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jalapeño popper fish cake bites on a serving tray
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5 from 4 votes

Japapeño Popper Fish Cakes

These jalapeño popper fish cakes are stuffed with cream cheese, served with a creamy yogurt sauce, and are a perfect Game Day appetizer!
Makes approximately 16 large fish cakes, or more smaller fish cakes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Chilling Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 53kcal


Japapeño Popper Fish Cakes:

  • 8 ounces canned sardines (2 cans), packed with pickled jalapeños, oil drained + reserved King Oscar sardines recommended
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (whole milk or Greek)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into ~16 cubes

Yogurt Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk or Greek)
  • 1 lemon or lime, zested + juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Add sardines + jalapeños, breadcrumbs, yogurt, and the egg into the basin of a food processor.  Blend until smooth.
  • Use a 1 ½ TB scoop (or another small scoop) to scoop the batter into balls.
    Note: If the mixture is too wet to scoop, stir in some more breadcrumbs until it's easier to work with.
  • Chill the fish cakes for about 10 minutes.
  • While the fish cakes chill, mix together the yogurt, zest, and citrus juice. 
  • After they're chilled, use your thumb to push a dent into each fish cake.  Add a cube of cream cheese, and then use your hands to roll the fish cake back around the cheese.
  • Broil the fish cakes for about 5 minutes, or until golden.  Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side.
  • Leftovers:
    Leftover fish cakes can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat under the broiler before serving.
    Make Ahead: 
    Make the stuffed fish cakes up to 1 day ahead, but wait until you're ready to serve before broiling.  Make the yogurt sauce up to 3 days ahead.


Make with Unflavored Sardines: Use sardines packed in olive oil, and add ⅛ cup pickled jalapeños to the fish cake mixture.


Calories: 53kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 63mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 110IU | Vitamin C: 3.7mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 0.3mg