Fish have become an essential part of our daily meals. They are also a good source of fatty acids – particularly omega 3 fatty acids. Among the various choices of seafood, sardines offer you both the nutrients you need and a low mercury level that is safe for you.
It isn’t easy to cook sardines from scratch considering you run a busy life. Therefore canned sardines are a great choice! These fish are caught fresh and then go through a bit of processing and some flavors are added. They are generally stored in water, olive oil or vegetable oil.
They are convenient as you can eat straight out of the can or put directly into other dishes. There you have it – a quick and healthy meal!
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Top 17 Best Canned Sardine Reviews In 2020
Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Wild Sardines from Wild Planet are of high-quality as the sardines are harvested from the Californian coast – which is popular for its delicious seafood. They are packed with omega 3, protein, calcium, and iron. Also, the fish are contained in virgin olive oil that is BPA-free – this makes them good for your health.
The oil contained in each can is enough for you to drizzle on your salads without the need to purchase an olive oil dispenser.
There are different categories to choose from: extra virgin olive oil, EVO packed with lemon, marinara sauce, and water-packed. Feel free to pick one!
Wild Planet Company is dedicated to maintaining the ocean’s natural ecosystem. They catch all their fish via the free school purse seine methods that are 100% sustainable, and also gluten-free, non-GMO, and OU Kosher Pareve.
- The sardines are delicious and healthy
- One can contain only 2 – 4 pieces of fish and a lot of oil
- The fish still have bones and skins
- The heads and tails are cleaned off. If you want to eat those parts as well, you may consider buying from a different brand.
|Weight||8.8 x 7.8 x 2.8 inches|
|Omega 3||1,800 mg|
|Protein||18g per serving|
King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Established in 1902, the King Oscar brand received the royal commission to use the king’s name and image to represent its products. Ever since it has upheld a high standard of high-quality and delicious sardines.
The sardines are caught from the pristine waters of Norway. They are then oak-wood-smoked, and hand-packed.
There are different flavors to choose from: classic oils, water, and bold-flavored sauces.
The cans are packed with nutrients – each containing 14g of protein, 2,500mg of omega 3, 30% DV calcium, and important vitamins and minerals. They contain only 240 calories in total, with no carbohydrates and no sugars.
King Oscar is also dedicated to sustainable fishing. They comply with the world’s leading marine authorities and only work with local, approved fishermen. Their catches are traceable, and their production facilities are ISO certified for food safety.
- The sardines are a good source of protein at a reasonable price. The oil tastes good
- The bones and skins are retained. But they are rather small
- The fish are a bit delicate and may break off as you pick it up. Try being gentle.
|Dimension||3.6 pounds (pack of 12)|
Matiz Gallego Sardines in Olive Oil
This sardine can is a product of Spain – offering unique flavors and can be eaten fresh out of the can or added to a variety of dishes such as bread, pasta, vegetable medleys, and other appetizers.
Matiz sardines are caught from the coast of Galicia using eco-friendly practices and packed with premium Spanish oil. They help deliver healthy meals with mouth-watering flavors.
As for snacks, these fish are protein-rich, and also packed with vitamins, omega 3, and other nutrients.
They are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of other additives.
Before reaching you, the cans are sealed tight to ensure freshness. If there are any issues with product quality, you can call the company immediately for support.
- They taste great and can be added to many different dishes
- The bones and skins are retained – which may not appeal to some people.
|Dimension||3.6 pounds (pack of 12)|
Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil
Started as an American family-owned business in 1948, this brand is popular for newbies who are trying sardines for the first time as their taste is not at all unpleasant.
The fish are the highest quality Pilchard sardines caught from the Moroccan sea. They are then hand filleted and hand packed in pure cold-pressed olive oil. These kosher sardines have a firm texture and taste great.
Each can contain about 3.75 ounces of sardines and has a pull-top lid. The fish can be eaten straight out of the can or added to salads, sandwiches, or casseroles.
- Taste great. You should give it a try!
