Easy French Food and Recipes

Sardine Recipes

sardine recipes

There are quite a few good sardine recipes including these two French appetizers, one a tart which features canned sardines, tomatoes and onions and the other an even simpler sardine mousse. You could also serve the tart as a first course. My kids love it!

Buying Sardines

In France, canned sardines are sold alongside tuna fish and seem to be equally popular. They are usually sold conserved in olive oil, sometimes with the addition of lemons or tomatoes. When you use them in a sardine recipe, remove them from the can with a fork and leave the olive oil and other ingredients behind.

Sardines are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as calcium and iron.

During the summer we can buy fresh sardines from the fishmonger. These are great simply grilled on the barbecue (it helps to have a special tool that holds the fish clamped between two grills, so you can turn all of the fish at once.) Serve the sardines with grilled red peppers for a great taste combination.

You might be a bit hesitant to give these fish a try. This sardine recipe, which uses canned, is a perfect place to start.

Tarte aux sardines

Sardine Tart

Makes 6 servings.


  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • Two 5 ounce cans sardines, packed in olive oil


Cook the onions and tomatoes in the olive oil on medium heat for 10 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables in the pie shell and bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Remove the sardines from their cans and break them into bits (it's fine to leave the bones in the sardines). Remove the tart from the oven, spread the sardine bits evenly across the surface and bake for five minutes longer.

Serve hot or warm.

You can serve the following sardine mousse as a canape spread on toasted French bread slices with lemon quarters and black olives. Or you can serve it as a first course, placing a few slices of toasted French bread spread with the mousse on each plate, alongside a small salad of lettuce and tomatoes in vinegarette.

Mousse de sardines


  • 5 ounce can of sardines, packed in olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt and pepper


Drain the sardines on several pieces of paper towel. Open them up and remove the spines if they are large.

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Blend for four minutes to obtain a smooth puree.

Keep the mousse refrigerated until serving time.

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