Stuffed Fresh Sardines

Stuffed Fresh Sardines

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From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2014

In this stuffed sardine recipe, fresh sardines get a cheesy filling before being cooked in olive oil. Serve as a first course or with a salad for an easy supper.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 12 medium fresh sardines, gutted, head and tail left on
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil


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  1. Combine ricotta, Romano, fresh breadcrumbs, parsley, 1 egg, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. Rinse sardines and pat dry. Season the insides with the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stuff each sardine with about 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture.
  3. Place flour in one shallow dish, the remaining 2 eggs (lightly beaten) in a second shallow dish and panko in a third dish. Dip the sardines in the flour, then the egg, then the panko.
  4. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Fry the sardines, in batches, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes per side, reducing the heat as needed. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 stuffed sardines
  • Per serving: 420 calories; 26 g fat(5 g sat); 1 g fiber; 19 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 41 mcg folate; 170 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 474 IU vitamin A; 5 mg vitamin C; 157 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 420 mg sodium; 366 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 3½ lean meat, ½ medium-fat meat, 3½ fat

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