Rye Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Sauce & Pickled Shallots

Crispy rye salmon cakes so tender and juicy with tons of fresh herb flavor, topped with a lemony yogurt sauce and tangy pickled shallots. This is one of my favorite healthy weeknight dinner recipes that doubles as a great dinner party dish!

finished rye salmon cakes on a plate

These rye salmon cakes are everything you could want in a weeknight dinner. You’ll first par-cook the salmon in the oven until almost fully cook. This allows you to easily flake the fish apart and form it into patties.

The rest of the salmon cake mixture is really simply to throw together. I’m using fresh rye breadcrumbs and a bit of Greek yogurt to keep the texture extra rich and tender. Plus, the rye bread gives such a nice flavor. Dijon mustard, grated garlic, cayenne pepper, and plenty of fresh dill & chives are added in, with a couple eggs binding everything together.

six uncooked salmon cake patties

rye salmon cakes cooking in a skillet

The mixture is formed into patties and then cooked in olive oil until golden on the outside and tender on the inside. Make sure to finish them with a bit of sea salt right after they’re done cooking.

For toppings, I like to do a dollop of yogurt sauce (a simple combo of Greek yogurt, a little Dijon, lemon juice, and lemon zest), quick pickled shallots, and extra fresh herbs.

The pickled shallots are sharp, tangy, slightly sweet, and work perfectly with the crispy salmon cakes.

finished rye salmon cakes on a plate

finished rye salmon cakes on a plate

These make for such a fun weeknight meal to change things up (maybe with this spiced sweet potato salad alongside), but would also be a very tasty and beautiful dish for a dinner party!


Rye Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Sauce & Pickled Shallots

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crispy rye salmon cakes topped with a creamy yogurt sauce and pickled shallots

yield: 6 salmon cakes



Pickled Shallots (optional)

  • 8 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Salmon Cakes

  • 1 ¼ lb salmon filet
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 4 oz fresh rye bread, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives

Yogurt Sauce

  • ¾ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly cracked black pepper


Pickled Shallots (optional)

  1. Place the sliced shallots in a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine the champagne vinegar, sugar, water, and salt.
  2. Bring the pickling liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Pour the liquid over the shallots. Press the shallots down so they are submerged. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Use with the salmon cakes and reserve the rest (in the liquid) in the fridge for another use.

Salmon Cakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the whole salmon filet, skin side down, on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt. Roast the fish for 10 minutes (the salmon should be just par-cooked so that when you cook it again for the salmon cakes it won’t be dry). Let cool slightly. Use two forks to flake apart the salmon meat. Discard the skin and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile for the yogurt sauce, combine the greek yogurt, dijon mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Add the rye bread to a food processor. Pulse until slightly course breadcrumbs form. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, greek yogurt, garlic, dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt together until smooth. Fold in the salmon, rye breadcrumbs, fresh dill, and chives.
  5. Form the mixture into six salmon cakes. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, gently place 3 of the salmon cakes in the pan. Cook until golden brown and crisp on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Gently flip them over using a metal spatula and finish cooking through on the other side, another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer the salmon cakes to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Keep warm while you finish cooking the rest (you can also use two skillets or a griddle to cook them all at once). Serve with a dollop of yogurt sauce, a few pickled shallots, extra fresh herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper.

finished rye salmon cakes on a plate

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