Spaghetti with sardines

Spaghetti with sardines

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(65 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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 in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
jaded84's picture
22nd May, 2020
A yummy dinner. I only used 300g of spaghetti and made more sauce with using a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes. Also love capers so added some extra. May add more chilli next time
R M's picture
21st Aug, 2018
This seems like a quick version of pasta puttanesca... quite bland though. I made a much more flavourful one from a recipe from NYT Cooking website.
mrskipling's picture
7th Aug, 2018
A little bland but I'd cook it again, with more garlic and more chilli flakes. We didn't use the capers. I added some polenta to bulk it out a bit.
clovelly1's picture
26th Jul, 2018
Love this, I stir in a couple of balls of frozen (defrosted) spinach towards the end, it gives it a nice flavour and looks attractive. My friend says it her favourite pasta dish. Will try with sardines in olive oil this time as I don’t have a tin in Tomato sauce, I’ll add some tom purée and see how it goes. Easy and impressive considering it’s all cupboard or freezer stuff.
25th Apr, 2018
Cooked this tonight for my husband and myself and we both loved it. Forgot the parsley but it was still lovely and very cheap. Will definitely be cooking this regularly.
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


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
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
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?