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July 25, 2012

by Alyssa

Zucchini Salmon Cakes with Lemon Dill Pesto

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Zucchini Salmon Cakes | Gluten-free & Quinoa | Queen of Quinoa

There's something special about fish cakes. I don't know if it's because they remind me of the beach or the fact that they taste just so darn good, but either way, give me a fish cake and I'm content.

As I'm sure you already know, classic fish cakes (of any kind) are traditionally made with breadcrumbs. Classic breadcrumb means gluten which means no-can-do for me. But, you also know that I love using quinoa in fun and creative ways, and have used them in many different burger recipes.

So I'm sure you can already assume where this post is headed. Down the fish cake aisle, stopping to pick up some quinoa on our way.

But first, before I tell you about a new spin on my oh-so-favorite Salmon Cake recipe, I need to talk about the pesto.

Lemon Dill Pesto | Gluten-free & Vegan | Queen of Quinoa

This pesto is also special. It's a new-to-me recipe, which combines two of my favorite ingredients. Lemon and dill.

And honestly, what doesn't go better with seafood than lemon and dill??

So instead of adding dill to the cakes themselves, like I do in my traditional Salmon Cake recipe, we topped ours with this awesome Lemon Dill pesto. And it was a revelation.

There's the zing from the lemon and the bite from the garlic, but the dill is the star of this show. It shines through and makes this pesto stand out among its basil competitors.

Zucchini Salmon Cakes | Gluten-free & Quinoa | Queen of Quinoa

This recipe is what happens when you have too much zucchini from your CSA on your hands. These cakes are like a zucchini fritter and salmon burger mashed together in one fabulous bite.

The shredded zucchini add some body {and much needed greenness}, and stand up nicely against the chunked salmon. The quinoa of course is the stabilizer, the binder, the glue that holds the cakes together. And the pesto is the perfect way to top off the dish.

Zucchini Salmon Cakes

There's something special about fish cakes. I don't know if it's because they remind me of the beach or the fact that they taste just so darn good, but either way, give me a fish cake and I'm content.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8 Fish cakes
Calories 91kcal
Author Queen of Quinoa
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote


  • 1 7 oz can of wild caught salmon skin & bones removed
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2/3 cup grated zucchini pressed tightly to remove the water
  • 2 large scallion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • In a food processor, combine the scallion, lemon zest, salt and pepper and pulse 2 or 3 times.
  • Add the quinoa and salmon and pulse until a dough starts to form.
  • Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl and stir in the zucchini and egg.
  • Form the dough into cakes and pan sear them over medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes per side, until they are browned.
  • Serve immediately.


gluten-free | dairy-free | sugar-free | soy-free | nut-free


Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 0.9mg


Lemon Dill Pesto

This pesto is also special. It's a new-to-me recipe, which combines two of my favorite ingredients. Lemon and dill.
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 700kcal
Author Queen of Quinoa
Print Pin
No ratings yet


  • 1 bunch / handful fresh dill roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the walnuts and garlic to a food processor and pulse until you have a sandy texture, about 5 pulses.
  • Add the dill, lemon juice and zest, and the salt and pepper. Turn the food processor on, removing the pusher. Slowly pour the oil through the open hole in the lid until you have the consistency you're looking for.
  • Serve on top of the cakes or any which way you would like.


gluten-free | dairy-free | sugar-free | vegan | egg-free | soy-free
Nutritional value based on 1 cup


Calories: 700kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 75g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 905IU | Vitamin C: 19.3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1.6mg

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. Wow! What a cool website! I live in Peru, birthplace of quinoa! So I’m really involved in discovering more about this wonderful food and came across your website while doing some research. I recently wrote an article about quinoa and have now added your site to the resource list. Hope that’s ok with you. I definitely want to try these salmon cakes – or some variation of them depending on what ingredients I find locally.


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