Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa

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Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper SalsaPin recipeFollow us 121.7k

You probably know by now that sardines are super good for you with their high amount of omega 3 fatty acids and high amounts of protein but have you ever had fresh sardines?

No? I thought so. We’re so used to eating sardines out of a can that most of us have had no idea what they’re like fresh. Answer, delicious.

I’ve paired these grilled sardines with an olive caper salsa and charred lemons for one low-carb meal you’ll want to make all-the-time.

If you’re new the cooking whole fish there’s a few thing you should know:

  1. If you can, buy the fish already scaled and cleaned.
  2. If you can’t you’ll need to rinse of the scales and gut the fish. Not a pretty job but it goes fast and it’s super easy. This video shows the best way to clean sardines.
  3. You don’t have to leave the heads on if that makes you or your dinner party companions squeamish. Simply remove them when cleaning or have your fishmonger do it for you.
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Hands-on Overall

Nutritional values (per serving, 2 sardines + 2 tbsp salsa)

Net carbs1.9 grams
Protein32.5 grams
Fat33.7 grams
Calories411 kcal

Calories from carbs 2%, protein 30%, fat 68%

Total carbs3 gramsFiber1.1 gramsSugars0.9 gramsSaturated fat3.1 gramsSodium412 mg(18% RDA)Magnesium59 mg(15% RDA)Potassium593 mg(30% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

Sardines:
  • 8 large fresh sardines, scaled and cleaned (800 g/ 1.76 lb) - will yield about 80% meat
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
Salsa:
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tbsp mixed herbs, minced (rosemary, oregano, parsley)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup green olives, minced (57 g)
  • 3 tbsp minced red onion (50 g)
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers (16 g/ 0.5 oz)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Clean the sardines (this video shows the best way to clean sardines). Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  2. Brush the sardines with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss together the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  4. Place the sardines on the grill along with the lemon cut side down.
  5. Grill sardines for about 3 minutes per side until charred. Transfer to a platter along with the charred lemon. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa
  6. Spread the salsa over the top of the sardines and serve. Grilled Sardines with Olive & Caper Salsa

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 2 sardines + 2 tbsp salsa)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Sardines, fresh (cleaned)
0 g32 g11.2 g200 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g13.5 g119 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Lemon zest (peel), fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Parsley, fresh (spices)
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Rosemary, fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Oregano, fresh
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.5 g0.1 g0 g2 kcal
Green olives
0.1 g0.1 g2.2 g21 kcal
Onion, red, fresh
0.8 g0.2 g0 g5 kcal
Capers, canned
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Olive oil, extra virgin
0 g0 g6.8 g60 kcal
Total per serving, 2 sardines + 2 tbsp salsa
1.9 g32.5 g33.7 g411 kcal
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Lauren Lester
Creator of Healthful Creative

Lauren Lester

Lauren is a food photographer, recipe developer, and author.

She is the founder of the creative content agency, Healthful Creative. HC specializes in helping food centered brands share their story through recipe development + food photography.

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