Easy Sardine Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Parsley

I like to stock up on certain go-to ingredients like canned beans for soups and canned sardines for simple pasta recipes. With only a handful of additional ingredients I can then make a quick and delicious meal.

For this recipe I’m using canned sardines. They are great to use in pasta dishes, rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, inexpensive and already cooked. So if you’ve never worked with sardines before, I recommend giving it a shot!

Make sure you buy high-quality canned sardines packed in olive oil and spend a little extra. Trust me, it’s worth it. And there may be a number of steps in this recipe, but once you try it out it’ll be a breeze the next time.

Once the garlic sizzles, add the sardines and break into pieces.

Raise heat, then add tomatoes and cook down for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in chopped parsley, then add pasta and mix well to combine.

Sardine Pasta Recipe

  • 8 ounces small whole wheat pasta (chiocciole, penne or rigatoni)
  • 1 can of good sardines, packed in olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

    Cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente.

    In a pan on low heat, warm the olive oil. Add sliced garlic and cook until a light sizzle to soften for about 3-5 minutes, make sure not to burn. Add entire can of sardines with olive oil and break up sardines into nice pieces. Raise heat to medium, until the sardines sizzle, then add chopped tomatoes and saute until cooked down, about 10 minutes.

    Add red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley and stir for about a minute. Add pasta in the pan with the sardine sauce and toss well to combine. If it seems dry, just add a little olive oil. Garnish with more parsley.

    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Yield: 2-4 servings
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    1. says

      Its always nice having canned food around they help a lot on those lazy or busy days. The sardine pasta looks so delicious, great to know one can easily make such a delectable dish 🙂

    2. Winnie says

      Made this for dinner tonight and there was nothing left. I have tried using canned tomatoes and results weren’t as good. Love this dish! =)

      • says

        That’s great, Winnie! I really love this dish too, it’s one of my go-to pastas. I never made it with canned tomatoes before but would assume the taste would be quite acidic?

      • says

        Well that’s a tall order, Bhiel 😉 I think this sardine recipe isn’t as fishy, but it also depends on what kind of canned sardines you have. I pay a little more for mine which I believe is less fishy tasting than others.

    3. Lucie says

      I used cherry tomatoes and instead of parsley, I added baby spinach to the pasta about 30 seconds before it finished cooking. It was good!

    4. Punished Pauper says

      If you have nothing else, just the sardines fried in olive oil with black pepper are good to add to pasta.

        • david says

          slightly more complicated recipe I’ve done for a while, pretty tasty: olive oil, fry garlic, add onions + green peppers + herbs (oregano/thyme works), cook till onion softening, add sardines + lemon juice/zest, fry a bit, add tomatoes (canned is OK) + worcester sauce + seasoning, simmer till reduced. what we used to call gourmet dog food but don’t let that put you off. I haven’t put amounts but I think you could play around with those.

    5. tina says

      I have always loved sardines and wanted to take them to a different level This recipe O made last night and found myself licking the bowl !! A keeper can’t wait to share with people who unaware of that tasty little fish potential

      • says

        I’m so happy you found this recipe, Tina! I make it about once a week and we pretty much lick our bowls too, we LOVE this dish 😉 Thanks for your comment!

    6. david says

      for any UK readers who are ambivalent about sardines, tried this with basic John West, and flavour was well blended in with the other ingredients. and if you aren’t ambivalent (or in UK) it’s good too. really nice simple recipe, best I’ve found so far like it on the internet.

    7. Zmama says

      I made this for my 16-month old daughter (without the red pepper flakes) and she loved it! Hearing she says “more…more!” was so satisfying. Thank you for this wonderful post!

    8. Veonica Williams says

      I made this dish last week after I searche’d for new warm sardine dishes. Was I pleased…ABSOLUTELY!…I am about to make sime more, I added green/red bell peppers, awesome!!!!

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