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Salmon Loaf

Salmon loaf is a budget-friendly dinner to serve on any busy weeknight. It’s an old fashioned salmon loaf recipe that’s inexpensive, healthy and a family favorite!

Canned salmon is mixed with parmesan cheese, panko crumbs and spices to create an easy and flavorful salmon loaf that’s baked in the oven. This recipe can be served with a simple side greek salad, a bowl of soup like our creamy rutabaga carrot soup, or keep it simple with homemade quinoa and a side of green beans.

salmon loaf sliced on one side on a white plate, sprinkled with parmesan. Lemons and kitchen towel in background.

Canned Salmon Recipe

Budget-friendly dinner recipes that are also easy are my favorite! As the cost of groceries continues to rise, it’s recipes like this one that I like to keep on regular rotation in our house.

  • Canned salmon is relatively inexpensive compared to many other options. This is why I love this recipe so much: It helps save on the grocery bill! These days as grocery prices increase, it’s important to have these budget-friendly recipes in your back pocket. (You only need 2 cans of salmon for this recipe).
  • This recipe can also be used to make salmon cakes (or fish cakes). Form into patties and add to a frying pan to cook on the stove.
  • There are lots of delicious ingredients that create a really yummy dinner. I recommend using freshly grated parmesan if you can (that’s what I used). But, the jarred grated parmesan cheese is more budget-friendly and will also work.
  • My husband loves this easy recipe. It’s one of his favorites and he keeps asking me to make it again. He likes to fry the leftovers the next day in a bit of cooking oil for crispier outsides.
  • We love canned salmon for easy recipes like this one. But we also love salmon fillets! You can marinate salmon fillets easily with our six flavors. They can be pan fried as honey garlic salmon, or baked like our sheet pan teriyaki salmon with roasted vegetables.
Ingredients for salmon loaf on a table including canned salmon, grated parmesan, milk, spices, panko crumbs, green onion and yellow onion.

Fish Loaf Ingredients

This delicious salmon loaf combines canned salmon with a few ingredients including parmesan, panko crumbs, onion, and spices. The milk, egg and panko crumbs will hold the loaf together and create moisture avoiding a dried-out salmon loaf.

Here are the key ingredients:

  • CANNED SALMON: You’ll need 2 cans of salmon (6 oz each). Any kind of canned salmon will work for this recipe including Atlantic salmon and sockeye salmon. I used canned wild Alaskan pink salmon.
  • PARMESAN: I prefer to use freshly grated parmesan because of the flavor. But you can also use the shaker version. If you want this recipe to be dairy-free, use a vegan parmesan cheese.
  • PANKO CRUMBS: You can use panko crumbs, regular bread crumbs, cracker crumbs (saltine crackers would work best) or gluten-free panko crumbs.

You might also like our no breadcrumb keto meatloaf recipe made without breadcrumbs. It’s loaded with veggies including carrots, celery and parmesan cheese.

Can I Use Fresh Salmon Instead Of Canned?

Yes, you can. You will need to bake the salmon first, then flake it with a fork. You will need about 1 ½ cups of flaked cooked salmon for this loaf recipe.

Sliced salmon loaf on a white plate with lemon wedges and sprinkled with fresh parsley.

How To Make This Easy (and Cheap) Salmon Loaf

This salmon loaf is so simple to make. It can be prepped in less than 10 minutes!

  1. Flake The Salmon: This is an important step. Salmon should be flakey and crumbled into small pieces. You can do this with a fork. This will make the loaf stick together once cooked.
  2. Mix the flaked salmon, panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, green onion and yellow onion into a bowl.
  3. Small Bowl: Add milk, dried dill, dried parsley, salt and black pepper to a bowl and mix. Pour over top of the salmon.
  4. Whisk two eggs in a small bowl with a fork. Pour over top of the salmon mixture.
  5. Now mix everything together. Mix thoroughly to ensure a moist salmon loaf.
  6. Pour the salmon into a greased loaf pan. Use a spatula to smooth it out and pack it down tightly. Place in oven to bake at 350 for 40 minutes. The salmon loaf is done when the edges are golden and begin to be slightly crisp. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice on top of the loaf for extra flavor!

