Sardine and tomato bruschetta

For some people, tinned sardines have a bit of a ‘gross factor’ because they are eaten with bones and everything else. If that’s you then this is the perfect recipe as you smash the sardines and won’t see any ‘bits’ in the mixture. Please try it – sardines are great anti-inflammatory food and high in calcium.

This recipe makes a great quick lunch or dinner.


  • 1 small tin sardines in springwater, drained
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 pieces of dark rye bread, sourdough bread or gluten-free bread
  • 1/4 avocado


  1. Place the sardines, tomato, parsley, lemon juice and cracked pepper into a bowl. Mix through well, smashing the sardines.
  2. Toast the bread.
  3. Spread the avocado on the toast. Top with baby spinach and sardine mixture. Serve.


Bread could be toasted in a grill, sandwich press or toaster. If you can’t find a small tin, double all other ingredients and mix up for 2 serves. It will make for a quick breakfast or lunch the next day.


  • For a gluten-free option choose gluten-free bread
  • Add in diced red onion and olives for a stronger taste

What’s good about this recipe

Sardines are a rich source of long-chain omega-3s with one small 110g tin (drained) containing the equivalent of six average fish oil capsules. There is convincing evidence that long-chain omega omega-3s (EPA and DHA) can improve symptoms and reduce pain in rheumatoid arthritis, similar to analgesic type anti-inflammatory drugs but without the possible side effects.

Current research also suggests they are helpful for people with other forms of inflammatory arthritis such as ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. There is also evidence that fish oils may help control symptoms of osteoarthritis and lupus. The recommended amount (under medical supervision) is 3 grams per day of EPA + DHA. This is equivalent to 10 average fish oil capsules or 1 small tin sardines + 1 small tin pink salmon.

Sardines are also a great source of calcium (especially important for people that can’t tolerate dairy) providing a quarter of the recommended daily intake. However, this is only if you are willing to eat the soft bones!

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