Weeknights with Jenny

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

By • March 4, 2013 • 39 Comments

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Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

I recently learned that some college chick-a-dees have been reading Jenny, looking for some easy, not terribly expensive dinner options to put together during the week. In their honor, I would like to recommend a simple little option that will leave the kids with plenty of George Washingtons reserved for textbooks and happy hour.

To make Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes with Chipotle Mayo, one must acquire some canned salmon. I confess this left me, that lady who travels great distances to get the fresh stuff from Vern the fish man even though he takes FOREVER to wait on the four of us that stand there in the cold outside his truck wishing that he has not run out of cod loin, a little dubious. Who knew there were so many kinds, for one thing, and would it not be something better left out for the cat? Actually I dislike cats, and probably wouldn’t leave them much of anything, especially my new can of Sockeye. 

So first you have to boil up a sweet potato – full of vitamins ladies – and please make sure it is nice and soft. Then you are tossing this together with your salmon, some eggs and bread crumbs (I prefer Panko) and some green onions. You may be reasonably worried at this point about the mix, but hold on! Once you’ve got it in your pan of oil (I prefer grape seed for this task) you will start to see that you have something resembling a crab cake, all crispy and brown and good. 

Without the sauce, my family found it a little bland, so I advise you to make the accompanying mayo, or at least have some hot sauce on hand. Dinner for all of you for under $10!  Hopefully someone thought to make brownies. Now please pull that shirt down. 

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes with Chipotle Mayo by CheapBeets

Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes:

5 ounces canned salmon
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3/4 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 green onions, chopped
Juice of half a lemon

Chipotle Mayo:

4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 chipotle pepper and its adobo sauce, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Squeeze of lemon juice

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


Tags: everyday cooking

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Comments (39)


about 1 year ago kari

Made this with leftover salmon that I was unable to finish at dinner last night, and half a leftover sweet potato I had at lunch. So unexpectedly yummy!


about 1 year ago kari

And since I'm not doing grains at the moment, I threw some whole raw almond in the blender and ground them up to use in place of the bread crumbs.


about 2 years ago dillpickle

I like to add coriander, green chilli and sliced ginger to the mix...delish!!


about 2 years ago Kim Caffee

Wow I love this recipe! Never would have thought to put sweet potato and salmon together..but these are awesome. I did substitute cornbread stuffing mix and baked them instead of frying, but the chipolte mayo is TO DIE FOR!!! Love it! Thanks for sharing :o)


about 2 years ago Boozy

Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe! For added college slum factor, my friends and I like making two ingredient chipotle sauce: sriracha and mayo.


about 2 years ago Frieda Green

Wonder what this would look like with our Stokes Purple® Sweet Potatoes...


about 2 years ago AmyRuth

Throw back Sunday....had salmon patties when I was a kid. I love this combo of flavors. Love the idea Godzilla had of plopping the cake on top of greens. Splendid quick dinner. Thanks!


about 2 years ago Jestei

i hope you like it


about 2 years ago Susan E. Levy

As someone living in the Pacific NW and from the South, this take is a little more to my liking -- a salmon cake with baked sweet potatoes at http://www.wellfedheart...


about 2 years ago megdujour

These were great! I roasted some brussels sprouts and had them on the side for a healthy, cheap dinner. Thanks for sharing this recipe!


about 2 years ago Emmy Loop

I believe cats can get a bad rap.
How much is a can of Sockeye?


about 2 years ago prb13

I may try these tonight. I'm wondering if I could use matzah meal, instead of panko, during Passover? These sound delicious!


about 2 years ago Africancook

Hi - this is similar to a recipe of Harriet Roth's. Hers doesn't use mayo, I loathe kosher le Pesach mayo! I've been making them for Passover for years using matzo meal. It's a cheap, healthy, delicious portable meal.


about 2 years ago aixpat

This is delicious with a few tablespoons of cilantro mixed in and made a nice meal with a green salad.


about 2 years ago Jestei



about 2 years ago mariaraynal

I think good canned salmon is a gift to the busy home cook, especially for recipes like this one. Harold McGee wrote a fascinating piece on store-bought canned food for Lucky Peach. It also ran this week on Slate.


about 2 years ago Jestei

oh i need to look that up thanks!


about 2 years ago LovelyVelocity

I'm trying this! Canned salmon is terrific in salads and baked pasta dishes, too. Who's Vern the fish man?


about 2 years ago witloof

I love Trader Joe's sodium free canned salmon. And I love cats!


about 2 years ago Jestei

they have a big selection there don't they.


about 2 years ago healthierkitchen

aaah...the pivotal moment with Vernon. To wait or not to wait. And is it my imagination or has his "menu" gotten shorter?


about 2 years ago Jestei

interesting. i am not sure!


about 2 years ago Phyllis Grant

funny. and yum. and i dislike cats too.


about 2 years ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

+1 on the cats.


about 2 years ago Jestei

well then i love you both


about 2 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

maybe you just haven't met the right cat.

I always grimace when I pass the canned salmon at Costco, veering off for the oil-packed tuna and anchovies. But next week, I'll pause, and consider the salmon.

FYI, CheapBeets has a cute blog! and apparently, had a baby very recently. She also has a cat.


about 2 years ago Brette Warshaw

Many thanks from Food52's resident college chickadee!


about 2 years ago Jestei

anytime chickadee!


about 2 years ago Midge

Nigella Lawson turned me onto canned salmon in her salmon cake recipe made with leftover mashed potatoes. Look forward to trying this version next time. Thanks for digging it up Jenny.


about 2 years ago Jestei

wow sounds good


about 2 years ago Sandro Diazzi

I love recipes for simple and cheap dishes! a bit skeptical of the canned salmon though...i think you could still stay under $10 with fresh salmon. Here in Nyc we have a few great fish places in Chi-town with low prices and good quality fish.


about 2 years ago Jestei

sure fresh fish is always better but that would remove both the ease and price, which are the central attractions of this particular recipe. i was a skeptic but as with tuna, it turns out not all canned salmon is create equal!


about 2 years ago Sandro Diazzi

i will give it a try :)
"not all canned salmon is created equal" Amen :)


about 2 years ago William Widmaier

Perfect with peppery greens!
I like to make a bed of greens, so that the hot salmon cakes slightly wilt them.
Thanks for the recipe!


about 2 years ago Jestei

love that idea!!!