Healthy Fresh Salmon Cakes

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salmon cakes

January is the month that everyone wants to do a reset in the eating department, we’ve enjoyed all our goodies during the holidays and now it’s time for some healthier eating.

If  eating salmon is on your regular meal rotation I encourage you to change things up and make these salmon cakes instead of the usual filets.

salmon patties

If you’re a salmon lover these cakes will soon win you over. Tender, juicy chunks of salmon on the inside, lightly crunchy on the outside with no heavy fillers that mask the actual salmon taste and oh so flavorful, they are amazing!

chopped up salmon

The reason these salmon cakes are so scrumptious is that they’re made with fresh salmon, not canned, it really makes a big difference in taste and over all texture. If you check out some recipes on the Internet you’ll find that many salmon cakes are made with cooked, fresh salmon. I prefer forming them in the raw state, like you would a burger, I feel they retain their juiciness that way.

salmon cake ingredients

The added ingredients which are vegetables are diced small, sautéed then mixed into the fresh chopped salmon. You can do this all ahead of time getting your prep work done because they take no time at all to cook.

Stick with wild caught salmon rather than farmed, I can always find it available here. I once discussed this topic with my fish monger at Whole Foods because they do sell farm raised there, but he went into deep length saying that their farm raised salmon is sustainable and ethical and raised the right way so that might be another option for you.

mixed ingredients

After the sautéed veggies cool down they get gently mixed into the salmon along with some added spice and binding agents with no need for eggs.

formed salmon cake

A key tip is to form all the salmon cakes then refrigerate them for at least 2 hours, even overnight if you wish. This firms them up and they’re able to keep their shape when cooked. I would not recommend forming them and cooking immediately, they won’t be sturdy enough.

tray of salmon cakes

I like to use a three inch biscuit cutter that I have to form the salmon cakes. I place the form on the pan I’m going to stick in the fridge, spoon the mixture inside filling to an inch deep, press it compact then I lift the biscuit cutter right off and a perfect shape is formed.

formed salmon patties

After they’re chilled they lift off easily with a spatula.

cooked salmon patties

I like to crisp up the top and bottom on the stove top first, then finish them off in the oven.

plated salmon cake

All you need is the a little tartar sauce, a squeeze of lemon and a nice salad on the side and you’re on your way to a healthier and very tasty January!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Fresh Salmon Cakes
  • 1-1/2 lbs. fresh salmon or 4 filets, skin removed. hand chopped into small chunks ( I was able to make 7 cakes with that amount)
  • 1 celery stalk, small dice
  • ¼ onion, small dice
  • 2 green onions, sliced small
  • 2 small mini red peppers or half of a large red pepper, small dice
  • 1 yellow mini pepper or ¼ of a large, small dice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • a pinch of cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup full fat mayo
  • ⅓ cup panko bread crumbs and a little extra to coat the top and bottom of the cakes
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Djon mustard
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Drizzle the bottom of a small sauté pan with olive oil and toss in all the diced veggies, onions, peppers, celery and garlic, cooking until translucent. Turn off heat and let them cool down completely.
  2. Into a bowl add the chopped salmon, the cooled down veggies, the mayo, zest, breadcrumbs and Djon and a little salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Gently toss well to incorporate ingredients.
  4. Form your salmon cakes into 3x1 inch deep patties. Note: I use a biscuit cutter to form mine as stated in the post.
  5. Refrigerate the salmon cakes for at least 2 or more hours for best results, I would not form and then cook them right away.
  6. When it's time to cook, heat the oven up to 450F.
  7. Drizzle the bottom of an oven proof skillet with olive oil.
  8. Pour some panko breadcrumbs on a flat plate and press the bottom and top of each salmon cake into it then into the heated skillet.
  9. When each cake is lightly golden on each side place the oven proof skillet into the oven and finish it off, anywhere to around 6 or 8 additional minutes, oven vary so you be the judge.
  10. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and tartar sauce, or an aioli of your choice.
  11. NOTE; I had some leftover and the next day I heated them at 350 just until warm and they were still great.


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  1. an frying is fine but for full flavor and texture I sear one inch thick filets for 30 seconds per side and then lay on a parchment lined tray and bake on the middle shelf of the oven, preheated to 450F for about 4 – 5 minutes. Lemon wedges certainly but a Parsley sauce for satisfaction. A good Riesling for pairing. Bon Appetit.

  2. I made your salmon cakes yesterday, followed the recipe exactly with the exception of capers, beyond delicious, best I have ever eaten!! I used a ramekin to shape, packed the mixture in, then ran a sharp knife around, they came out perfectly. Chilled a little over 2 hours as you suggested, then sautéed. Served with my mother’s string bean salad,
    Fresh & delicious, thank you!

  3. ChicagoGirl Living in Canada says

    Hi Marie, I would love to try these salmon cakes, they look delicious! You made them so perfect! As I don’t have a biscuit cutter, would a muffin tin be ok to cook them in??

  4. I like the recipe and cant wait to try it however I would add one step to the panko as suggested by Chef Jean Pierre , run the crumbs through a food processor till they are very fine and they seem to adhere better

  5. LOVE this idea! Not only fresh salmon, but fresh RAW salmon. that must make so much difference! Can’t wait to make these, thanks!

  6. They sound and look wonderful, Marie. I haven’t made salmon cakes in probably 30 years, and back then it was with canned salmon. This is a whole different animal.

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