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Ingredients Guide

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Tomato Sardine Salad

When I was a nipper growing up in the Garden of England – aka the county of Kent (although technically I was never a nipper since I am a girl)  – I was regularly served up sardines on toast for supper, as I suspect a significant number of British kids were.  I’m not sure it’s as popular nowadays, but back then – YUM.  I loved when sardines on toast popped up on the menu.  Oftentimes the sardines were in tomato sauce.  I think I loved those times even more, which is a little odd because I am not really a tomato sauce kinda gal.  Except ketchup on my eggs, but that’s another tale.  But I think somewhere in the back of my mind a connection between sardines and tomatoes was made, because when I started to think about sardine recipes the first one I came up with was this Tomato Sardine Salad.

Of course, these days I don’t eat the toast, but I do down sardines like they’re going out of fashion.  Except, in the US I don’t think sardines have ever been in fashion.  Whenever I mention sardines, noses wrinkle and a chorus of “Ewwws!” can be heard.  Sardines do not seem to have much of a following stateside.

It seemed perfectly natural to me that I would at some point mention the outstanding virtues of a humble can of sardines our my podcast.  After all – they are one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids.  I chime in with enthusiastic stories of how a tin of sardines is perfect road-trip fodder, and how you can keep a couple stashed in the glove box of your car in case of emergency.  I joyfully explained how to fashion an eating implement out of the tin lid, if you were ever caught without a fork when you were about to down a tasty sardine snack.

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown

I guess it was bound to happen once the sardine podcast aired that there’d be some sardine Q & A coming down the pike.  So it was no surprise when the other week, Lorrie posted on the The Keto Kitchen with Carrie Brown Facebook page asking for ways to eat sardines.  Lorrie is a faithful reader who, with her friend Dawn, run a Downsizers Group over in Oberlin, Ohio.  They meet every week to share health and fatloss success, tips, tricks, and recipes.  They also have a lot of fun.  I know this because they invited me to join them one evening and I Skyped into their get-together.  SO. MUCH. FUN!

Turns out Lorrie was taking sardines along to the next Downsizers meeting, and never having eaten them before, needed some sardine assistance.  Having been raised on the things it never occurred to me that Sardine Virgins may appreciate knowing what they might do with them, other than rip off the lid and eat them straight out of the tin.  It’s like I never remember to explain to people how to open doors, because like sardine-eating, it’s just something I assume we all know how to do.  You know what they say about assuming.

So I came up with an introduction to sardines via this lovely Tomato Sardine Salad.

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown

When I am on road trips I eat sardines a lot.  They are just so portable.  In the evening when I get back from driving and shooting for 14 hours, I toss sardines, halved cherry tomatoes and quartered hard-boiled eggs on a plate, sprinkle with salt and call it dinner.  When I am at home I make a rather prettier  and greener version.  This is another one of those very simple “what Carrie Brown really eats at home” dishes.  It takes 5 minutes to throw together and makes you a perfectly balanced meal.  When I get home too late and too tired for thought, this is one of my go-to’s.

If you’re new to sardines, try this Tomato Sardine Salad first.  I really think you’ll like it.  And Jonathan and I will be so very happy to get some more of you on the sardine trail with us.



Tomato Sardine Salad

Author: Carrie Brown | Prep time:  10 mins   |   Total time:  10 mins  |  Serves: 1 – 2

What You Need

  • 2 small tins sardines
  • 8 oz. / 225g cherry tomatoes
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh spinach
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • Ground black pepper

What You Do

  1. Drain the sardines, chop into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.
  3. Cut the eggs into quarters lengthwise and then each quarter into 4 pieces.
  4. Add to the bowl with the tomatoes and sardines and mix gently.
  5. Salt to taste, mixing as little as possible to avoid the sardines and eggs becoming mushy.
  6. Spread fresh spinach on a serving platter on 2 plates.
  7. Slice the cucumber and then quarter each slice.
  8. Spread the cucumber pieces over the spinach.
  9. Spoon the sardine salad over the veggies.
  10. Grind black pepper over the top and serve.


Top Recipe Tips

  • Get sardines packed in olive oil for extra healthy fats. Avoid sardines packed in canola or other processed vegetable oils.


Helpful Cooking and Recipe Links


Podcast Episodes

Tomato Sardine Salad | Carrie Brown





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  • GordonHi Carrie. I’m so glad you (surprisingly) posted on sardines! I love to buy mine from Lidl here in the UK and they’re so cheap. I never thought of making a meal like you have,so quick,easy and cheap, you clever lady! I’m really gonna try this and I’m going hiking with some friends in a few weeks in Brecon Beacons just for two days and you’ve given me a good thought for the trip. Thanks. Oh, what do you think about hard boiled eggs still in their shelves keeping fresh for a few days out of the fridge?ReplyCancel

    • carrieHi Gordon – I have kept hard boiled eggs in their shells for a couple of days on a road trip with no issue, except they are harder to peel :-). Enjoy the Beacons!ReplyCancel

  • JanknitzI like sardines but I really have to be in the mood for them. Your photos are definitely putting me in the mood! Looks yummy and a great meal for a hot summer day when you don’t want to cook!

    My one caveat about sardines is that they are smelly, so they are not a good lunch to bring to school or work. But in the privacy of your own home or car, they are great.ReplyCancel

  • DianaYum! Thank you! I think I may need to eat this very soon. And maybe even add BACON. I had sardines and egg and spinach just the other day, with red wine vinegar and mustard. But this sounds even better.

    And thanks for the shoutout to the Downsizers!

    Downsizer Di, loving SSOSReplyCancel

  • LorrieThank you for another wonderful recipe. I feel honored that you shared my first sardine experience! I am so glad that I was brave enough to finally open the tin that sat in the cabinet for a few months. I wasn’t sure what I would find inside and only had visions of cartooned pictures of little fish looking at me! To someone who’s never had sardines, give them a try!ReplyCancel

    • carrieHurrah for sardines, Lorrie!!!ReplyCancel

      • LorrieSharing this story and recipe once again with the new bunch of SANE Ladies here in Oberlin! Thank you for your recipe creations. <3ReplyCancel

  • Kiki_DGreat recipe , reminds me of my Friday Night Pizza

    A Wheat Belly Wrap topped with tomato and herb paste
    Mashed sardines
    Finely chopped herbs, spring onion, spinach etc,
    Dusted with grated Parmesan

    Then a few minutes in the ovenReplyCancel