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Sesame Salmon Burgers + Peach Quinoa Salad

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

Summer is burger season but if you don’t eat red meat or just want to try something different that still hits the spot, this one is for you. These are easy enough for any day of the week but elegant enough for company. Some butchers might even have pre-chopped salmon for you.


  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Water
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 ear Corn
  • 2 Peachess
  • 12 bunch Basil
  • 3 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 13 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 114 pounds Salmon (skin removed, you can do it or ask the butcher)
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons White Sesame Seeds
  • 12 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 14 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Pickled Ginger (optional)
  • 4 Burger Buns (your favorite kind)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. QUINOA

    Place the quinoa, water, and salt in a pot with a lid. Bring to a full boil over high heat, then stir well and reduce the heat to medium low. Let the quinoa simmer away for about 6 minutes, until the water is almost even with the top of the grains. Stir well. Cover and turn to low. Cook for another 11 minutes.
    Shuck the corn and cook it either - directly over a gas flame, in a sauté pan, on a BBQ grill, or under the broiler. When you can handle it, shave off the kernels and add them to the cooked quinoa.

    Dice the peaches. Chop the basil, reserve ½ the basil for the salmon. When the quinoa is done, toss with the 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Set aside.


    Meanwhile, chop the salmon coarsely into pieces, removing the skin. Start with 1” chunks - then keep chopping it on the cutting board until it’s able to come together when squeezed. You can do this in a food processor, but it’s easy to make an accidental paste and this is a case where you don’t need to make the extra dishes dirty.

    Add the salmon to a bowl along 1 Tablespoon soy sauce, 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ cup breadcrumbs, 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise. Chop and add the pickled ginger, if using. Add the other ½ of the basil.


    Set out a clean baking sheet. Wet your hands a little bit so the mixture doesn’t stick and form 4 to 5 patties into round but flat disks - like a burger shape (or make 8 smaller sliders).

    Set a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the remaining oil (just enough to coat the pan, a few Tablespoons). Once oil is hot, slide the patties into the pan. If they all fit, great. If not, do it in batches.

    After about 6 - 7 minutes, the first side should be golden brown and mostly sturdy. Use a thin, flat spatula to carefully flip the patties. Cook the second side for about 5 minutes, cover if necessary to cook them through, then transfer to a plate.

  • 4. SERVING

    Plate a bun per person, top with a salmon patty. Serve with quinoa on the side.

Check out our new features!


    serve on a gf bun and omit breadcrumbs. If mix is too wet to form a patty you can crumble part of a GF bun into it like you would with meatballs
    use a DF mayo to bind, or try with a scoop of nut based yogurts
    use coconut aminos
    try shrimp burgers, or any inexpensive white fish - snapper, cod, sole
  • FISH:
    same flavoring and process works well with ground turkey or chicken too
    rice, orzo, farro, barley, couscous
    mango, apricots and nectarines, also try with strawberries or blueberries

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Keep the sesame seeds and/or basil to the side if you think they will object to the color in the mix
  • Slice a smaller piece of fish and serve it to them not as a burger
  • Make a slider and serve on a small bun instead of a large one - we used King’s Hawaiian rolls
  • Serve a scoop of quinoa plain before tossing the ingredients, keep some peach slices and corn to the side too

For Toddlers

  • Sauté some of the salmon before forming into a patty
  • Deconstruct everything in the quinoa salad

For Choosy Eaters

  • If salmon is a no-go, you can sear some frozen shrimp or try with a different fish they do like
  • If it might work but you want to try a different way, use a teaspoon of the breadcrumbs to roll a thin strip of salmon in, like a fish stick, and sauté that with the patties
  • The quinoa salad works well with brown rice, orzo, or couscous, make the swap to cook just one thing for all. Another great trick is to cook ½ quinoa and ½ orzo which might get some kids to try it - though the mixed look of 2 grains might backfire with some kids!
  • Serve with sliced peaches and an ear of corn

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. The salmon patties can be formed and frozen for later
  2. The quinoa can be made 7 days ahead, if you add the corn and peaches to make it fully, it’s good for about 3 – 4 days

Culinary Skills

Pickled ginger is such an easy way to add ginger flavor without any produce going bad – you can keep a jar in your fridge for many months.  Fresh ginger is great here too though.

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