Chipotle Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Lime Cream

If you’re a fan of salmon, these burgers will most likely become a part of your regular repertoire. Meaty diced salmon is combined with a creamy salmon puree, then coated in a crunchy panko crust, creating the perfect texture. Chipotle chile is blended into the mix for a robust flavor, while a cream cheese spread cools the heat. If you’re one to enjoy a little lingering spice – then this might just be the ultimate salmon burger.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 6
Image of Chipotle Salmon Burgers with Cilantro Lime Cream


For the salmon patties

  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle chille, packed in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce from the packed chillies
  • Finely-grated zest of 1/2 lime
  • 3 tablespoons, plus 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 green onions, light green and green parts only, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the Cilantro Lime Cream

  • 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup crème fraiche
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
  • Finely-grated zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped poblano chile (about 1/2 a poblano)
  • 1 tablespoon finely-chopped cilantro leaves


For the buns

  • 6 brioche hamburger buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fine sea salt
  • Baby arugula

Cut up 1/4 of the salmon into chunks and place it in a food processor. Cut the remaining 3/4 of the salmon into a 1/4-inch dice and reserve in a large bowl. From the list of salmon patty ingredients, add the mayonnaise, chipotle, adobo sauce, lime zest and 3 tablespoons of panko to the food processor. Blend until smooth.

Add the whole grain mustard and green onions to the diced salmon in the bowl. Gently fold in the salmon mixture from the food processor to combine.

Oil a baking sheet. Divide the salmon mixture into 6 equal dollops on the baking sheet. Wet your hands with cold water, and shape the salmon into patties about the same diameter as the hamburger buns. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To prepare the Cilantro Lime Cream, beat together the cream cheese, crème fraiche and lime juice. Stir in the lime zest, poblano and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until use.

Prepare the grill for direct grilling at 500° to 600°F.

Spread a little mayonnaise inside the sliced hamburger buns and season sparingly with sea salt.

Remove the salmon patties from the refrigerator immediately before grilling. Combine the remaining 1 cup of panko crumbs from the salmon patty ingredients with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Press half of the panko mixture into the tops of the patties while still on the baking sheet. Use a thin spatula to flip all the patties, and then distribute the remaining panko mixture on the second side. Press down to embed the panko and to make the patties about 1 inch larger in diameter than the hamburger buns. Firm up the edges of the patties with your fingers and transfer directly to the grill grate.

Grill the patties, turning only once, until cooked through. This will take about 10 minutes total cooking time. Don’t flip them until you are sure they are halfway done and are ready to release from the grill grate. While the patties are cooking on the second side, lightly toast the sliced hamburger buns by placing the mayonnaise side directly on the grill grate.

Remove the hamburger buns from the grill once toasted, and spread a little Cilantro Lime Cream inside each bottom bun. When the patties are cooked through (they should spring back when you use your finger to poke the center of each patty), add one to each bun. Top each patty with a little arugula, and then the top half of the bun.

Serve hot and enjoy!