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Salmon Loaf Casserole (Grandmother’s Recipe)

by Emily
Salmon Loaf Casserole

When scouring the internet for cold-weather recipes similar to some of our family classics, I could not find anything like my grandmother’s salmon loaf casserole. Though there are “salmon loaf” recipes on the internet, the integral ingredients to my family’s recipe are quite different. 

Every year, around this time, I start craving simplistic and comforting meals that warm the belly. Maybe I become incredibly nostalgic when Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner… Or, on the other hand, I may start hibernating for the cold months earlier than most? No matter what the reason, I start drinking hot tea with dehydrated citrus, buying stock and broth in bulk, and reading magazines filled with winter wonderland joy! ‘Tis the season for magic.

When it comes to comforting foods, nothing fits the bill like my grandmother’s salmon loaf recipe. This blog post is a Southern girl’s version of her midwestern grandmother’s salmon loaf!

What is a Mid-Western Casserole?

Casseroles, sometimes known as a “hotdish” in the mid-western area of the USA, are a one-dish meal meant to bake in the oven. Though similar, casseroles and hotdishes are slightly different.

Salmon Loaf Casserole with Tartar Sauce
Salmon Loaf Casserole with Tartar Sauce

A casserole only requires a few different ingredients combined deliciously in a dish. Thanksgiving green bean and sweet potato casseroles often come to mind. A typical hotdish is a bit more strict in its type of ingredients. The hotdish must contain four essential elements: starch, protein, vegetables, and a creamy mixture to combine it all. 

So, all hotdishes are casseroles, but not all casseroles are hotdishes. While casseroles and hot dishes might not exactly look like the fanciest food in the world, they are OH SO good! 

I listed a few different casserole dishes in my amazon picks below!

I Love the Salmon Loaf Casserole for Many Reasons, Including:

  1. How Easy It Is to Make: Our family salmon loaf recipe only takes a few minutes to throw together. I timed it. While it bakes in the oven for a long time, it only takes 5 minutes to mix together. 
  2. No Mess In the Kitchen: Keep your mixing bowls in your cabinets! You only need the dish you will use to bake the casserole.
  3. It Is CHEAP to Make: Needing only the ingredients needed below, this dish can feed a family of four for less than $10 total at your local grocery store. (We got our prices at Wegmans.)
  • A can of cream of mushroom soup ($1.19)
  • An egg (organic $3.99 a dozen, $0.33 an egg)
  • A cup of rice ($3.00 for an 80 ounce bag, $0.15 for 1/2 cup) 
  • A can of salmon ($3.99)
  • Rice Vinegar ($2.49 a bottle, $0.19 for 2 TBSP)
  • Dried Tarragon ($6.00 a bottle, a few cents for 1 TBSP)
  • So the total comes at around $5.85!

If you are like me, I like to top my salmon loaf with fresh parsley and/or tartar sauce. Though the tartar sauce is optional, in my mind, this makes the dish. The Claussen pickles add the saltiness necessary to the dish. If you do decide to add the tartar sauce to the table, that may add a few more dollars to the mix.

The tartar sauce makes this casserole delicious!
The Tartar Sauce Makes Our Salmon Loaf Delicious!

During the winter months, I made this recipe at least once a week in college because it is so cheap and easy to make! 

Let Us Know If You Like Our Salmon Loaf Casserole!

Do you have an old family casserole dish you love? If so, let us know in the comments below! 

Feel free to email us at [email protected] for any questions, recommendations, or stories. We love hearing from you! You can also follow us at @carvingajourney on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Finally, you can subscribe to our blog by joining our mailing list.

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We hope you love our family’s salmon loaf casserole! Try some of our other winter recipes listed below:

Grandmother’s Salmon Loaf Casserole

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Entrées, Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Salmon Loaf Casserole
  • 1 Can Salmon (14.75 Oz)

  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (10.5 Oz)

  • 1 Egg

  • 1/2 Cup Rice

  • 1 Cup of Water

  • 1/2 TBSP Tarragon

  • 2 TBSP Rice Wine Vinegar

  • Optional: Fresh Parsley

  • Tartar Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

  • 1 TBSP Mustard

  • 1/2 Large Pickle (Claussen)

  • 1/2 TBSP White Vinegar

  • 1 1/2 TSP Dried Tarragon


  • Salmon Loaf Casserole
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Open and drain the can of salmon. In an 8×8 baking dish, add the salmon. Using a fork, remove all bones.
  • In the same dish, add the cream of mushroom soup, egg, rice, water, tarragon, and rice wine vinegar. Mix together until completely incorporated.
  • Cook in the oven for 1 hour. The top should brown and it should not jiggle if you shake the dish. Bake a little longer if the mixture is not cooked all the way through.
  • Tartar Sauce
  • Combine mayonnaise, mustard, white vinegar, and dried tarragon.
  • Dice pickles and add to sauce. Mix well. Serve on top of salmon loaf with fresh parsley.

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