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Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw


Salmon burgers are a great way to get more healthy fats in your diet and when topped with a cool and crunchy cabbage mixture plus a spicy-tangy tartar sauce, they’re anything but ordinary. These salmon burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw and Sriracha Tartar Sauce are great for weeknight meals or meal preps – and we give directions for both stovetop and air-fryer.

This post was created in partnership with Primal Kitchen

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that will not change your price but will share some commission.

Wow. Just wow.

That’s how we’d describe these Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw and Sriracha Tartar Sauce. They’re that good! And they’re also the very first recipe that we’ve ever made in an air-fryer (yes, we’re a little late to the party…)  Of course, you can also make them on the stovetop so keep reading – we’d hate for you to miss out on this recipe. 

Weeknight Winner + Meal Prep Hero

Whether it’s a casual weeknight dinner you’re looking for or meal prep recipe to add to your rotation, we’ve got you covered. You can have this meal on the table in about 35 minutes – even less if your salmon is precooked (leftover from another meal or canned) or you opt for a bag of coleslaw mix in place of the cabbage and carrots.

The patties can be made ahead and reheated for a quick lunch or dinner and the dressing can be made ahead and tossed with the cabbage mixture when it’s time to eat.

And if you don’t have an air fryer, no worries, we’ve included directions for making them on the stovetop as well.

Looking for guidance with meal planning? Check out Real Plans, a highly customizable online meal planning service that includes over 300 of our very own recipes.

All about the sauce.

While the salmon burgers with Thai cabbage slaw are great on their own, adding a drizzle of spicy sriracha tartar sauce makes them great x 10. Admittedly, tartar sauce wasn’t something I kept on hand until recently when our friends at Primal Kitchen launched their new tartar sauce made with avocado oil. It’s nothing like that gloopy, oily tartar sauce of the past – this one is rich and creamy and bright with the flavors of dill and lemon and just enough pickle relish to give it the proper amount of tang.

Primal Kitchen Tartar Sauce is Whole30 Approved®, keto and paleo-friendly, and sugar-free making it a tasty addition to our Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw.

Add a little extra zing to your tartar sauce with a hearty dose of sriracha (we like this one for a Whole30-friendly option because it’s sweetened with dates and fruit juice).

Heart-Healthy Fats? We’re here for ’em.

Salmon is one of our favorite sources of protein because not only is it delicious, it’s packed with long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure.

While there is no set RDA (recommended daily allowance) for omega-3 fatty acids, consuming fatty fish like salmon twice a week can help you meet your needs in a delicious and satisfying way.

Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw and Sriracha Tartar Sauce Ingredients

  • Salmon – These salmon burgers use cooked salmon that’s then combined with eggs, almond flour, and spices before forming them into patties. You can cook the salmon by baking, broiling, grilling, or poaching it. You can also use canned salmon that’s well-drained with the large bones removed. To learn more about choosing safer seafood, check out this post.
  • Fresh lemon
  • Shallots – With a flavor somewhere between garlic and onions, shallots are delicious and probably grossly underused. But if you don’t have a shallot, don’t worry, you can replace it with more onion (red, white, or green) or a little extra garlic.
  • Green Onions
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Eggs – Eggs are the primary binder that holds these salmon burgers together. We have tested the recipe without the eggs and while they were delicious, they didn’t stay together when cooked. If you need an egg-free option, we suggest topping a grilled salmon filet with the Thai cabbage slaw for all the flavors without the eggs.
  • Almond Flour – Almond flour, along with the eggs, keeps the burgers together. If you don’t have almond flour or need to replace it for allergy reasons, you can try using an equal amount of a gluten-free flour blend (this one is our go-to) or 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.
  • Shredded Cabbage – Green or purple cabbage will work here or you can substitute bagged coleslaw mix to save time.
  • Shredded Carrots – A julienne peeler is one of my favorite tools for shredded carrots but you can also use a box grater or buy shredded carrots from the produce section.
  • Coconut AminosCoconut aminos are a popular soy- and wheat-free alternative to soy sauce that gives the dressing a salty-tangy flavor. If you don’t need the recipe to be Whole30-friendly, you can replace the coconut aminos with tamari, or gluten-free soy sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Fish SauceFish sauce is exactly what it sounds like, a salty sauce made from fish. It gives everything a delicious umami flavor and can be used wherever you need a little flavor boost. You can, however, omit it and add a little more salt to taste.
  • Fresh ginger – While fresh ginger is definitely the preferred choice for this slaw because of it’s bright, spicy flavor, you can use dried ginger in its place if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Tartar Sauce – Primal Kitchen Tartar Sauce made with avocado oil is our go-to when time is short because it’s delicious and convenient. But if you don’t have any on hand, you can find a delicious homemade tartar sauce recipe here.
  • Sriracha – Sriracha is a popular sauce made from red jalapenos and vinegar. It often contains sugar so if you’re looking for a Whole30-friendly option, we love this one because it’s sweetened with dates.

