Quinoa-Salmon Burgers (Gluten-Free + Egg-free)

Ali Segersten Jan 19, 2010 48 comments

Alright, now we're talking.....an Elimination Diet comfort food recipe, complete with parsnip fries and all! These quinoa-salmon burgers are so easy and quick to prepare that you might want to make a double batch and freeze a few for later. This delicious egg-free salmon burger recipe can also be found on page 297 of my Nourishing Meals cookbook!

Whether you are following the Elimination Diet or not, I bet you'll really enjoy this recipe. My twin toddler boys just love these burgers. I think they ate about three of them today! I served them with a Raw Super Green Salad, Oven-Roasted Parsnip Fries and Soothing Tummy Tea. True comfort food in my book!

If you are vegan, then check out my Sunny Sunflower Burger recipe. Both burger recipes are a perfect Phase 2 Elimination Diet food!

Using part quinoa in this recipe keeps the cost per burger reasonable and also boosts the nutrients, which is key while following the elimination diet. For more info about adding salmon into the Elimination Diet you can read my Grated Beet and Carrot Salad post.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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I'm making salmon patties tonight that are also flourless and egg-free! I appreciate your recipe inspiration!

I love the idea of parsnip fries and would love a recipe for giving that a try! Thanks a bunch!

These looks delish, I’m going to look for Salmon. I’ll have to try them out! Thank you!

If you are using canned salmon, use the weight printed on the can. If each can is 1 lb, use 1.5 cans. Or, go by the total ounces. The recipe uses 24 oz of salmon. That = 3 cups.

I made these for dinner tonight with your sweet potato fries and a salad. They were delicious and so easy (just like all of your recipes)! Your cookbooks have truly transformed our kitchen...I'm so grateful. Thank you!

Wow! I don't the what the diet plan is that's mentioned here, but I would looking using fresh salmon for making salmon burgers and these look amazing. I know I can put my own spin on ingredients, but the quinoa idea is genious. Ordinarilly I'd use whole wheat bread crumbs, but quinoa is definitely better. I'll definitely be making them this weekend!

Thanks for the recipe! My patties fell apart the second I tried to flip them, but I added a flax egg to the rest of them, and they were perfect. I'm looking forward to making more recipes from your site!

Made this using 2 lbs of Trader Joe's frozen wild skinless salmon, processed into 2 batches. Didn't have lemon zest or Herbamare on hand, still tasted great. Made a total of 12 patties with 5 leftover for later. Fed myself and 3 grown guys who were stuffed and liked what they ate. Can't believe this is a Phase 1 recipe, it's that good!
Thanks for a great recipe.

Made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I also mixed in some asparagus that I processed... because I knew that was the only way my little guy would eat it. Thanks for the great recipe.

Amanda - You can read the salmon discussion in this post: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2010/01/grated-beet-carrot-salad-with-radish.html

It is also linked above the burger recipe. :)

I'm confused. Salmon is in this recipe, and it's tagged here as Phase 1, but your pdf print outs don't include fish until Phase 3. Is it safe in Phase 1 or not until Phase 3?

Thank you for yet another amazing recipe. I've been using your cookbook for the past two years and I love it more each day.

I posted your delicious recipe on my website. http://gatheredrootsblog.blogspot.ca/2012/06/scrumptious-salmon-cakes-gluten-free.html

Can't wait for your new book!

Kristina - Yes, use uncooked salmon, I just updated the post - enjoy! :)

Hi there! I really want to make this, but need to double-check: is this raw salmon that you make in to the patties, and then frying it is the only time it cooks? Don't want to waste salmon. It's expensive stuff! Please get back to me if you can, Thanks!

I'm going to try these tonight, so exxcited!
Just FYI, the printer-friendly version is missing the 1 cup cooked quinoa in the ingredients list. I just printed it and was surprised to not find the quanity for quinoa, so I looked on the blog and it was there.

hello Ali & Tom... I just want to say thank you. These patties were above fabulous! For the last 35 years we have a rule of rating everything new that I make on a scale of 1 to 10..if something doesn't rate a 5 or higher, I don't make it again...these got a 20!! :) I grew up with my mom making salmon patties from canned salmon with creamed peas, up until this recipe I only used canned salmon for patties, as when buying fresh that got grilled or baked, I guess I never thought of making patties with it. We were unable to purchase wild Alaskian salmon, but I was able to get fresh Chilean. I used 2 pounds, added a bit extra onion. I had never heard of the Herbamare, but used sea salt in its place. Using the 2 pounds, I got 14 patties. We ate some, froze some, and my hubby took some in his lunch. I have been making alot of drastic changes this last year, from gluten free to NO processed. I have always cooked/baked from scratch all these years, never realizing some things we used could fall into the "processed category"..thank you for all you put forth.

