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, paired with a side of Mango Salsa!
I’ve probably eaten a hundred of these salmon cakes in the past 6 months.
My only explanation is that I really like them, plus I was making up for lost time, since salmon cakes were not a food I really knew until last September.
Crab cakes? Sure, I ate those on occasion. And I’ve been making fish burgers since I first started this site in 2010. But salmon cakes were new to me until my first Whole30 last fall.
Before I started the program, I picked up a couple Whole30 recipe books and noticed that salmon cakes were one of the most popular suggested recipes.
I tried a few of the recommended renditions, and ended up making my own version that’s a mishmash of ingredients and methods from the ones I tried.
This version has three main components, which are salmon, sweet potato, and chipotle, and they’re all magical together.
I like that the mashed sweet potato keeps them softer than an only-protein cake, and the chipotle is smoky and delicious.
How to Make Salmon Cakes:
To get started, you need some mashed sweet potato.
Apparently you can buy canned sweet potato, because the official Whole30 recipe calls for it, but I find it simple to microwave a sweet potato for 5 minutes, then mash it up with a fork:
Place that 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.
Why the canned salmon?
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. You can definitely use fresh if you prefer!
This Baked Salmon is an easy way to prepare salmon for this recipe, then you can flake it up for mixing.
I buy canned wild salmon for this recipe, and a quick note:
MAKE SURE you buy boneless skinless salmon. Oh my word. Picking out the bones in canned salmon is so much worse than I could’ve ever imagined.
Mix it all together until combined:
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the salmon cake mixture, then flatten into patties:
Heat enough olive oil in a 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.
Then you can serve the salmon cakes with a couple lemon wedges, or tartar sauce.
I find that the salmon cakes have enough flavor on their own that a sauce is not required though.
Salmon Cakes Tips:
- How long will they keep? 2-3 days in the fridge.
- Can they 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, and you can use a healthy oil of choice like olive oil or avocado oil.
- Can salmon patties be made ahead of time? Yes, shape them and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 8 hours.
- What goes with salmon cakes? I think these are nice when served with a big salad or garlic herb steak fries.
- How to fry them: Get a decently high smoke point oil like a light olive oil or avocado oil, then cook the patties for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
- Are these healthy? Yes, these are Whole30-compliant, paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free!
- 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.