The recipe for these Best Ever Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes comes from one of my very dear friends, Jennifer. She’s both a longtime gluten-free friend and longtime member of my support group.
Jennifer first made these salmon cakes for our holiday support group meeting several years ago. (I talked about them when I shared my Popover recipe; you can see them on the far right in the photo of the full table below.) We all absolutely fell in love with these salmon cakes!
So when Jennifer asked what she should bring to our holiday tea event earlier this month, I immediately said, “Bring your salmon cakes!” I wanted to be sure that we had more than sweets to enjoy, and like I said, her salmon cakes are the best.
I have a recipe for Chipotle Salmon Corn Cakes here on gfe and they’re excellent, but still not as good as Jennifer’s Salmon Cakes. So I made that request and Jennifer honored it and we were all so happy.
We were so happy, in fact, that I didn’t think to snap any photos until there were only four somewhat battered salmon cakes remaining on the platter, and these are truly just hurried snapshots of those. My apologies for that.
And, yes, that’s the lovely and wonderful Jennifer shown below. She’s wearing a fascinator from my historic hat collection for our tea event, and, of course, eating one of her salmon cakes!
You’ll want to make these salmon cakes and see for yourself on all. They are pretty, healthy, and incredibly good, like addictively good. There were not very many of us at our tea event but still, Jennifer’s salmon cakes went quickly!
These salmon cakes require only four-ingredients and are so easy to prepare, but make such an excellent quick meal. Those factors are appreciated any time, but especially during the hectic holiday season.
You can make your salmon cakes larger and serve them on a gluten-free bun if you like (my Brazilian Un-Cheese Rolls would be a good choice) or you could serve them with some Dijon mustard and a serving of veggies on the side.
The key ingredient is the hemp seeds. (This is the brand I use.) Hemp seeds seem very expensive, but they are another whole food product that actually goes a long way for me so when you consider cost per serving, they’re reasonable.
That’s not even considering their nutritional benefits. I’m willing to pay more for ingredients that pack a healthier punch!
If you’ve never used hemp seeds before, here are just a few of their benefits:
Hemp seed is a high protein seed. It contains all nine of the essential amino acids, and both kinds of omegas.
It’s a nut-free way to get that crunchy texture and yummy nutty taste in recipes.
Hemp seed does not contain phytic acid that is present in such foods as tree nuts which makes foods less digestible. Therefore, hemp seed is considered pretty digestible.
Kimi from The Nourishing Gourmet did an excellent post on the nutritional value of hemp seeds a while back. Melissa of Gluten Free for Good also addresses hemp seeds/protein in her Hemp Protein Smoothie post.
Both articles are worth a read, and you’ll find the answer to that other question that you might be wondering about and that I didn’t answer. Think bell bottoms, Janis Joplin, etc., as Melissa addresses in her post and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The Best Ever Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes Recipe
The Best Ever Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes (Grain Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free and More)
These Best Ever Gluten-Free Salmon Cakes are naturally gluten free, grain free, dairy free, nut free, and "more free" and absolutely delicious! In fact, they're so good they're addictive! Hemp seeds are the "secret ingredient" that makes these salmon cakes so special.
- 1 large can wild-caught salmon, about 15 ounces, drained
- 1 large lovey egg* (see notes)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- Coconut oil (or oil of choice for frying; coconut oil is best for flavor)
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Shape mixture into five or six patties, about 2 ½ inches in diameter.
- Heat oil to medium to medium-high temperature.
- Add salmon cakes. Fry about 6 minutes on each side, “til crispy." Watch carefully though so you don’t overcook the salmon cakes; reduce heat if needed. Ideally, you want the salmon cakes to be crispy and to stay together, but you only want to flip them once.
- Serve with Dijon mustard, if desired.
Jennifer say "lovey egg is not a typo!” She means an egg that’s given with love from a well-loved, free-roaming chicken like hers are.
Originally published December 19, 2012; updated November 18, 2022.
Cheryl Harris says
Love salmon, but never had a salmon cake. I’m tempted!
Oh, my goodness, seriously, Cheryl? It’s a great way to get in some yummy salmon. You could even use leftover fresh-cooked salmon I believe. 🙂
Lizzie B says
These sound so good… don’t have any hemp seeds handy? Substitution suggestions?
Hi Lizzie–While I’m not sure anything could *replace* the hemp seeds in this, some other ideas might be sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Perhaps some favorite nuts (finely chopped), like pecans and macadamias, if you can consume nuts. Jennifer just responded to another reader’s same query on FB and said that she used to use oats, so certified gluten-free oats would also be an option for those who eat grains and are good with gluten-free oats. Not sure how all these options would taste in comparison, but they’d probably still be good! 🙂 Please report back if you try any of them.
