Southern Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes

Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes use canned or leftover salmon and are made into delicious crispy salmon patties filled with fresh veggies, dill and lemon. Croquettes are often seen in Spain as an appetizer or as part of a tapas-style dinner, making this recipe an excellent choice for a lunch or light weeknight meal!

Easy salmon croquettes on a platter.

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What are croquettes and where did they come from?

The origin of the Croquette was France with these tubular or patty morsels being made with bechamel sauce as the binding agent to hold all the pieces together. Because of how easy and delicious croquettes are, it was hard to keep it a secret and chefs from around the started to make their own versions.

In Spain, croquettes have become very popular as tapas which are appetizer-sized plates served at dinner or lunch. People order various tapas to share and form a meal out of appetizers essentially.

A platter or Salmon Croquettes made in an air fryer.

Croquettes can be found all around the world in many forms but a true croquette is comprised of meat and fillings that use either mashed potatoes or bechamel sauce to hold the patties together. They are then coated in bread crumbs and fried or baked.

These air fryer salmon croquettes are often referred to as salmon patties or cakes as well. I love to serve them with lemon aoili or tartar sauce and sides like grilled vegetables, kale & nappa salad, fattoush salad, or coleslaw.

I chose to air fry these salmon patties to reduce the amount of fat from frying but still get that crunch for a crispy coating.

What Makes These Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes Great?

  • Easy to make with canned salmon: These croquettes can be quickly made using canned salmon so you don’t have to cook fresh salmon fillets.
  • Filled with fresh flavors: The croquettes are filled with tasty fresh ingredients like lemon, dill, parsley, onion and red pepper.
  • Amazing Texture: The patties are breaded in panko breadcrumbs and egg and then air fried to give a deliciously crispy exterior. The interior of the croquettes stay moist and flaky thanks to the mashed potato binder.
  • Lower fat cooking method: I love air frying because it gives you a crisp crust without all the added fat from deep frying.
Ingredients for healthy salmon croquettes.

Ingredients For Salmon Croquettes:

  • Salmon – Use canned or cooked fresh salmon. Remove any bones or skin before using.
  • Potatoes – A starchy potato like Russet or Yukon gold works best for getting a smooth mash and acts as a binding ingredient to keep the patties together.
  • Eggs – Bind the mixture and help the breading adhere.
  • Green Onions – Finely chop the green parts only for fresh flavor.
  • Red bell pepper – Finely chop for color, crunch and flavor.
  • Peas – Use fresh or frozen for texture and color contrast a a nice pop of flavor.
  • Parsley and dill – Fresh chopped herbs for brightness.
  • Lemon – Zest and juice add bright citrus flavor.
  • Mayonnaise – Helps bind the patties.
  • Mustard – Grainy Dijon style has nice texture.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – Gives the croquettes a crispy coating when air fried.
  • Garlic – Minced garlic adds savory flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – Seasons the mixture.

See the recipe card below for exact quantities.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Make them in a skillet – Add a 3 tbsp cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil to a large pan. Once the oil is heated pan-fry for 3-4 minutes per side until brown.
  • Make them in an oven – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray both sides of the croquettes with cooking spray and bake at 425 F for 20- 25 minutes flipping halfway through.
  • Change up the fish – You can substitute the salmon with cod, tuna, or trout for a different twist.
  • Make it spicy – Add minced jalapeno or hot sauce for a spicy kick.

how to make This Air Fryer salmon croquettes Recipe

  1. First, peel and boil the potato until soft. Drain the water and mash well. Let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl add the salmon, garlic, 2 eggs (the picture shows 3 by mistake), onions, red pepper, peas, mayo, lemon juice & zest, mustard, herbs, salt and pepper.
A bowl of mashed potatoes with a masher on a white background.
A clear bowl of chopped veggies and herbs with an egg on a white background.
  1. Now, mix the ingredients well until combined.
  2. Form about a 1/2 cup of the salmon mixture into patties about 1″ thick. Then carefully coat the patties in the cornmeal. I like to set the salmon croquette in the cornmeal and then use my hands to toss some cornmeal on top first and then gently pat to help the cornmeal stick. I find this helps to keep the croquette in tact a little better than trying to flip it over inside the bowl.
A bowl of salmon salad mix.
A salmon pattie being breaded with cornmeal.
  1. Now place the cornmeal crusted salmon croquettes onto an air-fryer basket. Air fry for 20 minutes at 425°F. Remove and serve immediately. I find working in batches works better so that the salmon croquettes are not crowded. The better air circulation helps get them crispy on all sides.
Salmon Croquettes in an air fryer basket.


