Aggie's Kitchen

Salmon Quinoa Cakes {20 Minute Meal}

Salmon quinoa cakes is an easy salmon recipe, full of health benefits and great taste! This protein-packed, healthy salmon dinner recipe is ready to eat in just 20 minutes.

Salmon quinoa cakes is an easy salmon recipe, full of health benefits and great taste! This protein-packed, healthy salmon dinner recipe is ready to eat in just 20 minutes. |

I’ve been dreaming up this recipe for Salmon Quinoa Cakes for weeks now, and I am so glad I finally came around to making it just last week. It comes together so incredibly quick and easy that I know for a fact it will be in the dinner time rotation often.

The key to putting this dinner recipe together in such little time is to have quinoa already prepared in your fridge. Lately, I’ve been forcing myself to cook a batch of quinoa to store in the refrigerator. It honestly takes no time to cook at all but for some reason I seem to need a little nudge to remember how nice it is to have it already made and ready to go. For instance, having it ready for this recipe made this meal come together at lightning speed on a day that that I needed it to the most. I like to use my favorite Wild Alaskan canned salmon I normally pick up at Costco and have stocked in my pantry.

20 Minute Healthy Meal: Salmon-Quinoa Cakes |

I basically replace the breadcrumbs that I would normally put in my go-to salmon cakes with cooked quinoa, for extra nutrition and texture. It gives the already protein packed salmon patties a little extra protein boost, making them a bit more filling. They are perfect for dinner, but also great reheated for a quick snack, lunch, or make-ahead meal as well.

I wish I could say this is the perfect dinner for my entire family, but unfortunately it’s not. My daughter will gobble up a plate of salmon cakes and salad, but my son (who always loved fish when he was younger) hasn’t been able to eat fish the last few years because it makes his “chest hurt”.

It’s happened a few times, so now we just don’t give it to him anymore and to be honest, I’ve kind of cut back on cooking fish for dinner because of it. It’s tough, because fish is my protein of choice, and it’s so healthy for us and such a nice change from chicken and turkey. So this is one of those situations where I’ve had to realize that it’s okay if he has a sandwich for dinner every now and then while we enjoy our fish.

We love the salmon quinoa cakes and he is a sandwich lover and not complaining, so I guess everyone is happy about this fish recipe. 🙂

20 Minute Healthy Meal: Salmon-Quinoa Cakes |

Print Recipe

20 Minute Meal: Salmon-Quinoa Cakes

Yield: 6 salmon cakes


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 6 oz cans boneless, skinless wild salmon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt free lemon pepper seasoning
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil, for frying
  • lemon wedges


  1. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine quinoa, salmon, lemon pepper, salt, dill and eggs. Divide evenly to form 6 patties.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, place patties into pan and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (While patties are cooking prepare your arugula salad if serving.)
  3. Take patties out of pan and place on a paper towel to cool and absorb any excess oil. Squeeze lemon over salmon patties and sprinkle with additional salt to taste while still warm.
  4. Serve alongside a simple arugula salad dressed in fresh squeezed lemon and olive oil.

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More salmon recipes:

Old Bay Salmon Cakes - a family favorite recipe

Old Bay Salmon Cakes

Salmon and Veggie Stirfry - recipe3

Salmon and Veggie Stir Fry

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub is the perfect "first time" salmon recipe. My whole family LOVES this one!

Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Rub

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62 Responses to “Salmon Quinoa Cakes {20 Minute Meal}”

  1. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite posted March 31, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I’m glad you went through and made it too. I love any kind of seafood cake and now I’m thinking about quinoa for my next one.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted March 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

      I love any and all seafood cakes too! Thanks Meagan 🙂

  2. Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living posted March 31, 2014 at 9:50 am

    This just the perfect Monday night recipe I was looking for. It looks delicious! What sort of other fish would you recommend in place of salmon?

    • Aggies Kitchen posted March 31, 2014 at 9:55 am

      I would think canned tuna would be a perfect swap…but really any cooked flaky white fish? (cod, tilapia, flounder) I haven’t tried it with cooked fish but as soon as I get more in my freezer I am going to make a batch! Thanks for stopping by Tess!

  3. sara posted March 31, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Do you think you could use an egg substitute, like flax seeds?

    • Aggies Kitchen posted March 31, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Sara, unfortunately I have no experience at all with egg substitutes, though I have heard that flax meal can be used. I am sorry I am no help!

    • Gwen @simplyhealthyfamily posted March 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      I’ve used flax ‘eggs’ many times (usually when I’m out of eggs 🙂 It’s 1 tablespoon flax meal + 1 tablespoon warm water per egg.

      • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

        Good to know, I will have to try one day!

        • Freda McCarty posted July 2, 2014 at 4:40 pm

          Thanks for this idea! My cardiologist recommended flax seed oil to help lower my triglycerides, so I purchased flax seed oil in gel tablets; however, my primary wants me to decrease OTC supplements and go to natural sources. I eat fish often to keep cholesterol down and this will be an excellent addition. I may incorporate flax seed into panka for other recipes, also.

