12 Best Canned Sardines to Enjoy With Your Meals

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Having fishes in your regular diet is honestly a great choice. A good combination of taste and health would be sardines fishes. Now we understand with the busy life we lead, it’s not easy to cook fish from the top. That’s why there are canned sardines available now. Rich in nutrients you will find most type of sardines canned for you.  Sardines are small fishes that are high in nutrient including omega 3. We love it mostly because you can prepare myriads of dishes with canned sardines within limited time. From snacks to main course, you can prepare sardine full dishes with convenience and ease.

Canned sardines are something that goes through a bit of processing and some extra ingredients are added to preserve the fishes well. Therefore, it is important that you choose a reliable brand that offers good quality and healthy sardines. They are stored in water, olive oil and vegetable oil. Depending on the medium, the taste and nutritional benefits of the canned sardines differ as well. Hence, we have made a review on best canned sardines for you. We have taken a lot of factors in consideration to come up with this list.

Best Pick

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil is our best pick on our list as extra virgin oil, sea salt is used to make the sardines. The pack contains Omega 3 fatty acid that makes it healthy for everyone to enjoy with their meal. They are lightly smoked, gluten-free, and are kosher certified.

Budget Pick

King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil is on our best budget pick because the fishes are wild-caught and later smoked with wood to give a natural flavor. All types of nutrients like Omega 3 fatty acid, protein, calcium, iron, etc are present on the sardines. Not the sardines are nutritious, the can is BPA certified. This can of sardines are easy to carry and can be eaten with anything.

Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best canned sardines

1. Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with 4.4oz cans packed with mixed sardines
  • Stored in extra virgin olive oil
  • Mildly smoked to retain the flavors properly
  • Follows sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly practices
  • Rich in protein and Omega 3
  • Good source of calcium and iron since skin are not removed
  • Scales, tails and heads of the fish is cleared out for better taste
  • The sardines are gluten free, non-GMO and kosher certified that makes it consumable for a lot of people.

Wild Planet is one of our favorite brands when it comes to canned fishes. For its sustainable sourcing practices, we like it even more. It comes with 4.4oz cans packed with mixed sardines. The medium used here to store the sardines is olive oil. This way you get a more flavorful fish without the smell of raw fishes. To retain the flavors properly, the fishes are mildly smoked. You can eat them directly from the can or use them with some great seafood dishes.

In terms of brand reliability, know that Wild Planet has been working relentlessly about eco-friendly harvesting and sourcing. Therefore, for any type of canned seafood, this is one the brands that you should check first. Wild Planet sardines are rich in protein just like any other ordinary sardines. It is also a good source of calcium and iron. Also, this one has omega 3, an essential nutrient for anti-oxidants in the body. While processing, the scales, tails and heads are cleared. The bones are also cleared up as much as possible.

Therefore, those who don’t prefer to eat bones that much, this one is a good brand for you. But we liked the fact that the skin of the fish is not cleared out so that you can enjoy the health benefits to the fullest. For people with special dietary needs, you can consume this brand’s canned sardines with no worries. To be exact, this canned sardines are gluten-free and non-GMO. In fact, they are also Kosher.

We like this brand because they think of people’s individual needs and do such with alignment with eco-friendly practices. We did find one problem to the product. In some packages, the ratio to fishes and oil is a bit inconsistent. Otherwise, we really like the taste of the fishes and they go great with seafood dishes.

2. King Oscar Sardines Extra Virgin Olive Oil  

Highlighted Features

  • Caught from the wild and wood-smoked
  • 3.75-ounce can with two layers of bristling sardines
  • Stored in olive and salt
  • Rich in Omega 3 and minerals like calcium and iron
  • Contains high amount of protein and possess very low mercury level
  • Nutrients are sustained to the fullest since the bones and skin of fish is not removed
  • Ideal for low carb diet
  • No sugar is used and is a gluten free product
  • Comes in Certified BPA-NI cans

King Oscar Sardines are on our list because of their organic nature. The processing is such so that the original flavors and nutrients of the sardines are sustained. Caught from the wild, these canned sardines are wood smoked then. Only sardines that meet the required size and quality are hand-packed for the customers. Basically each can is 3.75-ounce packed with two layers of bristling sardines.