- The texture may be considered too hard for some customers.
|Weight||3.85 pounds (pack of 12)|
|Dimension||0.9 x 4.4 x 3.2 inches|
Brunswick Wild Caught Sardine Fillets in Spring Water
This sardine can from Brunswick caters to those who love the authentic taste of sardines. Stored in fresh spring water instead of oil, the original taste is preserved. Plus, the absence of salt allows those who are on low-sodium diets to eat regularly. It is also keto-friendly.
The sardine fillets can be eaten right out of the cans, or as a part of other sardine-related dishes. If you are not used to the natural taste of sardines, you can consider adding a bit of salt, sauce or other seasonings.
Also, the fish are nutritious – packing lots of omega 3 and protein.
Brunswick – under the mother company of Bumble Bee – is dedicated to protecting the environment by undertaking sustainable seafood harvesting. All the sardines are caught using eco-friendly techniques only.
- Keto diet-friendly, gluten-free
- Environmental friendly fishing techniques
- The sardines go well with most seafood dishes
- Might not taste great for those trying sardines for the first time
|Weight||4.2 pounds (pack of 18)|
Season Sardines in Water – No Salt Added
These sardine fillets from Season (a trusted brand founded over 90 years ago) are great if you are on a low-fat, low-sodium diet for your hypertension or heart disease as there is no oil or added salt.
Caught freshly from the sweet waters of Morocco, they are great ingredients for your Mediterranean dishes. Soft, small bones, and delicious, these fish can be eaten on their own, or with bread or other condiments.
The fish fillets are large, and still, retain skins and bones. If you have never tried sardines before, you may get a bit put off by the natural taste of these sardines. Some people love that.
- This brand uses soft foil covering instead of pull tabs like other brands. Therefore you can easily open the cans without getting cuts
- The smell may be strong and may put you off if you are trying sardines for the first time.
|Weight||4.5 pounds (pack of 12)|
|Dimension||14.3 x 5 x 2.7 inches|
|Omega 3||1,100 mg|
Season’s Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Pure Olive Oil
Next on the list is another item from the Season brand with some differences – the brisling sardines are skinless, boneless, and soaked in pure olive oil with a bit of added salt. They taste great when eaten straight out of the can, or can be added into your salads or seafood meals.
As the skins and bones have been removed, you can enjoy them better (if you prefer eating fish without bones), and even feed toddlers. If you have special dietary requirements, you are still catered for as the product is gluten-free and non-GMO.
These sardines cans are also good for your health (their packaging is BPA free) and the environment (the fish are caught from Morocco via sustainable practices).
- The sardine cans use 100% natural ingredients
- Delicious and nutritious
- Without skins and bones – they are edible for both adults and kids
- The taste may not suit everyone
|Weight||3.7 pounds (pack of 12)|
|Dimension||14.3 x 5 x 2.7 inches|
Beach Cliff Sardines in Soybean Oil
Beach Cliff sardines are famed for having a traditional taste.
As part of the mother company Bumble Bee, these sardines caught are done via a sustainable program that ensures responsible harvesting and management.
The pull-top design is easy to open. The sardines are hand-packed and there are on 3 to 4 ones per can. These fish have been thoroughly cleaned and hence they can be eaten whole.
Also, the sardines have high nutritional value as they are rich in omega 3, protein, and calcium.
- Lots of people like the taste
- The retained bones give you calcium
- Some cans may have sardines that are too soft
|Dimension||0.88 x 4.25 x 3.06 inches|
|Calories||190 per serving|
Bela-Olhao Lightly Smoked Sardines in Olive Oil
Canned sardines from Bela-Olhao are a gourmet choice as they both look good (with their silvery skins) and taste delicious.
They are packed with nutrients – containing about calcium measuring up to 30% of the daily recommended amount. The fish are also rich in coenzyme Q-10, omega 3 fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals.
Coenzyme Q-10 helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and depression – while omega 3 fatty acids help transfer oxygen for better muscle elasticity and brain activity.
Besides, their mercury levels are lower than most other seafood. In summary, these sardines are good for your health.
Turning to taste, these fish have a smoked flavor that blends well with the olive oil. Also, the bones have been smoked to be quite tender. Hence you can enjoy them without noticing the bones at all.
