Our 15 Best Sardine Recipes for Our Favorite Tiny Fish

Grilled, cured, and wrapped in bacon—here are our favorite ways to use sardines

Sardines refer to several tiny, oil members of the herring family. Although the canned stuff sometimes gets a bad rap—let's face it, it's not the fairest fish in the sea—sardines are a sustainable, cost-efficient source of protein and omega 3's. But if you want to reap their many benefits, you'll need to (and want to) learn how to use them. Lace your sardines with Thai spices and herbs to disarm the sometimes overbearing fishiness, or stuff them with gremolata before you grill for a nice flavorful sear. When all else fails, make a sandwich or whip up some pasta. Grilled, cured, and wrapped in bacon—here are some of our best sardine recipes.

Linguine with Sardines, Raisins, and Pine Nuts (Pasta con le Sarde)

Linguine with Sardines, Raisins, and Pine Nuts (Pasta con le Sarde)
In this representative Sicilian dish, which seamlessly combines Arab and Sicilian flavors, pasta is tossed with sardines from the Mediterranean, raisins and pine nuts grown in the mountains, and a dash of saffron, which imbues the pasta with a golden color. Look for small sardines, which are sweeter and more delicate than larger ones. Get the recipe for Linguine with Sardines, Raisins, and Pine Nuts (Pasta con le Sarde) »William Hereford

Charmoula-Stuffed Sardines

Charmoula-Stuffed Sardines
Fresh or canned sardines can be used in this spicy, crispy Moroccan snack. Eat 'em like french fries. Get the recipe for Charmoula-Stuffed Sardines »André Baranowski

Sardine and Lemongrass Salad

Sardine and Lemongrass Salad
Combining sardines with Thai spices moves the flavor away from purely fishy in this sweet and spicy salad. Get the recipe for Sardine and Lemongrass Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Marinated Sardines (Sardeles Ladolemono)

Marinated Sardines (Sardeles Ladolemono)
For this appetizer from Kea, fresh sardines are lightly pickled in a tart marinade. Get the recipe for Marinated Sardines (Sardeles Ladolemono) »Penny De Los Santos

Pasta con le Sarde

Pasta con le Sarde
Many Sicilian-Americans serve this dish, laced with golden raisins and fennel, on Christmas Eve. Get the recipe for Pasta con le Sarde »Todd Coleman

Sardine Miso Ball Soup

Sardine Miso Ball Soup
Sardines flavored with white miso are formed into delicate puffed balls for dashi broth in this recipe adapted from one served at K-ZO restaurant in Culver City, California. Get the recipe for Sardine Miso Ball Soup »André Baranowski

Grilled Gremolata-Stuffed Sardines

Grilled Gremolata-Stuffed Sardines
Stuffing sardines with fresh herbs, garlic, and lemon before grilling suffuses them with zesty flavor. Get the recipe for Grilled Gremolata-Stuffed Sardines »André Baranowski

Sardine Sandwich

Sardine Sandwich
Briny sardines get added intensity from fresh onion and Dijon mustard in this open-face sandwich from chef and radio host Mike Colameco. Get the recipe for Sardine Sandwich »Todd Coleman

Sardine in Saor

Sardine in Saor
These tasty cicheti are traditionally made with fried sardines, but they're just as delicious when the fish are broiled. Get the recipe for Sardine in Saor »Todd Coleman

Cured Sardines

Cured Sardines
Easily filleted by removing the heads, then pulling the spines away from the fillet from the neck toward the tail, sardines are cured in a bright mixture of sugar, salt, and thyme. Get the recipe for Cured Sardines »Ingalls Photography

Olive Oil-Braised Sardines with Fennel

Olive Oil-Braised Sardines with Fennel
Braise the sardines with fennel, chiles, celery, onions, and carrots for a slightly spicy flavor. Get the recipe for Olive Oil-Braised Sardines with Fennel »André Baranowski

Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel

Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel
These little sandwiches have a big range of flavors, from the salty sardines to to the tangy flavors of tarragon and chive salsa verde. Get the recipe for Marinated Sardine Crostini with Salsa Verde and Fennel »Maxime Lattoni

Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin

Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin
This casserole combines sardines with a creamy Swiss chard and a layer of crunchy bread crumbs. Get the recipe for Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin »Ingalls Photography
Sardine Sandwich with Horseradish Cream

Sardine Sandwich with Horseradish Cream

This update on the sardine sandwich provides an extra kick in the horseradish cream.Todd Coleman

White Bean and Sardine Stew

White Bean and Sardine Stew
With their delicate tenderness, canned sardines are ideal for this robust Mediterranean stew. Get the recipe for White Bean and Sardine Stew »Ingalls Photography