Unsure How To Use Tinned Fish? Try Starting With This Easy, Flavorful Recipe

mbg SEO Editor By Eliza Sullivan
mbg SEO Editor
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Unsure How To Use Tinned Fish? Try Starting With This Simple, Filling Lunch
Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

We know that tinned fish is one of the most sustainable seafood options—but it can honestly be intimidating to know where to begin with cooking. Finding a few easy recipes you love that harness the ingredient is the best way to get started, and you can branch out from there with more flavors and applications.

Some of the most notoriously polarizing tinned fish, sardines, are the star of this recipe from One-Dish Fish by Lola Milne. "As someone who works from home a lot of the time (even before lockdowns), I'm always on the lookout for a quick, pack-a-punch lunch," writes Milne. "This is just that: full of flavor, filling and very speedy to make."

It's worth noting that sardines can be a smart option for your health, too. In fact, they're a favorite of mbg Collective member and functional medicine doctor Mark Hyman, M.D., who advises eating smaller fish to avoid potential mercury (which is more present higher up the food chain). In a mindbodygreen podcast episode, he shared that he sticks with "SMASH" varieties—salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring.

Now, for a tasty take on the fish that puts the "S" in "SMASH," give this flavorful sardine recipe a try.

Curried Sardines on Toast

Serves 2



  • ½ large onion, thinly sliced 
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 x 4¼-oz. cans sardines in olive oil, drained (or tinned mackerel or tinned smoked mackerel)
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 large slices of sourdough bread
  • Salted butter, for spreading
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mango chutney or lime pickle, to serve


  1. Preheat your broiler to medium-high and place the oven shelf in a high position. In a small bowl, steep the onion in the lemon juice and set aside. In another bowl, crush the sardines with the curry powder and season with a little salt and lots of black pepper. 
  2. Pop the bread into a small roasting tray and broil on one side, then turn and very lightly broil the other side. 
  3. Spread the lightly broiled sides of the toast with butter, and top each with half of the sardine mixture, taking care to spread it right to the edges. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes until starting to look golden on top. 
  4. Pile the marinated onion slices and chili on top of the sardine toasts and serve with a spoonful of mango chutney or lime pickle alongside. 

Want your passion for wellness to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enroll today to join our upcoming live office hours.


More On This Topic

Food Fundamentals to Optimize Well-Being
More Food

Popular Stories


Latest Articles

Latest Articles

Your article and new folder have been saved!