Almond Crusted Sardines with Parsley Sauce

By January 10, 2016Fish, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes

Almond Crusted Sardines

Sardines may not be the most popular fish but they’re big in taste and flavor and incredibly healthy.  Here are a few reasons you may to want add sardines to your diet:

  • Sardines are rich in protein, low in mercury and environmental impact.
  • They are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which contribute to more youthful looking skin and lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
  • Sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12 second only to calf’s liver.
  • Sardines are a superb source of bone-building calcium and contain surprisingly high concentrations of vitamin D.  Vitamin D prevents inflammation and helps bones absorb calcium.

Fresh Sardines

Canned sardines are readily available but tend to be a little fishy and are not for everyone.  Fresh sardines are another story.

They still taste like sardines but toned down.  When you cook them just until flesh has only begun to flake, the flesh is tender and not very fishy at all.

I usually eat fish twice a week.  There is an amazing fish store about 10 miles from my house.  When I drive down there I get two types of fish. The first is salmon which is extremely healthy but only moderately sustainable. You can see many Salmon recipes on my Pinterest Board Salmon Recipes.

The second type of fish I buy is one that is more environmentally sustainable. These are usually less popular fish.   Sardines is one of these fish.  My other choices are usually squid, clams, mussels or flounder. This year I will be sharing more recipes with sustainable, less popular fish.

I have the fish store clean the sardines but I leave the heads on until I get home.  I like seeing the eyes of the fish, it connects me to the fact I am eating something that was once alive.  It reminds me to take a moment to give thanks.  I remove the heads before cooking them in this recipe.

Here is an enjoyable sardine recipe.  I take the sardines and dust them with almond flour to get a nice crust.  I sauté them in olive oil for a Mediterranean flavor but you can use refined coconut oil if you prefer.  It’s a little healthier.

The key to making the crust stick instead of falling off in the pan is use a cast iron pan or heavy bottomed saute pan.  Also don’t touch them until the crust has browned.  Don’t worry though even if the crust falls off a little they still taste great.

I serve them on a bed of greens with a Parsley Sauce.  If you don’t want to make the parsley sauce, they are enjoyable garnished with chopped parsley and served with lemon wedges.

Please give this recipe a try and let me know what you think of sardines.

Almond Crusted Sardines with Parsley Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Sardines are are one of the best sources of omega-3 fats and are high in protein. This is a delicious, easy to make recipe that will turn you into a sardine lover.
Recipe type: Main Dish, Fish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Healthy
Serves: 2
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 8-10 whole sardines, cleaned, heads removed
  • Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil plus oil for rubbing
Parsley Sauce
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ½ cup firmly packed chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • ¼ tsp Celtic sea salt or more to taste
  • Pinch of black pepper
To Serve
  • 3 ounces baby salad greens
  1. Put almond flour onto a plate
  2. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium
  3. Rub the sardines with olive oil
  4. Season the sardines with salt and pepper
  5. Dredge them in the almond flour to coat evenly
  6. Place them into the hot oil. Sauté 3 minutes until the almond crust is brown
  7. Turn the sardines with tongs and sauté on the other side.
Parsley Sauce
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You will have a nice green sauce.
  2. Toss greens with a little parsley sauce, serve the rest on the side.
  3. Store extra dressing in the refrigerator to use on salads.
If your cast iron pan isn’t large enough to cook all the sardines at once, use half the oil and sauté half the sardines. Place the cooked sardines on a plate, cover to keep warm. Wipe out the pan, heat remaining oil and sauté remaining sardines.
Sardine platter

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