Baked Lime & Cilantro Salmon Meatballs with Avocado Sauce

Wait! Before you completely discredit this recipe and move on to your next find on the web, give me a chance to explain!

I know you see baked fish in the title and I know you see meatballs. And I know you immediately think you’re probably not interested. I understand. It doesn’t always sound the most appealing (myself included), but this baked salmon is so flavorful with generous amounts of cilantro and lime pulsed right into the meatball. Plus, with spices like paprika and oregano to give it a little pizzazz, it’s not just your typical baked salmon meatball. These little meatballs are mighty in flavor.

Still on the fence? I know, me too. If the actual meatballs themselves didn’t win you over (which, by the way, you could totally make into a burger if that sounds more appetizing to you), then this avocado sauce will! This stuff is amazing, guys. It can go on top of salads for a creamy dressing. It can be used as a dip for sweet potato fries or baked potatoes. It is even good enough to eat by the spoonful. So good!

If you don’t like fish, at least make this avocado sauce. Top shredded chicken, pulled pork, or even hamburgers with this sauce. Basically, it’s my everything sauce right now.

But you know what? I love it most with these baked salmon meatballs. Trust me on this. The flavor duo is pretty incredible. Not to mention, it all comes together in one bowl—the food processor. I blended up the avocado sauce first, poured it into a storage container and then moved on to the salmon so I didn’t have to worry about cleaning out the bowl after blending up the raw fish first.

Who said eating healthy had to be bland and boring? Salmon and avocados are both nutrient powerhouses—full of good, healthy fats—but are anything but bland and boring when made into these Baked Lime & Cilantro Salmon Meatballs with Avocado Sauce. To round out the meal, I paired it with some cilantro lime cauliflower rice (because why not go all out with the lime and cilantro, right?!) for an easy side.

By the way, these cauliflower crumbles are amazing! Have you tried them? I often resort to not using the cauliflower hack for things like mashed cauliflower or rice, because who wants the mess of cleaning and grating a cauliflower? Maybe I’m just lazy, but with these crumbles, I don’t need to really do anything. Pop the bag in the microwave for a few minutes and you have yourself a meal with your salmon meatballs. Score!

Let me know if you try the meatballs and avocado sauce! I’d love to hear what you think!

Baked Lime & Cilantro Salmon Meatballs with Avocado Sauce

Serves 4 (4 meatballs each)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb salmon filet, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion or shallot
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 egg white
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
    Avocado sauce:
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 Tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 5 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Tablespoons cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a large, aluminum foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place salmon in food processor and pulse until salmon is roughly chopped.
  3. To the food processor, add the onion, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg white, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano to salmon. Pulse until combined and chopped.
  4. Using 2 tablespoons of salmon mixture, roll between palms to form meatballs. Place meatballs on prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly. Bake until meatballs are firm and cooked thoroughly, 15–18 minutes.
  5. Prepare the avocado sauce by blending the avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, water, cilantro, and salt and pepper together in a food processor or blender.
  6. Pour the avocado sauce over the meatballs and serve. Cauliflower rice (purchase the cauliflower crumbles in the produce section to make it easy) with lime juice and cilantro added to it makes a great side for this dish!

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