Both nutritious and flavorful, salmon is considered one of the healthiest meats to incorporate into your diet on a regular basis. But preparing a fresh filet of salmon requires a bit more work than I’m in the mood for most of the time. So, I was excited to try these Trader Joe’s Premium Salmon Burgers as a quick and easy alternative.
Trader Joe’s Salmon Burgers come in a box of four individually wrapped patties. They are currently priced at $7.49 per box and can be found in the frozen section near the other meats and seafood.
Ingredients & Nutrition
I was a bit surprised when I glanced at the side of the box and saw just how many ingredients are in these salmon patties. In addition to pink salmon (which I assume is farmed since it’s not advertised as wild caught), these patties also contain tapioca syrup, mirepoix powder, onions, carrots, celery, sugar, cornstarch, salt, onion powder, sunflower oil, dextrose, rosemary extract, tocopherols (Vitamin E), ascorbic acid, sea salt, carrageenan, yeast extract, and natural flavor.
I’m allergic to corn, so the inclusion of cornstarch in the recipe is pretty disappointing. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to read the ingredients list until after I had already eaten one of the patties. (Luckily my corn allergy is relatively mild.)
I was also disappointed to see the inclusion of “natural flavors” on the list. High-quality salmon is typically already quite flavorful, so the inclusion of added flavoring doesn’t convince me that these are made with the best salmon in the world.
Of course, these salmon burgers are not vegan, but they are gluten free. Unfortunately, while salmon on its own is compliant with most popular diets including Whole30, paleo, and keto, these patties contain sugar and are highly processed, meaning they don’t conform to most popular diets.
As far as nutrition goes, there’s good news and bad news. On the bright side, these salmon burgers contain 100% of your daily value of Vitamin D plus 15 grams of protein. They’re also fairly low in fat, and the added sugar only amounts to 1 gram per serving.
On the not-so-bright side, these patties are very high in sodium, packing 330 mg in each burger. They’re also fairly high in cholesterol, but salmon is known for being rich in “good” HDL cholesterol, so that might not actually be an issue for most people.
Because they’re low in carbs and fat, these burgers are also quite low in calories, with just 100 calories per serving.
Overall, I personally wouldn’t consider these salmon burgers extremely healthy considering their processed nature and high sodium content. But they’re also not particularly unhealthy.
How To Store Your Salmon Burgers
Because these patties are raw, it’s important to keep them in the freezer. In fact, you don’t even need to thaw them prior to cooking. Simply remove a frozen patty from the freezer, take it out of its plastic packaging, and prepare.
According to WildAlaskaSalmonAndSeafood.com, keeping vacuum sealed raw salmon in the refrigerator can actually be dangerous. If salmon is allowed to thaw in an airtight container (like the vacuum sealed plastic packaging on these patties), the rate of decomposition increases and you could end up with rotten salmon in as little as two days.
According to BluGlacier.com, raw salmon can maintain its freshness and quality in the freezer for up to three months. However, you don’t need to worry about your salmon burgers going bad after that. They might just lose some of their expected flavor and texture.
First, it’s important to know that Trader Joe’s Salmon Burgers are not precooked. Each individually wrapped patty is raw and must be cooked thoroughly before consumption. Eating raw or undercooked salmon can cause severe illness.
According to the box, the recommended cooking methods for these salmon burgers include grilling or barbequing, baking in the oven, frying in a skillet, or microwaving. Check out the photo above for instructions regarding each method.
With the recent explosion in popularity of a certain oil-free cooking method, you might be wondering if these salmon burgers can be prepared in an air fryer… yup! They definitely can. Check out this frozen salmon burger air fryer recipe from ThymeAndJoy.com.
I decided to prepare my salmon burger in the oven because it seemed like the easiest option.
First, I removed the burger from its plastic packaging, lightly oiled a baking tray, and placed the patty in the center of the tray. Following the instructions from the box, I already had my oven preheated to 400°F, so I stuck the tray right in on the center rack.
I set the timer for 10 minutes (the box suggests 9-11 minutes), then checked the burger when the timer was up. As far as I could tell, the burger was nowhere near done after that time (at least not as done as I prefer my salmon to be).
In the end, I ended up cooking my salmon burger for about 20 minutes. I also flipped it over twice during the cooking process to make sure it was cooked evenly on both sides. I was worried that cooking it for so long would dry it out, but it was still plenty moist when I ate it.
By the time it was done, I used a spatula to remove it from the baking tray and went about preparing my meal.
Are They Any Good?
I decided to keep things simple, eating my salmon burger without a bun or too many toppings. I topped it with a heaping helping of some Everything But The Bagel Seasoning (also from Trader Joe’s) and sliced up half of an avocado to have on the side.
Because the salmon burger already contains quite a bit of salt and other seasonings, I did not add any additional salt.
To my pleasant surprise, my burger was actually super delicious. The flavor is perfect–savory, salty, and not too fishy. The texture was also much nicer than I was expecting from a frozen burger. It had that perfect flakiness than you expect from salmon, and the combination with the creamy avocado made for a super satisfying small meal.
I also didn’t notice the presence of any added flavorings, which can sometimes leave a strange aftertaste in my experience.
If it wasn’t for the fact that these burgers contain both corn and sugar, I would definitely buy them again. Unfortunately, they just don’t fit in with my dietary needs.
If you’re looking for a salmon burger that’s affordable, tastes great, and is easy to prepare, then these TJ’s Premium Salmon Burgers are a great bet.That said, if you’re looking for something super healthy and minimally processed, I’d look elsewhere.