I just made these for dinner and the man and I LOVED them. They were super tasty, fresh, light and totally delicious. I used canned Atlantic salmon and it actually turned out great! I might try fresh salmon next time around and see if it affects the texture, but I will absolutely be making these again. Thanks so much for sharing!

I've been using this recipe for 2 years, since it's initial posting date. It never fails to be well received and is a versatile part of a meal. I often make a double batch for freezing as it keeps well for a few weeks. In our household, from age 2 to 43 - these are loved. As well as a side of parsnip fries:-)

I love this recipe! I used canned tuna (14.5 oz) and cooked millet. I also used fresh parsley and omitted the lemon zest. I was able to form them into patties but they started crumbling so I just went with it like that. Turns out it is very tasty as crumbles with ketchup (if you can tolerate it). It is also tasty as crumbles atop a rice cake. :) Thank you!

Actually, the bones are very beneficial to leave in. We tried these and they were very tasty. We even used brown rice instead of quinoa and they turned out great.

I made these with canned salmon because it was the only salmon I had access to at the time. I didn't add an egg. A bit salty - so next time I would cut down on the herbamare. They are also a little difficult to cook because the crumble easily. I cooked half the batch and kept the rest of the mixture to toss of salad and veggies. I'd also like to try broiling them when I get access to good fish.

Thanks for this recipe! My husband and I just brought back 25 lbs of coho salmon from Alaska so I'm excited to try a variety of ways to cook it!

This sounds like a great meal. I regularly get a 16 oz. package of individual frozen wild salmon. I guess that thawed, not cooked is what the recipe would call for? Do you think that the patties could be baked or broiled, instead of fried?

These were LOVELY. Awesome recipe. My hubby and I aren't on a special diet, but I wanted a healthy burger. They cooked up brilliantly and the quinoa added a great flavour. We had these on a toasted whole grain ciabatta bun topped with fresh baby spinach and herb goat cheese.

Anon - Measure the quinoa after it is cooked. Enjoy! :)

Please forgive my ignorance, but is the one cup of cooked quinoa measured before or after it is cooked?


I just made these with some adjustments: cod instead of salmon and red quinoa instead of white. They were delicious. The only problem is they would NOT hold together in the slightest. That was very frustrating. I ended up just "stir frying" it.

I love this recipe!

Made these with frozen wild salmon (individually frozen in plastic bags). I boiled a kettle of water and through the filets in INSIDE the plastic bags until they were done. They stayed nice and moist! Love this recipe!

Ali, These were great! I used canned salmon and it worked perfectly! I didn't have any chipotle powder, so I used adobo sauce (about 1 tsp), and used the lime zest instead. Wonderful! I also made a batch using canned tuna (just cause that's what was in the cabinet). They were a little dry, so I just added some lime juice from the lime I zested, and they were great! Thanks so much!

I just wanted to let everyone know that you can use a mini-chopper (mine is black and decker, ~ $8 at your local walmart) or other mini-food processor CAN work for a lot of food processor recipes, if you're willing to put in the effort.

I'm a student, so I know it can be frustrating to contemplate the $250 price tag on a 14 cup cuisinart!

I made these (in the mini-chopper) and they were AMAZING. A huge hit at my all-vegan all-phase 1 superbowl spread. Well, the others got tamari on their sushi and ranch on their veggies, but pretty close.

I also made the cinnamon date truffles in the mini-chopper. The key is usually to be careful about how much you put in (do it in batches) and to realize the limitations of the machine - it won't pulverize just dates very well, but dates + something dry works fine.

This burger recipe is amazing! I made it for my family yesterday (a Friday Fish 'n Chips tradition) and it was a hit. I used just under 1.5 lbs of salmon and the recipe made six nice sized burgers.