  4. Erin | The Law Student's Wife posted March 31, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I am so pumped about this recipe Aggie! We LOVE seafood cakes, but living in a land-locked state, I’ve never had a good way to make them at home. The idea of canned salmon + prepared quinoa has me very excited. Why didn’t I think of this?? Saving for an upcoming dinner 🙂

  5. Lisa posted March 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Although I can still eat salmon, Im allergic to shellfish and most fish. I have had a few scary reactions before with cross-contamination issues and when my throat starts to close up, it does kind of make my chest feel uncomfortable. I would recommend getting your son tested for fish allergies.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted March 31, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      oh my gosh Lisa, thank you for mentioning this. This scares me!! How I know he wasn’t just saying it to avoid eating the fish is when we were out to dinner once and the restaurant accidentally included a grouper finger in his basket of chicken fingers. He immediately said the same thing about his chest and then I noticed the fish finger. Ugh!! I am going to talk with his doctor about getting him tested. It has always bothered me, I kind of wrote it off as maybe heartburn or something, but when I wrote it today I was really hoping someone would remark on it based on their own experience. Thank you very much.

      • Lisa posted March 31, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        If he does turn out to be allergic, at least it is an easier food allergy to deal with than most others. Good luck!

  6. Erica posted March 31, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    I’m not much for fish, but Josh loves TUNA. I think he’d probably enjoy a tuna version of this.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted March 31, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I think a tuna version would be great!

  7. Maria Tadic posted March 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    This is such a great recipe! I love salmon burgers/cakes – tasty and easy. And it’s so great to have premade quinoa or even some brown rice in the fridge. Makes dinner come together a lot easier!!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Thank you! I have to say, it is a huge lifesaver to have prepared rice or quinoa ready in the fridge. Makes a meal come together so much easier. Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Al posted March 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Interesting recipe with quinoa. It seems you took the patties in the right moment out of the pan. They are indeed golden brown and not dripping from fat.
    Beautiful decorated with the lemon slices and salad.
    Thank you.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Thank you so much!

  9. natalie@thesweetslife posted March 31, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    We love fish but don’t eat it enough–love that this uses canned salmona dn love that it’s so quick to prepare!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Yes, totally quick to prepare – I get the canned salmon at Costco, great to have on hand!

  10. Gaby posted March 31, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    This is so simple and so delicious!

  11. Kristina @ Love & Zest posted March 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    YUM– I love lemon and salmon together!

  12. Kim Beaulieu posted April 1, 2014 at 3:21 am

    These look amazing, and I love the idea of quinoa in them. I like to keep cooked rice in my fridge at all times. In case of a rice emergency, which oddly happens a lot.

    My daughter seems to have issues with chicken, no idea why. It’s one of my favourite proteins but I find we started eating so much less of it when she had this weird aversion to it.

  13. Christine from Cook the Story posted April 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

    What a healthy go-to meal…love it!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Thanks Christine!

  14. Cassie posted April 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I love quinoa cakes of all varieties. The salmon in these is right up my alley!

  15. Louisa posted April 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

    What a great idea to use quinoa in these salmon cakes – my mom would love this recipe! Will have to make it for her. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:50 am

      I hope you try it and you both enjoy it! It was a great way to switch up our regular salmon cakes. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted April 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    This photo is stunning!! I always forget to buy canned salmon – such a good reminder!!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:49 am

      I pick it up at Costco!

  17. Christina posted April 3, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve been looking for a new way to have quinoa! This is perfection 🙂

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  18. Terri/LoveandConfections posted April 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    I love salmon cakes! My mom and grandmother used to always make them for us during lent. Fish is definitely a staple in our house, being Italian and all we do the Feast of the Seven Fish on Christmas Eve and everything. Tilapia is my go-to fish because I keep it frozen and it thaws so quickly. I bake it in the oven with some salt, pepper, paprika, panko and lemon juice. With a side of veggie cous cous and that is a great meal.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

      I love having fish in the freezer. I haven’t made cous cous in a while and my kids have always loved it, thanks for the reminder!

  19. Carol Haile posted April 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I’m like you. I look at the bag of quinoa and know in 15 minutes I can have a batch prepared and on hand for all types of recipes. But need a push to do it. Can I be cooked in a microwave rice cooker?

    • Aggies Kitchen posted April 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

      I have heard people cook it in a rice cooker (the plug in kind), but I don’t know much about the microwave. I’m sure it could though! Seriously, it doesn’t take long…and I am basically reminding myself that, it’s so worth the 15 minutes and I could eat it for so many meals! (and feel good! go figure…)

      • Lori posted April 8, 2014 at 7:09 am

        I have no experience with canned salmon, is there a brand that could be recommended?

