Seriously, these baked salmon meatballs may be some of the best things you’ve eaten in awhile. They’re made even better with a dollop of creamy avocado sauce on top. Thanks to California Avocado for helping me to share this recipe with you.
It felt like we covered all of the seasons on spring break last week. A little spring skiing just 30 minutes from home, a few bouts of soccer at the park (in shorts!), at least one great flank steak meal and a few runs to burn off the Easter candy that always seems to linger. Curse those Cadbury mini eggs!
All of that fresh air and activity made us hungry. And not just for chocolate and jellybeans, but for filling protein, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. Which means that these baked salmon meatballs with avocado sauce disappeared from the plate in a matter of minutes. A couple of my kids’ friends were at the house when I first made these and they all gathered around the kitchen island, popping one after another into their mouths.
Kid-friendly? Yeah, I’d say so.
There are so many food reasons to get excited for springtime. Asparagus, cauliflower, strawberries and one of my all time favorites…avocados. California avocados, to be exact. For the past couple of years, I’ve been an ambassador for California Avocados. I continue to work with them because I am convinced that there is no avocado like a California avocado.
I can’t count the number of times that I’ve spooned an avocado straight out of the skin and into my mouth. With a little sprinkle of salt, thank you very much. As good as they are straight or sliced up for sandwiches and salads, their natural creaminess lends itself really well to sauces that taste and feel rich and luxurious, but don’t have a drop of actual cream in them. Healthy fats, fiber and vitamins? Win, win and win.
These baked salmon meatballs take very little time and effort to put together. Just throw some salmon into a food processor and give it some pulses until it’s finely chopped. If you don’t have a food processor, no worries. You can chop up that salmon the old fashioned way, with a sharp knife and a cutting board.
After that, incorporate the salmon with some onion, garlic, spices and cilantro, and form them into meatballs. I always use my cookie scoop to portion out even meatballs. It’s a time saver, for certain!
While the meatballs are baking, whip up the avocado sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Be sure to taste the sauce and adjust the salt and chipotle chile powder according to your preference.
If you can’t find chipotle chile powder at your local grocer store (or don’t want to wait for it to arrive from Amazon), you can use some adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. It will lend the same great smokiness and touch of heat to the sauce.
Other avocado recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Mini Avocado & Hummus Quesadillas
Cookin’ Canuck’s Kicked-Up Avocado Margaritas
A Southern Fairytale’s Avocado Fries with Home Ranch Dipping Sauce
Average Betty’s California Avocado & Hemp Seed Arancini
Souffle Bombay’s California Garlic Bread with Sautéed Spinach & Avocados
- 1 lb. skinless salmon, cut into chunks
- ½ medium onion, grated
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat panko breadcrumbs (see note)
- 3 tbsp minced cilantro
- 1 egg white
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground oregano
- ¾ California avocado, skin & seed removed
- 3 tbsp fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ lime, juiced
- 5 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp minced cilantro
- ¼ - ½ tsp chipotle chile powder (see note)
- ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place the salmon in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer to a large bowl.
- To the salmon, add the onion, breadcrumbs, cilantro, egg white, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Stir to combine.
- Using a 2 tablespoon portion of the salmon mixture, form meatballs by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly.
- Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Serve the meatballs with the avocado sauce.
- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, yogurt, garlic, lime juice, water, cilantro, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
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