Sardine Salad is a quick and easy salad that takes 15 mins to bring together! This budget friendly recipe is full of flavor with delicious textures.
This is a quick and easy budget friendly recipe!
With minimal prep work involved, you can whip it up in as little as 15 mins.
Perfect as a hearty lunch and spot on delicious for a weekend breakfast, this salad has colour, texture and taste!
Sardines are packed with protein and a great alternative to chicken, beef or lamb.
They are commonly found in the supermarket and can be stored in the pantry for when you need to grab them in a hurry!
Diverse and a great alternative to a garden salad, served with crunchy toasted bread, this sardine salad becomes a meal in one.
The ingredients needed for the recipe are all simple and easy to find at the local shops. We also use the Garlic Yogurt Sauce to dress the salad, with simple ingredients such as Greek Yogurt, garlic, salt and pepper.
As you can see, the recipe calls for:
Sardine Salad ingredients
- sardines: you will find the sardines packed in a tin in the supermarket aisle where the tinned salmon and tuna is. They will be in a flat rectangular tin and are cheap as chips (economical!). You have the choice of sardines packed in spring water or olive oil. Either work well for this recipe and we drain (but not rinse) them prior to use. I am using the sardines packed in spring water. In Australia, a standard tin is 110 grams. The recipe calls for 2 x 110 gram tins of sardines.
- butter beans: are large white beans that will be with the red kidney beans and chick peas in the supermarket. They are about twice the size of individual baked beans. The beans are a perfect in salads, as they don't involve much preparation, can be served cold, add colour and flavour. They need to be drained and rinsed prior to use. We use 1 x standard 400 gram tin of butter beans for the recipe.
- lettuce: I use a small size fresh cos lettuce. Drained and rinsed. The outer leaves of the lettuce provide fresh leafy greens and the inner leaves are crispy and provide a great texture to the salad.
- tomatoes I use 2 standard roma tomatoes (the ones which are more of an oval shape than a round one). Choose firm tomatoes so that if you don't make the salad on the day that you shop, they will still be fresh when you do. Softer tomatoes will make for a soggier salad, so firm is best!
- mushrooms: the salad gives us a great opportunity to use fresh button mushrooms. They are delicious raw and have a great bite to them. Flick off any dirt and simply cut in quarters or halves
- cucumber: we use 1 Lebanese cucumber in the recipe. These are the shorter, more light green of the 2 commonly found cucumbers. I recommend grating the cucumber instead if slicing it for the salad and the Lebanese cucumbers work very well for this, the continental cucumbers not so much!
- garlic yogurt dressing: to dress the salad, I recommend the Garlic Yogurt Sauce. This gives a creamy textured, yogurt based sauce which works well with the salty sardines. The best thing about this sauce is that you can make it, dress the salad and use the leftovers during the week for recipes such as the Air Fryer Salmon with Skin.
- white crusty bread: I love serving this salad with freshly toasted warm crunchy, flaky bread. You can use multigrain, whole meal or white. We are not going to be too precious with it, as we simply toast and then tear and share. A whole standard loaf will easily feed 4 people. Use olive oil before baking for golden toasted bread.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by toasting the bread and preparing the salad ingredients.
You will need a flat baking tray for the bread and a knife and chopping board for the salad ingredients.
The photos above are to show you the bread for the salad. The idea is that once the bread is cooked, we simply tear it apart and place it in a serving bowl.
It can be piled high with the sardine salad and is somewhat reminiscent of a sardine sandwich!
- The photo above shows you the salad ingredients prepped and ready
- It is a simple case of rinsing the lettuce and cutting the base off, slicing the tomatoes, quartering the mushrooms, grating the cucumber and rinsing the beans
To make the dressing, check out all of the info in the Garlic Yogurt Sauce post. You can use fresh or minced garlic and we whizz that up in about 2 mins in our food processor.
In the photo above, you will see the recommended serving suggestion of salad, bread and sauce.
Ensure plenty of bread (especially for the sardine novices) as they can ease their way in with a deconstructed sardine sandwich to get them started.
In the photo above, you can see how the salad becomes a complete feast with the toasted bread and dressing drizzled left, right and centre!
Frequently asked questions
What goes well with sardines?
Sardines go well with simple salad ingredients with contrasting textures.
Widely used for a 'sardine sandwich' or sardines on toast, they take hardly any time to prepare and are a great source of protein.
