Bourbon BBQ Salmon Burgers with Smoked Cheddar and Crispy Onions

Compliments of Carolina Girl Cooks

Yields 4 servings

Ingredients for The Burgers :

1 1/4 lbs of fresh salmon filet, skin removed

1 egg

1 cup panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, plus another 1/2 cup for the sauce on top of the burgers

1 large shallot, roughly chopped

1 Tbsp of dijon mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

4 oz smoked cheddar cheese (don’t skip this, it’s part of what makes the burger. You can find smoked cheddar in the fancy cheese section of your grocery store or specialty foods store)

2 Tbsp of bourbon

4 burger buns

Arugula (optional)


Ingredients for the Crispy Onion Rings:

1 large sweet onion

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup flour

2-3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp pepper


Directions for The Burgers:

  • Cut the fresh salmon filet in large chunks. Place in a food processor with the egg, panko bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce, the shallot, dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Pulse about 10 times until all the ingredients come together. Form into four patties. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the half cup of BBQ sauce and two tablespoons of bourbon to medium high heat, stirring it often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. It will thicken and reduce a little bit as it cooks.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon burgers on the parchment. Brush each burger with the Bourbon BBQ sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the burgers again with the sauce. Add slices of the smoked cheddar cheese to each burger and bake them for another 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Brush heated up burger buns with either BBQ sauce, mayo or spicy mustard. Add a little arugula, the salmon burger and top with the crispy onion rings.


Directions for the Crispy Onion Rings:

  • In three different shallow bowls, add the panko crumbs to one. Lightly beat the eggs together in another. In the last, combine the flour, salt, paprika and pepper.
  • Slice the onion into rings.
  • Dip the onion rings into the flour first. Next, dip the egg. Dip again into the flour, then the egg again and then into the panko. This may seem like a lot of coating, but it does help the onions have a crispier texture. By all means, dip into the flour, egg and panko once if you only want a light coating and not super crispy onions. They’ll still be tasty.
  • Lightly grease a baking sheet by spraying it with olive oil, non stick spray or rubbing a teaspoon or two of olive oil on the pan. Place the onions on the pan and bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes until the onions are browned and crisp.


Recipe notes:

  • If you’re gluten free, simply sub out the panko crumbs for gluten free crumbs where they are called for in the recipes.
  • Use gluten free flour for the onion rings and use a gluten free bun for the burger.

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