Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (2024)

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While I’m not scared to eat a sardine whole, I generally mash them into a simple sardine salad and enjoy with crackers or chips. Here’s my favorite basic recipe!

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (1)

Today I’m sharing my favorite staple sardine salad recipe.

It’s quick and easy to make, and like most things, you can tweak the flavors based on what you have in your house.

Here’s how to make my simple sardine salad

Start with two cans of sardines – this recipe serves two. Feel free to halve it for a onesie!

I really like the Wild Planet brand, and sardines in a flavored oil have the most flavor.

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (2)

Mash your sardines!

Dump them into a mixing bowl and look away while you mash with a fork.

Then you have something that looks like the tuna salad you’ve been eating for ages!

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (3)

Chop some some veggies

The smaller the better.

I like peppers, celery and carrots, but today I used green pepper, red pepper and celery because that’s what I had on hand. Mix it up as you like! This was about a cup.

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (4)

Add binders and seasonings

For my binders, I like a mixture of Greek yogurt to mayo instead of all of one or the other.

The Greek yogurt lightens and brightens, but the mayo adds a richness that I miss when I leave it out.

Mustard is also key for a little kick – Dijon or spicy brown – you pick!

Capers are a favorite flavor of mine, but you could swap them out for chopped pickles or jalapeños if you’d like.

And as for spices, smoked paprika and salt are the must-haves!

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (5)Mix it all together!

Mix it all together and you have your fancified tuna salad!

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (6)

Best served with crackers or tortilla chips, but you can also put this on top of a salad or on bread as a sandwich.

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (7)

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (8)

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (9)

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5 from 5 votes

Simple Sardine Salad

This simple sardine salad is quick and easy to make, and like most things, you can tweak the flavors based on what you have in your house.

Course Lunch, Snack

Cuisine American

Keyword sardines

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Total Time 10 minutes minutes

Servings 2 Servings


  • 2 cans sardines in lemon drained
  • 1 cup minced veggies
  • 1.5 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp mayo
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt


  • Drain sardines of oil and dump into a bowl. Mash with a fork.

  • Add rest of ingredients and mix well.

  • Serve with crackers or chips.

Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (10)

Go fish!

More sardine salad ideas (and salmon too):

  • The Very Best Sardine Salad
  • Curried Sardine Tapenade
  • And a whole info post on sardines!
  • Every Herb Salmon Salad
  • Salmon Salad Pita Pockets
  • Curried Tuna Salad

Reader Interactions


  1. Jeri says

    I wonder how this would taste with smoked trout or salmon. Have been getting tired of tuna salad and want something different.


  2. cara says

    Ok, you might have me semi convinced to try this, haha! Looks really good!


  3. kim says

    I very much enjoy when you post your recipes Kath- you make the best looking food! Thanks for sharing…will be trying this one for sure.


  4. Annie says

    I make versions of this all the time, depending on which mix-ins I have on hand, because of your past posts! Love the Wild Planet brand … but lately I can’t find it in my grocery store!


    • Kathleen says

      Wild Planet sardines and tuna are both at Costco at a great price.


  5. Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says

    I wish sardines came already mashed up like tuna or salmon because I have the hardest getting myself to even THINK about sardines because I can’t get over how they look and I know it will freak me out…but your sardine salads always look so good and make me think that I can actually do that!


  6. Rose says

    There is a great sardine recipe that I’ve tweaked over time from Alton Brown.

    Instead I use ciabatta bread and split it horizontally, broil the bread, mash avocado, and add sardines marinated in red wine vinegar and franks hot sauce. It’s so good! We have it for dinner about twice a month. Just a suggestion from one sardine lover to another!


  7. Rachel says

    what kind of crackers are those? they look buttery and delicious!


  8. Shel@PeachyPalate says

    So darn satisfying! I’m actually on a canned mackerel kick at the moment! Literally eating it daily!!!


