15 minute Maple Pepper Salmon Cakes

I have this thing for salmon. Craving? Mild obsession? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it’s strongest at work and will last all morning until I give in, ditch my lunch kit, and head to Joey’s Barlow to enjoy a $19.99 salmon fillet.

I’m not the type to forgo an opportunity to enjoy a homemade meal, or be open to spending $20 on lunch, but this dish just brings out the worst in me! There’s just something about the cracked pepper, deep maple flavors and spritz of lemon that gets me every time.

When a meal captivates me to the point where I can’t go a week without thinking about it, it’s a sign that I must create a recipe for it.

Instead of becoming consumed by replicating my Joey’s favorite, I decided to approach this maple pepper salmon conundrum from another angle, making it easier, simpler, and tastier in the process. Perhaps I just say that because this recipe doesn’t involve marinating or broiling; two activities that I dislike, but if it means I get to enjoy the same great taste without having to suffer in the kitchen, I’m all over it!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
15 minute Maple Pepper Salmon Cakes
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 cakes, 4 servings
Quick, easy, and gluten-free salmon cakes with freshly cracked pepper and maple served with a creamy (dairy-free) maple sauce.
  • 418g canned pink salmon, drained or equal amount of fully cooked fresh salmon
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes *see note
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  1. Combine all ingredients but oil in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Form the mixture into 8 patties.
  3. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add the salmon patties and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Once complete, place on a kitchen towel-lined plate or cooling rack.
    If you cannot find quinoa flakes, gluten-free breadcrumbs, millet flakes, or quick oats should work. I have not tried it with this recipe though.

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    Maple Pepper Dipping Sauce

    Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Nut-free
    Yield: 1/4 cup Servings: 4

    Creamy maple pepper sauce perfect for salmon cakes, cooked chicken, or fish sticks.



    1. In small skillet, boil vinegar over high heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon.
    2. Add stock; boil until reduced by half.
    3. Stir in coconut milk and maple syrup; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in pepper and salt.
    4. Serve poured over cakes.

    View nutrition info

    We’re heading out to Grassi Lakes Trail tomorrow morning with a couple of friends and I’m planning to take these cakes along for the hike. Our friends may not think salmon constitutes as a hiking type of snack, but I swear they’ll think otherwise once they take their first bite, I can just about guarantee it!

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate so I can bring my camera along. I’ve heard the trail is quite beautiful.  Either way, I’m sure I’ll be Instagramin’ and sharing the sites as we go.

    Have a fabulous weekend ;)

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. yum, I made a very similar dressing last week with the coconut milk and maple syrup, love the creaminess which I don’t get in a dressing too often these days. And I just posted about salmon too :) good stuff!

      • Great minds think alike! I’ll have to check out your salmon recipe, too!

    2. Mmm I share a similar love for salmon as you, and if we were hiking together, you’d be my favourite person in the world if you brought these along!! Have a great time tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the photos!

    3. I am in LOVE with salmon and think I always will be! I recently made a salmon & chipotle dip and it was literally addicting. I’ve been wanting to try your other simple recipe for salmon cakes but I’ll have to try this one too! I’m assuming for the dipping sauce vegetable broth could be used in place of the chicken broth? Or would that change the flavor too much? Have a beautiful hike!

      • Mmm both cake recipes are delicious! Chicken or veggie shouldn’t change the recipe that much, it’s just all I had on-hand. Enjoy thew weekend, Andrea!

    4. I made salmon cakes earlier in the week and posted about them….and how 19.99 just isn’t happening for me either. The WF’s hot bar comes to mind. A pair of cakes is pricey AND…you don’t even eat them in a restaurant. You take them home in a cardboard box and reheat them. For that price, they should do a little tapdance for me. Yes, recreating things is key!

      • Tap dancing salmon cakes… now THAT is something I would pay $20 for. As long as they had little red bow ties. Gotta have the bow ties.

    5. I just recently found your blog and have been loving many of the recipes!! This looks great, the only thing I don’t have is liquid aminos. I will be eating salmon cakes while my kids have pizza tonight.

      • Hi Carmen, thanks for stopping in and saying hello :) I’m glad to hear you like my blog! Tamari or soy sauce would do the trick, but I’m sure it would taste good without, too. Enjoy!

