Don’t Like Fish? I Bet You’ll Like These Salmon Cakes

Salmon cakes are a cheap solution for getting plenty of nutrients in! Even those who don't care for fish might be happily surprised to find that these don't taste all that fishy.

My salmon cakes have always been a hit with our family, but when a good friend’s daughter had them with us and raved about them to her mom, I knew it was a “must share”. (And now you have the recipe, sweet Reese, so your mommy can make them.)

Even those who don’t care for fish might be happily surprised to find that these don’t taste all that fishy. They are well-seasoned, and frying anything in good fats can only make them taste even better. As a perk, they’re a particularly inexpensive way to put nourishing seafoods on the table.

The Way We Get More Salmon in Our Diet

This was originally inspired by the Fish Cakes recipe in Nourishing Traditions. That recipe required fresh fish and fish roe, neither of which I have on hand or can afford to buy very often. I wanted to convert this recipe so that I could make it up anytime, as a way to get more fish in our diets.

Using canned foods isn’t a preference for me, and we avoid most canned goods due to BPA exposure from the linings of the cans. I’ve eliminated almost all other canned foods or found BPA-free versions, but fresh and even frozen salmon is expensive, but so incredibly nutritious and beneficial for our health.

Seafoods were one of THE most valued foods among the traditional tribes that Weston Price studied, and wherever he found cultures subsisting heavily on seafoods, he found exceptionally strong bones and robust health. Calcium and other nutrients in the bones, omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA and EPA for children’s growing brains and pregnant/nursing moms), and all the other goodness that resides in wild salmon is just nourishing beyond belief, and so that’s why our family still eats a lot of canned salmon.

Salmon Cakes
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 8-10
  • 2 cans salmon (with bones, but drained) -- Always choose wild salmon, never farmed. You can use pink salmon, which is cheaper, although my strong preference is for red sockeye salmon.
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (any bread works- homemade wheat, spelt or kamut, gluten free, sourdough, etc.)
  • ½ small onion, minced OR 1 tsp dried onion powder
  • 2 cloves minced garlic OR ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp mustard (dijon or regular)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp organic soy or tamari sauce (wheat free)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I just add a little- these have quite a bit of flavor already)
  1. Drain canned salmon, then dump into a medium sized bowl. Using the back of a fork, break salmon apart and crush bones. Mix in eggs, then bread crumbs, and lastly, all of the seasonings.
  2. Preheat a cast-iron pan to medium heat, and add a few pats of butter and some extra virgin olive oil (you can do just one or the other, or even use coconut oil instead, but the mix gives such a great flavor).
  3. You'll have to use your hands to shape these patties as you go to make them. I just put a big dollop in my hands, shape it best as I can, and flatten slightly once in the pan if needed. I don't bother to pre-shape them, but just do it as I go.
  4. Once cooked halfway through and nicely browned (2-3 minutes), flip over and allow to cook all the way (another couple minutes).
Makes 8-10 cakes, depending on size-- just enough for the 5 eaters in our home when served with other side dishes.

I frequently serve these with sweet potato fries (made similarly to these baked french fries– one of these days I’ll have to post a true tutorial, since they are among my children’s favorite foods), for a very easy dinner. They’re also good alongside any sort of salad– green, broccoli salad, coleslaw, what have you, or even with a plate of raw veggies and dip.

Although they taste wonderful just as they are, they’re also quite tasty with homemade tartar sauce. I don’t have a specific recipe but this is basically how I make mine:

  • Start with about 1 cup of mayonnaise in a mason jar (homemade mayo is best)
  • Take 1 good-sized dill pickle and mince it as finely as you can
  • Add a bit of pickle juice or lemon juice (or a bit of both) into the mayo, along with the minced pickle, and stir it well.
That’s it! Super easy. It tastes best if it has some time to sit, to allow flavors to mix.
Salmon cakes are a cheap solution for getting plenty of nutrients in! Even those who don't care for fish might be happily surprised to find that these don't taste all that fishy.

Do you eat seafood very often? What are your favorite ways to get fish into your family?

