Skip the frozen fish sticks, artificial crab meat and genetically engineered salmon, and treat yourself to a protein packed Italian Baked Sardine dinner.


The next time you are contemplating what to eat :: mangiare for lunch or dinner, try this delicious sardine recipe. Why? I’m glad you asked.

Top 5 Reasons to Eat More Sardines (fresh or canned): 

1. Sardines are loaded with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, iron and calcium :: calcio.

2. Fresh sardines vary in prices, but they are usually less expensive than other fresh fish :: pesce.

3. Unlike salmon and tuna :: tonno, sardines are low on the food chain meaning they contain lower amounts of mercury and other toxins.

4. Thanks to their abundance :: abbondanza and high production rates, they are a sustainable fish.

5. They are super easy to prepare :: preparare. Just set them on a baking sheet, cover them 5 ingredients and dinner is done in less than 20 minutes.


I suppose I should have added a 6th reason: they are delicious!  I grew up as a canned sardine lover.  I have vivid childhood memories of my dad :: papà picking me up when I wasn’t even tall enough to see the top of the kitchen table, setting me on his lap and letting me share his canned sardines packed in olive oil.  My three year old taste buds fell in love with this small, oily, silvery fish.


Living in Italy, it would be a true shame :: peccato if I didn’t take advantage of the ample sardines found in the Mediterranean Basin. And, although they shut down the last sardine cannery in the United States in 2010, almost every American grocery store sells this imported saltwater fish, either fresh or in the canned variety.


I am getting into a habit of getting my fish recipes from the fishmonger :: pescivendolo at the local market. Amidst the crowds of customers waiting in line, he is all to kind to reveal to me a quick Italian recipe to try out.  Like many Italian recipes, it involves fresh food and a short list of ingredients.

Italian-Baked-SardinesYou can serve these as an appetizer, side dish or main course.  They also pair exceptionally well with some of my other seafood recipes like my Blood Orange Baked Sole or Fennel and Radicchio Shrimp Bruschetta if you want to offer your family or guests a variety :: varietà.

Italian Baked Sardines
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Skip the frozen fish sticks, artificial crab meat and genetically engineered salmon, and treat yourself to a protein packed Italian Baked Sardine dinner.
Serves: 20 sardines
  • 20 fresh sardines, skin on, head off, scales removed, washed and patted dry
  • Enough bread crumbs to lightly cover all the sardines, about ½ cup
  • ½ cup, chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C)
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Position the sardines on top, with the flesh side up.
  4. Cover with a thin layer of bread crumbs and parsley.
  5. Add olive oil to a bowl and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle the mixture over the sardines.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve warm
  7. The sardine are then eaten whole, no need to remove the skin.

Source: Correggio Market Fishmonger

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