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This sardine salad recipe is a simple pantry meal and a fantastic alternative to tuna salad! It’s creamy and has bright fresh herbs to complement the delicious sardines.

I think you’ll also like my Easy Tuna Salad or Canned Salmon Salad next.

a plate with a sardine salad sandwich

Why you’ll love it

Tinned fish is making a big comeback, and for good reason. This canned sardine recipe is inexpensive, easy to whip up and flavorful, and sardines are loaded with goodness like omega-3s for your heart health!

You’ll enjoy these sardine salad sandwiches for a quick and nutritious lunch, or you can make it into lettuce wraps. Pick up a can of sardines and fresh herbs on your next grocery store run, and I bet you have all the other ingredients on hand already.

Did you know?

  • Sardines are a small fish that are named after the island of Sardinia in Italy since they have a ton there.
  • People have been eating them for centuries because they have loads of nutrients and are abundantly available. They’re a great way to get calcium and vitamin B12!

What you’ll need

  • Sardines – I like to buy Crown Prince brand’s Hand packed skinless and boneless sardines in pure olive oil from Trader Joe’s. As with any tinned fish, quality/taste can vary depending on what you buy, so it’s worth trying a few different brands until you find your favorite.
  • Mayo – the creamy base
  • Red onion – for added crunch
  • Herbs – I chose fresh dill and parsley since they’re great with fish for a pop of freshness
  • Lemon pepper seasoning – a jar of this is a must-have in my spice rack. It’s zesty and peppery and bright.
  • Hot sauce – totally optional, but a little Frank’s Red Hot kicks it up a notch
  • Seasoning salt – everything is better with Lawry’s for extra savory flavor!
ingredients for sardine salad in prep bowls on a counter

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I like mixing up this salad in a metal prep bowl.
  • If you’re making sandwiches, I recommend this sturdy bread knife for cutting a baguette.

How to make sardine salad

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

adding ingredients for sardine salad to a prep bowl and mixing

Drain the sardines, then add to a prep bowl followed by the remaining ingredients. Gently combine with a fork. Give it a taste, and adjust as necessary. Serve as desired.

Substitutions and variations

  • This recipe is very flexible! Feel free to add/omit ingredients to your taste or for what’s in your pantry or fridge. Some other ingredients that would be delicious in here include capers, chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped celery, lemon juice or zest, or mustard (try Dijon).
  • I’m sure you’re here for an easy sardines recipe, but you could swap the sardines with tuna if you prefer!

What to serve with sardine salad

  • It’s great in a sandwich (try a regular one or open faced). I like to serve it with butter lettuce and sliced tomato.
  • Of course, you could also enjoy it in a regular or lettuce wrap or even on crackers as a snack.
  • Craving a soup and sandwich combo? Try my Easy Tomato Soup or Simple Cream of Broccoli Soup with it.

Leftovers and storage

  • Sardine salad will last 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Make sure to refrigerate it shortly after making it.
  • I don’t recommend freezing this one.
a bowl of sardine salad

Let us know what you think of this canned sardines recipe by leaving a star rating and review below! Questions? Please ask. I’m also on Instagram so you can follow along.

a plate with a sardine salad sandwich
5 from 3 votes

Sardine Salad

This sardine salad recipe is a simple pantry meal and a fantastic alternative to tuna salad! It's creamy and has bright fresh herbs to complement the delicious sardines.
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1


  • 1 (3.75 ounce) can sardines drained
  • 1-2 tablespoons mayo
  • 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • Hot sauce optional, to taste
  • Seasoning salt to taste
  • For serving: bread, tomatoes, lettuce, etc.


  • Drain the sardines then add them to a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a fork to combine. Taste and adjust as needed (e.g. add more salt or mayo… quantities in recipes like this are just a guideline!).
  • Serve in bread, lettuce wraps, etc.


  • I add a couple dashes of Frank’s Red Hot. If you’re not a hot sauce fan, you can definitely leave it out!
  • I love using Lawry’s Seasoned Salt for extra flavor. Something like Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning would be great in here too, but the salt you usually use will work fine.


Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.3g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 157mg, Sodium: 415mg, Potassium: 430mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 141IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 409mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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Hi! I’m Natasha.

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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Jean Mackay says:

    5 stars
    I made this salad last week and had it open-face on multigrain toast with sliced beet pickle and avocado on the side. I’m going to be making it often because it was delicious! i had it for dinner, and there was enough for two consecutive nights. Very economical! I added some fresh tarragon because I happened to have it, also a bit of diced red pepper, some capers and some pickled green peppercorns. I used the hot sauce but not the seasoned salt I’m supposed to watch my salt intake so I substituted Spike. Thank you for another spectacular dinner!

    1. Natasha says:

      I love that!! You’re very welcome. I appreciate your detailed 5-star review!

  2. Mary says:

    I love this recipe. Never really liked sardines until I tried this. I just tried it with mackerel. Yum.

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s great to hear, Mary!

  3. Mary says:

    5 stars
    I wasn’t sure about this but I had the ingredients and was feeling lazy – a recurring affliction in old age. It is scrumptious. I will definitely make this often.

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled to hear it, Mary!! 😀 Thanks so much for taking the time to write me a review.