Sardine Patties

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The first time I had sardines I was nearly 30 years old. How in the world does one just openly eat sardines? I genuinely want to know if there are people in the US that grow up reading sardines regularly. How do you eat them? Did you like them as a kid? Seriously, so many questions! The best way I’ve found to eat them is by making them into sardine patties. 

Why Sardines? 

Sardines are a great source of protein. As with most fish they have a high protein count with a low calorie count. They also have a high omega-3 level and also a high level of selenium. You can get that in most fish though so it’s important that we set these apart. Unlike other fish, sardines are high in calcium. They have tiny pin bones in them that sound gross but you actually don’t even know are there. In addition, they typically contain less mercury than other fish. Generally, the smaller the fish the less mercury they will have in them.

Vegetable & Fruit Counts

One thing we try to live by is getting 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Honestly, it’s a count that I keep for the meals. For dinner in particular, because it’s the largest meal of the day, we try to aim for 4 to 5 on our count. That means the rest of the day we are responsible for getting an additional 4 to 5. With breakfast, lunch, and snacks it’s actually pretty easy. The point is, we have to make an effort with dinner.

Something like sardine patties would be super simple to make without extra veggies. It could just be as simple as sardines, egg, and bread crumbs. However, adding in more whole organic veggies is so simple and helps nourish our bodies so much more. So many people think that in order to get enough veggies we need to eat salads all the time but it’s just as easy to sneak veggies in every meal you make. Lasagna, mac & cheese, chili, any type of patty. I’ve found if you put a little effort into it you’ll find a way to add them somehow!


What exactly should you be adding to your patty mix? Well, anything you want! For the pictured batch I added carrots, onions, and bell peppers. The onions and bell peppers are usually a must for me. They are something that I add to almost everything!  It’s such an easy add to our meals and immediately we are at two for our fruit and vegetable count. Another easy addition is spinach! I tend to have very “forgiving” taste buds but when I add spinach in I usually don’t even taste it. It’s a win-win. Added nutrients without adding a taste to it. And just like that our count is up to 3!

The other thing that you could do is add toppings to your patties. Top them with pickles, lettuce, avocado, or tomatoes. Just like you would top a normal burger! These are ingredients I wouldn’t recommend cooking but that’s just my personal preference. I also personally love avocados so I will layer mine with some avocado slices and I don’t need any sort of sauce on my patties. I’m not great at making guacamole (yet) but I think that would be one of the best options.  As you can see, we easily hit our 4 to 5 fruit and vegetable count on this meal! That doesn’t even include any sides that you put with it either.

Another big add that you could do here is cheese. Cheese is important! For years I avoided dairy and didn’t put cheese on anything. Now we have a raw milk cheese that has been aged from Azure Standard that we love. It is seriously one of the best cheeses I’ve ever had. Maybe I’m just a country bumpkin but the taste is excellent. The other cheese that would be a great add in these is parmesan. This is my other favorite add for patties of all kinds! Even burgers mixed with parmesan taste really good for something different. 

Ingredients for Sardine Patties

  • 2 cans sardines in olive oil
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 whole egg
  • Add Ins: bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, cheese, spinach, celery
  • Toppings: lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado, ketchup, mustard
Sardine patties in process of


This is important- don’t skip the first step! Put your cans of sardines in the bowl first. No need to drain! Use a potato masher to mash up the fish. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix together. Heat a cast iron with oil in it. Fry each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

This is my favorite type of recipe! Dump it all in a bowl and go! It’s easy clean up and quick to make. These come together in less than 30 minutes. I’ve also paired them with my 40 minute hamburger buns too. Get the buns started first and then make the patties so they get done at the same time. Add in a quick side like veggie tots or some skillet zucchini and summer squash. Still just as easy with few dishes and no added time. 

Sardine Patties Falling Apart?

The only issue I’ve run into with these is having them fall apart sometimes. Every once in awhile I get it where the patties just don’t want to stay together. This is why you absolutely can’t skip the egg. It helps hold everything together. I also typically adjust the bread crumbs in the recipe when this starts to happen. If I notice it’s not sticking well in the bowl I will add more bread crumbs to help it form more of a large ball in the bowl. It’s going to vary depending on what add ins you decide to put in honestly. Just be aware that you may need to tweak a few things to make sure everything patties well.  Worst case, if your patties do fall apart, just serve it as filling kind of like sloppy joes. You could even add in some BBQ sauce if you wanted to! 

The other tweak that you can make is to change the fish. We very frequently change out the fish in this recipe for tuna. Sardines have different nutrients in them than tuna. The benefits above show you why we add them to our diets in the first place.  I also tend to eat too much tuna to begin with. I love to have it for lunch as an easy protein source. That makes sardine patties a great variation for dinner.

Sardine Patties.

Sardine Patties

An easy way to get a lot of nutrient variety in your diet.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 Cans Sardines in Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • Add Ins: bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, cheese, spinach, celery
  • Toppings: lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado, ketchup, mustard


  • Put both cans of sardines in a mixing bowl.
  • Using a potato masher, break up the sardines into small pieces.
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat skillet on medium heat.
  • Form sardine mixture into 4 patties.
  • Drop patties into the skillet.
  • Cook patties for 2 minutes on each side (or until they are brown on both sides).


If your patties are not coming together well you can add some mustard or mayo to help make them more sticky.
Keyword Fish

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