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.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2010


Recipe Summary

30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 1/2 cup fresh crumbs.

Nutrition Facts

480 calories; protein 22.6g; carbohydrates 53.1g; dietary fiber 8.5g; sugars 4.2g; fat 21.4g; saturated fat 3.7g; cholesterol 60mg; vitamin a iu 844.7IU; vitamin c 18.6mg; folate 58.2mcg; calcium 281.8mg; iron 4.4mg; magnesium 119.4mg; potassium 478mg; sodium 633.7mg; thiamin 0.4mg; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (6)

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13 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 10
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
SO easy SO healthy (I'm on the sardine bandwagon) SO tasty. Our 16 month-old ate a ton! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I am not sure how this recepie could qualify as healthy. Almost a third of your total fat intake is in this one dish not to mention the crazy amount of Sodium. I would use the Tuna and skip the cheese..that should cut most of the fat and the sodium. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Why are their no Metric units in your recipes magazine and Website? Come already join the World in the Twenty-first Century. Follow this format... http://www.instructables.com/id/Metrication-of-Recipes-Simplified/ Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More