I know. I know. Sardines are an intimidating food, and many of you may not feel brave enough to try them. I was among your ranks a mere 6 months ago. I bought a tin and let it sit in my pantry for months before I felt ready to give them a go.
I piled the sardines on top of crackers with mustard, lemon, and Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning. The acidity + salt + crunch was a winning combo, and I instantly fell in love. The health benefits are immense too, and you can check out some info about it here.
Sardines kiiiiiind of make me feel like I have superpowers. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I can feel the power running through my veins when I eat them. I’ve been trying to find more ways to incorporate them into my diet so I can continue reaping the benefits!
I heard from many of you the first time I posted on Instagram about sardines, and that’s when I decided to come up with a more user-friendly recipe for you (and me!) to enjoy this incredibly nutrient dense fish. These patties don’t taste fishy (and don’t smell too fishy, so they’re work lunch-friendly!), are packed with flavor and nutritional benefits, and come together in no time at all. Bonus points because they’re so easily customizable based on what you already have at home!
My good friend Shivangi from Raody Recipes graciously tested this recipe for me, using some simple substitutions based on what she had at home. Great news–her subs worked perfectly!! Even better news: she captured these beautiful photos you see of the patties. She generously offered for me to share her photos with the recipe since mine were less than stellar (especially compared to her gorgeous photos!!). She was nervous about reintroducing seafood, but rest assured by the stream of texts I got in ALL CAPS after she tried them, she loved them just as much as I did 🙂
Subs for ingredients are listed in the Notes section, so be sure to check those out if you want to make any substitutions!
Sardine Superfood Patties
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tins Wild Planet sardines in olive oil w/ lemon
1 TB olive oil from sardine tin
2 TB Primal Palate French Onion Seasoning
(or seasoning of choice)
2 TB hemp hearts (optional, not AIP)
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
1 egg or 1 TB gelatin for AIP
Olive oil, avocado oil, ghee, or coconut oil
- Add butternut squash to a medium-sized pot with enough water to fully submerge the squash, then boil on medium-high heat until the squash is soft, about 15 minutes.
- Drain the water and carefully mash the butternut squash.
- Combine all ingredients (except the oil to be used for pan-frying) and use your hands to mix well until fully combined.
- Be sure to only use 1 TB oil from the sardine tins–you don’t want to dump in the entire tin with the oil.
- Form into patties that are about 2 inches in diameter. You should have about 12 patties.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat, and add 1 TB fat/oil of choice. Carefully pan-fry patties for about 3-4 minutes per side or until browned on both sides.
- Cook in batches, careful not to crowd the pan. You want them to get nice and crispy, and crowding the pan will prevent that! I recommend cooking 4 at a time, and adding 1 TB fat for each new batch.
- Serve with a dipping sauce, aioli, ketchup, or just enjoy on its own and unleash your inner super powers.
- Butternut squash can easily be replaced with mashed sweet potato or even 1 15oz can pumpkin puree. Any of these options work well!
- If you use sardines stored in water, then drain them and add 1 TB lemon juice + 1 TB olive oil to the patty mixture.
- If you use sardines stored in olive oil (without lemon), then add 1 TB lemon juice to the mix.
- Play around with the seasoning, but make sure your seasoning blend already has salt added! These would be fabulous with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning, an Adobo seasoning, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, pretty much any blend will give it new life!
- Tapioca flour can easily be replaced with arrowroot powder or cassava flour; however, I wouldn’t recommend using almond flour or coconut flour here.
- Patties can be refrigerated for 5-7 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, you can microwave, pan-fry, heat in a toaster or oven, or (my favorite) reheat in an air fryer.