Sardine Fritters

Sardine Fritters (1)

Fish can be an incredibly tricky food to incorporate into a frugal diet. Aside from mackerel – which is becoming more expensive – and other lesser known fish, most well-sourced fish is uncomfortably pricey. There are usually ways around expense, however, and using tinned fish is a good example of that. With three tins of sardines (£1.50) you can make up to 20 of these Sardine Fritters, which make a delicious and time effective meal.

Though not religious, my grandparents have always been ‘fish on a Friday’ sort of people. While this traditional approach doesn’t necessarily resonate with me, the idea of consuming fish once a week is certainly attractive. I won’t bore you with the details here, but seafood is generally relatively rich in vitamins and minerals. In particular, oily fish like sardines or mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve your general health and wellbeing. Of course, fish is also fairly delicious so this recipe is something of a win-win situation.

Sardine Fritters (3)

Sardine Fritters are a fantastic way to make use of tinned fish. Quick and flavoursome, these small fritters are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and make a fantastic side-dish or main course. Indeed, they make a fantastic filling for wraps and are arguably even better on their own served alongside a wedge of lime and dipping-pot of aioli or mayonnaise.

Sardine Fritters (4)

Thanks to my Facebook and Twitter followers for showing me just how versatile tinned sardines can be and to CHOW for providing further inspiration. I hope you enjoy these delicious fritters!

Sardine Fritters

Makes 18-20


• 3 tins of sardines in oil or brine (120g or 84g drained per tin)

• 2 eggs

• 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

• 3 tbsp fresh lime juice

• 2 tbsp sesame seeds

• ½ tsp chilli flakes

• 5 tbsp white breadcrumbs

• a twist of black pepper

• cheap oil for frying


1. Drain and transfer the sardines to a large mixing bowl. Break the fish up with a fork, beat in the eggs and tip in the remaining ingredients (not the oil).

2. Heat around an inch of flavourless oil – sunflower works well – in a wok or frying pan until hot enough (test this by frying some breadcrumbs). Fry the fritters in balls of roughly an inch in diameter until golden brown.

Sardine Fritters (2) Sardine Fritters (5)

Cost: As mentioned in the first paragraph, tins or sardines are incredibly cheap at a maximum of around 50p each. This means that you should be able to recreate this recipe for no more than about £2.30 – a wonderful price for a flavoursome and simple meal.

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32 comments on “Sardine Fritters

  1. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    November 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Wow! These look wonderful and I bet they taste really good too. Sardines are so flavourful.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Thank you, Kay – definitely one of my favourite recipes actually.

  2. cookinginsens
    November 10, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    I like canned sardines and this is fairly creative way to eat them. I always think about using canned salmon this way but this also sounds quite good.

  3. Jenny @ BAKE
    November 10, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    This looks like an amazing way to use up sardines! I’ve got a couple of tins of them lurking in the back of my cupboard (and have been for a couple of years now – thanks epic use by dates!) I am going to have to dust them off to try this recipe. They look delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Thank you – it certainly worked for me! Please let me know what you think.

  4. Chasing the Donkey
    November 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Yummy. I will be trying this one for sure.

  5. Liz @ Economies of Kale
    November 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    These look really good. Mine always fall apart, so I will be trying your recipe 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      November 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you – these held together really well actually. I was very pleased.

  6. taplatt
    November 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I actually really like sardines but usually just add them to salads. This is such a creative way to use them, I may have to try it!

  7. silverbells2012
    November 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Must get some sardines or mackerel next time I go to a supermarket. I often use them in fishcakes but this would be an exciting new way to use them.

  8. Conor Bofin
    November 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Fantastic frugality. Very impressive indeed Nick.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 12, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Thanks, Conor. Glad you approve, these really are delicious.

  9. jessmayshort
    November 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    These looked so good when I saw your post today that I decided to make them for dinner – thanks for the inspiration, they were delicious! I’ve written a short blog post about them and your recipe..
    I hope you like it!

    • frugalfeeding
      November 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Thank you! I saw the recipe – it looks great!

  10. pattyabr
    November 12, 2013 at 2:49 am

    I’ll have to give these a try. I was just thinking today what can you make with sardines besides just eating them out of the can with crackers.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Please do – these work so well and are just about the easiest thing you can make!

  11. movita beaucoup
    November 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Just the other day, I was told to eat sardines. And I was all: how am I gunna do that? Just crack a can and munch ’em on the couch? I think not.

    Now I know: fritter ’em.

  12. francesca
    November 14, 2013 at 10:47 am

    These look delicious and we are big sardine fans, too 🙂

  13. MadamJames
    August 14, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    Had these for our evening meal, served them with an oriental noodle and cucumber salad and sweet chilli dipping sauce. Plenty for 3 adults and a child. Everyone agreed they were delicious and cost less than £3 for the whole meal too!!

    • frugalfeeding
      October 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      So happy you enjoyed them so much. I need to make some more; thanks for reminding me!

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