Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes with Chipotle Mayo

May 18, 2011

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I guess the first thing I should say is that this recipe is off my blog which I started as a result of my husband getting laid off. I call it Cheap Beets, a mostly vegetarian guide to eating well in the recession, and not completely vegetarian, as I have a major crush on anchovies. Well, fish of any sort, really. These fish cakes were a go-to recipe during the layoff. I'm a big believer in the well-stocked pantry, and this recipe is one of my favorites. The entire recipe costs about $3, with the canned salmon being the most expensive part. CheapBeets

Food52 Review: I’d never before opened a can of salmon. As the top popped, I looked skeptically at the 5 ounces of light pink fish, questioning its satisfaction quotient. Enter CheapBeets’ method for combining sweet potatoes and breadcrumbs with the salmon and eggs and scallions: her recipe yields four, honkin’ big, flavorful cakes! I made half the recipe with fresh bread crumbs and half with boxed ones as the recipe doesn’t specify. Tasters were split on which was better, so use what you have on hand. I cut the sauce’s mayo with Greek yogurt for a bit of tang and sprinkled the cakes with good salt.cheese1227

Makes: about 6 very filling cakes


Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes

  • 5 ounces canned salmon
  • 1 Sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3/4 cup 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
In This Recipe


  1. In a 2-quart saucepan, boil the sweet potato in 2 cups water until tender.
  2. Drain potato. After it cools, place the cubes in a medium-size bowl and mash well.
  3. To this, add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well-combined. I find that using my hands is the best way to get this done.
  4. Heat a thin coat of oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet. Using 1/4 cup of fish mixture per patty, form patties and fry in skillet over medium flame, approximately 5 minutes per side, until golden on both sides. Add more oil to skillet if necessary.
  5. While the patties are frying, make the chipotle mayo by combining all ingredients in a bowl.

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Reviews (56) Questions (2)

