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These hearty salmon balls are quick and easy to make with basic pantry staples, budget-friendly, and perfect for the whole family. Enjoy as an appetizer, snack, or main dish.

Baked salmon balls on parchment paper with toddler's hand grabbing one.
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Easy Salmon Balls

My 5 year old son LOVED salmon as a baby and toddler, but it’s been real hit or miss lately. He’s more willing to try with sauces, like this teriyaki glazed salmon, but canned salmon? Forget about it.

However, one day, I made oatmeal balls with canned salmon for his little sister, and that really sparked his interest. So I made these salmon balls or meatballs with ingredients I happened to have on hand, and guess what? He gobbled them up!

If you’re struggling to get your child (or yourself or your partner) to eat this incredibly nutritious food, I hope this recipe gets you one step closer. Made with just a handful of ingredients, this is a great recipe to keep in your back pocket.

Or these mini baked salmon patties or salmon quiche!

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Salmon – Wild caught Alaskan salmon has been shown to be the best choice. Opt for “no salt added” or “low sodium.” Also, look for BPA-free lining.
  • Bread crumbs – can also use panko-style
  • Green onion – finely chopped red bell pepper is delicious too
  • Sesame oil – adds so much flavor!

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage step-by-step cooking proccess.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using clean hands, stir until well combined. Pack tightly and roll into 1 inch meatballs
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or mat for easy clean up. In a small oven-safe dish, add some water and place in the pan alongside the meatballs.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Variations

Sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and green onion give these salmon balls an Asian flair. But you’ll be happy to know that this recipe is super versatile! Simply switch up the seasonings.

  • Mexican – add cumin, coriander, and cilantro
  • Italian – Italian seasoning (which typically consists of basil, oregano, parsley, and thyme)

Healthy Asian recipes for babies and toddlers

Tips for Success

  • You may find small bones in your canned salmon, which you don’t need to go through the trouble of removing. They are edible and provide a boost of calcium.
  • When shaping the balls, work with slightly wet hands. You will find it much easier to shape them.
  • Don’t forget to add the oven-safe dish filled with water. this helps create steam resulting in tender meatballs, just like for these moist beef meatballs (egg free).
  • Be sure to flip halfway through so all sides get nicely browned.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy as is or with your favorite sauce, like this low sodium teriyaki sauce or Thai coconut sauce.

For a well-balanced meal, serve them alongside rice, quinoa, lentils, or pasta and some vegetables (like these easy sauteed vegetables!).

When serving to babies 6-8 months, less is more as seeing too much food can be overwhelming. But you do want to make every bite count. Here is a breakdown of how to build a well-balanced plate.

And here’s how I plated this meal for my 5 year old son who is currently learning to enjoy salmon. On this day, I needed an EASY side dish so I sauteed some frozen green beans, which I know he’s not a fan of but the rest of us are.

What did I do to make the plate more inviting? I added foods he does enjoy – sautéed frozen green peas and rice. Additionally, I included some ketchup, which I’ve found has magical powers ;). I eat french fries for ketchup so I totally get it.

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months in freezer safe container or bag. I recommend using the flash freeze method to prevent them from sticking together.

Super important – To reheat, place in a skillet with a splash of liquid (e.g. water, broth, sauce, etc.). Cover and cook over medium-low heat until warm,  2-3 minutes or so. You can microwave briefly, too. This will help make the balls moist again as they become a bit dry once refrigerated.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

4.96 from 25 votes

Baked Salmon Balls

These hearty salmon balls are quick and easy to make with basic pantry staples, budget-friendly, and perfect for the whole family.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 18 balls
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Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Ingredients 

Meatballs

  • 2 6 oz. cans of Wild Alaskan salmon
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (60g)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mat.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using clean hands, stir until well combined. Pack tightly and roll into 1 inch meatballs.
  • Place in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or mat for easy clean up. In a small oven-safe dish, add some water and place in the pan alongside the meatballs.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Notes

  • When shaping the balls, work with slightly wet hands. You will find it much easier to shape them.
  • Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Freeze for up to 3 months 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 138mg | Sugar: 1g
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




27 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very easy make ahead recipe for my visiting 14 month old grandbaby! She loved them and had been going through a finicky period. She was able to grab them easily. At first, I was worried that she wouldn’t like the bones that canned salmon has. But it was never an issue plus the added Calcium, a bonus! Our dog was happy to eat the floor crumbs. I froze them for easy pack and go times. Thank you!

  2. Beginner cook here…when you say flip halfway through- do you mean the pan or the actual salmon balls? Thank you so much!!

  3. I loved how easy it was to have all these ingredients on hand in my pantry/fridge, and it was a great texture! Couldn’t help from eating a few myself! I’ve never really used canned salmon in the past and this was a great introduction. My son really enjoyed them, too! Thank you for sharing this.