Sardine Cakes

Sardine Cakes

Sardines are called “health food in a can.” They have tons of omega-3s, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, all the B vitamins, and they’re one of the few foods that contain Coenzyme-Q10. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Makes: Four 3-inch cakes

Sardine Cakes


  • one russet potato to make 1 1/2 cups mashed (about 1 pound)
  • 1 can sardines, boneless/skinless in water (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (1 scallion)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I use whole wheat plain)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Cut peeled potato into 1-inch chunks and boil for 10 minutes until done.
  2. Mash or put through ricer and place in a large bowl. Do not add butter or milk.
  3. Drain sardines, pat dry, and mash them into potatoes with a fork.
  4. Add onion, parsley, salt & pepper.
  5. Shape into four 3-inch patties.
  6. Spread crumbs onto wax paper and gently press tops and bottoms into crumbs.
  7. Heat oil in a pan over med-high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, turning once.

Notes: For more on this recipe in my blog click here.

37 Comments on "Sardine Cakes"

  1. Mary S

    I’m blown away. I’ve had a nice can of sardines sitting on the shelf awhile. Leftover mashed potatoes. I was a doubter but decided to try this recipe without any changes.
    It was delicious.
    Thank you very much! C

  2. Jenny

    Do these freeze well?

  3. Marita Vasquez

    Can I bake or air fry the sardine patties instead of pan fry.

  4. Barbara E

    Fabulous and easy! I modified the recipe for gluten-free and no dairy.
    I substituted rolled oats for bread crumbs and apple sauce to bind together.
    I did not fry, rather used a George Foreman grill. Drizzled vegetable oil and spinach leaves so to not stick to grill.
    Perfect color and taste. Tasted like crab cakes..definitely my favorite dinner recipe.
    Thank you, Jenny

  5. George Livingstone

    Excellent. So easy to make with just a short list of ingredients. And sardines are so healthful.
    I make sardine salad which is very good also. I don’t use mayonnaise. I use a little olive oil if they are in water. I add chopped onion, raisins, lemon or lime juice, a little Tabasco, salt and pepper, and sometimes other things e.g. garlic, chopped olives, curry powder, etc.

  6. Ms Ellen

    Would you have a no or low carb option?

  7. Cris

    I just made these and man are they fantastic! Beautiful recipe

  8. Kathleen

    Yesterday I mashed 3 sardines into reheated leftover mashed potatoes. I once heard a French person say that his grandmother sometimes served this. I was surprised that it wasn’t bad at all, so I looked up mashed potatoes and sardines, and voila. I’m so happy to find this tastier-sounding yet still simple recipe. Thank you.

  9. Rebecca

    These are fantastic, tasty, healthy , and easy! We eat them with a salad or on a bun like a burger (with sprouts and a yummy mayo/siracha ailoi). Prefect as is, mostly, although I would say mine hold together better with an egg yolk or two as a binder. The best part, you can add almost anything to these based on what you have lying around: lemon zest, mustard, spinach, or dill etc….A must have recipe, as is, or you can mix it up. This is a solid “go to” for us. Thanks, Jenny!

  10. Ricardo

    I made this today using: sardines in olive oil,1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1/3 cup celery (minced).
    I was unable to keep the first one together so I added an egg yolk to the remainder …& these (3) held together perfectly.
    They were absolutely delicious and are now one of my wife’s favorites.

  11. Rachel

    Hi, I was just wondering what I could use as a substitute for bread crumbs? Would flour work?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      Flour does not have enough substance and would not provide the browning needed.

      • Tanglewood kitchen

        I have used flour for years. It holds ingredients together and Browns beautifully!

    • MBenson

      Matzo meal try it

      • Paulo

        Instead of bread crumbs or flour I use cracker crumbs on all my seafood patties.

  12. Ardie

    Jenny, I made these last night. OMG – they were great and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  13. NT

    Can these be frozen before cooking and then fried later?

  14. NT

    Can these be frozen before cooking and then reheated later?

  15. ANNA G

    Jenny, I absolutely love your recipes. I am really impressed with the Polish recipes. After my visit to Poland, where I found the food to be so flavourful and delicious, it was great to try your recipes and find them to be of such high calibre.

  16. Carol

    Greetings from Ireland!
    I made these for my supper today. Yum yum – brilliant recipe!
    I have no knead bread in the oven as I type – so happy I found “Jenny can Cook”
    Thank you so much ?

  17. Chris

    Hi jenny love your recipes but was wondering if I can use kippers instead of sardines…. thanx ?

    • Jenny

      I have never cooked with kippers so I’m sorry I don’t know, so you may just have to try.

    • Linda

      I would be grateful if you’d let me know if the kippers work. I bought a can but I’m not sure how to use them

  18. Barbara Carnley

    Dear Jenny: I wanted to make the sardine cakes, but I don’t know what size can of sardines you used. I have 3.75 oz size cans. Thanks and love, love, love your recipes. I have tried a lot of the recipes. Most of all the Stew recipe and the polish donuts. Keep up the great work! Sincerely Barbara C.

    • Jenny

      My can is Reese brand and it’s 4.375 ounces. You could still use the same recipe or reduce the other ingredients a bit – it’s pretty flexible. I’m glad you asked so I can add the size to the recipe.

  19. Richard

    Enjoying your recipes, thank you ,haven’t found a bad one yet

  20. glosam

    I just found your recepie for sardine cake turned out wonderful melt in your mouth. I added some green and red pepper for coloring a pinch of cinnamon and oh yes I had a can of sausage dumped it in couldn’t taste the difference.(lol) I’ll make them now for Sunday breakfast.

  21. Margret Peggy

    Jenny, thank you for the sardine patties. I would have never tried them, but after your scruptious chocolate cake with sweet potato and the no flour peanut butter cookies, I was betting that the sardine patties would be great also. They were good, but the next time I make them I am going to add some spice of some kind or a light sauce. Maybe some dill. To be continued…

  22. trivino Lucy

    Thanks I love all what you do I seen you before on TV, you look the same

  23. david lewis

    hi jenny.
    i really am enjoying reading your recipes and i especially like your helpful videos. you have given me some good ideas, like making sardine cakes. usually i open a can, eat three myself and serve the remaining two to my cat.
    i will soon make your crispy cookies, no knead bread and the ziti lasagne.

    i have already started making wheat tortillas using a cast iron press, but your video gave me some other ideas to try.

    thank you.

  24. Roslyn Brown

    Thank you, Jenny! I have consumed Bristling Cold Water Atlantic Sardine’s in Olive Oil straight from the can more times than I can remember…consequently, your most welcome recipe for Sardine Cakes is a delightful rare find for me!

    Hoping for some outstanding Tofu recipes….having said that I would like your opinion if I should go to the expense of purchasing one of the $30 tofu presses, or if you think otherwise.

    • Jenny

      I’m sorry but I have never cooked with tofu so I can’t comment about the tofu press, but how’s this for timing? I just had sardine cakes for dinner tonight. They definitely trump the can!

  25. xania more

    Thank you Jenny – I will try them 🙂

  26. Rhonda

    Thank you for this recipe. Potato cakes are good to make with left over mashed potatoes which I find boring at times but adding the sardines and other ingredients will make them taste oh so much better. I have everything but parsley. I always keep sardines on hand. I like them as a snack food right out of the can. Would like to see more recipes using sardines…

  27. Patricia

    Thank you. They look so delicious, wishing for a video.
    Gonna make these Friday.

Leave a Comment

Want to share your photo of my recipe?
Just click on this link: