These healthy and delicious Salmon Cakes have tons of flavor, with mashed sweet potato, smoky chipotle, and scallions. Best of all, we use canned salmon here, for an economical and convenient option. These only take 20 minutes to make!

Salmon Cakes - On a Plate with Lemon Wedges

I’ve probably eaten a hundred of these salmon cakes in the past 6 months. I started eating them during my Whole30, and because they’re so quick and easy to make, I’ve really stuck with them!

These are kind of like a less fancy version of Crab Cakes. There are three main components, which are salmon, sweet potato, and chipotle, and they’re all magical together. I like that the mashed sweet potato keeps the patties softer than an only-protein cake, and the chipotle is smoky and delicious. These are certainly not a high-brow recipe, but they are hearty, quick, and healthy, which is why I find myself making them so much. I hope you enjoy them too!

Tips for Best Results

Choose the best canned salmon – First off, I highly recommend choosing a boneless can of salmon, unless you’re planning to eat the bones. You can spend quite a bit of time fishing through the can for bones otherwise. Any quality brand will work, but I’ve personally tried and enjoyed Wild Planet and Safe Catch brands.

Use a nonstick frying pan – The patties hold together pretty well, but it’s still best to use a nonstick pan so that you reduce the odds of any little bits sticking to the pan.

Use a cookie scoop to portion – This will ensure that every salmon cake is the same size, and that everything cooks evenly.

Salmon Patties - On a Blue Plate with Fresh Lemon Wedges

Step by Step Overview:

To get started, you need some mashed sweet potato. Apparently you can buy canned sweet potato, because the official Whole30 recipe that I adapted this from calls for it, but I find it simple to microwave a sweet potato for 5 minutes, then mash it up with a fork. Either option will work.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Fork on Board

Place the mashed sweet potato in a bowl along with canned wild salmon, egg, mayonnaise, scallions, almond flour, chipotle, cumin, and salt:

Canned Salmon, Egg, Mayonnaise, Sweet Potato, Scallions, and Spices in Mixing Bowl

If you have 10 minutes to spare, I recommend using homemade mayonnaise for the best flavor.

Canned vs. Fresh Salmon

For this recipe I use canned salmon, which is wonderful for convenience, but know that you may use fresh flaked salmon as well. Canned salmon was something I had never purchased until my Whole30, when their salmon cake recipe called for it. It doesn’t taste the same as fresh (it tastes more similar to canned tuna), but I like that it’s always in the pantry and available to be cooked, and that’s kind of the idea here. 

I highly recommend you buy boneless skinless salmon. Because oh my word, picking out the bones is so much worse than I could’ve ever imagined…speaking from experience here. If you want to use fresh salmon, this Baked Salmon is an easy way to prepare the fish for this recipe, then you can flake it up for mixing.

Mix all the ingredients together until combined:

Salmon Patties Mixture in Glass Bowl

Use a cookie scoop to portion out the salmon cake mixture, then flatten into patties:

Salmon Sweet Potato Cakes Shaped On Plate

Heat enough olive oil (or your preferred fat) in a nonstick skillet to coat the bottom, then pan fry the salmon cakes in batches:

Frying Salmon Patties in Oil in Nonstick Skillet

Flip when they’re golden brown on the first side, which should take 3-4 minutes.

Frying Salmon Cakes in Oil in Nonstick Skillet

How to Serve

The salmon cakes are best enjoyed while hot and slightly crisp from the pan. You may serve them simply with a couple lemon wedges on the side, with some Tartar Sauce, or even some fresh Mango Salsa. These are certainly flavorful enough on their own that a sauce is not required though.

If you’re serving these as the main course, they can be nice to pair with Zucchini Ribbon Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, or hearty Steak Fries.

This recipe is Whole30-compliant, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free.

Check out more of my healthy Whole30 recipes. Some of my favorites are Coconut Green Curry Mussels,  Citrus Garlic Herb Chicken Thighs, and Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce.

Recipe Tips and FAQ

How do you store leftover Salmon Cakes?

Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can Salmon Cakes be frozen?

Yes, let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Can Salmon Cakes be baked?

Yes, you can bake these instead, at about 400F for 10 minutes. I prefer pan-frying because then they get a bit crispy. My opinion is if you pan fry them in a healthy oil like olive oil, avocado oil, or animal fats like duck fat or tallow, it’s still a healthy meal.

Can Salmon Cakes be made ahead of time?

Yes, shape them and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 hours.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page.

Salmon Patties - On a Blue Plate with Fresh Lemon Wedges

Salmon Cakes

These healthy and delicious salmon cakes have tons of flavor, with mashed sweet potato, smoky chipotle, and scallions. I ate a ton of these during my Whole30!
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Ingredients

  • 3 6-oz cans salmon boneless and skinless
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 3 scallions sliced
  • 1.5 tsp ground chipotle
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil approximately, for frying

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, stir to combine all the ingredients.
  • Using a large 3-Tbsp cookie scoop, portion the cake mixture into your hands and flatten it out into a patty about 1/2″ thick.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, then add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, about 3 tablespoons.
  • Pan fry the salmon cakes in the oil for about 3 minutes on each side until golden, in batches if needed.
  • Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing: Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Baking as an alternative: If you really wish, you can bake these instead, at about 400F for 10 minutes. However, they won’t be as crispy. My opinion is if you pan fry the salmon cakes in a healthy oil like olive oil, avocado oil, or animal fats like duck fat or tallow, it’s still a healthy meal.
Make-ahead: Shape the salmon patties and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 hours.

Nutrition

Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 169mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.