Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill

Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill

8 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2013

Studded with briny olives, bright lemon zest and a touch of dill, this healthy, easy salmon cake recipe is perfect for dinner and for freezing. Whether you serve the salmon cakes on a bun like a burger with lettuce and tomato or paired with a mixed green salad, try a dollop of reduced-fat mayo mixed with lemon juice on top.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 4 scallions, quartered
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill or thyme
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2½ pounds wild salmon (see Tip), skinned and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Place scallions, olives and dill (or thyme) in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  2. Working in 3 or 4 batches, pulse salmon just 2 or 3 times to finely chop, but not puree. Add the chopped salmon to the bowl; gently mix until combined. (Alternatively, finely chop salmon, scallions, olives and herbs by hand before combining with lemon zest, salt and pepper.) Divide the mixture into 8 patties, about 3 inches in diameter and ¾ inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 hours) before cooking.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 salmon cakes and cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Repeat with the remaining oil and salmon cakes.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cool completely, then wrap airtight and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat at 450°F for 20 minutes or wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Wild-caught salmon from the Pacific (Alaska and Washington) is considered the best choice for the environment because it is more sustainably fished and has a more stable population. Farmed salmon, including Atlantic, should be avoided, as it endangers the wild salmon population.
  • Keep It Warm: If you need to cook in batches, keep your first batch warm by tenting it loosely with foil. Tenting lets steam escape, preventing sogginess while keeping food warm.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 salmon cake
  • Per serving: 214 calories; 10 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 2 g carbohydrates; 29 g protein; 21 mcg folate; 66 mg cholesterol; 0 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 301 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 66 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 339 mg sodium; 551 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 0
  • Exchanges: 4 lean meat, ½ fat

Reviews 8

April 30, 2019
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I did not make any changes, and it was absolutely delicious. Sold! My husband had it for dinner and proclaimed that he was going to eat it for breakfast the next morning. The other reviewers may have erred in using canned salmon, which is very watery. I agree that the easy mayonnaise topping was perfect. My husband thought I had made tartar sauce. This will become a mainstay in my rotation menu.
April 25, 2017
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By: ksznurkowski
Easy and tasty. Great cold for lunch the next day over a baby kale salad w/ lemon dressing. No problem keeping the patties together. Sure, salmon is a bit pricey, but this was a healthy treat for me.
December 28, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious and Easy I'm not sure why other reviewers were confused about this recipe calling for fresh salmon nor why they think they need a binder. They held together perfectly for me and had about the same texture as a hamburger. The salmon chopped to just the right consistency when slightly frozen first (much like you would put a piece of beef in the freezer for a bit if you want to slice it very thin). The fabulous flavor belied how quick and easy they are. The mayo/lemon juice topping was the perfect complement. I don't know how these could be improved. Pros: Fast, easy, fabulous taste, can make ahead and freeze Cons: None
March 16, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Unsure Recipe isn't clear ... is it fresh (seems to be) salmon or canned? Using fresh salmon would result in better mixture. Pros: It's salmon
January 16, 2014
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By: knyboer
These were Great! These turned out great! I don't really like olives, but they were great in this recipe. I chopped my salmon into more of a puree to ensure that the cakes didn't fall apart in the pan. Pros: Easy to make and flavorful Cons: salmon can be pretty pricey
October 15, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Fell apart in pan I am really disappointed with this recipe. The wild canned salmon was expensive, and I ended up having to throw all patties away since they fell apart in the pan when attempting to flip them. I rarely if ever have recipes that fail, but this wasn't surprising as there really seemed to be a binding element missing, or even panko/bread crumbs.
September 11, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Wouldn't hold together I wondered if there should be an egg in the recipe, as they barely formed into patties before cooking, but completely fell apart when slipped gently into the pan. We ended up with salmon hash instead of cakes. Pros: taste was good (not great) Cons: Would not hold together in patty form
September 08, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Flavorful, easy These were easy to make (easier if you have your fish monger remove the skin and pin bones from the salmon). As long as you don't overprocess in the food processor, you'll have a flavorful result. Pros: eat now, freeze some for later Cons: Wild salmon pricey - wait for a good sale
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