All Recipes/ Appetizers/ Breakfast/ Healthy Snacks/ Latest Posts

Easy Sardine Pate (with Canned Sardines)

September 29, 2023 (Last Updated: February 7, 2024)
Sardine Pate on Slices of Bread, topped with microgreens

Canned sardines are my go-to for a quick, nutrient-packed meal, but I’ll admit, eating them straight from the can feels both intimidating and a bit boring. That’s where sardine pate, or sardine paste, comes in.

A Simple and Fast Sardine Recipe

You can turn those humble sardines into a flavorful spread – called sardine pate or sardine paste – in just ten minutes and with a few simple ingredients.

It’s my favorite fix for a fast, tasty, and wholesome meal, especially with some crackers, microgreens, or fresh veggies on the side.

Canned Sardines, a Great Source of Protein and Nutrients

Canned sardines are my lifesaver for a quick, nutritious lunch. While they’re tasty with just a splash of lemon, for some people, plain sardines are not appetizing.

Sardine pate is a delicious alternative. It’s a nod to the culinary traditions of places like Portugal and France, proving that these small fish can elevate a simple meal into something special with minimal effort.

Besides their high-quality protein content, sardines are a nutritional powerhouse, offering a wealth of essential nutrients. They are particularly renowned for their rich content of omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health, brain function, and inflammation reduction.

Rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D and B12, calcium, and selenium, sardines promote bone health, energy production, and immune system fortification.

Low in mercury and sustainable, sardines are as kind to the environment as they are nourishing to the body.

Check the Ingredients

To pick a good sardine can, check the ingredients. It should only be sardines, olive oil, and salt.

A can with sardines in olive oil

Ingredients to Make Sardine Pate

This recipe yields about 6oz (3/4 cup) of pate.

  • 1 can (120 grams) of sardines in olive oil, drained
  • 25 grams butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped (or one small shallot)
  • Optional: smoked sea salt flakes for garnish

Note on Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter; just adjust the seasoning of the pate accordingly. We use French, Italian, or A2 casein butter, which is easier to digest.

The ingredients for the sardine pate

How to Make Sardine Pate

Traditionally, sardine pate is made by hand, and we followed that method. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use a food processor.

  • Prepare the Ingredients: Drain the sardines, chop the shallot, and allow the butter to soften at room temperature.
The prepared ingredients. The sardines are in a little bowl and ready to be mashed.

  • Prepare the Sardine Mixture: In a medium bowl, use a fork to thoroughly mash the sardines. Add the olive oil, continuing to mash. Some recipes advise removing the skin and bones, but that’s where the nutritional value is. I recommend using the whole sardines. You won’t see or feel anything in the final product.
Mashed sardines

  • Add Flavor and Butter: Pour in the lemon juice, add the softened butter, season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix well to combine the flavors.
Flavour and butter have been added to the mashed sardines

  • Incorporate Shallots: Fold in the chopped shallots until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Taste the paté and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
Shallots have been added to the mixture

  • Transfer to a Jar and Chill: Transfer the pate to a jar and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Once prepared, this pate will be good to serve until the next day. I don’t recommend storing it for more than two days.
The sardine pate in the mixing bowl
The sardine pate has been transferred to a jar

How to Serve Sardine Pate

Traditionally, sardine pate or sardine paste is served as an appetizer with fresh or toasted bread and olives.

I personally have it as a main meal, usually lunch, or when I need something nutritious and easy to prepare.

It’s perfect with our Gluten-Free and Lectin-Free Sourdough Bread, but if you don’t eat bread, you can have it with our Keto Crackers with Tigernut Flour and Hemp, or the delicious Flax Seed Crackers with Za’atar Spices.

I serve it with a mix of microgreens, olives, and a salad or freshly cut vegetables like carrots, kohlrabi, celery, and radishes. Fresh parsley also pairs well.

If you serve it for lunch, you can have two generous portions; if it’s an appetizer, it can serve four people or even more. The nutritional value is calculated based on two servings.

Sardine pate on sourdough bread

Other Delicious and Healthy Pate Recipes

Enjoy! We hope you love the sardine pate as much as we do. Check out more pate recipes:

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Easy Sardine Pate (With Canned Sardines)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.80 out of 5)
Loading...
By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes

Canned sardines are my go-to for a quick, nutrient-packed meal, but I’ll admit, eating them straight from the can feels both intimidating and a bit bland. That’s where sardine pate comes in. In just ten minutes and with a few simple ingredients, you can turn those humble sardines into a flavorful spread. It’s my favorite fix for a fast, tasty, and wholesome meal, especially with some crackers, microgreens, or fresh veggies on the side.

Ingredients

  • 1 can (120 grams) sardines in olive oil, drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
  • 25 grams butter, softened
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped (or one small shallot)
  • Optional: smoked sea salt flakes for garnish

Instructions

1

In a medium bowl, use a fork to thoroughly mash the sardines. Add the olive oil, and mash to combine.

2

Pour in the lemon juice, add the butter, then season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Mix well to combine the flavors and obtain a paste.

3

Fold in the chopped shallots until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Taste the pate and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

4

Transfer the pate to a jar and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld together.

5

When ready to serve, you can sprinkle smoked sea salt flakes and an extra pinch of paprika over the top for a burst of flavor and color.

6

Garnish the chilled sardine pate with microgreens or fresh parsley. Serve with gluten-free sourdough toast, crackers, or fresh vegetable chips.

Notes

You can use salted or unsalted butter; just adjust the seasoning accordingly. Once prepared, this pate will be good to serve until the next day. I don't recommend storing it for more than 2 days.

Gundry MD Ambassador Shop

Stock a gut-healthy pantry

4 Comments

  • Reply
    Céline
    May 19, 2024 at 2:54 pm

    Hello, after reading the recipe (which looks amazing) I have a little question : why drain the oil from the sardines and then later add olive oil ? Why not keep the oil from the sardines ? I have never worked with sardines so I have no clue how that sardine oil is.

    • Reply
      Claudia
      May 20, 2024 at 3:03 am

      Hi Celine! This is a great question. There is nothing wrong in keeping some of that oil, however, most of the time I doubt that the oil they use in canning is the best quality you can get. So I add my fresh, organic extra virgin olive oil for its qualities. At the same time, the oil in which the sardines have been marinated, may be rich in omega3s – but honestly, this is just speculation. The simple answer is I don’t really know, but I follow my intuition. Oh, there is one more thing! That oil can be very salty, which can be a problem in the overall result. Anyway, great question! You can experiment and see what you like best. -Claudia

  • Reply
    Gina Versace
    October 1, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    You knocked this recipe out of the park, Claudia! Fast, delicious, healthful! Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Claudia
      October 2, 2023 at 3:05 am

      Thank you so much, Gina! Glad you loved it 🥰 -Claudia

    Leave a Reply