How to Make Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw

While the ingredient list is a little longer than most of the recipes we share, don’t let that intimidate you. These salmon burgers are easy to make. If you need a few shortcuts, you can use canned salmon in place of the cooked salmon filets and use bagged coleslaw mix instead of shredding your own cabbage and carrots.

Do I have to have an air fryer?

Not at all! Since this is literally the very first recipe we’ve ever shared that’s made in the air fryer we’ve also given you directions for making them on the stovetop. But if you’re looking to invest in an air fryer, I really like this one because it’s also a toaster oven, rotisserie oven, dehydrator (and more).

Can these be prepped ahead?

You bet they can be. You can either make them as directed then cool them and store them in the fridge to be reheated in a skillet, a toaster oven, or the microwave.

You can also prepare them just up to the point of cooking then store them in the fridge until ready to cook.

For the slaw, if you plan to make it ahead, store the dressing separately from the cabbage mixture and add just before serving.

Other Salmon Recipes You May Like

Salmon Burgers with Avocado-Garlic Sauce

Raspberry Balsamic-Glazed Salmon

One-Pan Salmon and Veggie Bake

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Salmon Burgers with Thai Cabbage Slaw

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 20 mins.
  • Cook Time: 15 mins.
  • Total Time: 35 mins.
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x
  • Cuisine: Whole30, Paleo, Dairy-Free


For the Burgers:

  • 12 oz. wild-caught salmon, baked or broiled, skin removed then chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced  (~2 Tbsp.) + ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 small shallot, minced (may substitute 2 cloves garlic, minced)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cooking fat of choice

For the Slaw:

  • 4 cups thinly sliced or shredded green cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • ¾ cup julienned or shredded carrots
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. coconut aminos (or 2 tsp. Tamari + 2 tsp. water if not Whole30)
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Juice + zest of ½ lime
  • ¼ tsp. fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (may substitute ½ tsp. dried ginger)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and finely minced or grated

For the Sriracha Tartar Sauce:


To Make the Burgers in the Air Fryer:

  1. Combine all of the salmon burger ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a large bowl and mix well. If the mixture is pretty wet, add additional almond flour 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  2. Form into 4 patties. Patties easily fall apart until they are cooked. Handle with caution.
  3. Spray the tops of the burgers with avocado oil spray. Air-fry at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through, flipping halfway through cooking time and spraying again with oil.

To Make the Burgers on the Stovetop:

  1. Combine all of the salmon burger ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a large bowl and mix well. If the mixture is pretty wet, add additional almond flour 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  2. Form into 4 patties. Patties easily fall apart until they are cooked. Handle with caution.
  3. Heat coconut oil on a griddle or pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Once hot (oil must be hot), carefully add the burgers to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Patties should sizzle when added to the pan.

To Make the Slaw:
1. Combine the cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, lime zest and lime juice, fish sauce (if using), ginger and garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to coat.
4. Serve with salmon burgers and sriracha tartar sauce.

To Make the Siracha Tartar Sauce:

  1. Combine the tartar sauce with the sriracha. Stir to combine. Add additional sriracha, if desired.

Pin it now & Make it later!

This post was made possible by our friends at Primal Kitchen. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


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