Although I am not following the elimination diet I have been having fun following everyone along. Hence, we made regular old russet oven fries instead of the parsnip fries!

I've really been enjoying the recipes in your cookbook as well! That foccacia bread is incredible.


Thanks for posting this, Ali! I can't wait to add salmon back in so that I can try them. Also, LOVED the sunflower seed burgers from the book; made them today, and they totally hit the spot! :)


P.S. Is honey ok on the elimination diet? What about "evaporated cane juice" in things? Thanks.

This meal was soooo tasty. Parsnip fries are just the best! Who knew? (I certainly didn't know parsnips would make good fries!)

The salmon/quinoa mix was a little ploppy (!) and did not form into burgers, but they cooked nicely even without being well formed into patties in advance. I used the parsley/dill because that's what we had growing in our yard.

D. is being hesitant about trying new foods these days, so it was great that she took one bite and then another. If it really is unappealing to her, she'll stop after one bite, but a second bite means I can serve it again and probably have good luck!

I am kind of intrigued by the Italian turkey meatball idea! Is it a turkey/quinoa mix with some italian herbs tossed in?

Hi Ali,

I don't have a food processor, would a blender work? (I know, we need to get one, but no space to keep it!) We have an immersion blender too, would that work? This recipe sounds really good, I can't wait to try it, I like the idea of using turkey too.

Ali, these were delicious! Thank you for another awesome recipe. We made them tonight with the parsley and dill as you suggested. Here's a picture on my blog: Eagle Loft Kitchen

I also have to thank you for introducing me to kale. I don't know why I had an aversion to trying it, but you use it in many recipes in your book so I had to give it a go. It is quite good! It made a nice side dish for the salmon burgers.

Love the print option! Thank you!

This looks fantastic - Yum! I love salmon, and might even like burgers in this form =D.

Erin -Yes I did just exactly like they said here: http://www.printfriendly.com/button

I just copied the code and pasted it into the layout of the blog. I have never done anything like this before so I was surprised that it worked! I did need to scroll down a bit and scan that HTML code like crazy to find the part to paste it into. It only took a few minutes though.

Good luck! -Ali :)

I saw your link on Facebook about Print Friendly but could not figure out how to add it to my blog!
Did you do it just like they said to by inserting it in your template? I couldn't find the exact code they suggested adding it after anywhere, but i really wanted the button. Maybe I'll call them and ask for technical support.
Great recipe! Can't wait to try!!!

Oh, and as far as the parsnip fries - use about 4 to 5 large parsnips, peeled. Then cut into fries, toss in olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Roast @ 375 on a large cookie sheet (don't crowd them) until done. I never time them, though I think about 15 to 20 minutes seems right.

Enjoy! :)

Hi all....thanks for the feedback and comments. As far as using canned salmon, well, I am not quite sure if it would work. I initially tried this recipe using leftover cooked salmon and the burgers were really crumbly and just didn't taste right. Raw salmon creates a completely different texture and taste. If you use canned salmon you might want to add an egg or two if this is possible with your diet.

I have also made these with ground turkey (into Italian Turkey Meatballs) if you want to give that a try.

If anyone tried this with canned salmon please leave a comment and let us all know! Thanks! -Ali :)

I am curious about using canned salmon-fresh fish is not available in my area. I would also like to know how to make the parsnip fries. They look delicious!

These look so tasty! I just posted a recipe for salmon-potato cakes on my blog that sound similar to these. The idea of using quinoa in them is a great one. Thanks!

You know how I love salmon ... these would be fabulous!! And, I'm very intrigued by those parsnip fries. They look like regular fries. Oh, I want to make this meal!

Thanks, Ali!


This would be a great idea for when we have guests over!

p.s. I'm on day 4 and I'm feeling pretty great! I had more energy yesterday than I've had in months!

I'm thinking I'll used canned salmon as well (I'm in NC - no local fresh salmon here). Trader Joe's actually has a wild Alaskan canned salmon. Any idea how many cups of salmon 1 1/2 pounds turns out to be?

Those look amazing. I might have to used canned salmon...but I'll see if they have any non-farmraised stuff here in Oz.


Yum! Looks delish - can't wait to make them!

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