Our 15 Best Sardine Recipes for Our Favorite Tiny Fish
Grilled, cured, and wrapped in bacon—here are our favorite ways to use sardines
In Jasper White’s Summer Shack Cookbook, the New England chef describes sardines as “possibly the most full-flavored of all fish—either you love them or you don’t.”
Those of us who fall into the former camp adore these oily little members of the herring family for their strong taste, rich texture, and snackable size. Doesn’t hurt that they’re also sustainable, inexpensive, and a great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.
Since we’ve never hidden our fondness for tinned fish, it’ll shock exactly no one to learn that around here, canned sardines get gobbled up in sandwiches, atop salads (this Thai-style option is a favorite), and cooked with cannellini beans and tomatoes for a hearty stew.
But what to do with the market-fresh version? Depends on how you plan to prepare them. Whole, gutted fish can be stuffed with gremolata and grilled, or tucked into a hearty Cornish stargazy pie. Alternatively, you (or your fishmonger) could fillet them for use in Japanese-style miso soup or Sicilian pasta with saffron, raisins, and pine nuts. Lastly, if your goal is to treat just-caught sardines the same way you would canned ones, try your hand at marinating or salt-curing the fillets.
No matter how you hope to eat these polarizing fish—canned, fresh, broiled, stewed, grilled, baked, pureed, etc.—the following best recipes for sardines will show you the way.