These crispy flaky Baked Salmon Cakes with canned salmon, dill, and lemon are easy enough for weeknight dinners and special enough for guests! They require only 10 easy-to-find ingredients and 10 minutes of hands-on time. Move over baked salmon patties, these salmon cakes with crushed crackers instead of breadcrumbs have more texture and flavor!
We make these so frequently that I have personally tested all substitutions and variations myself. They can be made gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and with canned or fresh salmon with no adverse impact on the overall flavor and texture. This is one of the most popular savory recipes on the site, and I'm sure you’ll make them over and over again like I do!
After making an amazing recipe for Baked Crab Cakes for Mashed.com, I decided to try it with salmon, and I am so glad I did! The flakiness of these cakes is truly the best way to eat canned salmon. You can also make them with leftover cooked salmon -- talk about a way to repurpose leftovers!
We make these Baked Salmon Cakes with canned salmon year round and especially love them for Friday night dinner guests! Don't take our word for it... here’s what our dinner guests had to say about this baked salmon cakes recipe:
Why you’ll love these Easy Baked Salmon Cakes:
- salmon, dill, and lemon are a match made in heaven
- they have so much texture compared to a traditional salmon patty
- you’ll never believe they were made with canned salmon
- minimal filler and ingredients
- 10 minutes of hands-on time
- so crispy!
Ingredients Notes + Substitutions
You need only 10 common ingredients for these easy salmon cakes! Read the section below the ingredients photo for the best ingredient sourcing tips.
For this recipe, you can used canned salmon or fresh salmon.
Canned salmon: My favorite brands are Wild Planet and Safe Catch, and they typically come in 5 or 6 ounce cans. You will need two standard cans for this recipe, and our measurements work well for either 10 or 12 ounces in total. Make sure your canned salmon does not have any added flavors and is boneless and skinless.
Fresh salmon: You will want to bake the salmon first since our baking times and instructions are for pre-cooked salmon only. If you need easy baking instructions for salmon, check out our Salmon Quinoa Salad recipe. You need about 1 ½ cups of salmon, broken into flaky chunks with a fork, and with skin and bones removed.
Because the moisture content is often a little lower with fresh salmon compared to canned salmon, you may need to add extra mayonnaise and/or water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach a consistency where the cakes stick together but are not soggy.
Binders and Flavorings
Salmon is the main event, but you'll need a few flavorings. Plus egg and mayonnaise to hold the cakes together. Here's the list:
- Worcestershire sauce (I used gluten-free)
- Dijon mustard
- dried dill
- ground black pepper
- melted butter (substitute dairy-free butter, avocado oil, or vegetable oil for dairy-free)
- lemon wedges
Egg-Free: To make egg-free salmon cakes, use vegan mayonnaise. Replace the egg with 1 tablespoon of extra vegan mayo and 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed. I've made this recipe egg-free with canned salmon and fresh salmon and this substitution works well for both.
Salmon cakes always include either breadcrumbs or crushed crackers for texture. I found crackers made the crispiest cakes!
Both Saltine crackers and Townhouse crackers are excellent in this recipe. For gluten-free, use Glutino Gluten-Free Table Crackers.
How to make Salmon Cakes with canned salmon
The full instructions with measurements can be found in the recipe card below. Here's a rundown of how this easy recipe works:
How to make Baked Salmon Cakes:
- Mix the wet ingredients and spices together.
- Add salmon and crushed crackers to the mixture and combine.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Form cakes.
- Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the cakes before serving!
Here are answers to some common questions we get about making salmon cakes with canned salmon:
To keep salmon patties from falling apart, make sure to include egg and mayonnaise as a binder. Then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow the ingredients to set. When you finally form the patties, gently scoop with a measuring cup and compact lightly with your hands.
With clean ingredients and minimal filler, salmon patties are almost as healthy as eating the fish by itself. Because of the mercury content in fish, the FDA recommends that you eat salmon 2-3 times per week.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave, air fryer, or oven until just heated through.
What to serve with Baked Salmon Patties
Baked Salmon Cakes pair well with roasted or grilled vegetables like asparagus and a baked potato. They are also fantastic in a sandwich with a bun, lettuce, mayonnaise, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprig of fresh dill.
Other Pairings we love:
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Baked Salmon Cakes
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried dill
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 10-12 ounces boneless skinless canned salmon drained
- ½ cup crushed crackers -- Saltine and Townhouse Crackers work great as do Glutino gluten-free table crackers
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ lemon cut into wedges
- Wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, dill, and black pepper.
- Salmon and crackers: Top the mixture with lump canned salmon (drain thoroughly first). Then top with crushed crackers.
- Mix: Gently mix the ingredients together with a spatula, breaking apart any large chunks of salmon. Cover the mixture and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Prep for baking: Preheat the oven to 450 F and line a baking sheet with a silicone liner (or grease generously).
- Form salmon cakes: Gently pack a ⅓ cup measuring cup with salmon cake mixture. Then transfer the mixture to your hands and gently press together to form a cohesive mound. Place on the baking sheet, and repeat for three more salmon cakes.
- Bake: Gently brush the top of each mound with butter. Then bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the outside is golden brown and crisp.
- Serve: Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top just before serving. We also love adding a sprig of fresh dill!