  • Gentle turning. Instead of flipping the croquettes over in the cornmeal to coat, I prefer to use a little extra cornmeal and use my hands to toss the cornmeal on top of the croquettes. Turning is tricky and this reduces the changes of the uncooked patties falling apart.
  • Using leftovers. If you have leftover mashed potatoes this is a great way to use some of them up!
  • Cool the potato mixture. Make sure the potato is fully mashed and cooled before adding to the salmon mixture. Hot potato will make the mix too loose.
  • Make the mixture more firm. If you find that your croquettes are falling apart, try adding a few breadcrumbs, more mashed potatoes and or another egg.
Healthy salmon croquette with a fork.

Storage and Freezing

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can eat croquettes cold, or microwave them to warm up if you are in a hurry.

I, however, prefer to get them crispy again. To do this, simply reheat in the oven at 300°F for 20 minutes or place back in the air-fryer for 5 minutes at 375°F until heated through to the center.

To freeze, form the croquettes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Cook from frozen, adding a few extra minutes.

What to eat with salmon croquettes

These go great with so many different sides! I love to serve them with:

Southern salmon croquettes on a table.

Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes FAQs

What type of salmon is best for croquettes?

Any salmon will work for this but to make this recipe quicker I use canned salmon. But if you have it, by all means, use fresh cooked salmon. Just make sure the skin and all the bones are removed from whichever salmon you use.

Can these be baked or pan-fried?

These salmon cakes can be made either in a frying pan or baked. To fry add a 3 tbsp cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil to a large pan. Once the oil is heated pan-fry for 3-4 minutes per side until brown.
To bake line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray both sides of the croquettes with cooking spray and bake at 425°F for 20- 25 minutes flipping halfway through.

Why are my croquettes falling apart?

If you find that your croquettes are falling apart, try adding breadcrumbs, just 1-2 tablespoons, or an extra egg.

A platter of easy salmon croquettes recipe.

Looking for more air fryer recipes?

A platter of easy salmon croquettes recipe.

Southern Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
Air-Fryer Salmon Croquettes using canned or leftover salmon and made into delicious crispy salmon patties filled with fresh veggies, dill and lemon.
4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine 21 Day Fix, Spanish
Servings 8 croquettes
Calories 184 kcal


  • Air-fryer
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Medium bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Fork


  • 2 ½ cups cooked salmon canned or fresh cooked
  • 1 large potato mashed
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup peas fresh or frozen
  • 2 green onions finely chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp grainy dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cup cornmeal


  • Peel, boil and mash one large potato. Set aside to cool completely
  • In a large bowl add the salmon, mashed potato, peas, green onions, mayo, eggs, red pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the cornmeal to a medium bowl. Using a 1/2 cup of the salmon mixture form into patties about 1 inch thick. Gently place the patties into the cornmeal to coat both sides.
  • Place the breaded salmon patties in an air-fryer basket and air-fry at 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.


Serving: 1croquetteCalories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 12.3gProtein: 14.7gFat: 8.1gSaturated Fat: 1.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 383mgPotassium: 451mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 1.3gVitamin A: 413IUVitamin C: 20.4mgCalcium: 134mgIron: 1.77mg


Storage and Reheating:
Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.  Reheat in the microwave or air-fry or bake to regain the crispy coating and until heated through.   See above for details.
Make sure that if using canned salmon it is drained very well. If too wet the salmon patties may not stick together well. 
If the croquettes are not holding together well, add more mashed potatoes or perhaps a few table spoons of breadcrumbs.  An extra egg may also help if the patties are on the dryer side.
21 Day Fix Container Count:
If following the 21 Day Fix Container System this recipe would be considered:
1 red, 1/4 green, 2 tsp, 1/2 yellow
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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For the step-by-step version of this recipe, check out the How to Make Air Fryer Salmon Croquettes Story.

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  1. 4 stars
    May want to update the recipe. No where does it say Panko breadcrumbs until you get to the directions.

    1. Hi Ell, I just reviewed the post while it is listed on the ingredient photo and step by step directions, I did miss it in the actual recipe card. Thank you so much for pointing this out. I have updated the recipe accordingly.

  2. These croquettes look tasty and so good. What an innovative way to use left over salmon. I don’t have an air fryer so I’ll probably bake them instead. I’m going to try this recipe soon.

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