Looking for an easy canned fish recipe? Try this sardine pasta! It’s perfectly portioned for two (though, it can easily be doubled), and uses mostly pantry ingredients. It’s delicious, filling and on the table in about 15 minutes!
Remember the sardines on toast recipe I shared a little while back?
Well today I’m bringing you another recipe using canned sardines!
If you’re looking for a simple pantry ingredient recipe that comes together quickly (and you’re a seafood fan), then this sardine pasta is for you!
This one is jam-packed with flavourful ingredients and there’s very little fuss in preparing.
How to Make Sardine Pasta
Full details on how to make this seafood pasta recipe are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Firstly, we want to make a buttery topping for the finished pasta. Start by melting some garlic butter in a pan.
- Add unseasoned panko bread crumbs.
- Cook until golden brown and toasty and then remove for use later.
- Then, heat olive oil in a 12-inch pan and cook shallot and garlic until onion has softened.
- Add capers and sun-dried tomatoes to the pan.
- Then, add cooked pasta, along with reserved pasta water.
- Sardines, oil, crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, lemon and baby spinach go next.
- Stir and warm through.
- Garnish with buttery panko crumbs and enjoy!
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What Type of Sardines Should I Use?
I find canned sardines ‘in oil’ work best here. I also like to use the ‘Mediterranean’ variety (with olives) and often opt for ‘brisling’ sardines.
The oil from the tin helps to flavour the dish and make the ‘sauce.’
Can This Recipe Be Doubled?
Absolutely! This recipe is portioned for two people but can easily be doubled to feed a family.
More Tips & Variations
Spaghetti was used, but feel free to use another type of pasta. Linguine would work lovely here too.
Don’t have baby spinach? Mix in a little fresh parsley instead or wilt some kale (or omit all together).
The tinned sardines that were used had black olives. If yours doesn’t have (or you want extra), feel free to mix in some sliced kalamata olives.
Only one can of sardines was used (and that one can adds tons of flavour). However, if you want to make things more substantial, you can add a second tin of sardines.
Artichokes would be another yummy mix in.
Have fresh chili on hand? You can use that instead of the crushed red pepper flakes.
I love the buttery panko crumbs as a topping, but if you’d rather skip those, that’s okay. Toasted pine nuts are yummy too!
If you don’t have garlic butter (for the panko topping), just use regular butter and add some garlic powder to taste (or simply omit the garlic).
Aside from salting the water to cook pasta, no additional salt was added to the recipe (as I find the ingredients themselves salty enough). However, if you want, you can add salt to taste.
More Canned Fish Recipes
Hope you love this sardine pasta recipe as much as we do! If you’re a fan of sardines (like me), check out these seafood stuffed mushrooms from Champagne Tastes.
Did you make this seafood pasta? That’s awesome! Love it if you leave a comment and rating below. Many thanks!
Sardine Pasta (with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach)
- 1 tablespoon garlic butter or butter
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- 4 ounces spaghetti
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot , peeled and minced (or small yellow onion)
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil , sliced (about 4)
- 4 ounces canned sardines in oil ('Mediterranean' style, if desired, with olives) , roughly chopped (about a 106 gram can)
- 3 tablespoons oil (either oil from sardine tin, sun-dried tomatoes or olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from about 1 lemon. Zest lemon before juicing.)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 1 large handful baby spinach (about 1 heaping loosely packed cup)
- Melt butter in a small, non-stick pan over low heat.
- Add panko bread crumbs, stirring to coat in butter. Cook, stirring often, until crumbs turn golden brown. Once done, transfer panko bread crumbs to a bowl and set aside.
- Boil pasta to 'al dente' per package instructions. Drain, but reserve ½ cup of pasta water (you may not need it all).
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 12-inch pan over medium heat.
- Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Stir in capers and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add cooked pasta, sardines, oil (see 'Notes' below), crushed red pepper flakes, black pepper, lemon zest and juice, spinach and ¼ cup of pasta water. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes or until everything is warmed through, combined and spinach has wilted.Note: You can use some oil from the canned sardines, oil from the sun-dried tomatoes or regular olive oil. Keep in mind that if you use the oil from the sardines, your end result will be more sardine-forward than if you use regular olive oil.
- Add remaining ¼ cup of pasta water, if desired, to make things looser. Upon serving, top with reserved panko bread crumbs. Enjoy!
- The tinned sardines that were used had black olives. If yours doesn’t have (or you want extra), feel free to mix in some sliced kalamata olives.
- Aside from salting the water to cook pasta, no additional salt was added to the recipe (as I find the ingredients themselves salty enough). However, if you want, you can add salt to taste.
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 Serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.