Serve them with crusty bread, pasta, pizza, salads or grilled flat breads.
What sauce goes well with sardines?
I recommend using a creamy sauce when serving sardines as it compliments the soft, saltiness of the fish.
Suggestions are the:
Or you can check out all of my homemade sauces that work well as salad dressings!
Sardine Salad for naysayers
I know, I know, sardines are not everyone's favorite ingredient!
I totally understand and each to their own.
If you are willing to try this sardine salad however, are a little bit skeptical due to the squishy, mushy seafoodness of the recipe, I have some tips to cast that doubt aside.
Choose the sardines packed in olive oil and don't rinse them.
Make a large (1 cup) quantity of the Garlic Yogurt Sauce and drizzle it all over!
Ensure plenty of crusty white toasted warm bread. You can read all about How to Toast Bread in the Oven for top tips!
Use the bread like an open sandwich and pile the salad high on top. Season with salt and pepper prior to serving!
These tips will help you master your sardine salad from the 1st time you make it and each following time:
- toast the bread in the oven as the 1st step as you can prepare the salad ingredients whilst it is cooking
- rinsing the sardines is optional! For naysayers and sardine skeptics, purchase sardines in olive oil not spring water. Alternatively, rinse the sardines if someone is shaking their head at the idea of eating them
- simply tear the bread apart with your hands when it is ready.
- don't dress the salad till you are ready to serve it
- if making the salad ahead of time, prep the ingredients, but keep them separate to avoid a soggy salad!
If salad recipes are your thing, check out the following for inspo:
PIN this recipe for later!
- Salad bowl
- Chopping board
- Salad servers
- 220 grams sardines drained, not rinsed Note 1
- 400 grams butter beans drained and rinsed Note 2
- 1 small cos lettuce
- 1 lebanese cucumber
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 cup button mushrooms quartered
- loaf sourdough bread Note 3
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt Note 4
- 3 cloves garlic skin peeled, base cut off
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5
- Use a knife and chopping board to slice bread in half, lengthways. Lay each half on baking tray, spray with olive oil and bake for 5 mins till bread is golden brown
- Use a knife and chopping board to prepare the lettuce by cutting the base off and rinsing, slicing the tomatoes and mushrooms.
- Use a vegetable peeler to grate the Lebanese cucumber into long thin strips.
- Drain and rinse the butter beans.
- Drain (don't rinse) the sardines.
- In a large salad bowl, layer lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, grated cucumber, chopped mushrooms and sprinkle in butter beans. Spread sardines out across the top of the salad
- Use an oven mit to remove the toasted bread from the oven. Leave for 1 minute, then tear and place in serving bowl
- Drizzle salad with Garlic Yogurt Sauce
- Combine garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and blitz to combine
- Dollop in yogurt and blitz for 2-3 seconds till consistently mixed together
- Note 1 You will find the sardines packed in a tin in the supermarket aisle where the tinned salmon and tuna is. They will be in a flat rectangular tin. You have the choice of sardines packed in spring water or olive oil. Either work well for this recipe and we drain (but not rinse) them prior to use. I am using the sardines packed in spring water. In Australia, a standard tin is 110 grams. The recipe calls for 2 x 110 gram tins of sardines.
- Note 2 Butter beans are large cream coloured beans that will be with the red kidney beans and chick peas in the supermarket. They are about twice the size of individual baked beans. They need to be drained and rinsed prior to use. We use 1 x standard 400 gram tin of butter beans for the recipe.
- Note 3 Whilst the salad is 'healthy' the portion size of bread can be easily over done. Use a smaller portion size as desired. A whole loaf shown in the photo serves 6 people.
- Note 4 The salad dressing is my Garlic Yogurt Sauce, please check out that recipe for detailed step by step instructions and tips/tricks.
Saucy, creamy saladness!
Alright, my compadres I am sure you are not sick of the creamy, saucy stuff you and I have been talking about lately...should we add salty sardines to that mix or nah?
I know everyone doesn't love them and I get it.
Growing up they were a food that I was always a bit 'hmmm' about (as well as cold cooked prawns!!)
However, there is something to be said about creamy saucy garlic yogurt, salad and sardines spread all over a toasted portion of bread. It is crunchy, it is lip licking and it is satisfying, c'mon you know you want to!
I would LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments below. Please let me know if you make the recipe.
Go fish my friends (at the shops!)