2020 Update! These gluten free salmon and potato cakes hit all of my crave buttons—they’re hot and crispy, cool and creamy, and they’re laced with scallions, garlic and ginger. A hint of sesame oil and tamari (or soy sauce) gives them a slight Asian flare. The cakes are easy to make and are an awesome prep-ahead dinner. [New VIDEO below!]

Close up of a crispy salmon potato cake with dill.

Salmon potato cakes with no breadcrumbs or eggs

The salmon and potato patties contain no breadcrumbs and are made without eggs! Mashed red potatoes provide plenty of stickiness, holding the cakes together. 

How do you make fish cakes from scratch? 

  • Boil peeled red potatoes until fork tender, then mash them with a fork until light and fluffy. 
  • In the meantime, bake 1 pound of salmon until mostly cooked through but still pink in the middle. Flake the salmon and add it to the bowl with the potatoes. 
  • Add chopped scallions, grated garlic, grated ginger, tamari and sesame oil. Toss with a fork.
  • Form the mixture into 1/2-cup cakes. 
  • Pan-fry the cakes in neutral vegetable oil until crispy on the outside, then finish them in the oven. 
Process shot divided into four quadrants showing how to make potato and salmon patties.
Overhead shot of potato salmon cakes on a baking sheet.

Gluten free salmon potato cakes ingredients (and swaps!):

  • Red potatoes: Red potatoes provide the base for the cakes and hold everything together. Don’t be tempted to swap in Yukon gold or Russet potatoes in this recipe—they have a higher moisture content and will prevent the cakes from crisping up. 
  • Salmon: I prefer to use wild salmon in this recipe, although you can use farm-raised if that’s all you can find. This is a great time to use frozen salmon, which I always keep in the freezer (defrost the salmon in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water before baking). The salmon is baked to medium-rare (it should still be quite pink in the middle), as it will finish cooking in the cakes.
  • Garlic, ginger and scallions: Garlic, ginger and scallions give the cakes an incredible flavor. Feel free to omit the ginger if you don’t have it. You can also use chopped shallots and/or cilantro in place of the scallions. 
  • Tamari or soy sauce: A touch of tamari (or soy sauce) gives the cakes a savory, umami note. Liquid aminos would be a good swap, or you can omit it.
  • Toasted Sesame oil: I love the nuttiness of toasted sesame oil, which rounds out these cakes. However, you can omit it if needed.

Make-ahead salmon and mashed potato patties

The salmon and potato patties can be assembled up to 1 day ahead, making them great for busy weeknights or for entertaining. Cover and refrigerate the patties, then fry them off right before eating. 

Salmon potato cakes on a serving plate with yogurt sauce in the background.

Creamy yogurt sauce

A quick and easy yogurt sauce provides contrast to the hot and crispy cakes. The sauce is made with garlic, lemon juice and herbs (if you have them!). I usually go for dill and/or cilantro, but you could use scallions or chives, or omit the herbs altogether. The sauce is also awesome over fish, on burgers, or as a dipping sauce for oven fries and roasted vegetables. 

Crispy fish cake on a plate topped with yogurt sauce, with a fork alongside.

What is best served with fish cakes?

These fish cakes pair perfectly with bright or crunchy side dishes, such as a quick green salad or roasted cabbage wedges. Coleslaw, Asian slaws and roasted vegetables are also fantastic pairings. 

Tips for this recipe:

  • You’ll need a large nonstick skillet (or you can use a cast iron skillet) for this recipe. I love this teflon-free Scanpan.
  • A thin fish spatula works great for flipping the cakes. 
  • Don’t be tempted to use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes in place of the red potatoes—their higher water content won’t allow the cakes to brown properly.
  • Bake the salmon to medium-rare (it should still look very pink in the center). The fish will cook further in the cakes. 
  • You can also use leftover cooked salmon in this recipe, if you have it!

Other salmon recipes to try:

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Watch the video!

Get the recipe!

Potato Salmon Cakes with Creamy Yogurt Sauce

These salmon and potato cakes hit all of my crave buttons—they’re hot and crispy, cool and creamy, and they’re laced with scallions, garlic and ginger. A hint of sesame oil and tamari (or soy sauce) gives them a slight Asian flare, while a quick yogurt sauce lends cool creaminess. The cakes are easy to make and are an awesome prep-ahead dinner or appetizer. I prefer to use wild salmon in this recipe (it’s a great time to use frozen salmon—just defrost it before baking). Don’t be tempted to use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes in place of the red potatoes—their higher water content won’t allow the cakes to brown properly.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free salmon cakes, salmon cakes recipe, salmon potato cakes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds red potatoes (about 4 large potatoes), peeled and quartered (halved if small)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound salmon fillet(s), preferably wild
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Neutral vegetable oil, such as safflower or grapeseed, for frying
  • Creamy Yogurt Sauce, see recipe below

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  • Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Season well wth salt. Bring to a boil. Cook at a gentle boil until the potatoes are very tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl. Using a fork, break up the potatoes until light and fluffy.
  • Meanwhile, put the salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until medium-rare (it should still be quite pink in the middle), about 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon. Gently flake the salmon, discarding the skin.
  • Add the flaked salmon to the potatoes, along with the scallions, garlic, ginger, tamari and toasted sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir with a fork until evenly combined. Form the mixture into ½-cup patties (you should get 8 patties). Do Ahead: The patties can be covered tightly and refrigerated overnight.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat about ¼ inch of oil until shimmering. Pan-fry half of the cakes over medium-high heat until browned and crisp on both sides, about 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining cakes, adjusting the heat as needed. Arrange the cakes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Serve the salmon potato cakes warm from the oven with the Creamy Yogurt Sauce.

Notes

Storage: Leftover salmon potato cakes are delicious the next day! Reheat them in a toaster oven (or regular oven) until hot.
Tips:
  • You’ll need a large nonstick skillet (or you can use a cast iron skillet) for this recipe. I love this teflon-free Scanpan.
  • A thin fish spatula works great for flipping the cakes. 
  • Don’t be tempted to use Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes in place of the red potatoes—their higher water content won’t allow the cakes to brown properly.
  • Bake the salmon to medium-rare (it should still look very pink in the center). The fish will cook further in the cakes. 
  • You can also use leftover cooked salmon in this recipe, if you have it!

Creamy Yogurt Sauce

This garlic and herb-flecked yogurt sauce is also delicious over fish, and it’s a fabulous dip for oven fries and veggies. I usually use dill and/or cilantro in the sauce, but you could use scallions or chives, or omit the herbs altogether if you don’t have them.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy yogurt sauce, yogurt sauce for fish, yogurt sauce recipe
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, preferably whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and/or dill
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and garlic. If you have the time, let it sit for 5-10 minutes (this will mellow out the garlic). Stir in the yogurt and cilantro and/or dill, and season with salt and pepper.

Notes

Do Ahead: The yogurt sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.

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