Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto

Pink Salmon Cakes with Cilantro Pesto

Canned wild salmon is the base for these fast, delicious salmon cakes. Serve them over mixed greens or with sauteed bell peppers and a piece of toasty focaccia.

From EatingWell: March/April 2012
Yield: 4 servings, 1 cake & about 3 tablespoons pesto each
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


Salmon Cakes

  1. 2 6- to 7-ounce cans boneless, skinless wild Alaskan salmon, drained
  2. 1 lemon
  3. 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)
  4. 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg
  7. 1 tablespoon butter


  1. 1/4 cup canola oil
  2. 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  3. 1 clove garlic, peeled
  4. 4 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. To prepare salmon cakes: Flake salmon into a bowl, removing any small bones or skin. Cut lemon in half; juice one half and cut the other half into 4 wedges. Add the lemon juice, breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, chopped cilantro and mace (or nutmeg) to the bowl. Mix gently with your fingers until well combined. Form into 4 patties 1 inch thick (use a scant 1/2 cup for each). Let sit for about 5 minutes to let the breadcrumbs absorb the flavor.
  2. To prepare pesto: Meanwhile, place oil, almonds and garlic in a blender and pulse to combine. With the blender on medium speed, begin to add cilantro, a handful at a time. Continue, scraping down the sides, until all the leaves are pureed and you have a thick paste. Season with salt and set aside.
  3. Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until foaming. Add the salmon cakes and cook, gently turning halfway through, until golden on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Adjust the heat and reshape the cakes as necessary.
  4. Serve the salmon cakes with the pesto and a wedge of lemon.

Tips & Notes


Nutrition Per Serving: 302 calories; 22 g fat (3 g sat, 12 g mono); 33 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 1 g fiber; 469 mg sodium; 146 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (24% daily value), omega-3s

1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat, 3 fat