Leftover salmon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4-5 days.

You can also freeze this recipe! Wrap the whole salmon loaf or slices individually with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Then place it in a large freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal tightly. Label the front of the bag with the name and date. This salmon loaf will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Recipe Tips

  • Flake Salmon Really Well. Use a fork and flake the salmon until it’s small and crumbly. This will give you the best loaf texture after it’s baked.
  • Use Fresh Grated Parmesan. It adds a beautiful subtle flavor and helps to make the loaf stick together. If you’re on a tight budget, you can use the shaker parmesan (jar version).
  • Serve With Tartar Sauce. This salmon loaf tastes best topped with a sauce. You can use tartar sauce, plain greek yogurt, mayonnaise, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or salsa. Whatever your favorite sauce is, it will probably taste great.
Sliced salmon loaf on a white plate with lemon wedges and parsely.

More Dinner Recipes

Did you love this classic dish? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Easy Salmon Loaf Recipe

Canned salmon is inexpensive and healthy. It’s mixed with parmesan cheese, panko crumbs and spices to create an easy and flavorful salmon loaf.
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of salmon - approximately 6 oz each
  • 1 cup panko crumbs - or breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan - freshly grated or the jar version will work
  • 2 green onions - chopped
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion - (about ½ of small onion)
  • ½ cup milk - dairy or non-dairy
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed - or fresh dill
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper - (¼ tsp for each)
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  • Spray the inside of a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    White loaf pan and avocado oil spray.
  • Drain salmon from can juices. In a large bowl, add the 2 cans of salmon, panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, green onion and yellow onion. (You can keep the salmon bones and skin if you like them or take them out before adding)
    panko, onion, salmon and parsley in a white bowl with a spatula beside it.
  • Use a fork to flake the salmon into small crumbles. This part is key! You want the salmon to be flaked small to ensure a moist salmon loaf overall.
    flaked salmon in a large white bowl with onion, parsley, and panko crumbs.
  • Once salmon is fully flaked, mix the ingredients together.
    flaked salmon mixture in white bowl with gray spatula.
  • In a separate small bowl mix the milk, dill, parsley, salt and pepper. Pour over the salmon mixture bowl.
    cream, dill salt and pepper in a bowl with small spatula.
  • Beat the two eggs with a fork. Pour over the salmon.
    beaten eggs in white bowl with a fork.
  • Mix all ingredients together throrougly.
    flaked salmon in a white bowl with egg and dill mixture.
  • The salmon should be evenly coated with egg and milk to ensure the loaf is moist and sticks together.
    flaked salmon mixture in bowl with grey spatula.
  • Add the salmon loaf to the pan and pack it down with a spatula.
    Raw salmon loaf pressed into loaf pan with gray spatula beside it.
  • Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and slightly crispy. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes.
    Baked salmon loaf inside white loaf pan.
  • Carefully flip over on to a plate and slice into serving portions. You can squeeze fresh lemon juice or sprinkle lemon zest over top (this is optional). Serve and enjoy!
    Sliced loaf pan on white plate with sliced lemon and parsley around it.

Recipe Notes:

  • Sauce: The salmon loaf can be served with tartar sauce, plain greek yogurt, mayonnaise, or homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.  
  • Gluten-Free: The loaf can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free panko crumbs or by replacing crumbs with 3 Tbsp of tapioca starch. 
  • Dairy-Free: Use dairy-free milk (almond, oat milk, coconut, etc) and vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or pan-fried in a skillet with a bit of oil.
  • Replacing With Fresh Salmon: You will need to bake the salmon first, then flake it with a fork. You will need about 1 ½ cups of flaked cooked salmon for this loaf recipe.
Nutrition
Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 457mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 307IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 244mg | Iron: 1mg

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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