Paleo Chipotle Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes – The perfect blend of smoky, savory, and sweet, these paleo salmon cakes are a perfect healthy dinner! (Paleo & Whole30)
This post was sponsored by Alaska Seafood as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We’ve been enjoying Alaska salmon season this summer (it runs from about May to September), and I’m back today with another delicious recipe to share! These paleo (and Whole30 approved!!!) sweet potato salmon cakes were a BIG win at our house. I think they will be at your house, too! They’re the perfect combination of smoky, savory, and sweet. And that dipping sauce? So good!
I love that there aren’t any real “filler” ingredients here. Everything contributes flavor and nutrients to the dish. Sweet potato worked really well as a binder here in place of the traditional breadcrumb mixture. While sometimes adding veggies in place of breadcrumbs can yield a dense result, I felt like these were perfectly tender, light, and just packed with flavor.
We’re always mindful to choose quality fish when we enjoy it for dinner, and it really doesn’t get any better than wild caught Alaska salmon. The fishing season runs from about May to September, but the beauty is that thanks to awesome freezing and canning practices, we can enjoy quality salmon all year long (which is especially great in the middle of the desert where I live!).
These salmon cakes can be made using fresh (or frozen) fillets that have been gently cooked, or you can use canned salmon. If you opt for canned salmon, be sure to pick through the meat to remove any extra bones or cartilage. I love using the fillets whenever I can since I think the tender texture is just so hard to beat!
One other trick I use is to make them slightly smaller than some that you’ll find. This way, they’re the perfect size for dipping! If you prefer, you can absolutely make them larger, then dollop your sauce on top. It’s up to you!
Notes on these Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes:
- Cooking your salmon fillets – This is a step you can do a little bit ahead of time. For instance, you can use leftover salmon from the night before, or simply cook your salmon in the morning before you make the salmon cakes at night. I love doing a simple quick roast in the oven (375 degrees for 10-12 minutes), but you can also poach your salmon if you prefer.
- If you’re using canned salmon – Canned Alaska salmon is a great option for stretching your budget and keeping on hand for nights when you’re in a hurry. I recommend going through the meat with a fork carefully before adding it to your mixture, since there can sometimes be a few stray bones or pieces of cartilage left behind. They won’t hurt you, but for the best texture, I recommend removing them.
- Dipping Sauces – I looooove chipotle ranch because it’s *just* the right amount of kick for me. It’s mild enough that Sophie will eat it, but flavorful enough that I feel satisfied every time I try it. If you prefer, you could serve these with something a little different, like a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the top or a dollop of guacamole or avocado ranch.
- How long will these keep? Cooked salmon lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator, so you can absolutely make these sweet potato salmon cakes ahead for a few days of packed lunches or enjoy dinner leftovers for a night or two.
- Whole30 Notes – If you’re doing Whole30, look for a mustard made without sugar or wine. I like Koops’ brand and Annie’s, which I can find easily.
Craving More? You Might also Like…
- Chipotle Ranch
- Sheet Pan Pesto Salmon and Veggies (Paleo approved!)
- Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls
- 6 Amazing Ways to Stuff a Sweet Potato
If needed or desired, you can substitute canned salmon for the fillets I used here. You’ll need 12 oz canned salmon, drained and any bones removed. I like using fresh or (thawed) frozen fillets. I bake them at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, then flake them. See notes for more tips!
- 12oz cooked salmon, like Alaska salmon
- 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato, lightly mashed
- 4 Tbsp finely minced red onion
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (can sub dill or parsley)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard (see notes for Whole30)
- juice & zest of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine salmon, sweet potato, onion, egg, cilantro, mustard, lime zest/juice, and seasonings. Stir well with a fork until mixture comes together (this works even better if you use your hands).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Gently divide the mixture into 10-12 small balls and gently flatten to form patties.
- Bake at 375 degrees 20-25 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (I like chipotle ranch, guacamole, or avocado ranch!)
COOKING THE SALMON AHEAD OF TIME: I bake my salmon 10-12 minutes at 375. You can use leftover cooked salmon from the night before, or cook it earlier in the day to speed up prep time.
COOKED SWEET POTATO: Similarly, you use cooked sweet potato for this recipe. I use leftover baked sweet potatoes, but you can also simply steam or boil a small, diced sweet potato while you’re cooking your salmon.
PAN FRY THEM INSTEAD: If you want crispier cakes, you can pan fry them. I’ve found that I can have some trouble with sticking or breaking when I pan fry them unless I add quite a bit of cooking fat to the pan. I’ve found it’s just easier to bake them, but if you’re missing that crispy crust, go ahead and pan fry them!
Keywords: salmon, chipotle, sweet potato salmon cakes, paleo salmon cakes, salmon cakes, gluten free, alaska salmon, alaskan salmon