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Sardines with Garlic, Lemon & Thyme

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  • Author: Ingrid DeHart -
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 servings 1x


  • 1 pound sardines (8 medium), gutted, with heads on or off (I like to see the eyes and express gratitude)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Celtic sea salt & fresh pepper
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • 12 fresh thyme sprigs, plus chopped fresh thyme for garnish


  1. Rinse the sardines, pat dry.
  2. Mix garlic with 2 Tb of olive oil
  3. Season sardines with salt and pepper
  4. Rub the garlic/olive oil all over the sardines including inside the cavities
  5. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Heat the broiler until hot. Move the oven rack as close to the heat source as possible (two inches away).
  7. Heat a flat pan for about 5 minutes.
  8. Take the sardines out of the refrigerator. Cut the lemon slices in half stuff inside the sardines with thyme sprigs; They will stick out a bit that is fine.
  9. When the pan is hot, remove it from the oven and brush with 1 Tb of the olive oil, then put the sardines on the pan and drizzle with the remaining 1 Tb olive oil on top.
  10. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes, then check the sardines; they’re ready when they’re opaque, the tip of a knife flakes the thickest part easily, and the outside is nicely browned. If they are brown but not cooked through turn down the broiler and roast until done.
  11. To serve, carefully remove the sardines with a spatula, sprinkle with chopped thyme. Serve with lemon wedges.


Plan to marinate them for 15-30 minutes.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean, Paleo, Gluten Free