Mediterranean Lemon-Olive Salmon Cakes

We’re officially in the middle of fall and everyone is pulling out all the stops with apple-this and pumpkin-that. Soups, warm spices, and all things cozy are making their appearances on my Instagram. And I’m over here making…Mediterranean Lemon-Olive Salmon Cakes. Ha! Pretty much as far away from fall as you can possibly get. That never stopped me, though. It’s warm, it’s delicious, and it’s been on my “to-make” list probably since spring when it was actually “in season,” so I’m making it now whether it’s seasonally Pinterest-appropriate or not. Especially when I have a freezer full of salmon. More on that in a bit. And you know what? I think you should make it now, too. I promise, once you make it, you’ll be glad you didn’t wait to make it either. 

But first, before I get into this new recipe, I’m going to geek out on you guys. On Saturday night, Philip and I went to see one of my favorite podcasts live! Gastropod, is a bi-weekly podcast that looks at food through the lens of science and history (it’s fascinating and completely nerdy).

The two ladies who co-host the podcast were on the UW campus for a special event. So, when they’re as close as the town in which you live, it’s free, and you have no other plans, you can’t not go. It was so much fun! Highlights: I learned I’m not a super taster (we all participated in the experiment to find out) and I tried a wild carrot before it became domesticated—it’s very woody, not really edible, but still has that distinguishable carrot flavor. Since we’re all looking for more things to listen to and read to fill up our time (I kid!), I’d highly recommend giving this podcast a try. Anyway, thanks for letting me geek out and share with you the things that I get excited about. I knew you’d love to hear about it. :)

Alright, back to our regular programming! ;) These salmon cakes. So good. You must make them. And they’re a breeze to make. What I love about salmon patties (and all meat patties, for that matter) is that you can make them the night before and they’re ready for you with minimal work the next evening when dinner rolls around. Cook them up on a skillet and you’re good to go. These particular salmon cakes have a very subtle brightness from the lemon zest, but it doesn’t overpower everything like sometimes lemon can do. And to be honest, it was nice to add something a little lighter to our menu amongst all the heartier stews and pumpkin flavor. I’d like to think that my taste buds appreciated the variety. :)

As for the freezer full of salmon. We truly do have a freezer full of salmon—about 20 pounds, to be exact. I know I’ve done a shout out to Kwee-Jack Fish Co. before when I made these salmon meatballs, poke bowls, and orange-sesame salmon, but it’s worth mentioning them again because their salmon is seriously so good! These salmon cakes were the first thing I made with the new batch we recently received and I’m so glad I made these first.

And thanks to the 19 more pounds of salmon that we have, I think these salmon cakes will keep appearing throughout the year—no matter what the season.

Mediterranean Lemon-Olive Salmon Cakes

Serves 4–6


3 green onions (white and green parts), chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill (or about 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh dill)
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 pound wild salmon, skinned and cut into 2-inch chunks


1. Place green onion, olives, and dill in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the lemon zest, salt, pepper, and salmon to the mixture.

2. Pulse the salmon just enough to finely chop the salmon, but not turn it into a puree. Divide the mixture into 4—6 patties, depending on how large you would like them (I made about 6 patties and thought they were large enough for a meal that included slices of fresh bread and a side of roasted vegetables). Chill the patties in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes (or make the night before) before cooking.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet, sprayed with nonstick spray or a teaspoon of oil, over medium heat. Add the salmon cakes and cook until browned on both sides and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Top the skillet with a lid to help the patties cook all the way through. Do not over cook the salmon as this will result in a dry patty. It’s better to under cook than over cook them! If you could not fit all the salmon patties in the skillet, repeat with the remaining salmon cakes. Tent the cooked patties with aluminum foil to keep warm. Serve alongside a lemon wedge for a squeeze of fresh lemon. Pair with freshly sliced bakery bread and cooked vegetables of your choice for a complete meal.

Adapted from: Eating Well