      • haha thanks, Callie! Long time no see. I’m assuming everything’s going really well with your business? Saw that you got yourself an intern, how exciting!

        • I know, Right!? I feel so out of the loop – someone clearly underestimated the time and/or energy that goes into starting a business – Insert: I have NO life here ;) However, every once in a while I do manage to pop in and stalk your beautiful blog… Seriously, i just love it, Leanne!

          • Amen to that! It is a lot of work… but so rewarding! Every extra hour that I put into my business gets pumped into my success and I see the fruits of my labor almost instantly. But ya, I don’t have a life either! Thanks for thinking of me when you have a moment of calm in your busy life ;)

    6. I’ve never had salmon before…but I’m definitely gonna have to change that with this recipe!

      Check out my latest recipe @ bakingblissful.blogspot.com

    7. Oh these look so good! And fast too! I’ve been needing quick dinners lately. How perfect! I don’t think I’ve ever had a salmon from a can before. It kinda freaks me out. I’m gunna go for it!

      • You can also use fresh cooked salmon, the two of them can be interchanged. Enjoy!

    8. Maple-coconut milk sauce sounds amazing! Like you, I adore salmon. This is going on my Must Try list.

    9. Yet another splendid offering!!…This IS dinner!!…Would it be too much to ask for the recipe for the accompanying side-salad with pecans and spinach…It seems like the perfect “marriage” with your salmon cakes….I can’t wait to attempt this wonderful, easy, obviously wonderful “win” ….Thanks again for the sharing!

    10. Since going wheat- and rice-free, I’ve been really stuck trying to find something to fix patty and fritter recipes that are too sloppy without breadcrumbs. Almond flour just doesn’t do the trick, and nothing else I’ve tried leaves a decent texture. I never thought about quinoa flakes. What a great idea! I can’t wait to try.

      I am optimisic about it since I’ve noticed that quinoa flakes do absorb liquid more than oatmeal. I made some vanilla oatmeal cookies (via A Full Measure of Happiness – a must try recipe!) and discovered that I was short of oatmeal, so I supplemented with quinoa flakes. The cookies were not lacy and crisp like the straight oatmeal ones, but they had a nice traditional wheat-flour like consistency that I MUST experiement with in other cookie recipes. These may be the best wheat-product substitute yet! Fingers crossed.

      • Good luck, Susan! I find that quinoa flakes in baking get very soppy and you have to add quite a bit more than when using oats. But in savory and patty-like recipes, they work fabulously!

    11. I was so tempted to lick my plate clean! We served our salmon over spinach with a side of roasted beets. Yummy!!

      Next time, I will opt for using fresh fish over canned. It was really gross picking out bone bits from the canned, but it tasted great.

    12. I was in a rush last night and needed a quick but healthy recipe for my family so I made these and they were so quick, easy and yummy. I didn’t do the sauce (because of time) and they were really good even without it. I thought they would make a great addition to a salad or a sandwich with a dill mayo.

      • Oh yes, I rock the salmon cakes in salads all the time! Definitely a good addition. So happy that you liked the recipe, Melissa!

    13. Besides your cream of mushroom soup, I think this is my favorite recipe of yours I’ve made since discovering your site. I almost didn’t make the dipping sauce but so glad I did! We had this with a side of roasted spaghetti squash with fresh herbs and pine nuts, and I could only eat one salmon cake – filling and satisfying meal. I keep saying this, but THANK YOU and I’m so glad I found your website!

      • I’m so glad that you found me too, Kim! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about your supper. Mmm. We’re planning to have salmon cakes tonight, actually!

    14. Hi Leanne!

      I love your story and your recipes! Thank you! I was excited to try these because I have grown tired of potato-based cakes. I set out to make these last night, but I was missing the egg (used a flax egg instead), was missing the parsley (used cilantro), and finally, I was also missing the flakes (used regular gluten-free oats pulsed slightly). With these substitutions, the heart of your work remained and they were a hit with my whole family (my children devoured them!). I wanted to mention these substitutions just in case anyone feels they are short of ingredients and want to abandon the effort…try these substitutes! These are scrumptious!!! Sincerely, Margaret

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