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3 Minute French Sardine Pate Recipe

The French’s love of butter really shows in this sardine pate recipe. The sardines make for a surprising rich, creamy spread that is delightful on baguette slices. If you ever wanted to learn how to make a pate, this is for you.

3 minute sardine pate

This French inspired recipe illustrates just how much the French really love their butter.  In fact, they have butter shops that sell only handmade butter by artisans who spend their professional lives dedicated to the sweet dairy bliss known as beurre.

Culinary Niches

What an amazing life!  Learning and perfecting a culinary trade in a niche corner of the food world, in France.  If you have ever been to France then you can get the idea.  Crafting with a singular food item, full time, nurturing your creations and feeling the joy experienced when one of your raving fans pops a little sliced baguette with some beurre into their mouths.  Butter, bread, cheese, Bresse chickens, wine.  All singular niches in the French food world, allowing for craftsmen to perfect their techniques for the betterment of the public.

In Paris, specialty shops are the norm, allowing for an incredible selection of finely crafted culinary creations within walking distance of your home.  The shops are relatively close to each other so you could go shopping for all of your items simply by walking down the street.  This also encourages people to slow down, take in the scene and people watch.

French Butter

French butter has less water and more butter fat than what we are used to in the U.S.  The butter also takes on a distinctive flavor from grass fed cows.  The cows live a good life in the French countryside and are treated well.  The resulting high-quality dairy they produce is a testament to how much the French revere this agricultural product.


Pate is simply cooked meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste.  The addition of butter makes this a rich spread, well complemented by a crusty baguette.  

The beauty of this is that it can be whipped up in minutes and can be made a head of time.  This makes it ideal when you are hosting a dinner party. For another pate recipe, try this classic Chicken Liver Pate that whips up quickly in a food processor after frying it briefly in a skillet.

From this very basic recipe you can create an infinite number of variations such as adding; shallots & garlic, Sriracha & onions, sesame oil & soy sauce, fresh thyme & basil, you get the idea. It also whips up in 3 minutes, bonus! If you ever wanted to learn how to make a pate, this is your recipe.  Embrace the challenge and enjoy the rewards.  You can also check out my 3 Minute Salmon Pate here:)

3 minute sardine pate

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Encyclopedia of World Cookery from 1958.  The canned sardines and few ingredients sounded really intriguing so of course, I had to try.

The recipe for the pate is gluten free so if you are so inclined simply substitute the baguette for gluten free crackers or veggies.

3 Minute Sardine Pate

Bon Appetit!

Did you make this recipe?  Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below!  Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)

3 minute sardine pate

3 Minute French Sardine Pate Recipe

Yield: 2-4 servings
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A healthy sardine 3 minute pate. Perfect for a quick lunch or an easy appetizer for a big crowd.


  • 1 can of sardines
  • 1.5 oz butter
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Place first 3 ingredients in a bowl, mash with fork.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, be careful on the salt as the sardines and lemon already add a nice balance.
  3. Pate can be used on toasted or fresh bread, as a veggie dip, wrapped in lettuce or as an ingredient in deviled eggs.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Tbs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 121Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g

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Saturday 3rd of July 2021

I am so excited to try this. I love pate and I have recently embraced canned sardines. I might have ya beat on the three minute sardine recipe though... I serve them with rye crisp/ crackers/ or toasted baguette slices, mayo, (Then sardine piece), diced red onions, topped with a few small green capers. My Scandinavian Grandpa ate them plain right out of the can, then slurped the oil out too. This grossed me out as a child, but now...I sorta get it. Thanks for the pate recipe. Trying it tomorrow!


Saturday 3rd of July 2021

Oh the red onion and capers, definitely!!! Enjoy and so glad to meet wonderful people who love sardines too;P

Bob K

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

I went to the cupboard to pull out the tin of sardines in soybean oil with hot green chilies I've been staring at for too long with no idea?! So, I put the 3 fish in a bowl and mashed them with a fork and some yellow mustard and 3 tsp of kosher dill pickle juice and had a good lunch with the mixture on whole wheat saltines. Very satisfying. I'm not recommending this particular mix of ingredients for everyone, Making a sardine pate is a taste treat and has endless ingredient possibilities. Tomorrow - the can of pink salmon that I've been staring at.....


Tuesday 20th of April 2021

I LOVE it!! I had this yesterday. I always keep sardines in the cupboard, it's so convenient and healthy too. I'm glad this worked out for you, I haven't tried them with chillies, very interesting...


Friday 15th of January 2021

I loved this recipe. It was simple , quick and a great way to use canned sardines


Friday 15th of January 2021

Glad to hear Marianne! I make this frequently, changing up the ingredients here and there. It's better than tuna and better for you. I'm on team canned-sardine. Happy to hear you're a fan too!

robert c courtney

Tuesday 21st of January 2020

Why do you show a can of skinless,boneless sardines for this recipe?No one buys these.The whole point of eating canned sardines is to obtain all the flavour and nutrients from the fish.This is typical American fright of eating what the rest of the world eats and keeping to a boring hygenic diet.


Monday 27th of January 2020

Hi Robert, you must be thrilled that you can buy fresh sardines where you are. The only fish I can get where I live are frozen or canned. When I lived in Texas, I didn't realize how lucky I was to have such a variety of fresh seafood available to me. Central Market was my favorite source. The purpose of a 3 minute anything is convenience. This recipe is quick to mix up and actually quite flavorful. How do you like to make sardine pate?


Tuesday 29th of October 2019

Other than tuna I haven't had canned fish. I tried this and it was fantastic. Going to make it again today, thanks for sharing this pate recipe. I'm a fan now!

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