What To Serve With Grilled Sardines: 8 Amazing Meals!

August 25, 2022
what to serve with grilled sardines

If you’re planning to enjoy some grilled sardines on your meal plan this week, you’re in for a real treat. Not only are these fish crammed full of heart-healthy omega 3s and essential vitamin B-12, they’re also super affordable, and most importantly, absolutely delicious.

My favourite way to prepare sardines is to grill outdoors on the barbecue and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. They’re almost as good when cooked indoors though, and there are plenty of tasty options for side dishes to create a satisfying and flavoursome meal.

Let’s take a look at the very best…

What to serve with grilled sardines

The best choices for what to serve with grilled sardines include tomatoes and toast, salsa spaghetti, classic panzanella salad, lemon salsa, Indonesian nasi goreng, horseradish potato salad, roasted veggies, and fries and green salad. 

Whether you’re looking for a light and easy lunch, a filling evening meal, or something a little special for when you have guests, there’s something here that will be right up your street…

1. Tomatoes and toast

Sardines with tomatoes on toast is probably the most classic and popular way to enjoy sardines, and it deserves a mention because it’s just oh so good!

This is the kind of quick meal that you can enjoy for lunch when you’re working from home and want something quick, fuss free, and nutritious. Equally though, you can tailor it a little with the finest ingredients and have a chic dinner party starter or light main course.

Use sourdough bread, the best tomatoes you can find, and plenty of fresh garlic. 

sardines on toast

2. Salsa spaghetti

This salsa spaghetti recipe has some seriously Mediterranean vibes, with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh fragrant basil, and beautiful black olives. It’s healthy and can be made in just one pan, which makes it a strong contender for a midweek family meal.

Just pile the spaghetti into your favourite pasta bowls, top with freshly grilled sardines, and you’re good to go. 

salsa spaghetti

3. Classic panzanella salad

You might be sensing a theme by now… Freshly grilled sardines are absolutely beautiful when served with tomatoes! In the summer months, an excellent accompaniment is a classic panzanella salad. It’s a Tuscan inspired side that’s made with chunks of bread.

Many home cooks make this with leftover stale dried bread, and that’s fantastic if you happen to have some to hand. If you don’t though, you can simply bake fresh bread in the oven until crispy. 

The real key to the best kind of panzanella is the quality of the tomatoes you use. If you have a greenhouse and grow your own, this vibrant side dish should feature on your meal plan every week during the summer! Alternatively, check out the farmers markets and greengrocers in your area to source the tastiest and highest quality fruits.


4. Lemon salsa

A sweet side dish can work so well with grilled sardines, creating a wonderful and interesting balance alongside the oily fish. If you fancy something trying new, I suggest having a go at this lemon salsa recipe.

Made with preserved lemons (which are a great pantry staple that can produce all kinds of exciting dishes), it’s sweet yet tart and combines fresh tastes including cucumber, herbs, and capers. 

Pushed for time and want to do your prep in advance? Make this salsa the night before and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. It’ll be good for a couple of days.

(By the way, if you love eating fish, you might want to check out a few additional resources that I’ve got for meal planning – what to serve with mackerel, and what to serve with hake!) 

lemon salsa

5. Indonesian nasi goreng

If you love to experiment with dishes and flavours from different cuisines all around the world, an exciting choice for what to serve with grilled sardines is nasi goreng.

This Indonesian dish is essentially a spicy rice stir fry, and you can add all kinds of different ingredients, from your favourite crunchy veggies to a range of proteins such as chicken and prawns.

This kind of dish is what I tend to make when I need to use up various things from my fridge, and it’s perfect served with your grilled fish on top. 

nasi goreng

6. Horseradish potato salad

The spicy kick of horseradish is a great flavour for complementing oily fish such as sardines, and a beautiful way to incorporate it into a satisfying lunch or supper is by preparing a horseradish potato salad.

It’s creamy, it only requires a small handful of ingredients, and it’s best when Jersey Royals are in season and readily available at the supermarket. 

potato salad

7. Roasted vegetables

A tray of roasted vegetables is an easy side dish that you can serve with almost anything, and grilled sardines are no exception. Cook these on the barbecue during the summer, or just use your indoors oven during the winter.

Instead of making an extra trip to the supermarket, try to just use the veggies you have leftover in your pantry, for a stress free and frugal meal.

Bell peppers, onions, broccoli, and potatoes all work well, and you can add your favourite fresh herbs. Finish off with some seasoning and a squeeze of lemon juice.

roast vegetables

8. Fries and green salad

Fish and chips, but make it fancy! Sardines with fries and a green salad is simple and easy to prepare, but can make for a sophisticated light lunch for when you have friends coming over. I like to prepare a homemade salad dressing with plenty of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, to really help those flavours to sing. 

The secret to the best fries is to use an air fryer.

They’re crispy and crunchy every time, and you can use  frozen fries to save time and hassle.

fries salad

The best side dishes to eat with grilled sardines

Try these delicious options to serve alongside your grilled sardines:

Which of these will you be trying for your next fish dinner?

slimming violet

Welcome to SlimmingViolet.com! I’m here to share advice, tips, and recipes so you can make your slimming plan and healthy lifestyle work for you. Find out more…

spicentice discount code