If you’ve never tried sardines, this is the perfect starter recipe. It’s a healthy dip that is full of bold flavors that stand up to the robust flavor of the sardines.

Paleo sardine salad - Use this as a cracker spread, dip or just eat it. This is your intro to sardines!

I wasn’t a sardine eater until I traveled to Portugal.

In Lisbon, sardines are EVERYWHERE.

  • They’re on every menu.
  • They’re featured front and center in the plethora of canned seafood stores.
  • They’re caricatured and featured on souvenirs (you should see my sardine socks!)

Sardines are not only a popular food choice for Portuguese — they’re also an important part of the culture there.

Considering all this, why in the world wouldn’t I give them a try? Because I think they smell weird? Nope!

I’m so glad I did. I’ve found some delicious ways to enjoy them (see below) and their health benefits are plentiful.

Why Eat Sardines?

  • Cost: Seafood is expensive. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to eat more healthy fish, consider sardines. They’re quite cheap – usually between $2.00 and $3.00 for a single can.
  • Health benefits: There are myriad health benefits to sardines. Sardines are one of the greatest sources of omega 3 fatty acids in the world. They are a great source of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium. Sardines are one of the most sustainable sources of fish. And since they are at the bottom of the food chain, eating mostly plankton, they are one of the lowest mercury-containing fish. This recipe is both paleo and Whole30 compliant.

Paleo sardine dip: This is the recipe that will make you a sardine fan. Click through for instructions!

How To Eat Sardines

Want to eat more sardines for their health benefits but don’t know how to get started? (That was me 4 weeks ago!)

Here are some super easy sardine recipes/serving ideas for a snack or lunch:

  • Eat sardines straight out of the can with crackers and hot sauce.
  • Prepare sardines like you would make a tuna salad: Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and chopped onion. Serve on top of salad greens or make sardine lettuce wraps.
  • Mix canned sardines with avocado, tomato, and green onion. Serve with crackers or fresh veggie slices.

About The Ingredients In This Sardine Dip

I like to add a bold flavor to sardines. I don’t mind how they taste on their own, but I find adding fresh lemon or hot sauce really makes them delicious.

This recipe calls for lemon juice, green onion, and hot sauce.

Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side.

What Kind Of Sardines To Purchase

Shopping tip: Some sardines come flavored – smoked, with lemon or with hot sauce. I’ve tried them all and I like them all. The extra flavors aren’t overwhelming.

Try this other paleo-friendly seafood appetizer: Plantain, shrimp, and avocado bites.

I’d love to hear how you enjoy sardines: Will you share your ideas in the comments section, below?

Paleo sardine dip: This is the recipe that will make you a sardine fan. Click through for instructions!

Paleo Sardine Dip

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Look for sardines packed in olive oil.


  • 4.4 ounce tin of sardines packed in olive oil (reserve oil)
  • 1/3 cup diced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 small lemon
  • Piri piri (or other hot sauce), to taste


  1. Remove sardines from tin and place in a small bowl. Top with one spoonful (or so) of the olive oil. Break up fish with a fork.
  2. Gently stir in cucumbers, red bell pepper, and green onion. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over the mixture, and add hot sauce to taste.
  3. Serve with cucumber slices and plantain chips.

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