Sardines Three Ways

Poor sardines. They are one of the most misunderstood, undervalued fish (followed in close succession by their awkward second cousin, anchovies). But as a cheap yet nutrient-rich food source, they really deserve a chance! So, I'm here to highlight these little stunners, debunk some of the common misconceptions about sardines, and give you some fabulously delicious ways to enjoy them! You can do this. 

For starters, if you can eat tuna, you can eat sardines. They're actually way more mild in flavor than tuna. And even if you're not a tuna fan, you can still do sardines! Because they're totally a horse (fish) of a different color. 

Some of the most common kickback I hear regarding sardines usually goes something like this: 

  • "EWWWWWWWW, how can you eat THAT?" (this is a common response to any unfamiliar food)
  • Many assume that hiding behind that little tin can door of mystery is a gory sardine graveyard complete with heads, eyes, skin, tails, etc; a veritable battlefield of fishy parts, if you will (this is just not true. See photo below)
  • To eat sardines, you either have to dig right into the can with a fork and a barbaric disposition, or dump them on a salad of raw kale and choke them down with an iron will and general disdain for life (also not true, hence all the recipe options below!)

It's not uncommon to scoff at the unknown, especially when it comes to a food as shrouded in mystery as sardines. But the fact of the matter is that you absolutely can not dis it until you try it. The end. And to make that road SO much easier for you, I've put together some fabulously tasty, non-mysterious recipes to give these little nutrient-dense fish a chance in your diet. 

To sweeten the deal even more, here are some quick nutrition facts about sardines: 

  • They're naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids (one of the highest sources, as a matter of fact!)
  • They're high in selenium and B12
  • They're naturally mineral-rich
  • They're a great source of Vitamin D

And so much more! In addition to their lineup of nutrient density, they're also easy to find and are a cheap, easily-transportable source of protein. Mackerel is a variety of sardine that is more mild in flavor and slightly sweeter, so if you decide to give sardines a try, consider starting with mackerel. Vital Choice carries my all time favorite mackerel. 

What you want to look for when buying sardines: 

  • wild, sustainably caught (not farmed)
  • packed in water or olive oil (not soybean or canola oil, and no other added ingredients besides salt)

My favorite sardine dippers: 


Some of my fave, easy to find brands


A real life picture of sardines! No heads, no eyes, no tails, no big deal


Without further ado, grab your can of sardines and get to snacking! Each recipe serves 1 but can easily be doubled.

Curried Sardines: 


  • 4 oz can of sardines in olive oil or water
  • 1/4 cup coconut yogurt* (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1/2-1 tsp curry powder (depending on desired flavor strength)
  • pinch of sea salt (if your curry powder doesn't contain salt)


  1. Open sardine can and drain. If packed in olive oil, reserve about 1 tsp to mix in.
  2. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  3. Devour with glee! Serve over greens, in a tortilla, with chips, crackers, veggies, etc. 

*I love to make this one directly in the yogurt container once I reach the bottom. It's easy to mix it all together and have it ready to go for lunch! Plus, zero cleanup! 



Loaded "Bagel" Sardines:



  1. Open sardine can and drain. If packed in olive oil, reserve about 1 tsp to mix in. 
  2. In a small bowl mix together sardines, cream cheese, and seasonings. Toss in chives and bacon. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  3. Serve with a sprinkle of seasoning on top!



Avo-Lime Cilantro Sardines: 


  • 4 oz can sardines in olive oil or water
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbs freshly chopped cilantro
  • dash garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • drizzle of olive oil (if using sardines packed in water)


  1. Open sardine can and drain. If packed in olive oil, reserve about 1 tsp to mix in. 
  2. In a small bowl, mash avocado, spices, olive oil, and fresh cilantro. Mix in sardines and add a little lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning/add more lime juice. 
  3. Enjoy with your favorite chips or veggies, or wrapped up in a tortilla





Putting these easy sardine mashups together got me so inspired, I decided to throw in one more recipe! I had to stop myself here, but let me tell you: there are so many ways you can mix things up and try something new! You can toss sardines on top of your favorite pizza, throw them into scrambled eggs, make a hash, load them onto a sandwich, crisp them up in a pan with some bacon, wrap them up in a tortilla with some greens...get creative!

Pizza Sardines


  • 4 oz can sardines
  • 1-2 Tbs organic pizza sauce, OR 1/2 Tbs tomato paste
  • pinch sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • dash garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil


  1. Open sardine can and drain. If packed in olive oil, reserve 1 tsp to mix in. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix tomato sauce or paste and all additional seasoning. Add sardines and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. 
  3. Serve with your favorite dippers or load on top of your fave pizza crust




I hope these easy recipes inspire you to give sardines a chance. I guarantee you won't regret it, and you will have found a wonderful new protein source to add into your daily rotation. Let me know if you try any of these mashups and what you think! 


In loving health, 









Note: This post contains affiliate links. While a little extra moolah is always nice and helps keep this blog up and running, the sole purpose of sharing these links is to help you find quality ingredients with ease and take out some of the guess work. It is my hope that your experiences in the kitchen are free of stress and frustration, and this is my way of helping you get there. I also never advocate for anything that I don't 100% believe to be a quality item. All recipes are solely mine. Sharing is caring, and I kindly ask that you give credit appropriately.