Today, I am sharing the Best Sardines Recipe with you. This is one of my favorite ways to eat sardines, and it is a wonderful way to learn how to enjoy sardines if you or your family are new to eating them.

Watch the BEST Sardines Recipe – A Delicious Way to Prepare Canned Sardines video

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Why Eat Sardines?

You might be wondering why you would want to eat sardines? For starters, they are very high in vitamins and minerals. Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which keeps our nerve and blood cells healthy, and of calcium, which plays a role in keeping our bones strong.

Plus, sardines are very high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which scientists tell us helps prevent heart disease. And another benefit to learning to eat and like sardines is that they are a small fish that feed only on plankton (tiny organisms floating in the ocean), which means they don’t contain the high levels of mercury that other larger fish do.

Lastly, canned sardines are compact and cost-effective items to stock up on for your traditional foods pantry. You can store them in the “extended” part of your pantry where you keep your long-term food storage.

How to Eat – And Enjoy – Canned Sardines

When I was a child, my mother served sardine sandwiches on rye bread with pickled onions. They were delicious! But I realize that this may be an acquired taste and not something for everyone.

This recipe is a wonderful option for those of you who are new to sardines and want to incorporate this nutrient-dense food into your diet. This recipe includes palate-pleasing ingredients, such as lemon juice, fresh herbs, and a touch of olive oil. So be sure to watch the recipe video and make this scrumptious recipe today!

Now, I can’t take credit for the original recipe. I actually found it in a cookbook titled the Longevity Kitchen by Rebecca Katz. When she developed this recipe, she served it to friends who claimed they didn’t like sardines. But lo and behold, they gobbled these up and asked for more. She knew she had found a winner!

I’ve modified Rebecca’s original recipe just a bit so as to use the ingredients I had on hand and that were in season. (You can find the original recipe in her book.) But rest assured, both recipes are delicious, and this is one of those recipes you can really make your own by experimenting with different herbs and spices. Try out different ingredients to find the combination that you and your family enjoy the most.

And Rebecca Has Even More Great Recipes

If you like this recipe (and I’m sure you will), you will savor the other recipes in Rebecca’s cookbook. In the Longevity Kitchen, she focusses on what she calls the “Top 16 Age-Busting Power Foods.” Well, I, for one, definitely want to be working all of those into my diet!

And if you find the Longevity Kitchen an essential addition to your cookbook library, be sure to check out Rebeccas’s other cookbooks that I list in my Recommended Reading section of this blog post.

More Traditional Fish Recipes

To incorporate more nutrient-dense fish dishes into your diet, be sure to check out these videos where I share how to make a thyroid-loving Fish Bone Broth, iodine-rich Fish Stew, and a recipe I enjoyed growing up as a child…Cioppino—an Italian Fish Stew.

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes that shows you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to preorder your copy of my new book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.

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The Best Sardines Recipe

5 from 15 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Enjoy this delicious fish dish filled with fresh herbs, lemon juice, and a touch of olive oil.


  • 1 4.35 ounce Canned sardines, packed in water or olive oil You can use skinless and boneless sardines, but the sardines that have the skin and bones intact are more nutritious.
  • 1 Fresh lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 – 4 tablespoons Red onion or scallion, diced I love red onion, so I used an entire small red onion that equaled 4 tablespoons. You can start with 1 tablespoon as recommended in the original recipe to see what you like best.
  • 6 teaspoons Fresh herbs, finely chopped I used all Italian flat leaf parsley, since it was in season. The original recipe recommends 2 teaspoons Italian flat leaf parsley, 2 teaspoons basil, and 2 teaspoons mint. For dried herb amounts, see "Recipe Notes" below.
  • 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil, optional Only add olive oil if your sardines are packed in water.
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon Fine ground sea salt Add more according to your tastes


  • Add sardines to a medium bowl and flake with a fork into chunky pieces. (See video.)
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.