        • Aggies Kitchen posted April 8, 2014 at 4:31 pm

          Do you have access to a Costco? I always purchase the one they sell there and like it. I’ve gotten others at the grocery store that I wasn’t too crazy about. Definitely pick up boneless/skinless kind. Next time I stock up I will update with the name of the one I get from Costco. Thanks for asking!!

  20. Justin posted June 2, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Hello! I tried this recipe out today and it was delicious. For some reason, I felt as if my patties were way too mushy and wet. I even added in extra quinoa hoping to try them up a bit, but it didn’t work. I also froze them for about 20 mins hoping that would give them some structure, but that didnt work either. They ended up cracking and breaking in the pan. Any ideas on how this happened? and maybe how I can prevent it next time?

    Still great tasting though!

    Thank you!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted June 3, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Hi Justin! Thanks so much for the feedback! Maybe your salmon was extra watery? Did you squeeze it out before making the mix? That’s the only thing I can think of. I think each brand/can of salmon is different. Let me know what you think. Mine were definitely not mushy like you described, so I’m curious what could have caused it to be that way!

  21. Grace posted August 5, 2014 at 12:53 am

    Hi there

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe- it sounds delicious and I’m feeling inspired for my groceries. I’m planning on serving them with a homemade Greek-yogurt tzaziki sauce.

    I’m wondering if you or anyone else has had ny success in freezing these?

    Thanks again

    • Aggies Kitchen posted August 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Funny I’m actually preparing these for tonight’s dinner! The tzaziki sauce paired up with it sounds amazing, I may have to try that myself next time! I have not tried freezing these but if I have a couple leftover I think I will try it to see how it goes. Thanks for stopping by!!

  22. Julieta posted September 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Hi, I was wondering if I can make these cakes with fresh salmon. If so, how? Should I cook it first? Thanks so much!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted September 30, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Hi Julieta! I have never tried making it with fresh salmon, but if I did I would definitely cook first, maybe bake in the oven? Once it’s cooked and cooled I would then flake it up and mix it with the other ingredients and go from there. If you try it this way please let me know! I may have to try it myself too 🙂

  23. Sheri posted December 14, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Can these be baked instead? They sound delicious!

  24. Lisa Hollywood posted July 23, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    This was an easy and yummy recipe.  I would add a tip to refrigerate the parties before cooking, as I found they hold together better when chilled.  Also, to the person who wants to know if they can be baked, I  pan cook them in coconut oil.  It the healthiest of cooking oils and has a very high tolerance for heat, so it’s best for pan cooking. 

    • Aggies Kitchen posted July 25, 2015 at 7:22 am

      that is a great tip – thank you! I will try that next time. And I love coconut oil too!!

  25. Jen posted September 19, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    My 13-month old baby loved this and ate a cake and a half. Very pleased mother right here! Thank you for the recipe. (We used a mango lime seafood spice in place of the lemon pepper as it was what we had.)

    • Aggies Kitchen posted September 28, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Yay!! That mango lime spice sounds amazing!

  26. Erin posted October 11, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Just made these. They came together perfectly. A great protein-packed, clean meal. Thanks for sharing!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted October 12, 2015 at 8:18 am

      So glad to hear it, thank you for letting me know! Have a great week!

  27. Stacie posted August 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    This is a great recipe. It was quick, easy, and most of all, heart heathy. Thanks so much!

    • Aggies Kitchen posted August 4, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      wonderful, thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it!

  28. NB posted October 23, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I just made these, and while they were delicious, they wouldn’t hold together! Fell apart terribly in the skillet. I mixed some mayo, lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and garlic powder to eat with them and it was YUM. These made a mess but they were a tasty lunch.

    • Aggies Kitchen posted October 24, 2016 at 1:50 pm

      Oh I’m sorry they were falling apart on you! Curious, was the quinoa freshly cooked or was it previously cooked? I wonder if the moisture from warm quinoa makes a difference (and if so I want to note in the recipe). Thanks!! Glad you enjoyed them anyway 🙂 I recently made baked salmon cakes and am posting recipe soon so I bet baking these would be a good option as well.

  29. Ali posted July 18, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This is such an awesome recipe!!! I had done this on my own with fresh salmon fillet and flour before – but it was much more expensive and time intensive. I even liked this recipe better!

    Although they are so tasty they do not need a sauce, I happened to have some homemade avocado pesto in the fride (avocado, tons of basil, lemon juice, evoo, salt pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast all in the blender) and put a dollop on top of the cakes! SO GOOD

  30. Barbara posted September 8, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    This is a great salmon cakes recipe. I could never understand why would I waste expensive fresh salmon to make burgers so I loved the idea of canned fish here. I made sure to squeeze out the moisture from the mix, refrigerated patties for 3-4 hours, and didn’t have any issues with them falling apart. Served with spiralized beets and mint pesto. Next time I want to try avocado pesto – the recipe is definitely a keeper!


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