Appetizers + Snacks / Fish + Seafood / Food / Pescetarian

Gourmet Lemon Pepper Sardine Toasts With Ricotta

It may seem a little offbeat to bring the word “gourmet” to a dish where the star is from a can, but if you love sardines, you know this makes sense. Also, can we just go ahead and scratch “canned” off of the list of bad words along with “frozen”? Not all that is canned or frozen is of lesser quality.

Last week I revealed that I’ve excitedly jumped into a partnership with King Oscar — and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Working with reputable seafood companies who promote quality products and sustainability was my main goal for 2017, and I’ve hit the jackpot twice now. (Another announcement soon, y’all!)

A few days after my reveal, in order to get a sense of what the response might be like for my King Oscar content, I asked my personal Facebook friends a simple question: Who likes sardines?

The response was IN-credible.

“I do, but I rarely buy them due to a lack of inspiration for what to do with them. Hopefully, you can help!”

“If lovin’ sardines is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.”

“Hell yeah. I’ll eat that shit right outta the can!”

“I love sardines, yum yum yum…”

And of course, a comment from my cheeky father, “I like ’em for bait… does that count?”

And that’s just a very small example of the positive feedback I received. Guys, I was pumped for this campaign before — but now I’m just completely cranked up!

Fellow sardine lovers, consider this fab little lunch option/appetizer a little taste of what’s to come.

Did you make this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.

Gourmet Lemon Pepper Sardine Toasts With Ricotta

These gourmet toasts make for a perfect lunch option or appetizer. Get a solid dose of nutrition (including Omega-3s!) without worrying about sustainability or mercury content.
Author Killing Thyme


  • 2 slices of your fave fresh bread, lightly toasted
  • 2 heaping TBSP ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz canned sardines, preferably marinated in extra virgin olive oil with cracked black pepper If not already marinated in cracked black pepper, you can add it yourself
  • Juice of half a lemon

Optional extras

  • Squash Blossoms
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Microgreens
  • Thinly sliced radishes


  • Spread 1 TBSP of ricotta on each slice of toasty bread (more if desired, go nuts).
  • Evenly disperse the fillets of sardines between the toasts, laying them over the ricotta.
  • If your sardines weren't already marinating in a cracked black pepper marinade, crack a generous amount of black pepper over the toasts. 
  • Garnish with optional seasonal garnishes, like squash blossoms, sugar snap peas, and/or microgreens.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the toasts.

Gourmet Lemon Pepper Sardine Toasts | Killing Thyme


  • Lija W
    August 30, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    As a Hawaiian family, sardines are always in our cupboard and on the table. I found this recipe because I was looking for a way to use up the ricotta in my fridge. Never in the world would I have thought of using ricotta toast with sardines. Thanks for sharing, going to try this.

  • […] If you can appreciate fish with a punch, you’ll enjoy the roundhouse kick from His Majesty’s brisling sardines with spicy cracked pepper. The only ingredients you’ll find in these cans are extra virgin olive oil, whole peppercorns, salt, black pepper oil, and of course, tender brisling sardines. These gems are oak-wood smoked, hand packed, and kosher certified. They’re also extremely versatile. Not only are they fab in this cream sauce, but they make a huge impression with appetizers like these crostini. […]

  • […] You can elevate them at brunch or pluck’em right from the can and slap’em onto crostini for a simple yet substantial […]

  • Albert Bevia - Spain on a Fork
    June 13, 2017 at 10:44 am

    I hit the jackpot with this recipe! I am a huge fan of sardines, being from Spain, it is a staple item for us, and we also love them out of a tin. I will be trying this recipe for sure. Thank you!

    • Killing Thyme
      June 13, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Hey Albert! I’m so happy you’re digging this recipe! Sardines are one of the most underrated fish out there, so I’ll be happy to bring more sardine recipes to the blog in the near future and hopefully turn those whom are curious into total sardine nuts! :)
      Definitely let me know how you like this recipe! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for taking the time to comment <3


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