Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch Dressing and Spinach Salad

Finely diced fresh salmon mixed with fresh ingredients – jalapeño, cilantro, corn, cotija – atop a simple spinach, avocado, and tomato salad dressed with a Creamy Cilantro Ranch… Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch and Spinach Salad checks all the summer “boxes.” It’s fresh, refreshing, quick, and easy to prepare!

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro Ranch and Spinach Salad - 3 salmon patties on a square grill with avocado, lime, and salad.

Do you eat seasonally, or do you rotate in (and out) the same recipes year ’round? We definitely eat seasonally, even though it’s mostly summer all year in the RGV… By “seasonally,” I mean heavy, hearty fare in the fall and winter and lighter, fresher fare in the spring and summer.

My Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch and Spinach Salad became a “thing” after I regularly relied on an ultra-quick meal of HEB (our Texas markets) house made salmon patties atop a simple spinach salad with a variety of different dressings. Their patties are delicious, made with fresh salmon, and they come in a variety of flavor profiles including a Tex Mex. While my husband grills the patties, I mix up a dressing and toss it with spinach and tomatoes. Avocados are always present if we do the Tex Mex style patties! 🙂 This quick meal has become a “go to” on the rare occasion that I just don’t want to spend much time cooking!

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties

So, why not save the trouble of dicing fresh salmon, and open a can? Have you had a salmon patty or fish patty made with canned fish? Chances are that patty also contains mayonnaise, and a binder (ie. cornmeal, panko, bread crumbs). Sometimes they resemble a hockey puck, but they never have the taste or texture of fresh fish. Duh. It started with a can and processed ingredients.

Fight the urge to involve your food processor. Hand chopping yields a lighter, tastier patty with actual chunks of salmon that taste like salmon. While a food processor is a great time saver, it will yield a dense, springy, rubbery patty. Does that sound appealing?

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know my recipes don’t really use many shortcuts or processed foods. Breaking down and dicing a salmon fillet or steak takes only a few minutes, and the results are worth the effort. I suppose the mayonnaise found in many recipes is a binder and possibly a substitute for egg? Skip the mayo please.  😀 We’re going to focus on fresh ingredients and maximum flavor.

This hand chopped mixture will be a little loose and a bit more difficult to handle than one loaded with binders like bread crumbs and mayonnaise. I form the patties one at a time, and place them gently on my cast iron griddle sprayed lightly with cooking spray. As you can see in the photo, they held together just fine.  😉

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro Ranch and Spinach Salad - A green prep bowl with Mexican Salmon Patties mixture ready to go!

What are we using to flavor this lovingly hand chopped salmon? Fresh corn, jalapeño, scallion, cilantro, and cotija. And let’s not forget the cumin! One egg is the only binder specified… That means the texture is of beautifully cook salmon bits and all the fresh things. No binders and fillers!

To Complete the Dish

It is highly unlikely that you saw one of my very early posts – Cilantro-Jalapeno Ranch Dressing – but it is one of my favorite dressings. It comes together very quickly in a small food processor or personal blender. I have also served this with the Citrus Vinaigrette in my Heirloom Tomato Avocado Salad. They’re both perfect tossed with the very simple salad of baby spinach, tiny tomatoes, and sliced avocado. Set a patty atop the tossed spinach and tomatoes, add a few avocado slices, and drizzle some of the remaining dressing over the patty. Excelente!

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro Ranch and Spinach Salad - a white square plate with a completed Mexican salmon patty atop spinach salad with cilantro ranch dressing.

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro Ranch and Spinach Salad - a square white plate with completed Mexican Salmon Patty.

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeno Ranch and Spinach Salad

Finely diced fresh salmon mixed with fresh ingredients – jalapeño, cilantro, corn, cotija – atop a simple spinach, avocado, and tomato salad dressed with a Creamy Cilantro Ranch… Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties with Creamy Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch and Spinach Salad checks all the summer “boxes.” It’s fresh, refreshing, quick, and easy to prepare!
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Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties

  • 1 pound fresh salmon - pin bones and skin removed; fine dice (see notes)
  • 1 ear fresh corn - cut from the cob
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper - fine dice
  • 2 scallions - finely diced
  • 2 jalapenos - minced (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup cilantro - finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cotija (1 ounce) - crumbled
  • 1 egg - beaten
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Spinach Salad

  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces tomatoes (I like tiny heirlooms) - sliced or diced
  • 1 avocado - sliced thin
  • Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Dressing - (See Notes)

Instructions

Spicy Mexican Salmon Patties

  • Hand chop prepared salmon fillet. Mixture can have a variety of sized pieces, but the largest should be about 1/4" dice.
  • Add remaining ingredients. Combine by hand.
  • Spray a griddle with cooking spray, and bring to medium-high heat. Form 4 patties, and gently place on hot griddle. Cook until nicely browned, then turn and finish (about 8-10 minutes).

Salad

  • Toss spinach and tomatoes with enough of the dressing to lightly coat.

To Serve

  • Plate about 1/4 of the salad. Top with a salmon patty and avocado slices. Drizzle with additional dressing. Enjoyo!

Notes

As mentioned in the post, I use two different dressings on this dish: 1. Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch Dressing. 2. Citrus Vinaigrette. On photo day, I chose the Cilantro-Jalapeño Ranch Dressing. Keep it fresh with fresh (not bottled) dressing!
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal): 320 calories; 31 g protein; 22 g carbohydrates; 11 g fat.
 

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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2 Comments

  1. Fabulous salmon cakes! Normally I make crab cakes, but that’s going to change. These salmon cakes are going to be a wonderful change and I love putting them on a salad, especially during our hot weather. Thanks Darlin!