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10 Different Ways to Serve Sardines on Toast

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Fisherman's eggs is just one of the sardines on toast recipes featured on this page.

Fisherman's eggs is just one of the sardines on toast recipes featured on this page.

Level up Your Sardines on Toast

For many people, sardines on toast is simply about opening a can of sardines, emptying the contents onto some toast and tucking straight in. While this can be a very enjoyable eating experience, it is easily possible to enhance this meal with the addition of a few simple ingredients and a bit of imagination and kitchen experimentation.

The recipes on this page look firstly and principally at easy ways to embellish the simple concept of canned sardines on toast before considering a couple of straightforward options for those lucky enough to have access to fresh, whole sardines.

1. Sardines and Roasted Vegetables on Toasted Rolls

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 35 min

Ready in: 50 min

Yields: 2 servings

Sardines and roasted vegetables toasted rolls sandwich

Sardines and roasted vegetables toasted rolls sandwich

Ingredients

  • 12-ounce foil tray mixed roasting Mediterranean vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Generous pinch dried basil
  • Generous pinch dried oregano
  • 4 soft bread rolls
  • 4 sardines canned in olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 450°F/220°C/Gas Mark 8.
  2. Remove any plastic covering/packaging from a tray of vegetables, ensuring only the foil tray remains.
  3. Scatter the dried herbs over the vegetables and season. Drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and stir carefully but well.
  4. Sit the tray on a baking tray or sheet and place it in your oven for 30 minutes, stirring again halfway through cooking.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the oven and sit aside to cool slightly. Put your kitchen grill/broiler on to preheat to its maximum setting.
  6. Cut the rolls in half horizontally and toast the cut sides until golden.
  7. Using a slotted spoon, divide the vegetables between the four roll bases and lay a sardine fillet on top in each instance.
  8. Lay the tops of the rolls in place to serve.

Photo Guide

Vegetables ready for roasting

Vegetables ready for roasting

Canned sardines in olive oil

Canned sardines in olive oil

Roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables on toasted rolls

Roasted vegetables on toasted rolls

Sardine and roasted vegetable toasted rolls ready to serve

Sardine and roasted vegetable toasted rolls ready to serve

2. Sardines on Toast With Guacamole and Spinach

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 2 min

Ready in: 17 min

Yields: 1 serving

Sardines on toast with guacamole and spinach

Sardines on toast with guacamole and spinach

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 medium red chili
  • Salt and pepper
  • Generous handful baby leaf spinach
  • 2 slices bread for toasting
  • 4 sardines canned in sunflower oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the avocado carefully in half and remove the stone.
  2. Scoop the flesh into a mixing bowl, add the lime juice and mash with the back of a fork until smooth.
  3. Peel the garlic clove and grate it into the bowl. Add the seeded and finely diced chili. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate until required.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the spinach. Simmer for 10 seconds and no more before draining and setting aside to cool (it should only take a few minutes).
  5. Put the bread on toast. When it is ready, spread half the guacamole over each slice.
  6. Squeeze the remaining moisture from the spinach in your sink. Roughly chop and scatter over the guacamole.
  7. Lay two sardines on each piece of toast and serve.

Photo Guide

Stone is removed from avocado

Stone is removed from avocado

Guacamole ingredients are combined in a bowl

Guacamole ingredients are combined in a bowl

Spinach is blanched in boiling salted water

Spinach is blanched in boiling salted water

Spinach is cooled quickly under running cold water

Spinach is cooled quickly under running cold water

Spinach is squeezed of excess water and ready for chopping

Spinach is squeezed of excess water and ready for chopping

Guacamole is spread on toast

Guacamole is spread on toast

Spinach is scattered over guacamole on toast

Spinach is scattered over guacamole on toast

3. Bacon, Sardines and Scampi Tails on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 7 min

Ready in: 12 min

Yields: 1 serving

(NB - If scampi tails are frozen, they will require to be fully defrosted before being included in this recipe)

