Grilled Salmon Cakes Recipe

Grilled salmon cakes served with tossed salad

The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 8 salmon cakes
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
340 Calories
24g Fat
8g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 340
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 672mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 9mg 46%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 428mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The next time you think about grilling up some burgers, why not consider making one with fish? These salmon cakes are made with fresh salmon and seasoned with Dijon mustard, lemon, green onion, and herbs, offering something completely different—but absolutely delicious—at your next cookout. 

You may be more familiar with cooking salmon cakes on the stove or in the oven, but with some extra care and preparation, these fish cakes can be cooked on the grill. Feel free to serve them up burger-style or plate them along with a salad. They would also be ideal with a side of grilled asparagus and a garlic-parsley pasta. 

"The salmon cakes were perfectly seasoned and delicious, and they were very easy to make. I cooked mine on a closed gas grill (direct heat around 375 F) for about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 minutes on the other side. They were excellent with tartar sauce and lemon wedges." —Diana Rattray

grilled salmon cakes/tester recipe
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless salmon fillets, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 3 green onions, finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more for the grill

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make grilled salmon cakes

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat (350 F to 375 F). Place salmon in a food processor. Pulse, then process if necessary, until finely chopped.

    raw salmon puree in a food processor

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  3. Transfer to a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, green onion, parsley, mustard, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper. Gently mix until well combined.

    salmon cake mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  4. Shape the salmon mixture into 8 equal-sized patties about 1/2-inch thick. Brush both sides of the patties with the oil.

    salmon cakes on a baking sheet

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  5. Brush the grill grates clean. Using a large pair of tongs and folded paper towel, oil the grill grates very well. This will create a nice nonstick surface. Make at least 3 to 4 passes with the oiled towel.

    oiling charcoal grill grate

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  6. Carefully place salmon cakes on the grill.

    salmon cakes cooking on a grill

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

  7. Cook until the internal temperature on a digital thermometer reaches 145 F, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

    grilled salmon cakes on a baking sheet

    The Spruce/Julia Hartbeck

Tips


  • Grill burger buns for your salmon cakes by first oiling the insides of hamburger buns and then placing them onto the grill, oiled-side down, to toast to your liking, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the buns and assemble the burgers with toppings like sliced tomato and avocado, or a lemon-herb mayonnaise.
  • Place the salmon cakes on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes before grilling to assure they hold together. Note: Chilled cakes may take a bit longer to cook, so factor this into the grilling time.
  • Grill your salmon cakes on top of a grill pan or aluminum foil to ensure they don't fall through the grates. You won't get grill marks by cooking them this way, but you won't lose the burgers.

Variations

  • There are many possibilities for serving grilled salmon cakes. Serve them as a main dish on lettuce leaves with a garnish of tartar sauce and lemon wedges, or serve them in toasted buns. They make an excellent topping for a salad as well.
  • For sides to go with salmon cakes, choose coleslaw, a pasta salad, soup, or freshly sliced cucumbers with dill. French fries, chips, or sweet potato fries are also good choices. For vegetables, freshly cooked English peas, green beans, or asparagus are especially good with salmon.

How to Store Salmon Cakes

  • Refrigerate leftover grilled salmon cakes within 2 hours and consume them within 3 days.
  • The uncooked salmon cakes may be frozen and cooked later. To freeze the raw salmon cakes, arrange them on a parchment paper or wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, wrap each salmon cake in plastic wrap and transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Label with the name and date and freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Defrost frozen uncooked salmon cakes in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight, then grill as directed.
  • To reheat salmon cakes, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until hot.

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