The fishes are stored in olive oil and a bit of salt. For those, who do not prefer the raw fish smell, canned sardines stored in olive oil are a good choice for you. You would prefer this taste over normal fishes. We honestly loved the flavor and we like to them directly from the can or mixed with some salads. Of course, you can cook the sardines more or include them in other dishes.

In terms of nutritional benefit, King Oscar sardines are rich in Omega 3 and minerals like calcium and iron. Like most sardines, this is also rich in protein but with minimal level of mercury. We would like to point out its specialty which would be its high health benefits. This one retains the entire health value of proper sardines. That’s because the bones and skin of the fish is not removed while processing the fishes.

In fact, you will not even notice them while eating since they are so small. Therefore, the nutrients stay to the fullest in these canned sardines. This is what we love the most about King Oscar Sardines. For those who are looking for a low carb diet, this one can provide you with the essential nutrients. For special dietary requirements, know that it is a gluten free product and no sugar was added in the process.

We liked the packaging as well. It comes in Certified BPA-NI cans. This is pretty commendable for the brand. The cans are recyclable and you can easily open them with the pull-ring. These are ready to eat fishes that are for sure but you might have trouble lifting them up. The fishes are very delicate and you will end up dropping them sometimes.

3. MW Polar Herring, Kipper Snacks  

Highlighted Features

  • The fillets are boneless and are smoked with beach wood shavings.
  • The fishes are rich in Omega 3 fatty acid that prevents heart disease.
  • The fishes are wild-caught from the Norwegian Sea region.
  • The sardines can be eaten straight out of the can but it is packed with sodium.
  • It is a kosher certified sardine that can be enjoyed by a wide group of people.
  • Each container is 100gm with no added preservative or additives.

If you are looking for wild-caught sardines, MW Polar Herring offers the best boneless fillet that is caught in the Norwegian sea area. Farm-raised fishes are grown with additive fish foods that might not be as tasty as the wild ones. Moreover, the fillet is smoked with a blend of a variety of spices to enhance the natural flavor of the fish.

Furthermore, the sardines are hand packed with rapeseed oil to keep them fresh and delicious. This pack contains Omega 3 fatty acids that will lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. You can carry this pack as a snack and they are ready to eat.

4. Matiz España Sardines in Olive Oil

Highlighted Features

  • Sourced off the coast of Galicia
  • 100% naturally sourced whole fish
  • Premium quality Spanish olive oil used as medium
  • Dense, chewy and mild smoky flavor that goes well with seafood dishes
  • Follows sustainable sourcing and eco-friendly harvesting practices
  • Comes in cans of 4.25 ounce
  • Certified B Corporation brand

If you are looking for some unique flavors for Sardines fishes, Matiz España Sardines could be something you could look into. Processed in Spain, this one possesses quite an uncommon flavor of sardines. They are sourced off coast of Galicia. Next, the fishes are hand-prepared for the customers. The medium used to store the fishes is premium quality Spanish olive oil. The different sourcing and olive oil makes the taste unique. This brand also follows sustainable sourcing practices so that the ecological balance is maintained. Of course, in the seafood arena, this is a reliable brand.

Each pack contains 4.25 ounce. They are mostly whole fish available and you can use them for your favorite dishes including French roles, delish spread etc. This brand’s sardines are certified B Corporation. It implies that the brand follows ecofriendly practices and does responsible business for its stakeholders. We love for more reasons. If you prefer fleshy fishes, this one tops our list of best canned sardines. The fishes include bones but those can be easily removed if you do not prefer them. 