Bacon, sardines and scampi tails on toast

Bacon, sardines and scampi tails on toast

Ingredients

  • 4 rashers British back bacon (or American bacon strips as required)
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 8 to 10 scampi tails (or moderately large raw, peeled prawns)
  • 2 slices bread
  • Black pepper
  • 4 sardines canned in sunflower oil
  • 2 or 3 rolled and shredded basil leaves to garnish

Instructions

  1. If it hasn't already been done, you should begin by de-veining the scampi tails or prawns. Hold them one at a time in your weaker hand and make a shallow cut along the length of their curved backs with the point of a narrow-bladed and very sharp knife, deep enough only to allow you to pick out and discard the black intestinal vein with the point of the knife.
  2. Pour a little vegetable oil into a large frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat.
  3. Fry the bacon for 2 or 3 minutes on each side or until done as you like it before removing it to a holding plate covered with kitchen paper to drain.
  4. Put the bread on to toast.
  5. Turn up the heat under the pan and add the scampi tails. Stir fry for 2 minutes or so until just cooked. Remove to the plate with the bacon.
  6. Lay the toast on a plate and place 2 bacon rashers on top of each slice.
  7. Divide the drained sardines between the two toast and bacon combinations followed by the cooked scampi tails.
  8. Season with a little black pepper and garnish with the sliced basil.

Photo Guide

Bacon is fried in a little oil

Bacon is fried in a little oil

Scampi tails are quickly fried in bacon fat

Scampi tails are quickly fried in bacon fat

Bacon rashers are laid on hot toast

Bacon rashers are laid on hot toast

Sardines are arranged on top of bacon

Sardines are arranged on top of bacon

4. Mashed Sardines on Bruschetta With Simple Salad

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 2 min

Ready in: 7 min

Yields: 1 serving

Mashed sardines on bruschetta with balsamic salad

Mashed sardines on bruschetta with balsamic salad

Ingredients

  • 6 small cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ small red onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 (6-inch) panini
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 (4-ounce) can of sardines in olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put your kitchen grill/broiler on to preheat to its highest setting.
  2. Slice the peeled onion quarter and separate each slice in to strands. Add to a small mixing bowl along with the washed, dried and quartered tomatoes. Season with a little salt and pepper and gently stir to combine.
  3. Drain the sardines and add to a small bowl. Season and mash with the back of a fork.
  4. Cut the panini in half horizontally and lightly toast the cut sides.
  5. Rub the toasted sides of the panini with the peeled and lightly crushed garlic clove before spreading the mashed sardines evenly over the top.
  6. Arrange the tomato and onion salad on top of the sardine mix to serve.

Photo Guide

Cherry tomatoes and quarter red onion

Cherry tomatoes and quarter red onion

Combining balsamic salad ingredients

Combining balsamic salad ingredients

Panini bread roll

Panini bread roll

Mashing sardines with seasonings

Mashing sardines with seasonings

Garlic is rubbed on toasted panini halves

Garlic is rubbed on toasted panini halves

Mashed sardines are spread on bruschetta

Mashed sardines are spread on bruschetta

5. Sardines and Watercress Salad on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 2 min

Ready in: 7 min

Yields: 1 serving

Sardines and watercress salad on toast

Sardines and watercress salad on toast

Ingredients

  • Generous handful fresh watercress leaves
  • 1 medium tomato
  • ¼ small red onion
  • 1 small (4-ounce) can of sardines in olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of bread

Instructions

  1. Wash the watercress leaves and the tomato and shake dry.
  2. Add the watercress to a large mixing bowl. Cut the tomato in to 6 wedges and add to the bowl with the sliced peeled onion quarter, separated in to strands.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and carefully toss.
  4. Add the sardines to the bowl, breaking them up coarsely as you do so, along with a little bit of the canning oil. Stir carefully to combine.
  5. Toast the bread before laying the slices on a plate and divide the salad over the top to serve.

