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!
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.
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.
Place the mashed sweet potato in a bowl along with canned wild salmon, egg, mayonnaise, scallions, almond flour, chipotle, cumin, and salt:
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:
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the salmon cake mixture, then flatten into patties:
Heat enough olive oil (or your preferred fat) in a nonstick skillet to coat the bottom, then pan fry the salmon cakes in batches:
Flip when they’re golden brown on the first side, which should take 3-4 minutes.
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.
This recipe is Whole30-compliant, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Recipe Tips and FAQ
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Yes, let them cool completely and then store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
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.
Yes, shape them and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 hours.
- 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
- 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!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.