If you care for the environment, you can feel good about buying Bela-Olhao products as they catch their seafood using sustainable practices of a non-industrial coast. Also, the techniques are 100% dolphin-safe.
- The fish in these cans are large with 3 – 4 fish per can
- Flesh is soft
- Some may not like the smoked taste
|Dimension||14 x 9 x 5.5 inches|
Santo Amaro European Wild Sardines in Tomato Sauce from Puree
These wild sardines from Santa Amaro are caught and hand-packed in Portugal. The company has an authentic fishing heritage – utilizing traditional artisanal fishing methods that are also sustainable for the environment.
The fish are delicious and unique as they are immersed within low-acidity tomato puree. Also, they are packed with nutrients such as protein, omega 3, calcium, vitamin E, lycopene, and so on.
- Don’t have a fishy fragrance and only have a mild fish taste
- Tomato puree tastes great
- Fish are meaty and crunchy with first bites
- Some customers dislike the retained scales and the flavor of the tomato sauce
|Dimension||2.72 x 5.04 x 14.59 inches|
Roland Sardines in Olive Oil, Skinless & Boneless
Roland sardines are of superior quality and taste delicious. They have been trusted by not only households but also restaurants, professional chefs, and industrial foodservice facilities.
The fish have had their skins and bones removed and hence are suitable for both adults and children.
They taste great when eaten on their own or with bread or other dishes. The meat is tender and soaked with olive oil.
They are also healthy as they contain no trans-fat, and are gluten-free.
- They taste great and don’t have a strong fishy taste or scent
- A good source of protein
- If you like your sardines to have crunchy bones, you should buy from other brands as these fish are boneless
|Dimension||4.3 x 1.1 x 2.5 inches|
Bar Harbor Skinless Boneless Smoked Sardine Fillets
These sardines have a unique “fresh off the boat” taste as they are freshly caught from the clear cold waters of the Gulf of Maine by the people of Bar Harbor.
After being harvested, the fish are then hand-sorted and naturally wood smoked to create a distinctive flavor that people love.
They have loads of nutrients such as omega 3, protein, and calcium with no added preservatives or MSG. They are a great addition to your seafood recipes, appetizers, snacks or salad toppers.
Bar Harbor brand cares about the environment. They catch their fish using sustainable techniques and package their products using BPA free containers.
- The fish texture is firm, not mushy like other brands
- The flavor is great – not too salty
- The fillets may be too large
- The fishy scent may put off some people
|Dimension||4.3 x 1.1 x 2.5 inches|
These sardines from the Ligo brand from the Philippines taste great with tomato sauce. They go well with rice.
They cover the basics for offering you good nutrients at a reasonable price. There are some chili added but they don’t taste too spicy.
- They have a slightly spicy taste that may appeal to certain customers
- There aren’t many sardines in one can
Master Sardines in Oil Spanish Style
Another canned sardine product from the Philippines comes from the Master brand. These fish are flavored in a Spanish style and immersed in vegetable oil (soya oil).
Spanish-styled cooking differs from the usual cooking method in that the fish are pressured cooked in extra virgin olive oil or corn oil instead of brine or tomato sauce.
All the bones have been removed. The fish texture is good – not too mushy, not too firm. The flavor is spicy as the ingredients include chili pepper.
- They taste great – especially if you like Portuguese flavored sardines
- The fish size may be quite small
|Weight||120g per pack of 6|
Connetable Sardines in Pure Olive Oil
The sardines from Connetable are carefully hand-selected and processed by a cannery that has more than 165 years of experience in this industry in France. They are a product of combining artisan knowledge passed down through generations with the modern manufacturing process.
There are 4 different recipes to choose from: skinless and boneless in pure olive oil, and in brine, whole sardines in pure olive oil, in sunflower oil, and chili.
The fish offer lots of nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3. They are also non-GMO and gluten-free.
The cans are BPA free and have easy-open tops.
