Turn left-over cooked salmon into elegant crispy salmon cakes with lemon zest, capers and light tartar sauce made with Greek yogurt. They’re ready in less than a half hour!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Dairy Farm Families of New England. I was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Now that we’re into the second month of the year, I am really hitting my stride planning ahead with protein for the week. As you know, I have been working on getting more protein into my diet at every meal– not just at dinner time.
I’ve gotten in the habit of buying a little more than I need for dinner, so I can end up with left-overs for my lunch or to pack for Jase. This keeps him away from take-out (and those over-sized cookies or bags of chips) and he’s already down 10 pounds!
I have over-done it a couple times, and ended up with more left-overs than I really wanted. But it is a work in progress.
Speaking of left-overs. These salmon cakes are made with left-overs. Left-over salmon that is. Salmon is a family favorite source of protein around here, and it’s also an easy way to get essential Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet. Plus these cakes also have Greek yogurt in them, which is another convenient source of protein and a refrigerator staple in our family. We enjoy Greek yogurt for snacks, breakfasts, in smoothies and I love to use as an ingredient to make recipes seem creamy and comforting.
I’m not sure that these salmon cakes qualify as part of the comfort-food make-over series I have been doing lately. Not because they aren’t a healthier make-over but because I am not sure salmon cakes really are considered comfort-food. What do you think? Leave me a comment below.
Either way- they are healthier- thanks to a few swaps I’ve made- and trust me, nobody will know the difference, taste-wise. But as far as the nutrients go- these are way better.
How to Make Healthier Salmon Cakes
- Swap in Greek Yogurt instead of Mayo: Usually salmon cakes are made with mayonnaise mixed with salmon and dried bread crumbs. I used Greek Yogurt instead of mayonnaise- for a fraction of the calories. This swap alone saved 258 calories (64 cal per serving.) Plus using Greek yogurt in the cakes (and tartar sauce) gives me an extra 4 grams of protein per serving.
- Use Fresh Breadcrumbs: Standard salmon cakes call for dry breadcrumbs. This only causes the cakes to dry out- thus requiring more mayonnaise. Instead I used 2 slices of fresh sourdough bread that I processed in my food processor to make fresh bread crumbs. They add body to the cakes- so they hold together well- and the taste of the sourdough is very nice with the salmon.
- Add low-cal Flavor: I added lemon zest, capers, shallot and celery seed to the salmon mixture to boost the flavor- all for very little additional calories.
- Bake instead of Frying: To cook the salmon cakes, I formed the salmon mixture into patties, then I cooked them in a non-stick skillet over medium heat in only 1 tablespoon oil. As you can see in the photos, they still get a great browned exterior- without a lot of frying oil. Just cook the cakes 4 at a time, and then allow them to finish cooking through, all together on a sheet pan in a hot oven.
- Lighten Up Tartar with Greek Yogurt: Another big calorie saving comes in the tartar sauce. I swapped 1/3 cup mayo for the Greek yogurt and I added in extra flavor from whole-grain mustard and fresh dill in addition to the requisite relish. It’s tangy and the perfect foil for the richness of the cakes.
Do you intentionally make left-overs for lunches?
Would you consider Salmon Cakes a comfort food?
Turn left-over cooked salmon into elegant crispy salmon cakes with lemon zest, capers and light tartar sauce made with Greek yogurt. They're ready in less than a half hour!
- 1 egg white
- 2/3 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, divided
- Zest from 1 lemon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt, dived
- Generous pinch celery seed
- 2 slices sourdough bread, crusts removed (3.5 ounces)
- 1 pound cooked* boneless, skinless salmon, preferably sustainably sourced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped capers
- 3 teaspoons organic canola oil or avocado oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons chopped dill
- 2 teaspoons relish
- 1 teaspoon whole grain or Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Whisk egg white, 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and celery seed in a large bowl.
- Process bread in food processor until it forms coarse crumbs.
- Flake the salmon into small pieces.
- Add the breadcrumbs, the salmon, shallot and capers to the Greek yogurt mixture and stir thoroughly to work the salmon into the binders and it becomes a consistent texture that can be formed into cakes.
- Form the salmon mixture into 8 even cakes. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook four salmon cakes until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip over and brown on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the salmon patties to the prepared baking sheet.
- Add the remaining teaspoon oil. Reduce heat to medium. Cook the remaining 4 patties until browned on both sides, 1 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the patties to the baking sheet.
- Bake the salmon cakes until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, mayonnaise, dill, relish, mustard and pepper in a small bowl.
- Serve the salmon cakes with the light tartar.
Tip* To Cook the salmon, bake on an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan at 450 degreed F convection until cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes, depending on thickness of the salmon filet.
You May Also Like: