When I was growing up, salmon cakes were a staple at our house for dinner. My mom would always make them and serve them with a big scoop of mashed potatoes, slathered in butter, and a side of green beans (normally you would think green peas, but I’m not a pea gal, so she accommodated me with my other green side of choice). Those salmon cakes were insanely good and bring back so many fantastic memories every time I think of them. I guess you could say, they were a total comfort food dish.
Since eating meat can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for me, I had to find alternatives to working protein into every meal on Whole30. I love fish/seafood and could just about eat it daily. There’s a recipe for Salmon Cakes in the back of the Whole30 book, so I tried making them. I tweaked the recipe just a tad and what I ended up with was basically a version of what I remembered from childhood. I ate the salmon cakes lunch and dinner for days until they ran out, and when I started a second round of Whole30 back in October, they were the first thing I made.
At first glance, this recipe might scare you due to the long list of ingredients. BUT… you’re throwing them all in a food processor and I promise you when I say, even for a slow cook (ehhh-hem, me), you’ll throw this meal together in no time.
I served these Salmon Cakes with a side of Spaghetti Squash that had an Italian flair, but you could totally serve these the old fashioned way with a mashed potatoes (since technically they’re whole30 approved, minus the butter and milk) and green beans. Or you could always make mashed cauliflower in place of the potatoes for a lower carb route. Stay tuned for a killer mashed cauliflower recipe on Wednesday, by the way. Give this a whirl and let me know if these salmon cakes don’t take you back to being a kid again.;)
In the recipe section, you’ll see that I also give the option of serving the salmon cakes with a little dollop of Basil Aioli. All you do is make basic aioli (link here) and add some garlic powder and fresh or dried basil. Super easy and a delightful sauce to dip the salmon cakes in.
Salmon Cakes over Spaghetti SquashSERVES 6-8 PrintDownload
- 2 5 oz cans of boneless, skinless salmon
- 1 small sweet potato, baked and peeled
- 1 egg
- 1/2-2/3 cup of almond flour
- 1 small, chopped shallot
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 Tablespoons of fresh parsley, roughly chopped (1/2 tablespoon if using dried)
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 bottle of Whole30 compliant Tomato Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
- 3 cups of fresh spinach
- 1/3 cup of pine nuts
- Basil Aioli (optional to top the salmon cakes)
- Aioli recipe link above: add 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tablespoon of dried basil or 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
- Bake the sweet potato by placing it on a baking sheet covered in foil. Cut the ends off and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. You can also cook the spaghetti squash at the same time. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper over the squash and bake for about 30 minutes until it's soft. Set it aside while you prepare the salmon cakes
- Peel the jacket off the sweet potato once it's cooled and place it in a food processor along with the drained salmon, egg, 1/2 cup of almond flour, the chopped shallot, garlic, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Pulse the food processor until all the ingredients come together. It should be fairly thick. If it's not and you can't form a cake, add the remaining almond flour and pulse again.
- Form the salmon cakes to the desired size. I usually use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to help me portion out the cakes, but you can make them any size you'd like.
- Heat up a large skillet to medium high heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Place the salmon cakes in the skillet and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side. They should be a nice golden brown on each side when they're done cooking.
- While the salmon cakes are cooking, heat up another skillet and add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Get the sauce warm and then add the spinach. It will wilt from the heat of the sauce.
- Scrape the spaghetti squash with a fork and add it to the sauce. Mix to combine and heat it thoroughly.
- To serve: Spoon the spaghetti squash into a pasta bowl and top with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts. Place a salmon cake on the side and serve with a dollop of Basil Aioli
- To toast the pine nuts: Heat up a dry skillet to medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast them until they are a light golden brown and fragrant.