Using Dried Herbs:  If you decide that you want to use dried herbs in this recipe, decrease the total amount of herbs by half the fresh amount or less. However, do not exceed three teaspoons of dried herbs.
You can find the original recipe for this dish in The Longevity Kitchen cookbook by Rebecca Katz.  You can find links to Rebecca’s cookbook, as well as this modified recipe and accompanying video, at
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.4mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: European
Calories: 19
Keyword: Canned Sardines, Sardines, Sardines Recipe
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  1. Tony Farmer says:

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I’ve always like sardines, usually out of the can on a saltine. I decided to search for recipes and yours was one of the first ones that popped up. Such a great flavor profile. May try adding a touch garlic and cayenne.
    But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with just like it is.

    1. Mary Bryant Shrader says:

      Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed the recipe, and your additions sound delicious too!

      Love and God bless,

  2. Ruth says:

    5 stars
    I actually enjoyed sardines, prepared using your recipe. This is amazing because I pretty much hate fish and seafood. It is only because of the health benefits of sardines that I tried your recipe. I keep reading about the benefits of omega 3’s. Thank you so much for your encouragement to just try your recipe. I will look forward to eating sardines prepared this way, again.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Ruth,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the sardines. Yes. Oily fish are high in omega-3s and are very beneficial to us.

      I’m so glad we’re on this traditional foods journey together! 🙂

      Love and God bless,

    2. Flawsee says:

      This on crackers is now my favorite night time snack, not everyday but figure its better than the Dorito’s I would normally reach for! Some other things ive tried adding so far:

      Green Onions
      Scapes (diced and slightly fried in olive oil)
      Fresh Italian Oregeno

      Thanks for this!

  3. Norma says:

    5 stars
    Wow! I thought the lemon would be too strong, but this was delicious! Thank you!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Norma,

      Thanks for your kind comment. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it!

      Love and God bless,

  4. Allie says:

    5 stars
    This truly is the best sardine recipe. I don’t really care for sardines, but I want to eat them because they are a very healthy food. I am so glad I found this recipe. It is delicious! I actually look forward to eating my sardines now. I eat sardines prepared according to this recipe weekly. Instead of parsley, I use half cilantro and half fresh basil.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Allie, SO happy to hear that you liked sardines prepared this way!! Love, Mary

  5. Aliya says:

    5 stars
    Sardines on crisp, toasted bread is a favorite of mine. I followed this recipe precisely and it was beyond delicious! It’s so fresh, easy to make, and tastes amazing !

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Aliya, Wonderful! Glad you are enjoying these!! Love, Mary

  6. Carrey says:

    5 stars
    As usual another informative post. Sardines has been my favorite. But never tried in this way. Will definitely try in a few days.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi Carrey, Thank you so much for the kind words! So happy to hear that you will give this recipe a try! Love, Mary

  7. JP Nelson says:

    5 stars
    Another reason sardines are awesome to eat- they are less impacting on the environment than most other fishes.

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Hi JP, How true! Love and God Bless, Mary

  8. Joelle says:

    5 stars
    I left out the onion and used stone ground mustard, then, my kids (5 and 8) devoured it. I barely got two bites. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Oh Joelle! I am so happy to hear this!! Love, Mary

  9. Ron says:

    5 stars
    OH MY GOSH! This recipe is AMAZING!

    To be honest, I don’t write reviews very often but I absolutely loved this recipe. I’m a firm believer in eating healthy foods but sometimes a struggle to find tasty recipes that are also healthy. My kids can be picky so sometimes it is hard to please their palettes while also taking care of their bodies.

    I’m not crazy about sardines but I absolutely love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing Mary!

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Oh Ron! Thank you so much for the kind words!! I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed sardines prepared this way!! It is such a delight to be on this traditional foods journey with you. Glad you’re here! Love, Mary

  10. DK says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! So fresh, easy, and delicious ! I can eat this every week. A great way to get sardines into your diet. I highly recommend it…

    1. Mary's Nest says:

      Yes indeed! Love, Mary

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