish for these burgers since all other forms of meat are “out” in this house.  (I guess you could consider us Pescatarians on occasion.)  Salmon offers a real satisfying meatiness – which is why these burgers are so deliciously addictive.  They’re juicy, full of flavor and allow me to sink my teeth into a hearty burger patty!   Plus, I added a big spoonful of basil pesto to the salmon mixture.  Let’s just say that the pesto is the “wow factor” here.  Herby, bright, with a touch of lemon.  A match made in heaven with salmon.

Salmon is a great choice not only for the flavor and texture but also because it’s full of healthy fats and a good amount of protein.  It leaves you not only with a delicious burger, but a healthy one at that.  I recommend trying these tucked in between a fluffy burger bun and topped with lettuce, tomato and pickles.  Maybe a little smear of mayo?  Mmmmm…that my friends, is a great burger.

Pesto Salmon Burgers:


  • 10 oz wild Alaskan salmon, skin removed and cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 English Muffins or hamburger buns
  • Optional burger toppings:  spinach leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, or pickles


  1. In the bowl of a food processor add salmon.  Pulse 5-6 times or until salmon is in pieces the size of marbles.
  2. Add in pesto, salt and pepper.  Pulse another 5 times or until salmon mixture resembles ground meat.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the salmon pesto mixture with the breadcrumbs.  Start with half of the bread crumbs and thoroughly combine.  If salmon mixture appears very wet, add in the rest of the breadcrumbs.  Salmon mixture should be able to form patties without falling apart.  Patties should still be quite moist.
  4. Divide the salmon mixture into 3 equal amounts.  Form into 3/4″ to 1″ thick patties.  Refrigerate salmon burgers for about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove salmon burgers from refrigerator.  Coat a large non stick skillet with cooking spray.  Heat to medium high.
  6. When pan is hot, add in all 3 salmon burgers.  Sauté for 3 minutes per side.  Top burgers with favorite burger toppings like sliced tomato, red onions or pickles.


You tell me!  What’s your favorite summer dish?  Do you like salmon burgers?  What types of burger substitutes have you tried?


  1. The Candid RD

    April 30, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Sounds awesome!! I’m actually posting a recipe for pesto turkey burgers really soon. I just think pesto (like bacon) makes everything better 😉

    • mewinebrenner

      April 30, 2013 at 8:20 am

      You’re right! I put pesto on just about everything. It’s such a great flavor hit!

  2. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

    May 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Now you’re talking’!! Love this!

Hey, thanks for reading! Share your thoughts!