Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes with Chipotle Mayo

October  4, 2022
13 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes About 6 very filling cakes
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Callan Carow
    Callan Carow
  • Mosaic
  • Liz Crawford
    Liz Crawford
  • Nicole Kriedeman
    Nicole Kriedeman
  • Marie

64 Reviews

Dan_gallo February 20, 2023
Made this recipe with the hopes of using up some frozen salmon that we caught in Alaska (that is far from King Salmon.) It deeply color red, but has a very peculiar flavor which none of us were in love with. I made this because i wanted to mask the flavor of the salmon as much as possible. Turned out to be a delicious recipe. It must be from the flavor of the salmon but it tasted oddly similar to a crab cake. I did doctor it up a bit (with more fresh herbs, Dijon) but overall stuck close to the recipe. Made this along with a Greek yogurt, mayo, lemon, herb, caper sauce which was a delicious compliment.
Callan C. October 28, 2021
Have made this recipe twice and it worked great both times! The 2nd time, I used a half cup measure to form burger-sized patties. I came out with 6 patties that fit perfectly on a hamburger bun. The only problem was that I forgot to add salt/seasoning since the recipe didn't mention it.
Jessamin December 4, 2020
This is such an excellent recipe for a quick weeknight dinner that isn't a stir-fry. I made these into sliders topped with arugula and the chipotle mayo and my partner and I loved them. The flavors work well for so many additional spice profiles, I added a Moroccan blend. All the stars for this one.
Kidlit July 31, 2020
Costco has great fresh salmon, which we divide and freeze in 1 lb. packages. We trip the salmon so the pieces are mostly even, and save the trimmings, which, are usually enough for a good batch of salmon cakes, as well.Generally we use leftover plain, seared, skinless salmon, weighing out about 6 oz. I use either panko, or plain organic breadcrumbs. We prefer our own horseradish aioli, with mayo, lemon juice, garlic and tomato paste.

10 TB Mayo, 4 tsp homemade horseradish,1 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, maybe a tsp each chopped garlic and tomato paste.
AnaNade December 10, 2022
Thank you very much for sharing your fresh variation with your sauce. It is appreciated.
Martha F. February 19, 2020
This is a regular for lunches for my daughter (12) and me. She loves salmon, so it was easy to get her to try these; other kids may not be willing. I take care to mash the bones well to get the extra calcium. I use an entire 7 ounce can, which is 6 ounces, drained. We sub fresh basil for the green onion. We freeze formed but uncooked cakes for later; defrost in microwave and fry gently in olive oil.
Nutrient analysis: 8 cakes, 150 Kcal each; fat 7g; protein 14g; carbs 7g.
Mosaic September 2, 2019
This was delicious, fast easy and super inexpensive. Served as an entree accompanied by Texas caviar and sliced avocado. Will definitely be repeating. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Cheapbeets.
Liz C. January 27, 2019
This was a winner with the whole family. I will always have a can of salmon in the cupboard from now on. I did cheat on the mayo..... I just mixed sriracha with mayo to taste and it was ridiculously good.
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!