As far as the flavors are concerned, it possesses a dense, chewy taste which everyone loves. For chefs who love to try out new seafood cuisines, this brand of canned sardines can make your dish more flavorful. Since they come as whole, you can use them just the way you want. It already has a nice smoky flavor but you can definitely cook more if the dish requires.

5. Season Sardines in Water, No Salt Added 

Highlighted Features

  • Whole sardines stored in water with no added salt
  • Healthy form of canned sardines with low calories and low sodium
  • Wildly caught from Morocco with eco-friendly harvesting practices
  • Ideal for majority of dietary needs
  • Non-GMO verified and gluten free product
  • Skins and bones are not removed for health benefits
  • Good source of protein and minerals
  • Comes with BPA free packaging
  • Contains whole sardines of 4,375 ounce

We understand that many might not prefer sardines dipped in olive oil for various reasons. Hence, in our list of best canned sardines we have added Seasons sardines which are stored in water. Compared to the other variant of Seasons sardines, this one is stored in water. For those, who want to enjoy the exact raw flavor of the fishes, this is what you should opt for. Furthermore, there is no salt added in the canned fishes. This is done specifically to keep the amount of sodium low. Low sodium fish is suitable for majority people’s dietary needs. Of course, you can add salt for seasoning if you want to.

This brand is certified wild-caught and sustainable. It sources the sardines from Morocco with eco-friendly harvesting practices of course. In terms of health benefits, this is the best option that you could opt for. It comes in 4.375-ounce tins packed with wild-caught and natural sardines. This one is a non-GMO verified product as well. The sardines are whole and you can easily use them any type of seafood recipe you want. This is a gluten-free product as well. Therefore, for people with gluten intolerance or requiring a low sodium diet, now you know which canned sardines you should go for.

Each serving contains 1700 mg of omega 3 fatty acids. Of course, it possesses proteins and minerals similar to other sardines. The cans that they are packed with are BPA free. For new consumers, this might not be so palatable. That’s because the skin and bones are not removed and there is no olive oil to wipe out the raw fish smell. However, there are many who prefer the fresh flavors and nutrients of mildly smoked sardines.

6. Safe Catch Store Wild Sardines 

Highlighted Features

  • Wild-caught fish from the Eastern Central waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The pack is hand prepared and has no skins and bones.
  • Each pack has around 1600mg of Omega 3 that makes the sardines healthy to eat.
  • The sardines are suitable for diet as they contain less amount of protein.
  • The pack is kosher certified and is from GMO.
  • The sardines are hand-cut and slow-cooked to keep the nutrients of the fish intact.
  • It can be consumed by kids, pregnant women, and athletes as it is a non-GMO product.

Sardines have nutritious value and these sardines are packed with extra virgin oil to provide a healthy diet. The fishes are caught from the Atlantic ocean and are tested for their mercury levels. The sardines from Safe Catch Store have low mercury levels and are enriched with Omega 3 fatty acid. 

The best feature about this product is that the mercury level is tasted in every fish. As a result, fishes are selected if they have a low mercury level that makes sardines consumable for kids, athletes, and pregnant women. Moreover, each packet has a large amount of Omega 3 fatty acid that gives you a nutritious meal.

7. Crown Prince Skinless & Boneless Sardines in Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Bones and skins of the sardines are cleared
  • Values special needs; it is Kosher and gluten-free product
  • Wild caught from Morocco
  • Possess mild flavor with firm texture
  • Comes in cans of 3.75 ounce
  • Contains high protein with low calories
  • Each serving contains 1700 mg of omega 3

Sardines are something that is not consumed by everyone. Therefore, it’s completely normal for you not to be accustomed with its taste. For those new consumers, we would recommend the brand Crown Prince for sardines. That’s because, they clear the skin and bones for you. So, you won’t face much difficulty eating them as beginners. This one is dipped in olive oil and you can use them for preparing some healthy and nutritious dishes. With processing, we liked the fact that these are hand-filleted and packed with olive oil that is cold-pressed. You can obviously guess from the processing technique that this is a non-GMO verified product.

