Smoked Sardines Rillettes

Canned smoked sardines are easy to come by, and if you eat fish (especially if you are trying to find ways to eat more fatty fish because of their high omega-3 values), they should be a staple in your pantry. Look for Pacific sardines, which are a Best Choice on the Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch list. (Atlantic and Mediterranean are poor choices.) Like the other rillettes posted on this week’s Recipes for Health, you can use these as a spread for bread or crackers, or as a filling for peppers or endive leaves or cherry tomatoes. The rillettes also go well with lentils, like the smoked trout rillettes featured earlier this week. The crème fraîche is optional but recommended (you could substitute olive oil or yogurt); I like the way it loosens and enriches the mixture.


  • 6 ounces (usually 2 cans) smoked sardines in olive oil, drained and filleted
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraîche (optional; can substitute yogurt or olive oil)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons minced chives (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      114 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 0 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 0 grams sugars; 7 grams protein; 42 milligrams cholesterol; 93 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

About 1 cup, serving 6


  1. In a medium bowl, break up sardines and mash with fork. Work in olive oil, yogurt and crème fraîche. Work in lemon juice and stir in minced chives and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer. Allow to soften for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Advance preparation: This keeps well for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

20 minutes

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