Eat these little fish! Sardines.

They’re the superfood of the sea. Here’s why:

Mega high in Omega-3 fats — higher than salmon, tuna, and nearly every other food I can think of

High in calcium and vitamin D — the tiny bones in canned sardines are soft enough to eat, supplying about 25 percent of your daily calcium needs and a hefty dose of vitamin D in just three ounces

Low in mercury — unlike a number of varieties of fish, sardines are low in the environmental pollutant mercury

Sustainable  — when you opt for Pacific sardines, they’re considered a “Best Choice” by the environmental watchdog, Seafood Watch (they put Atlantic sardines in the “Avoid” category)

Affordable— particularly when you consider the price of wild salmon these days

Convenient — available canned all year long

So, what’s not to love?


Well, for some folks, the flavor. While not as “fishy” as anchovies, sardines aren’t exactly tilapia, either. And the season for fresh Pacific sardines is brief, so relying on canned is the best and easiest way to get them regularly into your diet.

Although sardines may take some getting used to, they may be a food you come to love, particularly if you are already fond of salmon, tuna, and other flavorful fish. Pick up a tin and tinker in the kitchen. Use them how you might other canned fish as a starting point, or consider any of the recipes  below for working them into your diet.  And if you are one of the smart folks already on the sardine bandwagon, I’d love to hear how you enjoy eating them, so feel free to share in the comments section below .


Nicoise Salad — Substitute sardines for the traditional tuna in this classic French salad


Fennel Sardine Spaghetti — A flavorful recipe from Cooking Light, which you can find here

Open Faced Sardine Sandwich

Open-Faced Sardinewich — Spread your favorite toast with cream cheese, top with sardines, chopped chives, and a squeeze of lemon


Toast with Pickled Fennel and Apple —  Adapt Aida Mollenkamp’s savory spread using sardines in place of anchovies


Grilled Sardines — When you can get them fresh, sardines on the grill are the very best way to eat them. Here’s how.

Featured image from Shutterstock