Photo Guide

Watercress salad ingredients are seasoned and combined in a bowl

Watercress salad ingredients are seasoned and combined in a bowl

Sardines are added to watercress salad

Sardines are added to watercress salad

6. Sardines and Wholewheat Fusilli (Rotini) Pasta on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 12 min

Ready in: 17 min

Yields: 2 servings

Sardines and wholewheat fusilli pasta on toast

Sardines and wholewheat fusilli pasta on toast

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried wholewheat fusilli (rotini) pasta
  • Salt
  • Generous handful baby spinach leaves
  • 4 slices bread
  • 10 pitted black olives
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • Black pepper
  • 8 sardines (canned in olive oil)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil before adding the pasta, stirring well and bringing to a medium simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Wash the spinach while the pasta cooks and shake dry.
  3. Drain the pasta and return it to the empty pot. Add the spinach and put the lid on to the pot for 2 or 3 minutes. This will effectively wilt the spinach by steaming.
  4. Toast the bread until golden.
  5. Stir the wilted spinach through the pasta. Add the black olives, sun-dried tomatoes and some black pepper before carefully stir folding them through the mix.
  6. Lay two slices of toast on each serving plate and top with the pasta mix, followed by the sardines.

Photo Guide

Baby spinach leaves are added to steaming hot pasta

Baby spinach leaves are added to steaming hot pasta

Part wilted spinach in pasta

Part wilted spinach in pasta

Sun-dried tomatoes and black olives are added to the pasta

Sun-dried tomatoes and black olives are added to the pasta

Infused fusilli pasta is arranged on toast

Infused fusilli pasta is arranged on toast

7. Sardines and Spicy Chickpea Salad on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 2 min

Ready in: 7 min

Yields: 1 serving

Sardines top spicy tomato chickpeas and spinach on toast

Sardines top spicy tomato chickpeas and spinach on toast

Ingredients

  • 1 small (4-ounce) can sardines in tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canned chickpeas
  • ¼ teaspoon hot chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Generous handful baby spinach leaves
  • 2 slices bread

Instructions

  1. Empty the canned sardines and sauce in to a large bowl and use a fork to remove the sardines to a holding plate, leaving the tomato sauce behind.
  2. Add the rinsed chickpeas to the bowl, along with the chili powder, some salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  3. Wash and shake the spinach leaves dry before carefully folding through the spicy chickpeas and sauce.
  4. Toast the bread slices and lay them side by side on a serving plate before dividing the salad mix over the top.
  5. Roughly break up the sardines and arrange them at even intervals over the salad on toast.

Photo Guide

Canned sardines in tomato sauce are emptied in to a large bowl

Canned sardines in tomato sauce are emptied in to a large bowl

Sardines are removed from the bowl leaving tomato sauce

Sardines are removed from the bowl leaving tomato sauce

Chickpeas are seasoned and stirred in to tomato sauce

Chickpeas are seasoned and stirred in to tomato sauce

Spinach is stirred in to chickpeas in tomato sauce

Spinach is stirred in to chickpeas in tomato sauce

Chickpeas and spinach in tomato sauce are arranged on top of the toast

Chickpeas and spinach in tomato sauce are arranged on top of the toast

8. Hot and Spicy Fisherman's Eggs With Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20 min

Ready in: 35 min

Yields: 1 serving

Hot and spicy fisherman's eggs served with toast

Hot and spicy fisherman's eggs served with toast

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-ounce) can sardines in olive oil
  • ½ small white onion
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 large dried red chilli
  • 8 pitted black olives
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped coriander leaf (cilantro), plus extra to garnish
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 slices bread
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. Put your oven on to preheat to 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Empty the canned sardines (including the oil) in to a large mixing bowl and mash until smooth with the back of a fork.
  3. Moderately finely diced the peeled onion half and seed and dice the peppers. Seed and moderately finely dice the tomato. Peel and finely chop the garlic clove and finely slice the pepper. Add them all to the bowl along with the halved olives. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  4. Transfer the combined ingredients to a 10x7-inch ovenproof dish and bake for an initial 15 minutes.
  5. Take the dish from the oven and stir in the chopped coriander before returning to the oven for 5 more minutes.
  6. Pour a little oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium heat. Break the eggs firstly and carefully in to a small drinking glass or ramekin (one at a time), season and pour carefully in to the hot pan. Fry for 2 or 3 minutes until you can see the white is set all the way up to and around the yolks.
  7. Toast the bread and lightly butter before halving each slice to form triangles.
  8. Lift the dish containing the baked sardines combination to a square serving plate and lay the fried eggs on top. Garnish with the remaining coriander and serve the toast alongside.