- The sardines are of high-quality and delicious
- You can choose whether to have them with or without bones
- There may still be a fishy taste that some don’t quite like
|Weight||120g per pack of 6|
|Calories||210 per serving|
Bumble Bee Sardines in Mustard
These sardines soaked in mustard sauce taste great. The sauce is a nice alternative for those who are used to eating sardines in tomato sauce or oil.
They are also healthy as they are packed with protein and omega 3 fatty acids. They are also suitable for those on a ketogenic diet.
Bumble Bee was founded in 1899 by several dedicated Polish fishermen. It has evolved to become North America’s largest brand selling shelf-stable seafood products.
They care about the environment and therefore use sustainable techniques to catch their fish.
- For those who love mustard, this is for you!
- They taste delicious on their own and go well with crackers and other foods
- The texture may be quite mushy and break off as you pick the sardines up
|Weight||3.75 ounces per can|
|Calories||140 per serving|
Cento Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil
These cans from Cento add an Italian flavor to the natural taste of sardines. Feel free to add them to your traditional Ceasar salad or put them on an antipasto platter with fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.
As a three-generation family company, Cento has a long tradition of producing high-quality products that are recommended by chefs all over America.
They combine the long-standing culinary heritage with modern technology to produce premium products. Cento foods are gluten-free, GMO-free and kosher.
These fish come without skins or bones. Hence they are edible for both adults and children.
- Authentic taste
- Texture is tender
- Maybe a bit salty for some people
|Weight||4.37 ounces per can|
|Dimension||4.1 x 2.5 x 1.1 inches|
|Calories||195 per serving|
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Best Canned Sardine In 2020
As you can see from the list, there are many different brands and kinds of canned sardines available on the market making it hard for you to pick one. To make that choice, you need to consider a few factors.
First is the type of fish. Sardines are not just one single breed of fish. Different types of fish can be made into a canned sardine – for example, brisling, sprat, washi, and herring. Each of them has a different flavor. Hence don’t be put off after trying just one can! There are plenty more to try!
Also the waters these fish are caught from affecting their taste. So if you don’t particularly like the ones coming from the waters around the North American sea, try those around Norway or the Philippines instead.
Next is the medium i.e. the liquid that is contained in the can with the sardines. It is essential as it can affect how the fish taste and their nutrients. Say if the medium is hydrogenated oil (like vegetable oil), that isn’t good as the inflammatory chemicals may compromise the omega 3 fatty acids.
Brine or water is better as they have lower fat levels. Olive oil is also good as it adds flavor and doesn’t affect the omega 3.
Thirdly, the sizes of the fish fillets are different for different cans. You may get disappointed that the fillets aren’t large enough to make you full while others may prefer small bites.
Fourthly, which brand is the best? It’s hard to say as people like different things. But generally, Wild Planet and King Oscar are the two top brands.
Last but not least is how you plan to eat the canned sardines. Do you want to eat them straight out of the can, with bread, or as a part of a meal? Say if you want to eat them on their own, you would prefer to pick those with a lemon pepper flavor to tasteless plain. Whereas if you want to add them to your salad, you then would like the original flavor as they blend well with your dressing.
It all depends on your preferences! Don’t forget to read the frequently asked questions below for more information. Good luck!
What is the best brand for sardines?
The two top brands are Wild Planet and King Oscar.
Are canned sardines good for you?
Yes, they are. They contain nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and protein while containing less mercury compared with other kinds of seafood.
Which is healthier – sardines in oil or water?
Generally, sardines in water are healthier as they contain less fat. Olive oil – If used – it helps lock in the fish’s flavor and has higher levels of omega 3. It still has more cholesterol and fat than water.
How do you eat sardines in a can?
There are different ways to eat sardines in a can. You can eat them straight out of the can, with bread, or as part of a meal or dish. For example, some people add sardines to their salad.
How do you make canned sardines tasty?
There are many ways. You can grill or fry them, eat them with crackers, add them to pizza or salad, pair them with avocado, and so on.
Do you eat bones in sardines?
Yes, you can. They tend to be crunchy and give you calcium. But if you prefer not to, you can buy sardines that are skinless and boneless.
Can you fry canned sardines?
Yes, you can. They are delicious!