Lizzie B says
I went ahead and used up some Flax seeds I had. Only about 1/4 cup. This was my first time making Salmon cakes, so wasn’t sure how moist/dry the mixture should be. Not sure if it was the Flax or that my hen has been laying smallish eggs – but it seemed right to add another egg. They tasted wonderful. Will definitely have another go at them when I have some hemp seed on hand. Thanks for the great (and oh so easy) recipe!
Lizzie B–Thanks so much for reporting back! I did think of flax seeds, but using a smaller amount of them was a good idea. Smallish eggs would definitely require a third egg, so good call on that. So glad you enjoyed them so much! I’m looking forward to hearing what you think when you use hemp seeds. 😉
Have always made tuna patties and salmon patties with oats. I don’t usually have hemp seed or for that matter and nuts other than walnuts in the house. If they use sesame seeds you will only want enough to coat outside of the patty. You could also use bread crumbs as well.
Shirley Braden says
Hi Doris–Thanks for your suggestions. I love that there are so many options. 🙂 I’m actually quite fond of hemp seeds in this recipe, this chocolate chip cookie recipe, these muffins, and smoothies like this one. So I buy them about once a year or a little less often. A little goes a long way as far as flavor and texture. 🙂
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re celebrating this next week! 🙂
Shirley Braden says
Doris–I have to confess that I initially missed that you were replying to the comment about using oats! Thanks again for chiming in!! 🙂
Ina Gawne says
Shirley – I love salmon cakes! I am allergic to hemp of any kind, but am encouraged by Lizzie’s comment in using flax. Sounds wonderful!
Hey Ina–Wow, yes, steer clear of the hemp, but I’m sure you can find a suitable substitute with flax or elsehwhere.
Merry Christmas, dear! 🙂
Kim - Cook It Allergy Free says
I just want to give Jennifer a big fat hug…and you too! Just seeing her sweet face made me bust out laughing as I remembered our yoga session.. Oh. How I wish I was with you gals chowing down on those!! They sound absolutely AMAZING!!! I miss you both! XOXOX
Oh, Kim, you are too sweet (and generous) with your hugs! Yes, that yoga session was the best. 🙂 And so are these salmon cakes. I know you’d love them. 😉
Missing you, too! Merry Christmas to you all!! xoxo,
Squee! It’s Jennifer! Now it’s making me miss everyone. 😀 Such a fun weekend!
Oh, gosh, how did I not reply to your comment, Debi? Oh, yeah, I was on vacation. 😉 Glad I saw it now. It was such a fun weekend. Jennifer is the bomb. We’ll get her to make these next time. 🙂
Vacation comes first! Besides, gmail decided to put the response notification in my spam folder, which I just happened to check! That would be awesome if she could. 😀
Oooh, I hate it when gmail does that! Gmail is really very good, but every now and then … Anyway, I’m sure she’ll be delighted to make them for us. This time we might have our whole menu planned before the event. 😉
Thanks for the recipe…I had to subs flaxseed also and thought they were wonderful!
Hi Amanda–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 So glad these salmon cakes worked for you with flax. Seems like I need to update the recipe to include that option. 😉
Happy New Year!
A lovey egg! That is adorable! Thanks for linking up to 5-Ingredient Mondays, Shirley! You are the best!
Iris–You will have to meet Jennifer one day (maybe at the gfe retreat this year??). She is phenomenal. Then you will understand and be able to hear her say “lovey egg”! 😉 My pleasure to link up. I just have to remember to do so each week!
Our family loves this salmon cake recipe!! Thank you! Just curious though….what size can is “large”?
Hi Tara–Welcome to gfe! So glad you love this recipe from my friend Jennifer … I do, too! 🙂 You must have made it with fresh salmon before if you haven’t used the canned version yet. I bet that was awesome! A large can is about 15 ounces. I’ll add that info to the recipe.
Jod R says
Can’t eat eggs. What about flax & chia seed meal for substitute for eggs? Use more 2x the amount of chia > flax small amount mustard flour! Jod Master Herbalist
Shirley Braden says
This recipe can definitely be made with flax gel eggs so I’m pretty sure that chia gel eggs would work also. Enjoy!
Miss Barbara says
Thank you for the GF recipe for an old stand-by.
Also…love your knotty pine walls and hardwood floors, just like the home my parents built. Wonderful memories 😀
Shirley Braden says
Hi Miss Barbara–Welcome to gfe! 🙂 Thanks for the kind words on the recipe (I have some more salmon cake recipes that are also tasty) and my house! I designed our house and we built it many years after knotty pine’s popularity, we wanted a very woodsy/cabin look. We actually have eight kinds of wood in our home, and that’s not even considering some of the furniture. 😉 I’m so glad that the photos evoked fond memories for you!
Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment,