Healthy & Sustainable: 12 Ways to Eat Sardines

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Sardines are the superheroes of the seafood world. Inexpensive, sustainable and full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, they are one of the few fish we can and should be eating regularly. Whether you’re looking for a weekday pantry meal with canned sardines or a summer grill recipe for fresh fish, the 12 ideas below provide plenty of inspiration for cooking with these little superfish.

Recipes with Fresh Sardines:

1 Broiled Sardines with Gremolata: Lemony gremolata is sprinkled over sardine fillets before a quick broiling. This recipe also includes instructions for cleaning and filleting fresh sardines.

2 Crispy Sardines with Lemon & Mint from Donna Hay: Mint-marinated sardines are dusted with flour, pan-seared until crispy, and served with lemon wedges. Simple and summery!

3 Sardines on the Grill from La Tartine Gourmande: Pretend you are vacationing on the French seaside with these smoky, thyme-infused grilled sardines.

4 Sardines with Chickpeas, Lemon & Parsley from BBC Good Food: Whole sardines are pan-fried until crispy and mixed with a warm salad of chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and parsley.

5 Grilled Moroccan Sardines from The New York Times: Sardines are marinated in ground coriander, fresh parsley and cilantro, lots of garlic, and a pinch of saffron before grilling.

6 Sardines with Crisp Paprika Crumbs from BBC Good Food: Grilled sardines are served scattered with garlicky, crisp bread crumbs.

Recipes with Canned Sardines:

7 Sardine Salad with Chickpeas & Feta: A Greek-inspired mix of warm sardines, crunchy cucumbers, chickpeas and briny feta.

8 Beet & Sardine Salad from Gourmet: A quick pantry meal that uses jarred pickled beets, oil-packed sardines, and a bit of fresh dill.

9 Sardine, Avocado & Radish Salad with Watercress from Food52: Whole canned sardines are mixed with avocado, radish and watercress for a salad full of complementary textures and flavors.

10 Pantry Puttanesca with Sardines from Poor Girl Gourmet: An easy weeknight pasta dish made with canned sardines.

11 Beer-Batter-Fried Sardines & Lime from Gourmet: Although “beer-batter-fried” is not exactly synonymous with “healthy,” this recipe is interesting for two reasons: canned sardines are used instead of fresh and the lime wedges are also fried briefly before serving.

12 Sardine Spread from Bon Appetit: So easy and adaptable.

How do you like to prepare sardines?

Related: What Are Some Great Recipes with Canned Sardines?