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About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. Wow this recipe sounds great, I’m making it tonight. Thanks

  2. I made the salmon cakes with 1lb frozen salmon I had in the freezer. Turned out great! :)

  3. I have just made these and my mixture felt a bit wet so I coated them in Pankos breadcrumbs. They look and smell amazing. I also used lime juice instead of lemon. Thanks very much. :)

  4. I am on a pinterest adventure and made your salmon cakes today. They were delicious!! I will make your tartar sauce the next time too. I did a post about making them and linked back to you for credit. Thanks again for a great recipe!

  5. I am a huge fan of salmon patties but this is by far the BEST recipe I have ever tried. My 3 year old lovvvvves them too!!!!!

  6. I make my salmon cakes with mashed potatoes instead of the breadcrumbs & after shaping the cakes I dip them in seasoned flour before frying them. The flour gives it a nice crust for the softness inside.

  7. I just found your website and am enjoying it greatly. This is the first recipe I’ve made from you and it was a HUGE hit! I thought I made enough for leftovers, but all 5 of my kids asked for a second helping.
    Definitely a keeper.

  8. I made these for lunch today & loved them! It’s been years since I’ve made salmon cakes, and I never added dijon mustard or garlic – both very good. I also subbed oats for the breadcrumbs since we eat gluten free, and that was cheaper than making bread crumbs from our gluten free bread – I think. For the tartar sauce I mixed homemade yogurt, dill relish (not homemade), and minced onion. It was all so good and easy to make. Thanks for all your great recipes and tips you give here.

  9. Just shared this wonderful recipe in my meal plan over at The Better Mom! these are so yummy! Blessings, Kelly

  10. pam olsen says:

    I know I will love this recipe! What size can of salmon? My store carries both 14.75 oz and 7.5 oz. I am guessing the larger one…

  11. I came across this salmon cake recipie of yours and decided to try it. Well, I have to say I am really disappointed and didn’t like it. Sorry :( Didn’t like the flavorings and it was hard to pan fry with the olive oil, didn’t get very crispy. And I always love salmon cakes. Im going to stick to my recipe of salmon, egg, crackers, parsley & salt/pepper cooked in canola oil.

  12. Made these tonight for dinner and they were the best ever. I will definitely be making them more often.

  13. Thank You, that does help!

  14. How many ounces are in the cans you used???? I need to know if it’s the small tuna can size cans or larger…

    • I’m not at home so I can’t check what the can size is (sorry, I’m travelling right now) but they’re just a bit bigger than the small tuna cans, but they’re not the really big salmon cans. I think they’re around 200-300 grams, but that may not be helpful.

  15. I made some salmon patties tonight, based on someone’s description of how to make them, and they were good, but needed something. Some Googling brought me to your recipe, and I can’t wait to try it. I used oatmeal as the binder. I am mildly gluten intolerant, but this was also how the woman told me she made them.

  16. Would you recommend freezing the patties before or after their fried?

  17. I’ve been making these salmon cakes since I originally read this post, and they are delicious! Last week, though, I was out of bread crumbs, so I used milled flax seed instead. We couldn’t taste a difference, and I was happy to get the added benefits of the flax! Great recipe!

  18. I just made these with leftover baked salmon from a few nights ago. I’ve also made them with canned salmon, and they worked just as well with the fresh. I just used about 1 1/2 or 2 cups of flaked, cooked salmon and followed everything else just the same. Thought I’d throw that option out there, especially since salmon will be going on sale during these summer months :)

  19. So, what size can of salmon do you use?

  20. I used a tip I saw somewhere to try using frozen salmon patties and soften them up in the microwave then break them up and mush them for the right consistency. Now usually the only kind of salmon I like is fresh (read: raw) or smoked and usually don’t like the fishy taste of things like canned salmon or salmon burgers. With that being said, I didn’t like these at all. I thought they wouldn’t taste as fishy with them being fried into croquettes and adding all the other spices, but in the end they still tasted so fishy. Since all the comments say that they didn’t taste fishy and they were delicious, I’m wondering if maybe my using the frozen salmon burgers made a difference or if I am just not going to like them since I don’t typically like cooked salmon? If I did something crazy by using the frozen salmon I’d like to try again, but if I just won’t like them then I don’t want to waste time making them again. Any ideas?


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