Made with tender salmon, fresh herbs, lime juice, and spicy chipotle peppers, these Cajun-style Salmon Cakes make for the perfect Spring or Summer appetizer or meal! Each cake is already so juicy and flavorful but the cilantro lime yogurt sauce I’m slinging with it is what takes things over the top!
On a hot Summer day the last thing I want to do is kickstart my oven just to make lunch. I’d much rather make a hearty salad, a deli sandwich, or a quickie stovetop skillet meal. Today’s Cajun Salmon Cakes are one of my go-to simple summer lunches; they’re made with less than 10 ingredients and only require the use of one bowl! Easy recipe and easy cleanup? That’s a win win y’all!
These tender, flavorful seafood patties are full of protein and nutrient rich salmon, smoky chipotle peppers, zesty shallots, and bright cilantro. Served with my creamy cilantro yogurt sauce, salmon cakes make for the best appetizers too! I love dishing these out at spring and summer dinner parties or family gatherings. I’m betting you will too.
- Canned Salmon are the secret summer ingredient you didn’t know you needed! These convenient ready-to-go pouches are filled with fresh wild Alaskan salmon and are perfect for quick salads, bowls, or patties. Chicken of the Sea’s high-quality, sustainable salmon makes these salmon cakes so crazy delicious and easy to make!
- Panko Breadcrumbs are light and crisp; they also help to absorb excess moisture and create structure. You can substitute panko for traditional bread crumbs if need be.
- Shallot is a complex mix of zesty, sweet, spicy, and acidic flavors. I also love to bite into the delicate diced onions throughout each patty. You can also use half a small sweet onion.
- Cilantro adds a bright, herbaceous flavor. I love LOTS of it!
- Lime Juiceintroduces a citrusy bite and some extra moisture.
- Egg acts as a binder so that you can form tight patties.
- Chipotles in Adobo Sauce come in cans (varying in size) that you can find in Mexican aisles at the grocery store. Smoky, saucy and sweet-spicy, these peppers make for an incredible addition to southern-inspired salmon cakes.
- Cajun Seasoning makes everything better! Just a pinch gives that classic Southern flare that we associate with so many comfort foods.
- Salt and pepper is always a must. Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper if you can!
- OIL FOR PAN FRYING is necessary. I recommend canola or vegetable oil.
- CILANTRO LIME YOGURT DIP is a smooth, herby sauce made with greek yogurt, jalapeño, cilantro, and a few other secret ingredients. You can find out more in the sections below!
How to Make Salmon Cakes
These simple salmon patties come together in a snap! Because we don’t need to cook the salmon, this recipe takes under an hour to make and most of that is hands-free.
The first thing you’ll need to do is pull out a big bowl. Dump each and every one of the ingredients in there and use a fork (or your utensil of choice) to mash everything up.
If the mixture is too wet, add a little more panko crumbs. If it’s way too loose, you can add an additional egg or a spoonful of mayonnaise.
Next, you’re gonna have to get your hands a little dirty. Form eight equal sized patties and place them onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I recommend chilling the cakes in the freezer for 30 minutes, but it’s not required. Chilling helps to firm them up and prevent them from breaking as they cook.
Once you’re ready to eat, preheat a large nonstick skillet and drizzle enough oil to just coat the bottom of it. Cook up to 4 patties in the pan at a time, overcrowding prevents proper browning.
After about 3-4 minutes on each side, the patties should be fully heated through and lightly seared. Serve these juicy, flavorful salmon cakes with a side of spicy cilantro lime yogurt sauce to get the full experience!
Yogurt Sauce for Serving With
This is the easiest part! All you need to make a batch of cilantro lime yogurt sauce is garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, greek yogurt, lime juice, and honey. Oh and some salt and pepper too but that’s a give in, right?
Pulse the garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro in a food processor or blender, then add the rest of the ingredients. Blend it all up until everything is smooth and well combined. Be sure to give it a taste too! You can add anything you’d like to fit your personal preference: more honey, more cilantro, or more seasoning etc.
Because the salmon cakes are savory and spicy, I wanted to serve them with a cool, bright sauce. I love heat so adding jalapeño was also a must. You can omit the pepper to cool things down if you need to!
I chose to use greek yogurt as a base but if you don’t have any on hand, or you don’t like it, go ahead and swap it out. Mayonnaise, sour cream, or a mixture of the two could all be delicious. You can even mix either of those ingredients with the yogurt! Get crazy with it y’all.
This sauce adds the perfect creamy, herby, citrusy touch to our cajun salmon cakes. Once you go dipping, you’ll never look back.
How To Serve Salmon Cakes
I can eat an entire batch of these chipotle salmon cakes on my own! Hand me the spicy yogurt sauce and just move out of my way. But, occasionally, I’ll make a few extra batches and serve them as small plate appetizers or with a couple sides as a weeknight dinner.
Here are a few of GBC’s best summer side options:
- VINEGAR COLESLAW
- FRIED CORN
- GARLIC BUTTER SWEET POTATO FRIES
- SWEET DINNER ROLLS
- FRIED OKRA
- HONEY GLAZED CARROTS
Leftover salmon patties can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To extend their life, wrap each patty in a layer of plastic wrap, then tuck them into a freezer safe zip top bag. Label the bag and place it in the freezer. Frozen salmon patties can last for up to 2 months. Defrost them in the fridge before reheating.
How to Reheat
The best way to reheat salmon cakes is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the leftover patties on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover the pan loosely with foil and warm for about 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Grandbaby Cakes’ Best Seafood Recipes
Salmon is easily one of my favorite seafood options. I have it for dinner at least once a week! If you feel me, check out a few more of my favorite seafood specialties:
Cajun Salmon Cakes
- 15 oz Chicken of the Sea boneless skinless salmon pouches or cans
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup diced shallot
- 1/4 cup cilantro freshly chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce finely chopped
- 2 tbsp adobo sauce from the can
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning with no salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt or omit if your cajun seasoning has salt in it
For the Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce
- 1 garlic clove large
- 1 small jalapeno seeds and stems removed, optional
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
For the Salmon Patties
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salmon patties. Use a fork to mash and mix everything together until it’s well-combined.
- Use your hands to firmly form 8 patties. They’ll be a little delicate but that’s okay. Transfer each patty to the lined baking sheet. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap.
- Place the patties in the freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.
- Remove the patties from the freezer. Coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with oil and set it over medium-high heat. Cook each salmon patty for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Transfer the cooked salmon patties to a paper towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy!
For the Yogurt Sauce
- Add the garlic clove, jalapeño, and cilantro to a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
- Scrape the sides and add the greek yogurt, lime juice, and honey. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water. If it’s too thin, add an extra dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Serve in a small bowl alongside the salmon patties.