Tasty Sardine Pate (Even For Fussy Eaters)

This simple and tasty Sardine Pate is designed to please even the fussy, canned-fish-hating mouths. This small-batch recipe takes 10 minutes and 5 key ingredients, and with the impressive nutritional profile of sardines, it’s very healthy and nourishing. Gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and low-carb and keto-friendly.

Sardine Pate Recipe (With Canned Sardines)

How To Make A Sardine Pate

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe has only 4 ingredients:

  • Canned sardines – I use tinned sardines preserved in olive oil or chilli and garlic oil; either will work, as would the sardines in brine or water. The whole sardines are used as the pate is pureed and all those small bones and spice get completely ground up and you can’t detect them at all. This also means you get all that calcium present in sardines (one of the best non-dairy sources, by the way).
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – again, use the ones that come in a jar in oil, not the super dehydrated ones; sun-dried tomatoes have a powerful flavour, sweet, salty and umami, so they are perfect for hiding the fishy taste of sardines. They also give this spread that lovely orangy/red colour.
  • Mayonnaise – as well as adding a lovely flavour, mayonnaise will give the dip nice creaminess; use free-range egg mayonnaise. For an egg-free version, you could try using a combination of olive oil, mustard and Greek yoghurt. 
  • Spring onions – these can be omitted but I love a little freshness and taste of fragrant green onions (scallions). you can also use chopped red onions, shallots or chives. 
  • Lemon juice – for a little tang!
Delicious canned sardine recipes

To turn canned sardines into a smooth, creamy pate requires some processing. You can use a food processor or an immersion blender stick to puree the ingredients. You can process the spread as smooth as you like. I like to keep a little texture so I blend it only until sun-dried tomatoes and sardines are ground up enough.

How to make sardine pate
Pate made with canned sardines and sun-dried tomatoes

How To Eat Sardine Spread/Dip

This sardine pate is a bit like a dip or a spread, which can be enjoyed with cut-up vegetables (aka crudites) or with your favourite crackers or toasted sourdough or paleo-friendly bread (or this low-carb bread).

You can serve it in lettuce cups or on top of a salad, or use it as a filling inside baked sweet or white potatoes

How to eat sardine dip - with cucumber
Sardine spread on toast

Full Recipe For Sardine Pate

Find the full list of ingredients, instructions and extra cooking notes below. If you have questions or cook this recipe, please let me know in the comments and make sure to rate this recipe so it’s easy for others to find.

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Sardine pate with canned sardines and sun-dried tomatoes

Tasty Sardine Pate

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Learn how to make a small batch of super tasty sardine pate that you can serve as a spread or a dip. It’s super nutritious, gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and low-carb friendly. You will need 5 key ingredients and 10 minutes!



120 g can of sardines (90100 g drained solids)

4 sun-dried tomato halves (preserved in oil, not the dry ones)

1.5 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped spring onion or red onion

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon hot sauce or Sriracha (optional)


  • Add all ingredients either to a food processor or a medium bowl if using an immersion blender stick. Blend until just smooth. Don’t over-process it too much. I like to pulse blend a few times, making sure I scrape and incorporate all ingredients evenly.
  • Transfer to a bowl to serve with crispbreads, sourdough, sliced veggies, low-carb or paleo crackers or use in wraps, salads etc.


To make a large batch, double or triple the ingredients as needed.

You can use this recipe with another type of canned fish.


  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup
  • Calories: 183
  • Sugar: 2.3 g
  • Sodium: 259.2 mg
  • Fat: 13.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3.8 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 12.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 69.7 mg

More Tasty Sardines Recipes


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Canned sardines recipes - tasty pate
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share easy, delicious recipes with a healthy twist. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition & Weight Management. I believe in a balanced diet with an occasional cookie and cheesy pasta. More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. I just can´t believe how good this is.. both my kids hate tinned fish but can´t get enough of this,

    1. Thanks, Jenny. That’s so good to hear, especially as sardines are so good for those growing brains. Glad the whole family can enjoy! Irena

  2. I just made this and I am shocked at how good it is! I’ve never been much of a sardine person but took the chance and make it today. It’s fabulous! I subbed in fresh chives for the spring onion and it worked very well. Spread it on a piece of toast and added cucumbers on top for a nice quick lunch. The recipe is a definite keeper!

  3. Made it as a last minute quick lunch. Used fat free Greek yoghurt instead of mayo (to be good!). Also chopped the sun-dried tomatoes and the white onion, mashed the sardines and mix it up by hand with the lemon juice. Mayo would have made it extra tasty but it was still very nice! Thank you

  4. This recipe sounds good! I am trying to start using sardines on a regular basis. One problem for me, is that I can’t have nightshades. Do you have a substitute that you think would work? I was thinking maybe butternut squash or maybe sweet potato. Thank you!!

    1. Hmmm, you want something that is quite strong in flavour, which is why sun-dried tomatoes work. Gherkins would work or even caramelised onions as they would be a little sweet. Marinated capers are also wonderful.

  5. Some ideas to ramp it up to a Gourmet version with optional extras:

    5-7 drops Worchester sauce
    3-5 drops fish sauce
    1 -2 teaspoons smokey smoked paprika
    chopped chives
    chopped coriander – or parsley
    1 anchovy
    1 pinch ground mace
    2 pinches ground black pepper

  6. OMG! Thank you Irena.
    I have always wanted to love sardines for the obvious health benefits but have never had much success….until now! This recipe is delicious!
    Thank you again.

  7. Got everything added to my food processor and realized I was out of mayo! Used a thick caesar dressing. Was still good, but mine wasn’t red or very tomatoey. Maybe my oil-packed sundried tomatoes were smaller than yours? Will add more next time.

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