Chicken Cakes with Cilantro Garlic Mayo

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Festive Chicken Cakes topped with cilantro garlic mayonnaise are easy to make and just plain fun to eat. What’s even more amazing is that they’re made with leftover chicken.

2 Chicken cakes stacked on plate and topped with cilantro garlic mayo

It’s a cook once, eat twice meal, where the second day is equally as good the first. Use rotisserie chicken, baked lemon pepper chicken or whatever you have on hand.

Top these tasty little chicken patties off with cilantro garlic mayonnaise. And, make a large batch of that too. Because it brightens up whatever it’s added to.

Tips for Making Chicken Cakes with Cilantro Garlic Mayo

If you’ve made crab cakes or black bean cakes, then you’ll be right at home making chicken cakes. It’s the same process. You simply combine the ingredients, form patties and fry them on the stove-top. Follow these tips so they come out perfectly every time:

Shredding chicken

Shred enough chicken to fill 3 cups. Leftover chicken? Use it! Rotisserie chicken will work too. Otherwise, cook chicken in a pressure cooker or poach it.

To poach boneless, skinless chicken breasts, place 3-4 chicken breasts in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. After the chicken cools, shred it with a fork or dice it.

Use two forks or beaters to shred the chicken into small pieces.

Mixing it together

Mix together egg, mayonnaise, seasoned breadcrumbs, diced red onion, chopped basil and minced garlic. Use whole wheat breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs if desired.

Next, add shredded chicken to the bowl and mix. Keep stirring until it’s well-combined and the ingredients start to stick together.

At first, it might seem like this is not going to happen…it will. Just keep stirring. And, if you absolutely feel like it just isn’t sticky enough add a little more mayonnaise.

Shaping into chicken patties

Make patties by compressing about 1/4 cup of the mixture into a patty shape. You should end up with 12 patties. We find that smaller patties usually work better!

Or, form the mixture into tablespoon-sized balls for 48 appetizer-sized cakes.

Chicken Cakes

Freezing chicken cakes

You can stop right here and freeze these cakes. Yep. Place them in a pan and cover it. Place them in the freezer and go about your business.

When you are ready to cook the chicken cakes, remove them to the refrigerator and allow them to defrost overnight. You might want to re-compress them, but that’s about it.

Cooking chicken patties

To cook the chicken cakes, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken cakes to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and allow to cool.

As with all delicate cakes, try to limit how many times you flip the cakes. They should be thoroughly heated through since egg is used. But, the chicken is already cooked.

3 Easy chicken cakes with cilantro garlic mayo on plate

Cilantro Garlic Mayonnaise for Chicken Cakes

I am absolutely giddy about the mayo for these chicken cakes. Adding garlic and cilantro to mayonnaise gives it a whole new flavor! Use the right type of mayonnaise and the topping is Whole 30 and Paleo compliant.

Cilantro garlic mayo in bowl


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2 Chicken cakes stacked on plate and topped with cilantro garlic mayo
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5 from 3 votes

Chicken Cakes with Cilantro Garlic Mayo

Festive chicken cakes topped with cilantro garlic mayo use leftover chicken to completely transform last night's dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 417kcal


Chicken Cakes

  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon basil chopped 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pressed or minced
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs whole wheat or gluten-free, if desired
  • cup red onion diced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Cilantro Garlic Mayonnaise

  • ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pressed or minced


Chicken Cakes

  • Combine egg, mayonnaise, basil and garlic in a large bowl.
  • Stir in breadcrumbs and red onion.
  • Add shredded chicken and stir until well-combined. The ingredients should stick together. 
  • Form patties by compressing about ¼ cup of the chicken mixture.
  • Heat olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Working in batches, place about 4 patties in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
  • Remove chicken cakes to a paper towel-lined plate to cool and serve with Cilantro Garlic Mayo.

Cilantro Garlic Mayo

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl.


Make Chicken Cakes appetizer-sized by forming into small 1 Tablespoon patties.


Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1023mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 2.1mg
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  1. I’ve never thought of chicken cakes. What a brilliant idea! I hope it works with turkey too.

  2. This idea is brilliant! I love crab cakes and never thought to mix it up and try chicken. I bet that Cilantro Garlic Mayo is the bomb!

  3. Your chicken cakes look spectacular! And that cilantro garlic mayo would be excellent topping SO many dishes 🙂

  4. I have never seen chicken like this! What a great idea and just a beautiful little cake!! I love it!! I have to try this!

  5. I have never had chicken cakes, always fish, but heck why not!! These look fantastic, great idea!!

  6. Okay, these look SO good that I almost can’t stand it. I’m starving, and would give just about anything to have one or two of these in front of me right now. They’re going on the menu for this week. I just love the chicken/cilantro/garlic combo.

  7. Oh my goodness, Marjory, these chicken cakes are gorgeous!

  8. LOVE these! Why have I never had chicken cakes! And that mayo sounds FAB!!!

  9. These look delicious! Great way to use cooked chicken!

  10. I love everything about this recipe, right down to the cilantro mayo!

  11. Oh, I love these!! what a great idea in place of crab meat! I’m going to try this with rotisserie chicken shredded up! yummm!!

  12. these sound delicious but what can I replace the mayo with? mayo makes me really sick to my stomach. would greek yogurt work? thanks!

  13. So neat! My hubs would probably throw one or two of these on a bun, and they’d be gone before you could blink!

  14. Chicken cakes, who would have thought. Great for those who don’t like crab. You really have my wheels turning now.

  15. Oh I love your recipe! The mayo with the garlic in the cakes sound delicious and so does your cilantro mayo dip! Cannot wait to try 🙂

  16. What a GREAT party bite, Marjory! And you can freeze them in advance? So smart!

  17. Love this. These would be a hit a any potluck.

  18. Chicken cakes is not something I would normally think of but yours look delicious and so does that cilantro garlic mayo!

  19. My dinner making always seems to suffer this time of year as well. I totally forget about dinner in between all the wrapping and decorating and cookie baking (we eat a lot of cookies for dinner this time of year!) Happy to have another quick option I can throw together on a weeknight!

  20. I am definitely making this. We belong to a chicken CSA and we get a chicken every week. Roast chicken is going to get old awfully fast. But I can roast it and shred it and probably use it for two meals if I make this one. The cilantro garlic mayo sold me! Can’t wait to try it it! Pinning right now, and stumbling too!

  21. Jacqueline DiNuoscio says

    That Cilantro Garlic Mayo sounds wonderful!! I can’t wait to try this!

  22. Stephanie Simmons says

    These are so delicious! I love serving them in lettuce wraps/bowls for a super healthy and filling meal!

  23. Very tastey served over mixed greens. AS good as any nice restaurant.

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