12 Best Canned Sardines on the Market 2023 – From the Sea to Your Plate

Sardines sort of having a negative reputation because some find their very strong fishy taste a turn-off. If you however take a close look at the nutritional value of sardines, you will always make sure to have the best-canned sardines on your grocery list.

Sardines are small and oily fish that provide a lot of health benefits. Sardines are highly perishable food items and while you can purchase them fresh they are often canned for longer shelf life.

  Top Picks ofCanned Sardines Reviewed

1. King Oscar Sardines with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil


These King Oscar Sardines are caught in the wild. The fish are then smoked in wood for added flavor. They are canned in a double layer for about 12 to 22 pieces of the finest bristling sardines which are the smallest fish used for canned sardines. This is the most number of fish for any canned sardines.

This can of sardines comes with some salt and extra virgin olive oil for an enriching taste. It also contains some pepper to make it hotter. The pepper blends well with the olive oil for a richer flavor. This canned sardine does not contain any preservatives and sugar. It is Kosher certified, too for healthy eating.

This hand-packed can of sardines also comes with the bones and skin intact but can still be easily eaten because the fish are very small. The fish are too small that you will hardly notice the bones allowing you to enjoy its calcium content without straining your teeth.

This King Oscar Sardine is low in carb content and is packed with omega-3 acids, proteins, iron, and calcium. It is gluten-free and a Non-GMO product. All these allow you to have a healthy snack or meal of canned sardines.

  • The bones of the fish are not removed so you can benefit from its calcium content. Bones are small and hardly noticeable so they will not damage your teeth and give off a weird feeling while eating
  • Olive oil and pepper combine to produce a delicious taste
  • Contains an average of 16 pieces of fish when most canned sardines come with around 5 fish
  • Packed in recyclable aluminum and BPA-free cans for food safety
  • Can be difficult to east straight out of the can because fish are delicate and may fall off.


The King Oscar Sardines with Extra Virgin Olive Oil is available in 3.75-ounce cans. It is ready to eat out of the can. It is also ideal as a light snack over crackers or beads. It makes a great omelet and as a topping for salad and pasta.

2. Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil


The Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and lightly smoked packs in a lot of flavors. This can of sardines is completely BPA-free, non-GMO, gluten-free making them healthy as they are tasty. It comes with a Kosher Pareve.

These sardines have been cleaned of their scales, head, and tails. The skin is not removed so you can gain its health benefits. The bones are not removed too but they have minimal bones just in case you do not like the idea of eating fish sardine bones

Even if the extra virgin olive oil, which enhances the flavor of sardines, has been completely drained, it will still retain the olive oil flavor. These sardines come with a firm texture so they can easily be fried and eaten on their own or as an ingredient of a dish. They can also be eaten straight out of the can.

These meaty and flavorful sardines are packed with about 2 to 4 big pieces of fish to a can with a lot of extra virgin olive oil. If you are topping your salad with these sardines, the olive oil in the can is good enough to enhance the flavor of your greens.

  • Canned with all the freshness of the sea for fresh, tasty, and healthy eating
  • Canned with a lot of extra virgin olive oil for enhanced flavor
  • Harvested using sustainable methods to ensure they are healthy for your body and the environment
  • Packed with essential nutrients giving you a lot of health benefits
  • Many like the idea of the tails and heads intact for more health benefits
  • Each can contain only two pieces of fish
  • Some dislike the idea that the skin and bones are not removed


The Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil comes in 4.4-ounce cans. It is packed with essential nutrients including Omega 3, calcium, proteins, potassium, phosphorus, and iron allowing you to ensure good health.

3. Crown Prince Sardines in Olive Oil

Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil


This Crown Prince Sardines in Olive Oil is made from top-quality pilchard sardines and comes without the bones and skin of the fish which usually creates a crunchy and weird feel when eaten. They are canned with olive oil and are Kosher certified to ensure healthy eating. If you are just starting to eat sardines, this is the perfect one for you.

These sardines come with a firm texture. They are mild and delicately flavored. You can eat these sardines straight from the can. Since they come a bit dry, they can easily be an ingredient for your favorite pasta dish or sandwich. They also taste and feel like tuna so you can toss some of these sardines to your greens for a “tuna salad.”

These Crown Prince sardines are gluten-free and Kosher certified to allow you some healthy eating. These sardines are also fully soaked in olive oil for a richer taste ideal for those trying sardines for the first time.

  • Bones and skin have been removed so you do not get a weird feeling when eating
  • Gluten and Kosher free sardines for healthy eating
  • Packed in olive oil to enhance the taste of sardines
  • Some do not like the idea of the fish being too dry.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to open the can as the pull tab is in the corner


This Crown Prince Sardines in Olive Oil has been filleted and packed by hands to insure good quality. It comes in 3.75-ounce cans with pure olive oil (cold-pressed) for enhanced flavor. It is loaded with omega-3 which is extremely healthy for your body.

