What To Do With Canned Sardines?

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Published by: Maria Kelley • Updated: October 19, 2023 • Checked By: Chef Matty Riedel

There are diverse ways in which you can make use of canned sardines. Something that you can obtain for less than £2 at your nearby store can turn into a full and hearty meal as long as you know what to use them for.

If you are wondering what to use your canned sardines for, here is a list of some of our most delectable ideas.

What To Do With Canned Sardines

1. Fish Cakes

Fish cakes are small and tasty food options that are also simple to make. All you need to do is combine some sliced or mashed sardines from the can with an egg or mashed potato, yoghurt, parsley, salt, pepper, onions or capers. Roll everything into a patty, coat each patty with bread crumbs and lightly fry them in some oil.

2. Sardine Stew

To make sardine stew, sauté onions, garlic, tomatoes, capsicum, celery and other desired vegetables together. Add some tomato paste alongside some parsley, rosemary, thyme and basil with salt and pepper. Mix everything together and add stock and water.

can of sardines
Close up of a can of sardines preserve and a fork on a wooden board. Top view.

Let it simmer for 10 minutes and add the sardines. Cook them for 5 minutes.

3. Sardine Salad

A sardine salad is extremely simple to make and does not require any cooking. All you need to do is mash your canned sardines and combine them with other desired salad ingredients. Some options include tomatoes, lettuce, capers, parsley, onions, boiled eggs, spinach and more.

Sprinkle some lemon juice and olive oil and eat with mayonnaise or avocado.

4. Sardine Toast Appetizer

Mash the sardines from the can and combine them with onions, capers, radishes, tomatoes, basil and gherkins. Add some seasoning like lime juice, salt and pepper and apply the combination on a piece of toast. You can also sprinkle some cheese over it.

The ingredients you wish to add are open based on your liking.

5. Pasta

Making pasta with canned sardines as one of your ingredients will make you an entire meal. Simply cook your pasta and sauté your sardines with some olive oil, onions, capers, spinach, mushrooms and kale. You can also add other ingredients if you wish to.

Season as required and combine your cooked pasta with this preparation.

6. Sardine Sandwiches

Sardine sandwiches are yummy and convenient to eat, especially if you happen to be on the go. Mash the canned sardines and combine them with celery, lettuce, mayonnaise, dill, onions, mustard, cilantro and some other seasonings. Layer a slice of bread or baguette with this and add some tomatoes or cucumbers if you wish to.

7. Sautéed/Fried Sardines

Simply sautéing or frying your sardines lightly also makes for a quick, convenient and mouthwatering dish. Take your sardines out from the can and place them in a pan with some oil simmering in it.

Along with the sardines, you can also sauté some onions, tomatoes, scallops, mushrooms and peppers while seasoning with salt, pepper, lemon juice and basil.

8. Sardine Dip/Cream

A sardine dip, cream or spread is a simple accompaniment to snacks or something you can add to your toast or sandwiches. Mash the sardines and combine them with some cream cheese, lemon zest, minced red onions, minced garlic as well as some fresh herbs like basil or parsley. That’s all!

9. Sardine Omelette

This spin on a Spanish omelette will leave you wanting more. Soften some potatoes, caramelize your onions, brown the garlic and combine them all together with some mashed sardines and eggs. Season the mixture with some salt and pepper while also adding fresh herbs.

Place the mixture onto a pan and cook until the omelette is ready.

10. Sardine Fried Rice

Turn that can of sardines into a satisfying meal by making sardine fried rice. Cook the rice and in the meantime, sauté some onions, sliced sardines, mushrooms, celery, garlic, eggs, peas and other necessary ingredients. Season them, add some soy sauce and finally add the cooked rice into the mix.

11. Sardine Pâté

A sardine pâté is a shapely pie or paste that you can eat with toast, chips, crackers and more. All you need to do is combine the sardines, tomatoes, mayonnaise, hot sauce or peppers, lemon juice, spring onions, thyme, basil, salt and pepper and blend it all together.

Refrigerate the mix and eat once ready.

12. Sardine Curry

Make a flavoursome sardine curry by sautéing some onions, garlic and peppers, among other ingredients. Add bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme, cloves, tomato paste and either simple cream or coconut cream and combine until you get a rich mixture. Add the sardines and let the curry come to a boil before serving.

13. Fisherman’s Eggs

Mash the sardines and combine some chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, pepper and thyme. You can then either transfer this mixture into a pan on the stove or a preheated baking tray in the oven. Crack 2-3 eggs on top and allow the dish to cook or bake.


Are Canned Sardines Good for Me?

Canned sardines are good for you since they contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, protein, zinc, magnesium and phosphorous.
This combination results in several health benefits, such as anti-inflammation, antioxidant properties, improved heart health, cholesterol management, stronger bones and many others.

Can I Eat Sardines Straight From The Can?

It is possible to eat sardines straight from the can with pairings like toast, oil, seasoning, dips, sauce, mayonnaise or with a side salad.

Final Thoughts

It is clear by now that canned sardines offer a variety of options in terms of the recipes you can attempt with them. Try one or more of these out if you are confused about what to do with your can of sardines. If you do not like these as they are, you can also add your own touch to them or invent something of your own.

I hope you enjoy eating these delicious meals!

Maria Kelley
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