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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!

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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.

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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?

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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


Tuesday 12th of March 2024

Looking for a recipe using sardines in tomato sauce. Growing up, my grandmother use to make a dish using the Sardines & sauce with grits & scrambled eggs & cheese. (Sunday Breakfast) "Absolutely delicious." Looking for any comments or suggestions.


Wednesday 6th of March 2024

This was a very good tasty dish I sauteed the onions added the pepper flakes then added a can of green beans then crack the egg and put in the middle then I put the sardines in with the tomato sauce on top of that let it all cook for about 15 minutes enough to heat it up through and get the egg done. Put it over rice and it was tasty didn't have to add any salt or seasoning just great on its own. TY

Nigel Thorpe

Sunday 14th of May 2023

Very tasty. I didn’t have sardines so substituted a small can of mackerel fillets in spicy tomato sauce. I added Tabasco sauce (a few drops) to the rice for additional pep and added vegetables to bulk it up. Very quick and easy to prepare even with cooking the rice at the same time.Thanks for the recipe. Next I’ll be trying it with hot smoked mackerel fillets with some horseradish which usually go together well.


Wednesday 8th of February 2023

This was so good! I added fresh tomatoes and topped it off with red chili flakes and fish sauce (patis). Delicious!


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.


Tuesday 31st of January 2023

Hello, there's no difference between canned and tinned. What you call it just depends on where you're from. I usually use a small can if I'm just just cooking for myself (between 3-5 oz). One of my favorites are the Ligo sardines in tomato with chili and they also come in a large 15 oz can. This recipe can easily adapt to whatever you have available.

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