4. Season’s Sardines in Pure Olive Oil

Season's Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Pure Olive Oil


The Season’s Sardines in Pure Olive Oil is canned using without the bones and skin. These sardines are safely harvested off the coast of Morocco ensuring their freshness. Each can of Season’s Sardines is packed with flavor and healthy nutrients so you can make a tasty meal while gaining health benefits.

These sardines are canned with olive oil and salt for a richer flavor. They are canned gluten-free and non-GMO to ensure a healthy diet for the entire family. The fish comes with a superior texture and is not mushy or chewy making it an ideal stand-alone meal straight out of the can or as an ingredient of your favorite sandwich, pasta, or salad. Kids will love the mild flavor of these sardines

  • Good for hypertensive people who want to reduce sodium intake because it comes with low salt content while providing a lot of healthy benefits
  • Comes with low-calorie content ideal for weight watchers
  • Fish have soft and small bones that are easy to eat
  • Made from bristling sardines which are small than most sardines but are of higher quality and taste much better
  • Tends to give sardines a bad image for first-time eaters as it comes with the bones and skin of fish
  • It can sometimes be difficult to open the can as the pull tab is in the corner. Cans with pull tabs in the center are easier to open


Each Season’s Sardines in Pure Olive Oil 3.75 ounce can is packed with proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids to promote good health. . It can be eaten straight out of the can and is also an ideal ingredient for any snack, pasta, or salad meal. This product is wild-caught in Morocco.

5. ​Brunswick Sardine Fillets in Olive Oil

BRUNSWICK Wild Caught Sardine Fillets in Olive Oil


The Brunswick Sardine Fillets in Olive Oil are not only delicious they are super convenient too. These sardine fillets are cut differently from your regular canned sardines.  These fillets are cut open through the length of the fish with the backbone only, tails and head removed.

These sardine fillets are ideal for serving as a spread for crackers and sandwiches. They are also good as toppings for pasta and salads. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle.

  • Soft and tasty making them easy to eat straight from the can
  • They have a natural salty flavor making them perfect for enhancing the flavor of any dish
  • They are hand-packed for safety and quality
  • They come in easy-to-open cans for hassle-free opening
  • Canned with olive oil for a rich flavor
  • They are gluten-free making them a healthy snack or meal
  • Harvested in Canada which is known
  • Some people say they are not as good as regular sardines with some differences in nutritional value, too


The Brunswick Sardine Fillets in Olive Oil come in 3.75-ounce cans. They come with a shelf life of 5 years buts are best consumed before the best by date printed on the labels.

What to Look for in the Best Canned Sardines

How to Eat Canned Sardines

Many people have had bad experiences with canned sardines causing them to scratch off this food from their grocery list. Considering the health benefits of sardines, it is only proper that you give sardines a second look.

Here are things you need to look at in canned sardines to ensure you get more from this food item.

Buy Actual Fish

Sardines are not a single type of fish. Sardines can either be herrings, bristling, spread, pilchards, or iwashi depending on which part of the world they were caught. They slightly differ in taste so check the labels of the canned sardines and choose the type of sardines that suits your taste.

Medium of Preservation

Sardines are packed in cans with a preservation medium. Olive oil is by far the best medium for sardines because it does not affect flavor and at the same time enhances the omega-3 fatty acids content. The choice however depends on your preference.

Some of the preservation mediums of sardines include:

  • Water. This is your best option if you want to taste the pure flavor of sardines. Some of the taste will be lost in water but it will not be altered.
  • Olive Oil. Olive oil detracts the overall flavor of sardines. Choosing sardines with extra virgin olive oil will mute the taste of sardines and instead give it a fuller flavor.
  • Tomato Sauce. This is your best option if you want to eat sardines straight out of the can.

Seasonings and Flavors

Amazing Greek Sardine Salad

Always check the label before choosing a can of sardines for the preservation ingredients. The sardines should only include salt, the preservation medium and some flavors including some mild and spicy options.

Size of Sardines

A there are different breeds of sardines depending on where they come from which means that their sizes are different too. The bigger fish have bigger bones and while they may be rich in calcium, sardines with bigger bones turn off some people. Check some reviews to know the actual size of each sardine piece.

While bad impressions are hard to break, many are not aware that there are many different types of canned sardines that are delicious and flavorful. Choose the right one and treat yourself to a gastronomical delight.

Here are some of the best-canned sardines available in the market. These sardines will not only allow you to reap the health benefits associated with this food, it will also make you enjoy a tasteful and flavorful sardine-based meal.

Health Benefits of Sardines

Sardines may not be at the top of your list of the best tasting food. This does not however mean that you should not make it a part of your regular diet. Sardines may be tiny fish but they are packed with a lot of surprising health benefits.

Supports Brain Health

The healthy fats and fish oil in sardines are good “brain food.”

Good for Your Heart

Sardines contain high Omega-3 fatty acids. The DHA and EPA fatty acids in sardines attack bad cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. It also contains Vitamin B-12 for a healthy heart.

