Recipes Using Sardines

A tin of canned sardines.
Sardines are small fish usually of the herring family, commonly sold in rectangular tins. These are high in Omega 3 and add an umami flavor to all sorts of recipes.


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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
January 11, 2019

This is a time-consuming recipe but definitely a classic. You can apply this concept to any kind of fish; my choice for today are sardines. It pairs great with rice or sticky rice!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 people

Caramelized Sardines in bowl


  • 2 lb sardines
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic


  1. Wash and clean sardines (I de-head them but the option is yours).
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  3. To make caramelized sauce, add sugar into a pan over medium heat and stir until sugar is melted. Once melted, add a few tablespoons of water slowly and stir until a nice caramel color. This process will take about 5 minutes.
  4. making caramel sauce
  5. Over medium high heat, add olive oil and garlic. Lightly fry sardines so they are golden brown.
  6. deheaded Sardines in pan
    browned Sardines
  7. Then add all the caramelized sauce into the pan, fish sauce and coconut water. Cover the lid over low/medium heat for about 25-30 minutes. Then garnish with dash of black pepper to serve.
  8. adding caramel sauce to Sardines

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8 Questions

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April 2, 2006

I have bought a couple of cans of sardines and would like to know what I can make with them. I usually use salmon and tuna but the calcium in sardines is high as well. I have high cholesterol and am looking at ways of lowering it. I only buy water pack fish.

Susan from Hamilton, Ontario


By ru (Guest Post)
April 2, 20060 found this helpful

I love sardines, and really enjoy eating them as follows:
toast some rye/whole grain bread, put pieces of sardines on top, then squeeze some lemon juice over the sardines, add some cucumbers (and tomatoes and/or onions if you like), and then eat away.


It is easy to put together, tastes great, (and quite a cheap, healthy meal.

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By P. (Guest Post)
April 4, 20060 found this helpful

Just plain sardines and crackers are my favorite way of eating them. I sometimes even skip the crackers and eat the 'dines straight from the can. Mmm, Mmm Good!

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By Angela (Guest Post)
April 4, 20060 found this helpful

Sardines and Pasta
Saute 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and one -half chopped onion and one stalk of chopped celery in 3 tbsps. olive oil, in a large pan. Add 1 can sardines. (remove bones) Salt and Pepper. (Optional additions, 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes.2 anchovy filets) Meanwhile cook 1 pound pasta; linquini or spaghetti, etc. When the pasta is almost cooked, add some of that cooking liquid into the saute pan. Drain the pasta and add to the pan. Stir. Top with Parmesan or Romano cheese. Very thrifty, tasty. and Italian.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 263 Posts
April 7, 20060 found this helpful

I'm not one who likes sardines, but my husband likes them with crackers and hot sauce. He's to eat them, when I'm not home, lol.

I buy canned salmon and canned mackeral. I've had pals put me down for buying canned mackeral, as they refer to it as "dog food". But when my husband & I were 1st married, we couldn't afford canned salmon. So my Aunt gave me advice on buying canned mackeral, for making the "salmon" croquettes or cakes, that I was used to making while living at home with my parents. She said to buy the canned mackeral (much cheaper than canned salmon), drain the liquid from the fish.


Flake the mackeral in a bowl, mix the same as I would if it were canned salmon, but to add a couple or so teaspoonfuls of prepared mustard, as it would take away the fishy taste of the mackeral. Fry in hot cooking oil, till golden brown. Place on paper towel lined plate or serving dish. Now, I hardly buy canned salmon anymore, unless I can find it on sale for .99 cents a can (that's a good sale price for around here, it's normally almost $3.00 a can. I'd imagine that you could use the same recipe with sardines, if you had enough to cook with.

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By (Guest Post)
October 3, 20060 found this helpful

we use chopped cilantro, minced garlic, and fresh lemon juice to marinate over sardines.

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By Todd (Guest Post)
April 5, 20080 found this helpful

Sardines and a bit of vinegar on toast is wicked.

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By donna (Guest Post)
February 20, 20090 found this helpful

Curry with sardines is great. I use the ones in water. You need a small amount of oil or non fat cooking spray. Then fry chopped onion ( usually use 2 medium) with about 1-2 Tbsp. of curry powder, 2 cloves of garlic crushed and diced raw potatoes ( about 2-3 depending how many you are feeding.


When these are a bit cooked add sardines. Add about 1/2 cup water and cook about 15 minutes.

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Answer this Question

April 4, 2019

These pizza cups can be made with all sorts of different savory ingredients.This is a page about making sardine pizza cups.

baked Sardine Pizza Cups

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December 18, 2018

Sardines packed in tomato sauce are mixed with sandwich spread to make the filling in this variation on these tasty mini hand pies. This is a page about making sardina empanadas.

Sardina Empanadas in bowl ready to eat

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November 13, 2017

Sardines are believed to have numerous health benefits, when eaten as part of a healthy diet. Here is a great Japanese-style sardines recipe to try. This is a page about Japanese style sardines (iwashi nitsuke).

Japanese Style Sardines on plate

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September 11, 2020

Savory pancakes are not just a snack to my small family. We serve them in meals and the best is to pair them with hot steamed rice. This one I'm making is a kid friendly veggie pancake which I invented in my kitchen lab to trick my picky eater kid again! And it worked well.

A plate of squash sardine pancakes.

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August 13, 2020

Another 15 days of community quarantine implemented in my region since Covid-19 positive cases are still adding up. We're like stuck for 3 months left with no choice but to obey the rules. More quarantine means more kitchen hacks and experiments. Today I'm gonna cook crispy sardines and sausages straight from their cans.

Fried Sardines & Sausage Platter with sauce

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 364 Posts
December 17, 2008

Since canned sardines are supposed to be healthful, I decided to learn how to enjoy them. My only memories are of the ghastly, stinky ones my father used to enjoy. OMG, how they would pollute the kitchen air! And if this grand experiment didn't work, the dog would be the lucky recipient.

I googled, "How to eat sardines" and came up with a very useful site which gave me plenty of ideas. It is:

I condensed their suggestions into a couple of pages of notes, and will keep them as a handy reference. My first voyage into sardineland was a complete success. As I say this, please note that I have a terrible cold and can barely taste anything. However, I think I have found a winner here. The Dollar General store had a can of sardines (headless, I am happy to report) Majestica Lightly Smoked Sardines in oil. The label did not indicate the absence of heads. The contents were: sardines, soybean oil and salt. Other cans had MSG - so beware and read those labels!

Anyway, the smell was reasonable (not like I recall from years ago). I toasted half of a whole wheat pita, stuffed it with some thinly sliced onion and sardines. Yummy. Gave the dog the oil from the can and a few sardines on the side. He was so happy to have them that he tried to get the previously rinsed tin out of the lidded kitchen trash can (a new dog trick we are going to discourage pronto).

I read an article elsewhere which indicated sardines packed in olive oil are high in Omega 6 fats and should this be your only source of fat, it's fine, but if you get plenty of other fats, please be sure to drain them! Some of the people in the chowhound commentary mash the sardines up with the oil, but remember, fat is fat! Omega 3 fats are good for you, but modern technology still can not totally separate the Omega 3's from the 6's and the 9's. Nordic Naturals omega 3 fish oil probably has the best technology for the separation (in case you were wondering, now that you felt virtuous about buying cheap fish oil from your local discount store).

By Holly from Richardson, TX

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