Gluten-Free Recipe of the Week #11: Paleo Weeknight Salmon Cakes

ROTW 11 via Positively FreeIf you’ve read my Monthly Meal Plan posts, you know I like to experiment with new recipes. Sometimes these experiments work out really well…and sometimes they don’t. Whenever I modify a recipe, I take lots of notes so that I can recreate it in the future if it turns out well.

For my reference and yours, I’ve decided to post my recipe experiments on this blog. I plan to post at least one recipe per week. I will include a link to the original recipe as well as allergen/special diet information, notes about my changes and lessons learned, pictures from various stages of cooking, and my overall impression of the dish. Most recipes will be main dishes, but I may also include desserts or snacks as well.  

Leave a comment below if you think there’s a recipe I might like to try for a future post!

This week’s recipe is Everyday Maven’s
{Paleo} Weeknight Salmon Cakes

Paleo Weeknight Salmon Cakes via Positively Free

*Please click HERE for a printable copy of this recipe*

Information for Top 8 Allergens

  • Contains:
    • TREE NUTS (almonds)
    • EGG
    • FISH
  • Free From:
    • Dairy
    • Peanuts
    • Gluten
    • Crustacean Shellfish
    • Soy (check labels)


  • This meal (at least for me) is a “Pantry Essentials Plus” recipe (pantry essential staples plus one extra ingredient). I had everything (save the parsley) in my pantry/fridge before I went grocery shopping for this week’s meals.

Weeknight Salmon Cakes Ingredients via Positively Free

  • I like to buy one bunch of fresh herbs each week (usually basil, cilantro, or parsley) and use that bunch in as many recipes as possible.  When I’m meal planning, I make sure to select other recipes that call for similar herbs (or would work well with that herb) to get the most out of that one bunch of herbs. Between cooking sessions, I save my fresh herbs in my fridge just like flowers in a vase.

Parsley Vase via Positively Free Parsley Flowers via Positively Free

  • If you start from scratch, this meal is too much (for me) for a busy weeknight. However, if you roast the sweet potato in advance—I roasted several and used them in meals throughout the week—and prep the salmon cakes 12-24 hours in advance, this meal does work for busy weeknights.

Mashed Sweet Potato via Positively Free Salmon Patties via Positively Free

  • The original recipe calls for canned salmon with skin and bones, and it includes information about how to remove them. I elected to use skinless and boneless canned salmon, mainly because that’s what I had in my pantry (I get a 6-pack at Costco) but it was also nice to be able to skip this particular step. I simply drained 4 6-0z cans and added them to the bowl.

Skinless & Boneless via Positively Free Canned Salmon Cans via Positively FreeIngredients in Bowl via Positively Free

  • For this recipe, you will need to form the salmon patties with your hands. I tend to have very dry hands in the Winter, so I like to keep disposable gloves in my pantry for recipes like this one—it saves my hands from needing extra washings and minimizes the yuck factor!

Gloves in Pantry via Positively Free

  • If you’ve never pan-fried, it’s very easy as long as you get the fat (I used ghee, but coconut oil would also work well) very hot before you put the patties in. These patties are somewhat delicate (even after being chilled in the fridge), so take care when flipping them in your pan.  If they crumble a little (mine did), it’s totally fine—just smush them back together as best you can. They will still taste great! I think you could also broil them (5 minutes per side) if you want to save time or batch-cook them. I didn’t try it for this recipe, but I’ve used that technique for previous salmon cake recipes I’ve made.

Hot Ghee via Positively Free Pan Frying Salmon via Positively Free

  • The original recipe recommends freezing extra patties before you cook them. My mix made 14 patties, so I cooked 8 (6 for dinner and 2 for lunch the next day) and froze 6 on a plate. The next day, I wrapped the frozen patties in parchment paper-lined foil and put the foil in a plastic freezer bag for more long-term storage. All I need to do is defrost the patties and pan-fry them for a hot meal in minutes—score!

Freezing the Patties via Positively Free Parchment in Foil via Positively Free Foil Package via Positively Free Foil Package in Freezer Bag via Positively Free


  • You could substitute any fresh herb you have at home, but it is nice with the fresh parsley.
  • If you’d rather use dried herbs, use 1/3 the amount listed for fresh herbs. For this recipe, you would use about 1 tablespoon of whichever dried herb you’d prefer.

Additional Meal Components

I paired the salmon cakes (each person got 2) with arugula (seasoned with Wegmans Basting Oil) and (leftover) roasted broccoli. You could easily top any salad with these cakes to make it a meal.

Salmon 2 via Positively Free


These salmon cakes are a new staple for us! The addition of the sweet potato helped the meal have a little more staying power and it also cut some of the strong salmon flavors, which made them much more appealing to my three year-old son. The parsley and lemon added brightness and freshness to a meal that came right from the pantry. The hot sauce was a nice addition as well—the heat contrasted nicely with the sweet, bright, and smoky flavors in the mix and added a nice medium heat  to the patties (it was a touch too spicy for my son, so adjust the heat level according to your preference). It was also fantastic served cold on a salad for my lunch the next day. The best part? I have 6 patties waiting for me in my freezer the next time I have a craving for these awesome little flavor bombs. Yum!

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