The product comes in cans of 3.75 ounce. It has pull-top lid but it’s very difficult to open it up with hands. You would need a can-opener for this. The nutritional benefits of this one is quite good as well. To be exact, it contains 1700 mg of omega 3 acid per serving. It is high in protein along with essential fats. However, the calorie level is very low. The brand Crown Prince has been in the seafood industry for a decade now and they have always tried to catch the fleshiest type of fishes. Sourced from all the way to Morocco and wild caught, you have nothing to worry about the authenticity of the fishes.

With flavor, we found the flavors of these sardines are a bit delicate. If you are planning to use the sardines for cooking with other dishes, this is a good choice for you. That’s because the texture of these sardines are quite firm. It is also a Kosher meal and gluten-free.

8. BRUNSWICK Sardine Fillets in Spring Water 

Highlighted Features

  • Stored in spring water with no added salt
  • Ideal for low sodium and low carb diets
  • Comes in 3.75 ounce cans and packed with natural sardines fillet
  • Ideal for preparing lunch or snack-able items
  • Uses eco-friendly practices for sourcing and harvesting
  • Contains omega 3 acid and protein

The final one in our list of best canned sardines is BRUNSWICK Sardine Fillets in Spring Water. This one is stored in fresh spring water in order to retain the authentic sardine flavor. Salt is not added in the cans so that people with low sodium diets can also consume these sardines. For people who prefer natural taste of fish, you would really like the canned sardines from this brand. It comes in 3.75 ounce cans.

Another positive aspect of these sardines is that it is great for a keto-friendly diet since no salt or oil was used for preserving. The sardine fillets can be used to prepare all types of sardine related dishes. You can use it as a ready-to-snack or a fulfilling meal for the day. The brand believes in responsible harvesting and management in the seafood industry. In fact, they have managed to fulfill their promise of sourcing though eco-friendly techniques only. From nutritional benefits, this one has omega 3 acid and protein of course.

As a high-protein snack, this band is widely popular in the seafood consumer’s segment. What we love more is that the flavors seem completely natural. But for those who are not used to the taste of sardines, you might not like it without salt and a bit of seasoning.

9. Chicken of the Sea Smoked Sardines In Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • The sardines are enriched with Omega 3 fatty acid that makes the meal nutritious.
  • The sardines are prepared which makes them easily consumable without cooking.
  • It has a rich smoky flavor that is great for serving as snacks or appetizers.
  • The sardines are prepared from tuna, shrimp, salmon, etc.

Various types of sea fishes like tuna, salmon, etc are used to prepare the sardines from Chicken of the Sea. The fishes are caught wild and then smoked with spices to make them consumable on the go.   

However, it has 15% sodium that can increase your blood pressure. It has no carbohydrates or added sugar. So you can add this pack of sardines on your diet chart. The sardines are not kosher certified as a result a certain group of people might not be able to have a taste of them. Each can is 3.75 Ounce that has Omega 3 fatty acid to add nutritive value to the sardines.

10. Connetable Sardines in Pure Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Wild-caught fishes are used to make healthy sardines.
  • The sardines contain Omega 3 fatty acid, calcium, vitamin, proteins, etc that makes the meal healthy.
  • The sardines are gluten-free that makes them consumable for people with gluten intolerance.
  • The cans are BPA certified and the aluminum is recyclable.
  • The sardines can be served with crackers, rice, pasta, etc.

Connetable Sardines are rich in various types of nutrients to provide a tasty and healthy meal. The fishes are wild-caught from the ocean and are hand prepared for the customers. Furthermore, they are non-GMO and gluten-free and so you don't have to worry about their nutritional value. The sardines have regular taste as they are not smoked. 

The sardines have pure olive oil that has healthy fats and large amounts of antioxidants. The feature we like about this item is that it has Omega 3 fatty acid to lower the possibility of heart disease. Moreover, it contains 15% sodium which is a lot for a can of sardines. Another important feature is that the sardines are kosher certified.

