Skip to Content

Sardines in Tomato Sauce

This sardines and rice bowl with an egg on top features canned sardines in tomato sauce. It’s quick, nutritious and budget-friendly!

Healthy sardine rice bowl with canned sardines in tomato sauce. Skip the crackers and top with egg for an easy dinner!

Canned Sardines In Tomato Sauce

This is what I call my poor man dinner. A “what can I make with what I have?” recipe.

This dish can be thrown together quickly and requires very little cooking.

But budget food doesn’t have to be bland!

Some of my other staple “whip it up quick” dinners include Garlic Fried Rice and Meatballs with Gravy.

These are recipes which rely on staple ingredients in the freezer or pantry.

Canned sardines are something I always have for a last minute meal and great for stocking in case of emergencies.

They’re actually really tasty and so healthy in Vitamins B and Omega-3’s.

Sardines taste like a more intense version of canned salmon.

They’re saltier and have a slightly smoky flavor.

They are not as strong as anchovies.

This recipe is a step up from the classic sardines and crackers with hot sauce.

If you like canned sardines but often wonder how to eat sardines, this recipe is for you!

Healthy sardine rice bowl with canned sardines in tomato sauce. Skip the crackers and top with egg for an easy dinner!

Sardine Recipe

All you need is a few ingredients and there are easy substitutes if you don’t have these things:

  • Canned sardines in tomato sauce – if you don’t have sardines in tomato sauce, you can substitute another flavor of canned sardines plus an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce.
  • Cooked rice – other options include quinoa, couscous, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, roasted vegetables or salad greens.
  • Eggs – cook the eggs any way you like, but I prefer over easy with a nice runny yolk.
  • Onionthis is optional, but it adds a lot of flavor with little effort and you probably already have it on hand.
  • Vegetables – this is also optional, but you’ll have a healthy complete meal if you add some veggies to your bowl such as broccoli or green beans. You can use fresh, frozen or canned.
  • Red pepper flakes – this is for spice and flavor. Use as little or as much as you can handle.

You can use any type of chili you like. Some of my favorites are aleppo chile or gochugaru (Korean hot pepper), but cayenne pepper gets the job done just fine.

Hot sauce works too! Sardines and spicy go together so I recommend adding at least a pinch.

I highly recommend reading the comments for all the amazing tips, tricks and ways others have enjoyed this recipe.

I’d also love if you share your favorite canned sardine recipes in the comments below!

Healthy sardine rice bowl with canned sardines in tomato sauce. Skip the crackers and top with egg for an easy dinner!

Pin this to your dinner board!

Healthy sardine rice bowl with canned sardines in tomato sauce. Skip the crackers and top with egg for an easy dinner!
Healthy sardine rice bowl with canned sardines in tomato sauce. Skip the crackers and top with egg for an easy dinner!

Sardines in Tomato Sauce

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This quick and easy rice bowl topped with tomato marinated sardines and an egg makes a tasty protein packed meal.


  • 1/2 small onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 1 can of sardines in tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 large eggs, fried or poached
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Add oil to a small frying pan and warm over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. While the onions are cooking, fry or poach your egg in a separate pan.
  4. Add sardines with tomato sauce to the pan with onions and heat until bubbly.
  5. Divide the rice between two bowls and spoon the sardines over top along with the cooked eggs.
  6. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and enjoy.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 335Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 195mgSodium: 530mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 13g

Nutritional information provided is an estimate only. Please consult the labels of ingredients you use for more accurate results.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment below! Or tag @kitchengidget on Instagram with the hashtag #kitchengidget

If you like fish and dinners with less than 5 ingredients, give this Buffalo Salmon a try!

Buffalo Salmon on dinner plate with green beans
Buffalo Salmon


Monday 30th of January 2023

What size can of sardines do you use?They come in different sizes, and also there seems to be a difference among reviewers between a can and a tin of sardines.


Saturday 14th of January 2023

Thank you for this inspiration! I bought a can of Sardines in tomato sauce last night on a whim, and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them until I came across your recipe. It was fantastic! I sauteed up some red onions, broccoli, mixed bell peppers, carrots and celery (it was all meal prepped beforehand so it was a cinch!) I definitely found my new favorite meal. It was quick and perfectly satisfying!


Tuesday 27th of December 2022

Great recipe. Delicious! I topped the sardines with capers and hot sauce; and had green beans and toasted Tuscan bread on the side. I’ve posted a photo on Instagram with a credit to your Instagram channel.


Wednesday 28th of December 2022

Thanks for the tag. Looked delicious!


Thursday 14th of July 2022

I’ve had this pinned for a long time now but never made it. I’m kicking myself for that because it’s delicious! The deterrent was that I couldn’t find sardines in tomato sauce but I happened to have some leftover sauce and added a few tablespoons with regular sardines. I only used 1/2c rice and it was plenty. I split this with my three year old son and even he loved it.

Joshua Quiroz

Saturday 28th of May 2022

Super simple, super tasty, I added 4 cloves of Crushed garlic and a sliced serrano and a little tomato paste to make more sauce. I wasn't sure about the egg but it complimented the dish well it was a fairly light dish as well


Friday 10th of June 2022

@Joshua Quiroz, does the sardine gives a bad fishy smell or flavor? Or is it savory.. I wanna try it but im a bit worried about this.

Skip to Recipe