Photo Guide

Canned sardines in olive oil are added to a large mixing bowl

Canned sardines in olive oil are added to a large mixing bowl

Sardines are mashed with the back of a fork

Sardines are mashed with the back of a fork

Prepared accompaniments are added to sardines

Prepared accompaniments are added to sardines

Sardine mix is relocated to oven proof dish

Sardine mix is relocated to oven proof dish

Coriander is stirred through sardine combination

Coriander is stirred through sardine combination

Sardine component of the dish is plated

Sardine component of the dish is plated

Fried eggs are laid on sardine combination

Fried eggs are laid on sardine combination

Enjoying hot and spicy fisherman's eggs with toast

Enjoying hot and spicy fisherman's eggs with toast

Whole Fresh Sardines on Toast Serving Suggestions

How to Clean Sardines for Cooking Whole

Sardines are not only generally small and difficult to handle, but they are also incredibly delicate and will come apart if not treated very gently at all times. They should be scaled very carefully with a dedicated fish scaler, or by using the sharp edge of a filleting knife. To gut them, you need a thin-bladed, incredibly sharp pointed filleting knife, which should be used to make a belly slit from the back end of the anal fin all the way up to the head. It is then easiest to use the point of the knife to scrape out the innards. Rinse gently in a bowl of warm water rather than under running water. Pat gently dry with kitchen paper and they are ready for grilling, broiling, pan frying or barbecuing.

Fresh whole sardines

Fresh whole sardines

9. Grilled (Broiled) Sardines and Homemade Tomato Sauce on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ready in: 25 min

Yields: 1 serving

Grilled/broiled sardines and homemade tomato sauce on toast

Grilled/broiled sardines and homemade tomato sauce on toast

Ingredients

  • 4 (gutted) sardines
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 (8-ounce) can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 thick slices farmhouse bread

Instructions

  1. Pour the sunflower oil on to a large plate (with a lip to contain it) and grate on the garlic cloves. Stir carefully around with a wooden spoon.
  2. Make 2 or 3 slashes with a sharp chef's knife on either side of each sardine, right through to the bone, and turn them in the oil. Season them on both sides with salt and pepper and leave them for a few minutes to marinate.
  3. Pour the chopped tomatoes in to a saucepan and season with the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring frequently.
  4. Put your kitchen grill/broiler on to its maximum setting and leave to reach full heat.
  5. Place the sardines on a rack or tray and under the heat for 3 or 4 minutes each side, just until the skin starts to colour and blister.
  6. Toast the bread and lay on a serving plate before spooning the sauce over the top.
  7. Lay two sardines on top of each slice of toast to serve.

10. Pan Fried Paprika Sardines With Chorizo Salad on Toast

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 5 min

Ready in: 10 min

Yields: 1 serving

Pan fried paprika sardines and chorizo salad on toast

Pan fried paprika sardines and chorizo salad on toast

Ingredients

  • 4 (gutted) sardines
  • Smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Generous handful mixed green salad leaves
  • 2 thick slices farmhouse bread
  • 8 thin slices Spanish chorizo

Instructions

  1. Make 2 or 3 deep slashes on either side of each sardine. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and very gently rub it in to the flesh, paying particular attention to the cuts.
  2. Pour a few tablespoons of sunflower oil in to a large frying pan and bring it up to a very high heat. Fry the sardines for 2 or 3 minutes on either side until done.
  3. Wash the salad leaves and shake them dry. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toast the bread and lay it on a serving plate. Top with the salad leaves mixed up with the chorizo slices before finishing off with two sardines on each slice.