Promotes Healthy Bones


Sardines contain various vitamins and minerals that promote healthy bones. It contains calcium, Vitamin D, and phosphorus for good bone metabolism which aids in new bone development.

Regulates Your Blood Sugar

The high fat and protein content of sardines regulates the absorption of sugar into your blood. Sardines are good if you have metabolic problems or diabetes.

Reduces Inflammation

Being excellent sources of DHA and EPA fatty acids, regular intake of sardines reduces inflammation. Inflammation is often the cause of many diseases and sardines increase your anti-inflammatory defense.

Fights Depression and Anxiety

Having a high content of omega-3 fatty acids regularly eating sardines can prevent mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Builds up Your Immune System

immune system

Fish oil in sardines increases your immune cell counts thereby improving your immune system.

Contains Antioxidant Properties

Selenium in sardines neutralizes free radicals in your body providing your organs from any potential damage.

Reduces Your Craving for More Food

While sardines are high in calorie content, eating just a small amount of this food makes you feel immediately full. It will therefore reduce your cravings for more food making it a good item to include in your weight loss menu.

Good for Your Skin

Fats in sardines decrease inflammation in your skin. This means eating sardines regularly is a big help in keeping healthy and glowing skin.

Sardines are a highly efficient food packed with a lot of nutrients beneficial for a healthy body. Sardines are easy to eat and can be prepared in numerous ways so you can reap all of its health benefits.

Best Ways to Eat Canned Sardines

Sardines are extremely versatile. There are many ways you can enjoy a good can of sardines. Before experimenting with any type of canned sardine recipe, make sure you have found the canned sardines you really like.

Sardines in Your Main Dish

Canned sardines come clean and cooked so you can just simply heat them in the microwave and you have a quick dinner. You can also toss some sardines in your pasta or salad. Do some experimenting with different add-ons and sauces for sardines.

If you are making sardines an ingredient of your recipe, they will be able to enhance the salty flavor.

Sardines in your salad will not only add a lot of flavors but a lot of nutrients to your dish too. Many people top their Geek Salad with sardines for the nutrients.

Sardines in Your Sandwiches

sardine Sandwich

Canned sardines make good fillings for open-faced sandwiches. They are great on bread and crackers. You can combine sardines with Swiss cheese or creamed cheese along with some arugula or watercress for more greens.

You can combine anything with sardines in your sandwiches or crackers. You will not only have so much fun creating your sandwiches you will also be able to reap all the health benefits of sardines.

Sardines added to any recipe can enhance the flavor of the dish.

Sardines Straight out of the Can

Eat your sardines straight out of the can while you are on the road or camping in the wilderness. You can eat sardines with crackers or plain out of the can with a fork. You can also place the sardines on the plate with a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

The nice thing about having canned sardines while on the road is you do not need to worry about bringing the container home with you. Always make sure to properly dispose of the cans, though.


Which Is Better – Canned Sardines In Oil Or Water?

Canned sardines in oil are typically packed in olive oil or vegetable oil, which gives them a richer flavor and texture. The oil also helps preserve the sardines and keeps them moist. However, canned sardines in oil can be higher in calories and fat than those packed in water.

On the other hand, canned sardines in water have a milder taste and are typically lower in calories and fat. They are a good choice for people who are watching their fat intake or prefer a lighter taste.

When choosing between canned sardines in oil or water, consider your dietary needs and preferences. If you enjoy the richer taste of sardines packed in oil and aren’t concerned about the extra calories and fat, go for it. If you prefer a milder taste and want to watch your calorie and fat intake, opt for sardines packed in water.

Do You Heat Up Canned Sardines?

Canned sardines can be eaten both hot or cold, depending on personal preference. Some people prefer to eat them straight out of the can while others prefer to heat them up. If you choose to heat them up, you can do so by placing them in a skillet on medium heat for a few minutes, or by microwaving them for a short amount of time. However, it’s important to note that heating them up may affect the texture and taste, so it’s best to experiment and find what works best for you.

How Long Can Canned Sardines Last?

Canned sardines have a long shelf life and can last for several years if stored properly. The expiration date on the can is a good indicator of when the sardines may start to lose their quality, but it’s not necessarily an indication of spoilage.

In general, canned sardines can last for up to 3-5 years if stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Once the can is opened, the sardines should be consumed within 2-3 days if refrigerated properly.

Should You Rinse Canned Sardines?

It is not necessary to rinse canned sardines, as they are already cooked and ready to eat. However, some people prefer to rinse them to remove any excess oil or salt. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.


Seafood is healthy and tasty. The high sodium levels of seafood are however not healthy. The best-canned sardines offer the best alternative to enjoy seafood without the harmful effects of a high sodium level meal.

Of the canned sardines mentioned above, the King Oscar Sardines with Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the personal favorite of sardine lovers as the best-canned sardines.

They are great when mixed with pasta and salad. More importantly, each can contains 12 to 22 pieces of the finest bristling sardines. It also contains some pepper that blends well with the extra virgin olive oil for a richer flavor.

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