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.

Carolyn Malcoun
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2013


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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 3/4 inch thick. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or up to 2 hours) before cooking.

  • 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 Facts

214 calories; protein 28.6g 57% DV; carbohydrates 1.7g 1% DV; dietary fiber 0.5g 2% DV; sugars 0.3g; fat 9.5g 15% DV; saturated fat 1.8g 9% DV; cholesterol 66.3mg 22% DV; vitamin a iu 300.9IU 6% DV; vitamin c 6.2mg 10% DV; folate 21.1mcg 5% DV; calcium 66.4mg 7% DV; iron 0.9mg 5% DV; magnesium 42mg 15% DV; potassium 550.7mg 15% DV; sodium 339.5mg 14% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 10% DV.

Reviews (8)

Read More Reviews
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 4
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 2 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 1 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More