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Canned Sardine Sandwich Recipe

Forget the tuna, grab a can of sardines packed in olive oil for a quick and satisfying lunch. Canned sardines are versatile. Simply add what you want and serve on bread, greens or pasta. This sardine sandwich recipe is my go-to meal when I don’t have a lot of time but still want to eat something delicious.

Sardine salad sandwich.

I’m on an unofficial quest to try every type of canned fish I can find. Canned fish is convenient, affordable and is basically a blank canvas. Simply add your favorite spices, aromatics and condiments. Or eat them simply with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

This sandwich recipe is similar to what I would do for a tuna salad sandwich. Sardines taste like a souped up tuna. It’s fishier in taste and is just as easy to work with. You can use the sardines straight out of the can. Whether you drain the oil it comes in is up to you and what you are making. The oil makes a nice, robust vinaigrette so I wouldn’t toss it out.

If you aren’t a fan of strong tasting fish, simply add more aromatics and spices. This will tone down or even out the strong taste. Another tip is to rinse the sardines and soak them in milk. This will lighten up the fishy taste.

I have been on a medical mission, living in a hotel room. Canned fish is one of my favorite ways to feed myself and is easy to use in a hotel room. It is also healthy and versatile.

I use canned fish for both lunch and dinner. It doesn’t need refrigeration until you open the can so sometimes I actually throw a few cans in my suitcase when traveling.

I know that’s kind of weird but I like the idea that I can feed myself on the go when traveling. Kipper snacks are great for this. Just pack along some crackers and cheese.

Sardine salad ingredients.
Sardine salad mixed in a bowl.
A spoonful of sardine salad.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Make a salad out of it by mixing with garbanzo beans, red onions, tomatoes, peppers, oil from the can, lemon juice, parsley and hard-boiled egg.
  • Use the recipe below but instead of serving it on toast, serve it over crunchy greens.
  • Rinse and dry them, dip in batter and fry them in a skillet with oil. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon juice.
  • Serve on toasted baguette with ricotta cheese, micro greens, lemon juice and freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Toss with cooked pasta, parmesan, chopped fresh basil, capers, olive oil heated gently with 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, salt to taste.
  • Chop and add to your favorite pasta sauce for a punch of umami.
  • Serve on toasted sourdough with aioli or escabeche.

IS IT OK TO EAT SARDINES OUT OF THE CAN? – Yes! You can eat canned sardines without cooking them. The canning process cooks the sardines in the can.

ARE SARDINES HEALTHY FOR YOU? – Sardines are high in omega 3’s, calcium, protein, vitamins and iodine. Since they are a small fish and eat plankton, they are very low in mercury and other heavy metals, unlike tuna and larger, fatty fish.

Serve With One of These Great Salads

More Canned Fish Recipes Plus a Japanese Seafood Salad

Sardine salad sandwich.

Canned Sardine Sandwich Recipe

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

An easy, no-cook meal made with canned sardines. This healthy fish is perfect for a quick meal that's tastier than tuna.


  • 4 1/2 oz canned sardines packed in oil.
  • 1 scallion, sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 Tbs mayo
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 6 slices sourdough bread
  • Greens such as crunchy lettuce or spinach


1. Drain sardines and place in small mixing bowl. Add next 5 ingredients, mix well.

2. Toast bread, add sardine mixture evenly to 3 slices of toasted bread. Add greens. Cover with remaining toast.


  • This recipe is highly versatile. You can change the flavor profile easily. Simply add your favorite spices and herbs.
  • This is one of my go-to lunches or dinners when I am just feeding myself. I store the leftovers in the fridge for the next day.
  • You can serve this on a bed of crunchy lettuce for a salad version of this recipe.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 527Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 991mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 24g

Did you make this recipe?

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Monday 20th of May 2024

Excellent! Honestly, the sardines scare me and I've tried them in sandwiches before. I know they're healthy so I keep trying them. This sandwich was the best one so far. thank you for posting!


Wednesday 22nd of May 2024

I'm so glad you liked this Cathy, I think I will have this today too! Keep trying new recipes, sardines are more healthy than tuna and salmon:)


Sunday 5th of February 2023

Live sardines. This was a nice change from regular sardines on toast. Thanks.


Tuesday 7th of February 2023

Glad you liked it Ann. Canned sardines are convenient and under-rated. I would us live sardines if I had access.


Friday 3rd of December 2021

Sardines mashed with finely chopped red onion, add vinegar to taste. Spread toasted sourdough with avocado then pile mash on top.


Saturday 4th of December 2021

That's FANTASTIC! I never thought to put on avocado, I'm totally doing this next time. I read this while eating avocado toast on sourdough:)

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