Moist and fall apart salmon cakes made with fresh roasted salmon and protein-packed quinoa. This recipe is an easy way to transform leftover salmon into a next-day meal!

Serve these warm as a main course or enjoy them cold over a salad, such as Roasted Beet Salad with Avocado.

Salmon cakes or salmon patties are quite possibly the best way to give leftover salmon a second chance. It’s an absolutely different twist on leftovers that I look forward to eating every single time. These cakes are wonderfully easy to make.

With simple ingredients such as salmon, quinoa, green onions, parsley, Dijon mustard, and paprika.

Slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Serve them cold over a green salad or warm with roasted veggies. 

They are filling and store really well in the fridge. So you can prepare them over the weekend to enjoy throughout the week. 

Simple Ingredients

Traditional salmon cakes are normally made with breadcrumbs but I replaced the breadcrumbs with cooked quinoa. Quinoa is a great source of protein and is naturally gluten-free. It’s delicious and gives a really nice texture to the cakes.

Next, you need cooked salmon. You could use leftover steamed, poached, grilled, or baked salmon. If you don’t have any cooked salmon handy, simply use canned salmon. 

Lastly, green onions, parsley, mayo, Dijon mustard, paprika, and eggs

ingredients for leftover salmon fish cakes

How do I serve Salmon Cakes?

Just about any way you like. Seriously. These are so versatile and taste delicious hot or cold.

For lunch, you can throw a couple of cakes over a veggie salad, such as Creamy Zucchini Corn Salad, Greek Chickpea Salad, or Avocado Caesar Salad with Cucumbers

Serve a salmon cake on a crusty piece of bread with your favorite fixins’ for an open-faced sandwich. Or stuff into a pita pocket with lettuce for a speedy lunch.

For dinner, warm them up in a non-stick skillet to serve alongside roasted veggies, Vodka Sauce pasta, or Pasta Primavera , or just about any meal you want to add protein to.

How to Make Salmon and Quinoa Patties

Step 1: Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside to cool slightly. You can cook the quinoa ahead of time and keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Step 2: In a bowl, combine the quinoa, salmon, green onions, parsley, mayo, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, and paprika. Form the mixture into 12-13 patties, about 1/4 cup each. 

salmon cake mixture in a bowl

Katya’s TIP: Shape the cakes into slightly larger patties and you have some great salmon burgers ready to go. 

Step 3: Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add few tablespoons of olive oil or avocado oil to the pan and when hot, add salmon cakes in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Repeat with remaining patties.

salmon quinoa cakes in a frying pan

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the salmon quinoa cakes before serving.

Tips for Success

  • If the salmon mixture is too wet or sticky, let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes so the quinoa can absorb some of the moisture. 
  • If the mixture is too dry or falls apart when you try to form into patties, add an extra tablespoon of mayo.
  • If the salmon and quinoa patties brown too quickly, reduce the heat even further.
  • After you form the salmon mixture into patties, pan fry them right away and don’t let them sit for too long. They tend to dry out and easily break during cooking.
  • If the salmon quinoa cakes break during cooking it could also mean they are overcooked. Keep an eye on them and check for doneness. You want the outside lightly golden and crispy.
salmon and quinoa patties

More Leftover Salmon Recipes

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salmon quinoa patties on a plate

Salmon Quinoa Cakes

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Pan fry
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Moist and fall apart salmon cakes made with fresh roasted salmon and quinoa. This recipe is an easy way to transform leftover salmon into next day meal! Serve these warm or cold as a sandwich, main course or over a salad.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 lb. leftover cooked salmon, flaked apart
  • 12 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Olive oil or avocado oil, for cooking
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Cook according to package directions. Set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Mix to combine quinoa, salmon, green onions, parsley, mayonnaise, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Form into 12-13 patties, about 1/4 cup each.
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil and when hot add the salmon patties.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Reduce heat if patties brown too fast. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining patties, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the patties.

Notes

  • Salmon – You could use leftover steamed, poached, grilled, or baked salmon. Canned salmon works too.
  • Leftovers – Salmon cakes will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • To Freeze – Place cooked salmon cakes on a lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1 hour. Remove from the freezer, wrap individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in a nonstick skillet to retain crispiness.
  • More Tips – Mixture too wet, dry, or falls apart? See post for all the solutions.
  • Original Recipe – original recipe for these salmon quinoa cakes was published in October 2015. Since then we have taken all the notes, questions, and issues regarding this recipe from you the readers and re-tested and perfected the recipe with minor changes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 patty
  • Calories: 172
  • Sugar: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 114.1 mg
  • Fat: 12.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.9 g
  • Protein: 10.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 52.9 mg

Keywords: patties, salmon patties, leftover salmon