Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine

Lemon-Garlic Sardine Fettuccine

13 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2010

Even sardine skeptics will enjoy this lemony pasta with crispy breadcrumbs. Substitute two 5- to 6-ounce cans chunk light tuna for the sardines if you prefer. If you are using tuna or can't find sardines packed in tomato sauce, add 2 tablespoons tomato paste in Step 4 with the lemon juice. Serve with a salad of bitter greens tossed with a lemon vinaigrette and a glass of Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (see Tip), preferably whole-wheat
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 3- to 4-ounce cans boneless, skinless sardines, preferably in tomato sauce, flaked
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and sizzling but not brown, about 20 seconds. Transfer the garlic and oil to a large bowl.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until crispy and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Whisk lemon juice, pepper and salt into the garlic oil. Add the pasta to the bowl along with sardines, parsley and Parmesan. Gently stir to combine. Serve sprinkled with the breadcrumbs.
  • Tip: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh crumbs.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 480 calories; 21 g fat(4 g sat); 8 g fiber; 53 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 58 mcg folate; 60 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 845 IU vitamin A; 19 mg vitamin C; 282 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 634 mg sodium; 478 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (32% daily value), Calcium (28% dv), Iron (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1½ medium fat meat, 3 fat

Reviews 13

June 22, 2017
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By: Snookienyccook
I used sardines in tomato sauce, yes...skin, bones and all as I am a sardine lover and it was yummy. I also used more garlic as I am a garlic fanatic!! Have made this a few times and adjusted the recipe for cooking for two!
June 20, 2017
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By: gmclaypool
My family could not get past the sardine smell. It was not edible.
September 14, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
Fast and Easy This was an easy preparation that tasted quite nice. Mine was a little tart because instead of lemon juice I had key lime juice on hand and I should have used a little less - but it was still good. I didn't feel like bothering with making my own bread crumbs so I used panko instead (browned it up just like you would the bread crumbs). I also had to use the tomato paste because I didn't have sardines in tomato sauce. Next time I will use lemon juice and someone else posted that they sauteed some tomatoes with the garlic - I like that idea a lot and will do it next time. This wasn't a one time only recipe, I'll be making this one again and I'm looking forward to it.
March 10, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
I find myself coming back to this recipe again and again, as it's a good way to use up those zested lemons leftover from baking! I recommend not omitting the breadcrumbs - it's still good without them, but they really add to the dish. I've made it with shrimp, too.
January 15, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Yum Yum! Prepared half serve of this for a quick lunch - even my bf who hated the smell of sardines, loved it! I omitted the breadcrumbs to avoid having another pan to clean up. Pros: Quick and easy Cons: none
November 16, 2012
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By: Betr2
Made half for a quick dinner for two. Served with broccoli and beans. Surprisingly, the sardine taste was overcome by the garlic and lemon. Would adjust the flavours next time so we could taste the fish, otherwise yum. Pros: quick and easy
October 07, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Quite yummy! I made a couple of adjustments using what I had on hand ... used a bit of dried parsley instead of fresh and just used sardines in olive oil (no tomato sauce and didn't add the tomato paste to substitute). I did use the olive oil from the sardines to cook the dish. It was so tasty!! Pros: easy Cons: don't necessarily have sardines on hand
September 11, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious This was an excellent quick fix- especially when you are disabled and unable to stay in the kitchen for an extended amount of time. I used two packs of salmon and two packs of tuna rather than the sardines. I also cooked the garlic along with some petite tomatoes for a few minutes. In our opinion, the lemon juice and the bread crumbs were a bit too overpowering. Next time I am adding another pack of fish and cutting the lemon juice and the bread crumbs to see if the flavors even out. This is still a very delicious recipe alone, but I always have to tweak something until it's absolutely perfect in my own way. Pros: So much flavor! Cons: Some things are overpowering.
November 26, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I made this for Thanksgiving (with homemade fettucine) it was a super hit.
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