These gluten-free salmon cakes are incredibly tasty and offer the perfect way to use up leftover salmon. I added nutrient-dense quinoa to bulk up the salmon cakes and add plenty of texture. These salmon patties are made without mayo too. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
If you love salmon cakes or salmon patties, you’ll love my spin on this classic dish. My salmon cakes are made without dairy and I completely nixed the mayonnaise too. Did you know I hate mayo?
On the inside, I used tri-colored quinoa, which adds bulk to the salmon cakes. Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free pseudo-grain that is packed with protein, fiber, and folate. It’s a wonderful addition to the gluten-free diet.
On the outside of the salmon cake, you’ll find a crispy coating because they’re pan-fried to perfection in a little oil.
This recipe is easy to make, nutritious, and offers the perfect way to use leftover salmon (although you could use canned salmon too – more on that to come.)
Ingredients for Salmon Cakes
You’re going to need to do a little prep work to make these salmon cakes. Here’s what you need to do:
Salmon: You’ll need cooked salmon for this recipe. As mentioned, I almost exclusively make this recipe with leftover salmon. I purposely make leftover salmon every time I make salmon so that I can make this salmon cake recipe the next day. You could also use canned salmon. Regardless, you want your salmon cooked and shredded with a fork before making your salmon cake batter.
Quinoa: You’ll also need cooked tri-colored quinoa. You’ll want to measure the quinoa cooked, not dry, before adding it to this recipe. This recipe calls for one cup of cooked quinoa. If you have leftover quinoa, simply eat it with your meal or save it for another night. Quinoa is considered a naturally gluten-free pseudo-grain that has a slightly nutty flavor. When mixed with the salmon and other ingredients, the quinoa adds bulk and texture rather than flavor.
Rice Flour: I love using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour, but you could use any white or brown rice flour.
Egg: You’ll need one large egg for this recipe. The egg will serve as a binder to hold everything together.
Seasonings: Depending on how your leftover salmon was seasoned, you’ll want to add a few seasonings to make your salmon cakes sing. How much seasoning you add is up to you. If you’re working from plain, unseasoned canned or cooked salmon, you’ll want to add extra seasonings. If you’re working from a pre-seasoned cooked fish from the night before, you may only want to add a few seasonings to elevate the flavor and season up the plain quinoa. You can use a fish seasoning or rub, a little gluten-free soy sauce, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and/or pepper. You could also use fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, or parsley.
Vegetable Oil: I recommend using avocado oil to fry up the salmon cakes. Avocado oil is a neutral vegetable oil that can be safely used at high heat. Learn more about how to cook with various oils in this article.
Prepare Your Salmon Patties
Once you combine all your ingredients (except for the oil, which you’ll use for frying) in a large bowl, you’ll want to shape the mixture into burger patties.
Once the salmon patties are ready to go, heat a thin layer of vegetable oil (about 3 tablespoons) over medium-high heat in your non-stick pan until it’s hot, then add the patties.
Depending on how large your pan is, you should be able to fit all of the patties without overcrowding them. If your pan is small, work the salmon patties in batches.
After about 3-4 minutes, flip the salmon cakes so they brown on the other side. The patties will have a nice, thin brown layer on the surface. This is what a perfectly cooked salmon patty looks like:
If the pan seems dry at any point, add more oil. Don’t be stingy. These patties need to brown properly and may need additional oil to do so.
Once the gluten-free salmon cakes are browned on both sides, remove them from the heat and place them on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
How to Serve ‘Em
These salmon cakes can be served along with your favorite gluten-free side. I love serving them with roasted potatoes, French fries, and/or a side salad.
I also love dipping the salmon cakes in hot sauce, but you could also serve them with a lemon dill mayonnaise dip, tartar sauce, or aioli. As I mentioned prior, I dislike mayonnaise, so you won’t find any mayo-based recipes here.
Squeeze a little lemon juice on top just before serving. The lemon will add a wonderful citrusy flavor to the overall salmon cake.
Why We Love Salmon Cakes
We love that these salmon cakes have a crispy outer shell and a tender, flaky inside.
We also love how they taste, but the flavor will depend on how well you season the patties. Don’t skimp on seasoning. These salmon cakes can handle it!
I also love that they’re packed with quinoa, which elevates the nutritional value of this meal.
On top of it all, this recipe allows me to use up leftover salmon. No waste here!
More Salmon Recipes
- Blackened Salmon Salad with Jalapeno Lime Vinaigrette
- Dill Roasted Salmon
- Asian Salmon Recipe – Broiled or Grilled
Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes
- 2 cups salmon cooked and shredded, see notes
- 1 cup tri-color quinoa cooked, see notes
- 1/2 cup gluten-free all purpose flour I used Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Flour in the red bag. Alternatively, you could use white or brown rice flour.
- 1 large egg
- Seasonings of choice see notes
- 3-6 Tbsp avocado or vegetable oil
- In a large bowl, combine shredded salmon, cooked (and cooled) quinoa, flour, egg, and seasonings of choice. Mix ingredients until well combined.
- Shape the salmon mixture into burger-sized patties and set aside. You should have about 8 patties.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet with 3 tbsp of avocado oil over medium-high heat.
- Place each patty in the hot skillet and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until a crisp, slightly brown crust forms.
- Remove burgers from the pan and place them on paper towels to drain the excess oil. Serve immediately.