Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Baked sardines, Sardinia-style
( Sarde al forno alla Sarda )

Traditional recipe of Sardinia - Italy

Baked sardines, Sardinia-style is a tasty and easy-to-do main dish for your family menu. It's ideal for everyone who likes seafood included kids as sardine fillets with few fish bones are used. You'll need fresh sardines, ripe tomatoes, garlic, basil, parsley and extra virgin olive oil.

difficulty: easy

time: preparation: 40 minutes
cooking: 30 minutes
total: 1 hour 10 minutes

calories: 287 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 500g (1.1 pounds) fresh sardines
  • 150g (5 1/3 ounces) ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves
  • Little bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 little lemon
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if liked
easy recipe
preparation: 40 minutes
cooking: 30 minutes
total: 1 hour 10 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 287 (kcal) 15 % - 1199 (kJ)
Protein: 37.2 (g) 75 % GDA
Total fat: 13.0 (g) 19 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 5.6 (g) 3 % GDA
Sugars: 5.6 (g) 7 % GDA

Download free PDF version (435 download).

Baked sardine recipe, Sardinian style


  • - Fillet sardines. Remove their head.
    Pull out their stomach content, scale and bone them.
  • - Wash them quickly under cold running water.
    Pat dry fillets with kitchen paper. Put them aside.
  • - Clean, wash and chop parsley, garlic and basil.
  • - Squeeze lemon.
  • - Peel tomatoes, remove their seeds and chop their flesh.
  • - Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F).
  • - Put olive oil, lemon juice, chopped herbs and tomatoes in a bowl.
    Season to taste with salt and stir.
  • - Line a baking pan with oven paper.
  • - Arrange sardine fillets in a single layer.
    Spoon tomato sauce on the top.


  • - Bake for about half an hour.
    If you see any cooking juice left in the last minutes, increase temperature and bake for other 5 minutes.

Just before serving

  • - Remove your baking pan from the oven.
  • - Nothing more is necessary.
    Your dish is ready!
  • - Serve this sardine recipe at once, when still hot.
    You can transfer baked sardines in individual dishes or bring to the table directly in the pan.



  • - For a quicker recipe: buy sardine fillets, use canned chopped tomatoes and dried parsley and basil.
  • - If you don't want to chop garlic you can prepare omato sauce in advance adding garlic clove whole. Stir very well and put apart in a cool place. Remove garlic before the use.
    We don't like garlic and substitute it with a tablespoon dried or fresh chives, chopped.
  • - If you buy sardine fillets the correct dose is 320 to 350 grams (11 1/3 to 12 1/3 ounces).

Menu planning

  • - Prepare the baked sardines for your family at dinner.
  • - I wouldn't choose this sardine recipe for a get-together unless you're planning a dinner with friends who share your same passion for blue fish.

Healthy eating

  • - Look at the nutrition facts of baked sardines. The situation is normal except for protein that are high for fish presence.
    According to the principles of modern nutrition we should eat protein (meat or fish or eggs or cheese) at dinner. In fact I've just suggested to prepare this dish for dinner. To compensate the protein amount prepare a vegetarian pasta at lunch and complete your lunch with raw vegetables and fruit.
  • - According to the traditional recipe the right amount of olive oil was to be 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons. I generally reduce it to 2 teaspoons as you can read. I think it is the right amount.
    Think of it: 2 teaspoons olive oil (10g) means 90 kCal and 10 grams of fat. Now calculate how much calories and fat would increase with 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil instead of 1 tablespoon. We can no longer eat as we were used to do in the past. Nowadays we need less calories than in the past. We have heated homes. We move less. We are more protected by our clothes. We need less calories, really.
  • - I remember you nutritionists recommend 2 to 3 fish portions a week for a balanced and healthy eating.
  • - Sardines are part of the group of oily fish (blue fish) rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly omega 3. In fact, omega-3 decreases the risk of thrombosis, protecting the body from cardiovascular disease, especially when there has already been a heart attack.
    In addition, sardine is a food rich in calcium (350mg per 100g of food) and is recommended to combat the processes of bone decalcification.
  • - I remember you my original home recipes can be made without salt. There is always a combination of flavors that substitutes salt. If you want to surf easily our website look at green navigation bar on the top of the page!


What's the right wine for " Baked sardines, Sardinia-style "?

Wine can't be suggested for the presence of lemon juice. Match a beer with these baked sardines.