56 Reviews

Nicole K. November 14, 2018
I love these, the chipotle mayo makes the whole recipe. Does anyone else always roast the sweet potatoes?
Marquita D. December 16, 2018
I prick the potatoes and stick them in the microwave. Much quicker this way.
Leslie December 8, 2017
These are really, really good!
Whitney March 30, 2015
These were tasty, but I wouldn't make them again. Basically, I think salmon is delicious and the sweet potato diluted it too much. And then the chipotle mayo (which I always love) overwhelms it even more. I'll probably stick with similar salmon cake recipes that leave out the potato and don't overwhelm with spicy sauce.
Marie November 15, 2014
These salmon cakes look very inviting! I may try and substitute plain Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise :0)
K N. October 6, 2014
I grew up hating salmon cakes...if only this recipe existed then! These are yummy! The sweet potato and chipotle piqued my interest and I'm so glad I tried them. I was happy to read that folks have had good luck freezing and reheating the patties and microwaving the sweet potato. I contemplated making sriracha mayo and I'm glad to see other folks thought it was a win. Nice to have options because I'll definitely be making these again. :)
Stacy K. September 22, 2014
These are amazing!!!! I used Greek yogurt instead of mayo, whole wheat flour instead of bread crumbs and I added some cayenne pepper. Delish!!!!!! I just microwaved my potato, then took peeling off and mashed it for a super quick preparation.
Lisanne May 5, 2014
These are fantastic! I used a 1lb sweet potato and about 12 oz fresh salmon (all the end bits too thin to grill). 1 1/2 cups panko and 3 large eggs. My family loved it so much hubby and son were fighting over the leftovers for tomorrow's lunch! Thanks for a great recipe. I'll try it as written next time! ;)
Amber S. February 18, 2018
I was so glad to read you’re review. I’m not using canned salmon. Just happened to buy fresh. I live alone right now. The piece was a full pound. Right on the head. And it was a beautiful piece of the belly portion. At least 1 inch think. Probably more. I cooked it all off. So I have a lot of salmon left. I’ve been trying to think of something to do with it. My house is kind of empty right now. I’ll be shopping tomorrow. These sounded good. The big plus was and is you used fresh not canned salmon. Don’t get me wrong, I buy canned salmon all the time. For times when you just want something fast and a bit different than tuna. I have no onions of any type. I’m thinking of going oriental. I have fresh ginger, soy, sesame seeds mi may give that a try. I’m also not boiling the potatoes. I’m microwaving them. I planned on using them to make a vegan sweet potato roti bread. All you need is sweet potato and flour. They’re very good. Thanks for your tips. If I can find your post again, I’ll certainly let you know how good these came out. Thank you Lisanne
LeeLeeBee March 31, 2014
I was sort of skeptical about this recipe at first, but it was delicious! I microwaved the sweet potato (peeled and cut into about 1.5" chunks) with a bit of water for 10 minutes instead of boiling it. I would also recommend adding salt and pepper both to the cake mix and to the sauce.
clumsychef March 23, 2014
These were delicious - thank you!
JadeTree July 4, 2013
Blockbuster at the dinner table! All ages loved it, even if the chipotle mayo was too much or little ones. More for the grown ones, happily. We have several times a month to raves every time. Also, this is great when company stops by and the planned meal is too pitiful to offer an outsider ;)
katstreet May 14, 2013
Definite winner in this household. We roasted the sweet potatoes (skins on, 20min @ 380?F) and used leftover salmon. Also, was a bit too lazy to make the Chipotle mayo, so went for Sriracha mayo instead. Such a great cheap eat!
Shirley O. April 11, 2013
Loved this! Used Panko bread crumbs and Wasabi mayo . Very easy to make.
vivbest April 7, 2013
Delicious! We didn't have mayo on hands, so I just used whole milk yogurt instead. We used lime instead of the lemon (also because that's what we had on hand.) I'm inspired to make other kinds of patties now, and look forward to experimenting with some of the variations mentioned below! =) Thanks!
Rita G. April 5, 2013
This is a great recipe! We had left over grilled wild salmon which I used instead of the canned. We loved the sweet potato as the bulk of the filler. I cooked it in the microwave will I pulled the other ingredients together. The meal was ready in less than 30 minutes - can't beat that. We will certainly be making this again.
Hilarybee April 2, 2013
I loved this recipe- a great staple, very adaptable. I added sesame seeds, swapped lime juice for lemon juice and sriracha sauce for the chipotle adobe. Served it with mango avocado salsa and stir fried vegetables.
Olijfjeb May 19, 2013
Hi Hilarybee! I was just wondering if you have a special kind of recipe for your salsa, cause it sounds like it's a great addition to this dish, and I'd love to try it... !
Hilarybee May 19, 2013
I really don't! I just diced a mango, an avocado, added a bit of red onion, a diced jalepeno and topped it with lime juice, salt and pepper.
lucky3cook March 30, 2013
Oh man was this good. I was distracted, and accidentally added chipotle pepper to the salmon cakes itself, but it was a happy mistake. The chipotle mayo sauce was great.
mikha March 15, 2013
YUM! I was skeptical about the canned salmon, but these were delicious! I swapped minced sweet onion for the green onion and added minced red pepper and fresh basil too. Definitely a keeper!
katetheoptimist March 11, 2013
We made these last night and they were spectacular! We had to adjust the cooking time by half with my electric stove...perhaps medium heat was too high? We used a meat thermometer to gauge doneness.
Kitchenyogi March 11, 2013
Great recipe. Great source for canned salmon: www.vitalchoice.com - you won't believe the difference - check out their site.
tastysweet March 11, 2013
Kitchenyogi> went to that site, which looks great, but which canned salmon did you use?
Kitchenyogi March 11, 2013
I get the skinless, boneless no salt added. <br />
tastysweet March 11, 2013
Oops: which size can?
Kitchenyogi March 11, 2013
I get the 6 oz size (I think skinless boneless only comes in that size whereas some of the others also come in 3.75) - that recipe calls for 5 oz so you're good with the larger can :-)
tastysweet March 12, 2013
Much thanks.<br />
frog March 11, 2013
Boiling sweet potatoes is easy and fast, bust roasting (baking) them brings out so much more flavor and sweetness. I would think that would be a plus in your recipe.