Monday, December 7, 2009

Salmon Cakes with Creamy Dill Sauce

After a weekend of fun holiday parties I was craving something super healthy for dinner so I turned to my favorite feel-good food—salmon. It’s gotten so expensive I’ve been making salmon cakes with canned salmon. It’s even more packed with all those skin and heart-friendly Omega 3 fatty acids because of the soft, small bones in the canned version. Have you ever noticed when you say “fatty acids” out loud it sounds like something that would kill you as opposed to make you healthier?!

I found this recipe for salmon cakes on, which has become my favorite new food Web site. It’s been around for a while (there’s a magazine mother ship), but it’s been coming up in my recipe searches more often and I’m beginning to understand why. Their recipes are flat-out delicious and low cal. You get two full-size crispy, golden salmon cakes with a tablespoon of decadent tasting creamy dill sauce for approximately 350 calories. This is not your mother’s diet food!! 
Salmon Cakes with Creamy Dill Sauce

3 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 tbls. fresh parsley, chopped
15 ounces canned salmon, drained or 1 ½ cup cooked salmon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
 1 ¾ cup breadcrumbs (preferably whole wheat)
½ tsp. pepper
Creamy Dill Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Heat 1½ tsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high het. Add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat.

Place salmon in a bowl and flake apart with fork. Removed any large bones or skin, but leave small bones in (you won't notice them with all of the ingredients). Add egg and mustard and mix well. Add the onion, celery and parsley, breadcrumbs and pepper and combine thoroughly. Shape into 8 patties.

Heat remaining 1½ tsp. of oil in the pan over medium heat. Add 4 patties and cook the undersides until golden, about 3 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn them over onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining patties. Bake the salmon cakes 15-20 minutes until golden on top and heated through.

Creamy Dill Sauce
¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
¼ cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1-3 tbls. lemon juice
3 tbls. chicken stock (optional)
1 tbls. dill, finely chopped (1 tsp. dried dill)

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix well.

Tips and Tidbits
I adapted the dill sauce a bit. I thought the sauce was too thick and wanted more than one tablespoon (I love sauce!), so I added more lemon juice and some chicken stock to thin it out. Start with1 tbls. lemon juice and then add more juice and stock until it suites your taste.

The salmon cakes are so tasty, make mini versions and serve them as an appetizer at a party.

(Note to the FTC: I have not been paid or otherwise enticed  to say these über-flattering comments—the editors deserve them!)


  1. Trying these tonight! I've always stayed away from canned salmon, but now I'm inspired to try it! I'll let you know how these are received by my 16 year old son...

  2. I made these tonight while my son made his first bruschetta (inspired by watching cooking shows while home sick today...). A couple of comments:
    I wonder if the bread crumb measurement is off. After putting in all the bread crumbs, the mixture was not moist enough to form a patty. I added a tablespoon or so of creme freche that I had left, and another egg...and the cakes ended up moist, (altho so much for the lo-cal...) but also a bit "dense"...They are very tasty, but my 16 year old could only eat 1 1/2!

    Sauce was fantastic and I thinned it as Maggie suggested. Delicious!

    I will try this recipe again because the flavors were outstanding and I like having a recipe to use canned salmon. But I think I'm gonna stop at about 1 cup bread crumbs.

  3. Hmm, not sure about the bread crumbs. We didn't have that issue, but what I'd suggest is to cut them down by 1/4 cup and see how that works.