Learning how to make Salmon Cakes is easy—and it’s a convenient and affordable way to serve healthy fish to a family. They can be made with pantry ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. Serve over a salad for you and with simple sides for the kids. And don’t forget the dip!

salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate

Salmon Cakes

I first served these fish cakes to my daughter when she was about 18 months old. I was surprised that she liked them (especially with ketchup). Now that she’s older, and I have two more kids at the table, we have them in our regular rotation.

These are a budget-friendly way to get a dose of the healthy fats in salmon. Almost every grocery store sells well-priced canned wild salmon that’s significantly less expensive than buying it fresh or frozen. Plus, you can stash a can in your pantry and whip out a dinner in no time at all.

Plus, instead of pan frying, which is messy and hard with kids around, these salmon cakes are baked in the oven.

This means that here’s hardly any clean up and you can put the pan into the oven and go do other things. I learned how to make salmon cakes this way and never went back because it’s so easy and reliable.

ingredients in salmon cakes

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • canned wild salmon, drained of liquid
  • egg
  •  cornmeal
  • shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • breadcrumbs

TIP: To make these gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

how to make salmon patties step by step process

Step-by-Step Instructions

Making homemade salmon cakes is super easy and is possible to do on a busy weeknight. Here’s what the process looks like:

  1. Drain the salmon and add it to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Combine with your hands into a uniform batter.
  3. Portion out patties, then flatten. Press into a small bowl of breadcrumbs.
  4. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake and eat!

TIP: You can also mix the batter in a food processor if you prefer.

diced salmon cakes for child on blue plate

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of salmon is best for these patties?

I buy canned wild salmon, which works well in this recipe. Look for the larger 14.5 ounce size can.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Sure. You can bake them ahead and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm in a 375 degree oven to 8-10 minutes or until warmed through.

What should I serve these with?

We like these with salad or with a grain, pasta, or as salmon burgers served on rolls.

how to make salmon cakes

Best Tips for Success

  • To make ahead: Bake, let cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm in a 375 degree oven to 8-10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • You can use canned tuna instead of salmon.
  • Use a food processor to blend the mixture into a uniform batter that easily holds together.
  • Leave any bones in the mixture to add calcium. (They blend right in.)
  • Try topping them with a little mayo and a little ketchup. Maybe add in some pickles. The combination of flavors is seriously good!
  • Serve with simple sides of a favorite grain, veggie, or fruit. Or serve on small rolls as salmon burgers.
  • Use any canned wild salmon packed in water. You can opt for one without added salt to limit that if you want.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • You may also like Crispy Baked Fish Sticks, Easy Salmon Salad, and Baked Chicken Tenders.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment and rate the recipe below!

This recipe was first published March 2017.

salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate

Easy Baked Salmon Cakes (Salmon Patties)

These tender fish cakes make a quick and easy pantry meal when you haven't planned ahead for dinner. Recipe updated slightly to ensure moistness in June 2021.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 185kcal
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 14.5 ounce can wild salmon (drained of liquid)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or cheddar cheese)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Panko-style breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  • Add all ingredients except the Panko breadcrumbs to a bowl. Use clean hands to work into a uniform batter. (The salmon will likely have bones. Just crush them up with your fingers as you mix the batter.) You can also mix this in a food processor if you prefer. 
  • Spread the Panko breadcrumbs onto a plate.
  • Using ¼ cup of the batter at a time, form into patties. Press both sides into the breadcrumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet. 
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature with relish, ketchup, or mayonnaise.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days and reheat for about 6-8 minutes in a 375 degree oven or for 15-30 seconds in the microwave.

Notes

  • To make ahead: Bake, let cool, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Warm in a 375 degree oven to 8-10 minutes or until warmed through.
  • You can use canned tuna instead of salmon.
  • Use a food processor to blend the mixture into a uniform batter that easily holds together.
  • Leave any bones in the mixture to add calcium. (They blend right in.)
  • Try topping them with a little mayo and a little ketchup. Maybe add in some pickles. The combination of flavors is seriously good!
  • Serve with simple sides of a favorite grain, veggie, or fruit. Or serve on small rolls as salmon burgers.
  • Use any canned wild salmon packed in water. You can opt for one without added salt to limit that if you want.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1patty, Calories: 185kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 386mg, Potassium: 283mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 200IU, Calcium: 274mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for this great recipe! My 21m old used to love salmon, but has been more selective about her food recently and has barely had a bite of salmon filets when I’ve served them recently – but she asked for seconds of these!

    Recipe note: I only had masa harina on hand and substituted 1:1 for the cornmeal. It works! Maybe a bit drier but I don’t have a direct comparison.

  2. Hiya, love you recipes, have made heaps. Am about to use some of these i made last week and froze for dinner tonight. Should i defrost and then heat or heat straight from frozen? Oven or microwave?
    Also keen to make some more and last time i made them they came out super wet so wouldn’t hold into any shape and i had to add lots more cornmeal and some breadcrumbs. Any tips if that happens again please? Could it be because i used coarse polenta for my corn meal? Thanks so much. Love your page : )

    1. If you have time to defrost them, you can do that, but you can also heat right from frozen. In the oven from frozen it would be 6-8 minutes or so at 375 F, and in the microwave maybe 30-60 seconds. Fine or medium cornmeal would absorb more moisture than a coarse polenta. I’m sorry I didn’t get to respond to this right away when you posted it!

    1. I haven’t tried it with fresh salmon so I can’t say for sure, but I’d think it would work if you ground it up in a food processor!

  3. 5 stars
    Great, easy to throw together recipe! I make a triple batch (because that’s the can of salmon size I get) and I form a few patties for my toddler with the recipe as written. After that, I add in lemon, dill, garlic and onion and use panko for patties for myself and my husband! So so good, thank you so much for a quick, awesome family dinner.

    1. Yes, just add it to the floor processor last and pulse it in so it doesn’t get overworked. But otherwise I think it should work okay!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for dinner tonight – so yummy!! A hit with myself, my husband and our 7-month old, who both gummed a whole (small) patty and liked smaller bites spoonfed. (4 year old declined to try but she is on her own dinnertime journey right now.) I did add a few scoops of mayo to the batter because my canned salmon seemed a little dry; they were super moist inside (and crunchy outside) after baking.

    PS. We had it with a quinoa/veggie salad, in case anyone is looking for side inspiration. I’d also put these on rolls and serve sandwich style!

    1. I’m so glad that you guys enjoyed them (and smart add with the mayo!)—and it sounds like an excellent warm weather dinner with the quinoa/veggie salad! Thanks for sharing your experience!

  5. Could I just use canned (boneless/skinless) chicken of the sea salmon for this? Or is that not a healthy option for a one year old? Could I substitute the salmon with canned tuna?

    1. You could try either of those options. I haven’t made them myself, but I know that a lot of people do this sort of thing with tuna, so as long as the patties hold together when you mix everything, they should bake up just fine. Neither of those options have the same healthy fats as wild salmon, but they are definitely a fine option!