Marinated Sardines with chilly and lemon, cheap and healthy.

Marinated Sardines with chilly and lemon, cheap and healthy.

By 05/09/2014

Many people think they cannot cook fish or that it is too expensive. But is it really?

Today I bought fresh sardines and spent less than the cost of a cappuccino! And that's for two people. There is some tasty fish available that's really cheap too.

Sardines are incredibly tasty, very healthy, and should be on the table more often. When I buy sardines in Italy I find that they taste different to the ones caught in the North Atlantic sea. The Mediterranean sea is certainly more salty and the fish there seems to taste better somehow.

However this does not put me off buying fish in the UK. All you need to do is to give the fish a kick, a lift.

If you like sardines please do try these chilly and lemon marinated version. I have cooked them on a griddle pan and they only took a few minutes each side.Β  The chilly and lemon helps bringing their amazing flavour out.

Make sure they are fresh, or they won't taste as good: check out for a glossy flesh and a clear eye and you'll be sure to have a healthy and delicious meal in no time!

  • Prep Time : 15 minutes
  • Cook Time : 10 minutes


This is how fresh sardines should look, glossy and firm.

fresh sardines

So here we are. Mamma is cleaning sardines and Rubio the cat makes sure he is not missing anything. The cat is always there when fish is being cleaned!

sardines mamma cleaning them

She scales and guts them

cleaning sardines

After you have gutted the sardines (or you have asked your fishmongers to do it!) put them in a bowl with chopped dill, the juice and zest of the lemons, the chopped chilly (remove the seeds of the chilly first) and garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and let it marinade for 30-40 minutes.

Marinated Sardines with chilly

Heat a griddle pan until very hot then lay the fish over it, cook it for 3-4 minutes each side and add the marinade in the last minute of cooking. Serve warm with salad and rustic bread.

Marinated Sardines with chilly

As this is a Mediterranean recipe, I am entering it to "Cooking with Herbs" hosted by Karen at Lavender and Lovage.

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16 Responses to Marinated Sardines with chilly and lemon, cheap and healthy.

  1. Angie (@angiesrecipess)

    You don’t see fresh sardines very often over here and they aren’t so cheap either. It looks so fresh and tasty.

    • Alida

      Thank you Angie!

  2. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Good afternoon Alida,

    This recipe is easy, delicious, and very healthy. I personally am not a fan of sardines. I have eaten them before. My parents are the sardine people. They love sardines and have them at least once a week. I am going to share this recipe with my mom, I think she and my dad will enjoy the different way to cook them. Love your photos and I like the cat, Rubio..cats really love the fish. Cute… Thank you for your incredible recipe and I hope that you and your family have a wonderful weekend…

    Dottie πŸ™‚

    • Alida

      Thanks Dottie. I enjoy cuddling Rubio when I am in Italy.. he is so soft! Hope you are having a good weekend x

  3. Catherine

    Dear Alida, This is a dish I love. It is perfection. Blessings dear. Catherine

    • Alida

      Thank you Catherine.

  4. Karen

    I ADORE sardines Alida and I love the look of these! We get them here in the South of France and I am buy them regularly and cook them on the BBQ! GREAT entry for cooking with herbs – thanks! Karen

    • Alida

      Wow, I love sardines on a BBQ! That’s the best way to have them. It’s my pleasure to enter my recipes into your contest. Thank you for hosting Karen!

    • Alida

      Yours is pretty good too! Always good to exchange recipes! πŸ™‚

  5. Alida

    You are right, a scarpetta with the juices is a must do here! πŸ™‚

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  9. Catherine

    Dear Alida, These sardines look wonderful.
    All the very best. xo Catherine

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