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, 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
Baked Salmon Meatballs with Creamy Avocado Sauce
- 1 pound skinless salmon cut into chunks
- ½ medium onion grated
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat panko breadcrumbs see note
- 3 tablespoons minced cilantro
- 1 egg white
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground oregano
- ¾ California avocado skin & seed removed
- 3 tablespoons fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ lime juiced
- 5 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder see note
- ¼ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon 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.
Disclosure: This post contains links to my Amazon affiliate page. Any revenue made from sales through these links helps to support this blog. Thank you!
My family loves salmon so I’m always looking for new unique delicious ways to make it. This recipe was amazing & did not disappoint. It was packed with SO much flavour & was a huge hit. Thanks for this, it’s a keeper!
What in the name of God are whole wheat panko bread crumbs? What is a California Aovcado? And you say you live in America? Wont find it in New England.
Hi there, Danny, I've never known someone to get so upset about bread crumbs and avocados. If you can't find whole wheat panko bread crumbs or California avocados in a store near you, or you don't want to order the bread crumbs off of Amazon, simply substitute with regular panko bread crumbs and a different varietal of avocados.
Is there something I can substitute the Chipotle chili powder for ?
Hi Amy, you could either leave it out or substitute with regular chili powder. If you'd like some smokiness (like the chipotle chili powder has), you could substitute with smoked paprika. However, take care not to use too much because it has the tendency to overpower the other flavors.
These are just awesome! I made them with some fresh salmon fillets, served with a side of blended brown/ white rice, a salad & two sauces. I didn't have a ripe avocado so I used some fresh prepackaged guacamole instead & reduced the water. I also used regular chili powder as I didn't have chipotle chili powder. The sauce was light & fluffy & a wonderful accompaniment with the rice. I also made homemade Thousand Island dressing & served that as an additional sauce. Needless to say they were gone in no time! This one will become a regular on the weekly menu. Great recipe!
I made these tonight, and they are GLORIOUS!
I wish I'd made a double batch.
Thank you so much x
I'm so glad to hear that! They are always a hit at our house, too.
Dara, I had saved this recipe for over 3 months now and finally tried it today! Came out amazing!! Cant wait to make it again. Didn't have any yogurt but the dip with avocado sounds so so good. I am going to try it again soon. Oh and everyone in my family loved the meatballs.
That's so good to hear, Archana! The meatballs are definitely great on their own, but I think you'll love them even more with the avocado sauce. 🙂
Dara, I don't like cilantro. Shall I sub something or just leave it out? Thanks!
Leslie, just leave it out. No problem!
These meatballs look amazing! I am not a fan of Salmon. I love most white fish. What other fish would you recommend using?
Followed the recipe exactly and they are currently in the oven. So far they are very soft and pale so I have them in for extra time brushed with olive oil so maybe they can brown a little. The kitchen smells great though!
Have you tried making burgers with this recipe?
I love that you even included the WW points! I'm not a salmon fan, but I'm still going to try this one. What do you usually serve with it?
Hi Jen, I usually serve them with brown rice and either a green salad or a slaw like this one or this one. I hope you enjoy them!
I saw this recipe over on Pinterest and had to stop by to tell you how delicious it looks. Salmon has become the new chicken in our house. When you eat it often you're always on the hunt for new recipes.