11. Season's Skinless and Boneless Sardines in Pure Olive Oil 

Highlighted Features

  • Sourced from Morocco with sustaining harvesting practices
  • Stored in pure olive oil to retain the flavor
  • Ideal for preparing rich and fulfilling meals
  • Each serving contains 1500 mg of omega 3 fatty acids and essential protein and minerals
  • Contains 3.75 ounce of whole bristling sardines
  • Skins and bones are removed from the sardines
  • Ready-to-eat meal with salt seasoning
  • Meets special dietary needs; gluten-free and non-GMO product
  • Comes in BPA free packaging

Being in the seafood industry for almost a decade now, Season’s canned sardines are surely one of the best in the market. The canned sardines are sourced from Morocco through sustainable practices and all the ingredients used are 100% natural. In fact, you will find fresh sardines stored in the medium of pure olive oil. This is why, the fishes taste really good with some salad or fried with tomatoes. We prefer Season’s sardines specifically for preparing rich and fulfilling seafood meals.

From nutritional value perspective, per serving of Season’s sardines contains 1500 mg of Omega 3. Other than possessing this essential fatty acid for the body, these sardines are high in protein and calcium. Season’s sardines come in packages of 3.75 ounce. The sardines are basically bristling sardines which tends to be smaller compared to regular sardines. However, we can assure you bristling sardines taste much better compared to regular ones. In fact, they possess better health benefits compared to normal sardines. The calorie level is low for Season’s sardines.

From the name, you can clearly understand that the bones and skin are removed from the sardines. Therefore, people who do not like bones in fishes would love this feature. Moreover, this makes it easy to feed your toddlers as well. It is actually a ready-to-eat meal. It comes with salt seasoning. So, you don’t have to add anything while eating. Of course, you can use it to cook other dishes and the fish will still taste great. 

They come as whole fish, so it’s easier for you to handle and use in other dishes. It even takes care of special dietary needs. Hence, the product is gluten-free and non-GMO. The packaging that it comes with is BPA free. Therefore, overall we couldn’t find anything of the brand that we could complain.

12. Reese Skinless and Boneless Sardines 

Highlighted Features

  • The sardines are skinless and boneless and ready to consume from the can.
  • Less sodium content compared to other brands.
  • The kinds of seafood that are selected are of great quality.
  • The sardines have a balanced taste of salt and species.
  • It adds a different taste to pizzas, pasta, etc.

Lastly, we have sardines from Reese that are hand packed. The skins are pulled off from the fishes before making the sardines. Moreover, the sardines are boneless and ready to be eaten from the can. You can enjoy the sardines with pasta, pizzas, crackers, etc.

The features we like about these sardines have low content sodium that keeps your blood pressure stable. The fishes that are caught are of premium quality and add a balanced combination of spices to enhance the flavor. It is a kosher certified item that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Best Canned Sardines


Understand that canned sardines are not sold alone. It needs a medium to be stored properly. The common mediums used are olive oil, water, vegetable oil, sauces etc. What medium you choose depends on a lot of factors. For instance, if you don’t like the raw taste of fishes, you should go for the olive oil medium. If you prefer fresh flavor of fish, olive oil medium will give you the right taste. In that case, go for water medium. We would recommend not going for the ones that has vegetable oil. Those ones are not so suitable for low fat or low carb diet.

Type of fish

Canned sardines could be mixed type of sardines or one particular type. They can be whole fish or fillets. Of course, based on your needs, feel free to choose any of the type. But do check if the brand follows sustainable sourcing. That way you would know that the fishes are authentic. A rule of thumb is that bristling sardines are better taste and nutritional value wise. But they are usually smaller in size compared to others.

Type of dishes

This depends on your needs. For instance, if you want ready-to-go meals, we would say going for olive oil medium canned sardines. If you need sardines for spread or sandwiches, fillets can work great with any type of medium. Again, if you planning to prepare proper sardine seafood dish, you should go for whole sardines with water medium. Basically, what type of canned sardines you would buy depends on your particular needs of dishes. For instance, we love sardines stored in hot sauces as ready-to-go meals. But those are not at all suitable for preparing gourmet dishes.