    • Braxton says

      Thanks for the recipe


  9. Kristabel says

    I love sardines! I have fond memories of sharing sardines, that we put on top of a saltine with a small slice of Monterey Jack Cheese, with my Dad. Since we were the only ones that liked it, it was our special treat.


  10. Amanda says

    What are the health benefits of sardines? I’m weirdly afraid of them, but if I knew they were super good for me, maybe I could get behind it!


    • KathEats says

      they are super good! Packed with omega-3s, calcium, vitamin D and protein. And they’re pretty inexpensive.


  11. Bethany @ Athletic Avocaod says

    I’m actually a HUGE fan of sardines so this salad is right up my alley!


  12. Kate says

    I am fan of sardines, but I tried herring recently and was not as pleased! This will be great to switch up my normal tuna routine.


  13. Kelsey says

    I know this is really anal, but I’ve tried those sardines before and I can’t get passed the fact that sometimes I find little bones in there. Do you find that there are bones in your’s too, or is it just me?


    • KathEats says

      Yes there are bones, but they are soft and not crunchy like a fish bone in a big fish, so if you just try to mash them up well you don’t notice them when you chew.


      • Kelsey says

        That’s really helpful! Thank you.


  14. Melissa says

    Haha for a minute I had flashbacks to your April Fool’s sardine oatmeal post, but this looks good! 😉


  15. Dani @ Dani California Cooks says

    Hhhaha at first I was thinking that you had put together a recipe for oats and sardines!


  16. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says

    YES! Sardine lovers unite!


  17. Kelly says

    haha, I thought you were going to put oats and sardines together too!….whew!
    “look away while you mash with a fork” LOL


  18. Nikki says

    Oh my God. Are you pregnant? The only time I ever craved sardines was when I was pregnant!


  19. Sarah says

    Ah, thank you for this! I have a tin in my pantry I keep meaning to use but get scared every time I look at it! Trying it!!


  20. jill says

    I finally made sardine salad on celery because of YOUR post. Thanks for the constant inspiration!!!


  21. Brian Kirk says

    I’m totally trying this, thank you for sharing. I fell back in love with tuna fish salad while in Telluride…a place called The Butcher and The Baker make such a refreshing tuna fish salad and the secret ingredient is lime zest. Also, I once used cottage cheese as the binder…it added a bit more bulk and texture than mayo or yogurt.



  22. Arcadio says

    I like to mix in pico de gallo and make a sardine taco with some corn tortillas. And a bit of cheese…yummy


  23. Stephanie says

    Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (11)
    I make a version of this with the smoked paprika but not with so many chopped veggies. I love them so I can’t wait to make this as an appetizer for my family. I tend to buy Trader Joe’s wild caught sardines in spring water or olive oil but they don’t have the added lemon that Wild Planet offers. I might try to add a little fresh lemon juice and let the sardines marinate a bit before proceeding with the recipe.


  24. Alyssa says

    Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (12)
    I didn’t feel like chopping up veggies so I just mashed the sardines, added the Greek yogurt, the Dijon mustard, the Smoked paprika and sent it as is on some rice crackers and it made a great quick snack, thanks for the inspiration!


  25. Stephanie says

    I’m going to try this. I eat sardines on a salad 3-4 times a week and this will be a nice variation to mix it up a little. For anyone that doesn’t like sardines, I urge you to try Seasons brand. They have no bones and are the mildest sardines I’ve ever tried. We buy them by the case at Costco 🙂


  26. Sue says

    Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (13)
    Yum! Stuffed this into avocado halves. Used sardines canned with piri pepper for a kick (but not lethal). What a great salad!!


  27. Maren says

    Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (14)
    It’s rare that I make a recipe exactly as written but that’s what I did with this one and it was just delicious! I had it on crackers with a squeeze of lemon and will definitely be making it again.


    • Kath Younger says

      Thank you!


  28. Barbara Cooper says

    Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (15)
    I like this recipe! Recently bought the exact same sardines on sale at Costco. They have a nice smokey taste, thought they could be used in a salad, and here it is. I even have the capers!


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Simple Sardine Salad Recipe - Great For Beginners (2024)


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