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The 10 Best Canned Sardines to Elevate Your Summer Recipes

Sardines Are a Delicious Way to Take Recipes From Good to Great

Luckily for sardines, bigger isn’t always better. These tiny but mighty fish are packed with nutritional goodness and full of complex flavor. Unlike anchovies, their teeny counterparts, sardines have a far milder, rounder, less "fishy" flavor. Briny and complex, these little guys pack a delicious punch of salty, savory bite when used in a dish properly. They're even incredible alone, or when simply topped on toast, served with lemon and fresh herbs.

Additionally, they're a sustainable source of protein for pescatarians, keto fans, and foodies looking for a punchy new ingredient. They’re rich in calcium, iron, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. But, unlike larger species, sardines don’t contain high levels of contaminants like mercury that could compromise your health.

If it’s been a while (or forever) since you enjoyed sardines, now is the time to get on board and check out our list of the best canned sardines. In the kitchen, the boldness of sardines pairs perfectly with a variety of foods and delivers convenient nutrition that your body will thank you for. Sardines are a staple in pantries around the world, because nothing beats cracking a can to elevate a recipe, leaving your dinner guests asking for your secret ingredient. Whether you eat them on their own, tossed in a salad, or use them to add a bit of deliciously briny umami to your dish, sardines are a nutritional no-brainer — and they're even cheaper than tuna.

King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines 
King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines
Best Overall
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Wild Planet Wild Sardines
Wild Planet Wild Sardines
Best Organic
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Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines
Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines
Best in Olive Oil
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Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce
Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce
Best in Tomato Sauce
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BRUNSWICK Wild Caught Sardine Fillets
Brunswick Wild Caught Sardine Fillets
Best in Water
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Matiz Sardines Variety Pack
Matiz Sardines Variety Pack
Best Variety Pack
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MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines
MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines
Best in a Jar
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Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard
Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard
Best in Mustard
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Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce
Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce
Best in Hot Sauce
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NURI Portuguese Sardines
Nuri Portuguese Sardines
Best Imported
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best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes king oscar
King Oscar

King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines

Best Overall

Lightly smoked and packed with flavor, the King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines are wild caught in Norway and preserved in olive oil for a lovely flavor. They're perfect over pasta or served simply with crackers. These hand-packed cans include two layers of the finest brisling sardines to enhance all your favorite recipes.

King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines 
King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines
Best Overall

Wild Planet Wild Sardines

Best Organic

Sustainably caught in the North Pacific, Wild Planet Wild Sardines are certified organic and verified non-GMO. Packed in extra virgin olive oil and lightly smoked, these scale-free sardines boast naturally stronger flavors. They’re meaty and firm, making a nutritious snack that’s savory and high in fatty acids.

Wild Planet Wild Sardines
Wild Planet Wild Sardines
Best Organic
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes crown prince
Crown Prince

Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines

Best in Olive Oil

Experience the delicate flavors of sardines in pure olive oil with the Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines. Crown Prince uses cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil that preserves the sardines’ textures and delivers an extra dose of good fats and omega-3s. Hand filleted and packed with nutrients, these Moroccan sardines don’t need any preservatives or added ingredients to enhance your salads, casseroles, or pastas.

Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines
Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines
Best in Olive Oil
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes santo ammaro

Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Best in Tomato Sauce

For a ready-to-enjoy snack that’s filled with natural flavors, reach for the Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce. These bone-in delicacies offer added calcium and treat your taste buds with all-natural tomato sauce that's essentially a meal in a can.

Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce
Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce
Best in Tomato Sauce
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes brunswick

Brunswick Wild Caught Sardine Fillets

Best in Water

Sardine purists will love the clean flavors of the Brunswick Wild Caught Sardine Fillets. Packaged in pure spring water and nothing more, these versatile sardines don’t include any salt or preservatives. They’re perfect for keto, and a tasty must-have for your paleo pantry. Add your own ingredients to create savory recipes or eat alone for a nutritious bite.

BRUNSWICK Wild Caught Sardine Fillets
Brunswick Wild Caught Sardine Fillets
Best in Water
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes matiz

Matiz Sardines Variety Pack

Best Variety Pack

Can’t get enough of sardines? Enjoy your favorite snack in every flavor with the Matiz Sardines Variety Pack. This box of 10 includes four cans in olive oil, two with spicy pepper, two with lemon, and two with sweet pepper. Find your favorite and satisfy your craving with these sustainably-fished snacks that protect fragile biological life cycles on the coasts of Galicia. Bone-in, these exquisite treats are packed in premium Spanish olive oil and the highest quality ingredients for an easy-to-eat snack that’s always fresh and fun.

Matiz Sardines Variety Pack
Matiz Sardines Variety Pack
Best Variety Pack
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes polar
Amazon

MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines

Best in a Jar

For discerning shoppers who like to check out the merchandise (and prefer resealable packaging), the MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines are just a twist away. They’re handpicked and wood smoked for a distinctive flavor that gives your get-togethers a worldly flair. And with their elegant jars, you never have to worry about BPA with these healthy sardines.

MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines
MW Polar Smoked Brisling Sardines
Best in a Jar
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes crown prince 2

Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard

Best in Mustard

Creamy and smooth, the Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard feature bold flavors that combine to give your taste buds a spicy, smoky treat. They’re a favorite among those who find natural sardines too strong on their own. Hand packed and sustainably wild caught, these Scottish brisling sardines are an easy snack and the perfect party appetizer.

Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard
Crown Prince One Layer Brisling Sardines in Mustard
Best in Mustard
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes ocean prince
Walmart

Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce

Best in Hot Sauce

Get your fix of zesty seasoning with the Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce. These spicy treats give your mouth all the hotness you love with the healthy benefits of sardines. They’re hand packed and wild caught to offer the texture and appearance you love with a boost of fiery flavor.

Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce
Ocean Prince Sardines in Louisiana Hot Sauce
Best in Hot Sauce
best canned sardines to elevate the flavors of your recipes nurisardines

Nuri Portuguese Sardines

Best Imported

Get a taste of the old world with the imported flavors of Nuri Portuguese Sardines. Perfect for when you have company, these artisanal sardines are bursting with flavors thanks to their unique method of vapor pre-cooking. Wild caught and all-natural, these exclusive sardines are available in limited amounts each year. Every can is hand wrapped with the distinctive Nuri vintage design, making them a refined gift for anyone who appreciates gourmet foods.

NURI Portuguese Sardines
Nuri Portuguese Sardines
Best Imported

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sardines good for you?

Sardines are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain vitamin B12, selenium, phosphorous, and vitamin D. When eaten with the bones in, sardines provide about 30% of your daily calcium intake.

How do you eat canned sardines?

Sardines are an easy snack that you can eat straight out of the can or over a cracker. You can also prepare them with mustard, mix them in a salad, toss them with your favorite pasta, or sauté them in garlic and oil.

Are sardines high in mercury?

Unlike larger fish, sardines don’t contain high levels of mercury. Because they’re small and only feed on plankton, sardines are also low in toxins and heavy metals.

With nutrients packed in like – well, like sardines in a can – adding this fish to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. And thanks to their delicious flavor and versatility, it’s easy to reach for a can and give your body a nutritious snack that satisfies the taste buds.

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