Boneless and Skinless sardine

The sardines that are packed can contain bones and skins. Some brands pack the sardines with bones as the bones of the fishes are soft. Depending on your preference you need to choose the sardine. Fishes like tuna, prawns, and other sea fishes are used as fillets to make the sardines. As the sardines are made to be directly consumed from the can, you need to look if they are boneless or not. If you don't like the skins of fish, you need to look for the skinless sardines.

Sodium Content

Most of the sardines contain sodium to keep them in good condition. However, most brands use sodium in large quantities that should not be consumed daily. It is advised to consume sodium less than 2300mg every day. A high intake of sodium will increase your blood pressure that will lead to other diseases. As sardines are a healthy food, we advise you to choose sardines with less sodium content.

Added ingredients or seasonings

This is important to understand for your special dietary needs. For instance, if salt is added, it’s good as seasoning and the taste would be better. But if you are on a low sodium diet, this seasoning needs to be avoided. Again, sauces and spices are also added in the canned sardines. Those are great for eating directly from the cans but you can’t really use them for preparing other meals. But for salads and side dishes, you can use them.

Nutritional value

Ideally, every sardine you buy possess moderate amount of omega 3 and protein. They also contain minerals like calcium and iron. However, the nutritional value is the highest when the bones and skins of the fishes are not removed. There are many canned sardines that clear out the bones and skin. Again, that is your choice whether your palate is compatible with the taste of bones and skins.


Do I need to wash the sardines with water before cooking?

To supply the sardines in good condition, they are often packed with sodium or salt. A huge amount of salt might be present on the sardines so for the betterment of health, it is better to rinse the sardines thoroughly before cooking to remove the sodium. 

How are sardines good for health? 

Sardines are a healthy meal as they bear vitamins, protein, calcium, Omega-3 fatty acid, etc. Omega-3 fatty acid reduces the risk of heart disease and protein helps to stabilize the blood sugar level. 

What are the ways to serve sardines?

Sardines can be eaten directly from the can or you can fry them on the grill before consuming. You can make a sandwich with sardines along with some mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Moreover, sardines can be directly used in making pasta and salads. 

Which one is healthier fresh or canned sardines?

Sardines are considered a nutritious meal. As sardines are available as fresh and canned, you can buy any of them. However, fresh sardines have 4 times more potassium than canned ones. And the canned sardines are packaged with sodium so that they do not go bad. Having fresh sardines in your meals would be a healthy option for you.


Are you a person who likes to eat healthy meals? Healthy meals can be boring but sardines have unique tastes and have nutritious value as well. If you like to eat seafood, sardines will be a great addition to your meal. Most of the sardines can be eaten directly from the cans. However, some brands use huge amounts of sodium that can create bad effects on your health. In this case, you rinse the sardines with water and then lightly grill on the pan.  

Rinsing the sardines will not only wash away the salt but also the spices as well. For this reason, sardine with less sodium content will be the best-canned sardine for your consumption. Sardines of boneless and skinless fillets are also available. On the basis of your preferences, you need to cook the sardine to enjoy with your snack or meal.

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7 thoughts on “12 Best Canned Sardines to Enjoy With Your Meals”

  1. Thanks for your information. However, I was hoping to get the facts on where the sardines are caught for each of the brands.

  2. Sardines can also be inexpensive. Some brands mentioned above just 1$ per can! Us them instead of Tuna for making Tunafish salad. ( Sardinefish salad! )

  3. Give Henry& Lisa’s WILD SARDINES a try, you will be pleasently surprised at the flavor and taste, Yum YUM!

  4. for sardines packed in water, what about the quality of the water? Very important I believe. Your comment please.

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Madison Taylor

Based in upstate New York, Madison is a devoted foodie and spends some of her time developing new re...

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