Spaghetti with sardines

Spaghetti with sardines

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(45 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
This storecupboard supper is super quick and superhealthy to boot

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal495
  • fat14g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs77g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein21g
  • salt1.07g
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  • 400g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 227g can chopped tomato
  • 2 x 95g cans skinless and boneless sardines in tomato sauce



    Sardines are named after the island of Sardinia, where they were once found in abundance. Found…

  • 100g pitted black olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • small handful parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a medium pan and cook the garlic for 1 min. Add the chilli flakes, tomatoes and sardines, breaking up roughly with a wooden spoon. Heat for 2-3 mins, then stir in the olives, capers and most of the parsley. Mix well to combine.

  2. Drain the pasta, reserving a couple of tbsp of the water. Add the pasta to the sauce and mix well, adding the reserved water if the sauce is a little thick. Divide between 4 bowls and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Sep, 2017
Made this recipe a few times now and it's quick to make and become a real favourite. The only variation is I don't have parsley but scattered basil leaves and grated Parmesan over the top.
27th Jun, 2017
Quick & delicious
belle.gothique's picture
18th Nov, 2015
This is a great dish if you don't have a lot of time. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the 'get in from work, too tired to cook' feeling. This is a dish that is so easy to do, and thanks to the sardines, garlic and crushed chilli, it's full of flavour. I wouldn't have it every week, but it is a meal you can have the ingredients sitting in your cupboard for up to a year or more, so great to have in reserve for that I can't be bothered to cook day.
10th Sep, 2015
Great dish, I wasn't a sardine fan before eating this, now I'm a convert! Bags of flavour and although the recipe is long-winded, the result was worth it. Scored 9/10 and worth of a repeat!
jadedermody's picture
20th May, 2015
yummy dish. lots of flavour. But as my partner does not like olives or capers replaced those with boiled broccoli (added to the spag) to top up veg count and make it one of my 5 a day
16th Jan, 2015
Really enjoyed this. I tweaked a few things. Sautéed a chopped banana shallot and a chopped red pepper before adding the garlic. I also used a full can of chopped tomatoes. Didn't have parsley so used basil instead.
18th Sep, 2014
This was nice...but next time I'll make it with tinned mackerel instead of sardines...don't like crunchy bones in my pasta!
19th Apr, 2016
Errrrr doesn't the recipe say boneless sardines?
2nd Sep, 2014
No one in our family of 5 liked this (even my hubby who loves fish!). All ended up in the bin!
19th Jun, 2014
Devoured by 4, 6 and 9 year olds. Added extra olives but only because the kids love them


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Matt Burroughs's picture
Matt Burroughs
10th Jan, 2018
I added matchstick carrots in step one. Replaced tomato’s with small can of tomato sauce. Substituted 2 cans of sardines with 1 sardines in Sirachi sauce & 1 can Mackrel in tomato sauce. Also replaced spaghetti with linguine and added some white wine. Absolutely loved the results! A sprinkle of freshly shaved Parmesan was a great tip from one of the other reviews I read.
13th Sep, 2015
If using Portuguese canned boneless smoked sardines in olive oil - you'll want to consider adding decent amount of salt as is very bland without it