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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.

4.96 from 25 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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27 Comments

  1. So does is the Costco canned salmon really ‘boneless’ as noted on the can. I made this, but was so grossed out by the skin, bones, and VERTEBRAE I had fished (no pun intended) out of my can of salmon that I couldn’t enjoy the finished product

    1. Yes, the one I got (wild Alasakan salmon) had none of those things you mentioned! I don’t blame you! I’d be so grossed out too!!

  2. I’ve never had salmon meatball before, but these look super yummy, and I love the lemongrass ginger seasoning! The story about your dad peeling your shellfish, reminded me of my grandmother who very lovingly peeled the white pithy part of tangerines for my daughter when she was little. TOTALLY spoiled her for sure 🙂

  3. I happen to love canned salmon because it tastes like tuna, which I love too! Haha. But I love allllll fish and don’t mind bones one bit. The only one I get frustrated eating and end up not eating because of all of its million kkashees is Milk Fish. It tastes good and it’s big in Filipino culture, but then it’s so incredibly dangerous? I love the sauce you made here. I think you and I were meant to be in terms of flavors 😉

  4. Love this recipe! and I’m so excited to have something new to do with the canned salmon in my pantry! Oh, and my husband would also go crazy if we were out of sriracha!

  5. Oh, I love this flavor combination, and the fact that you’ve incorporated such a healthy (yet overlooked) ingredient — canned salmon. Pinning this for when my husband returns home! Thanks!

  6. these look AMAZING! (and it just so happens that I have most of the ingredients just hanging out in my pantry….woohoo!!). Need to make mine GF–fortunately you’ve made it simple to make a few small tweaks to accommodate…love it!

  7. Yummmm! I stock up on canned salmon to use as a topper for salad but I’ve never thought to make meatballs with it. I’m gonna pin this for later… fresh out of sriracha

  8. You just made my day with this recipe!! My husband is not a fish fan but I love salmon. I never want to spend money on fresh salmon because he doesn’t like it and have never known what to do with canned salmon. Looks like I’ll be buying canned salmon this week. Yum!

  9. Another masterpiece Min! You mentioned these would be good as an appetizer, snack, or main dish, I’m going to breakfast and dessert- I would eat these ANYTIME! My husband hates dealing with shellfish (but he loves to eat it), he’s just too impatient to have to work to get the goods. He established this early on when on one of our first dates, he ordered the “lazy man’s lobster”!