Food / Main Dishes / Pescetarian

Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes


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Sardines are fabulous. You can elevate them at brunch or pluck’em right from the can and slap’em onto crostini for a simple yet substantial snack.

We’ve also discovered that you can whip up a Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta with Sardines and Tomatoes with just five ingredients and 15 minutes! The best part? These five ingredients are pantry staples, so you probably have everything you need — even if you’ve been avoiding that grocery run for a while. (We all do it.)

Most of us have some dry spaghetti sitting in our pantry. As for the tomato sauce, you only need one cup! So if you’ve got an opened jar that’s somehow made it to the back of your fridge, dig it out.

My favorite part of all this — besides the ‘dines — are the greens. I love an excuse to use up that almost-wilted-and-slightly-questionable-but-not-yet-spoiled spinach, kale, or swiss chard in my crisper. (I swear, the crisper is where good intentions go to die.)

And if you’re a canned fish fanatic like me, you already have a Doomsday Prepper supply of sardines lining your pantry wall like a tin can fortress.

King Oscar Brisling Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Small in size and high in quality, these brisling sardines are wood-smoked for a mild flavor and they’re hand-packed without preservatives. These little gems are a Norwegian classic and are perfect for creating hearty sandwiches, protein-filled salads, and nutritious pasta dishes like this one.

King Oscar has drenched their crave-worthy sardines in a variety of tasty flavors — from zesty tomato sauce to the latest Tapatio® Hot Sauce — but these olive oil-slathered fillets prove that His Majesty’s product can stand alone, too.

It’s always worth having a can of these Brisling Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil because they’re flexible, especially when it comes to weeknight pastas.

Sardines are healthy for both us and the environment

When it comes to listing the health benefits of sardines, I never know where to start without sounding like an infomercial; it’s a lengthy list! These fabulous oily fish have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, they’re great for your skin, they strengthen your bones, they promote a healthy immune system, they play a role in heart disease prevention, they’re rich in proteins… the list goes on. Do you have all day?

I used to consume a decent amount of tuna, but once you step into the world of King Oscar’s saucy sardines, you quickly realize that tuna is a snore.

And with eco-friendly goals, King Oscar is committed to protecting and enhancing fishing grounds by only taking what the ocean can support. Further to that, they only trade with approved suppliers and local fisherman with full traceability that use safe catch methods. Smart processing and storage is also a priority — and King Oscar has the recyclable BPA-NI certified packaging to prove it.

TL;DR: Eating King Oscar sardines will make you feel good physically and consciously.

For more fabulous King Oscar recipes, check out my mouthwatering Mediterranean Mackerel Protein Wrap and my pescetarian spin on the brunchy and punchy Fisherman’s Huevos Rancheros!

Not sure if King Oscar products are available near you? Find out here!
Making this recipe? Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.

Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes

This Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes uses pantry staples and cleans out your crisper for an easy 15-minute weeknight meal!
Course Main
Cuisine Pescetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Killing Thyme


  • 1 3.75 oz can King Oscar Brisling Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz whole wheat spaghetti can use white spaghetti if preferred
  • 2 oz (approx. 1 cup) spinach, kale, or swiss chard, thinly sliced you can add more if you'd like
  • 1 cup pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, toasted I use panko, but you can use Italian creadcrumbs

Optional garnish

  • fresh basil or parsley


  • Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook as per the packages directions.
  • While the pasta cooks, slice your greens, roughly chop the sardines (reserve the oil in the can), and toast your breadcrumbs (*see notes.)
  • When there's about 4 minutes left of cooking time with your pasta, heat a large skillet over low heat. Add the oil from the can of sardines, the chopped sardines, and the greens. Stir to combine. If the pan gets dry at all, you can add a bit more olive oil.
  • Once the pasta is ready, drain, and add it to the skillet with the sardines and the greens. Add the tomato sauce, and toss to evenly coat the pasta.
  • Once evenly coated, plate the pasta and top with toasted breadcrumbs. 
  • Garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.


To toast breadcrumbs: Add breadcrumbs to a dry pan and bring the heat to medium-low, stirring often, until the breadcrumbs toast to a golden hue. This should only take about 4 minutes. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. When done, remove from heat and set aside.


  • […] Get the recipe here. […]

  • […] With King Oscar’s Brisling Sardines, I’ve been able to create everything from simple pasta dishes to swoon-worthy brunch plates; fiery tacos to deliciously messy egg sandwiches. And with their […]

  • […] And dinner: Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes […]

  • […] Dinner: Five-Ingredient Weeknight Pasta With Sardines and Tomatoes […]

  • thefoodblognet
    September 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I love sardines, but my husband doesn’t, unfortunately. So this sounds like a perfect meal for me next time I’m solo. It looks delicious!

  • Cathy
    September 29, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I happen to have a tin of sardines in the cupboard and am always looking for more ways to use them. This looks like a terrific idea!

  • thefoodblognet
    September 29, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I love this! I wish my husband liked sardines, but this is the perfect dish for me when I’m solo. Can’t wait to try it.

  • Food Meanderings
    September 29, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Okay, so full confession – never tried sardines! I always thought they were similar to pickled herring so was scared away. I love anchovies (but only in caesar salad dressing)! However…. I am a huge tuna fanatic and you say they are similar to tuna? I love that you can just grab stuff from your pantry and fridge (even questionable spinach -yay!) and throw it together so quickly! This is totally going on my food bucket list!

    • Killing Thyme
      September 29, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Girl, I don’t blame you. Canned fish alone seems unappealing to a lot of people, and I think sardines have a bad rap. Growing up, I associated sardines to that weirdo family in the movie The Burbs when he offers his new neighbor a sardine from the can. Haha. BUT. I definitely recommend giving them a whirl. King Oscar actually has Mediterranean-style sardines that are out of this world — I’d recommend those on your first try if you like those flavors. They’d also work very well in this recipe! (Also, their Mediterranean-style Mackerel is *everything*). I wouldn’t say sardines are similar to tuna, but better in that they are super moist rather than flaky, and they just have a nice mouthfeel. Unless made into a fish patty or whipped with mayo in a salad, tuna actually makes me gag now :|

      Let me know if you give these little gems a shot! I’d love to know what you think :)

  • Jillian
    September 29, 2017 at 1:10 am

    I love quick & tasty meals like this one!

  • Nadja | Nashi Food
    September 29, 2017 at 12:02 am

    I love sardines, I never had tried them with pasta! This recipe is so simple and easy to make Love it.

    • Killing Thyme
      September 29, 2017 at 9:22 am

      High five to a fellow sardine lover! o/ I definitely recommend you give them a whirl in pasta! Stop by and let me know what you think when you do :)

  • Ginny
    September 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    What a beautiful bowl of spaghetti. Love how you’ve presented it and I also love that you’ve got some greens in there.

    • Killing Thyme
      September 29, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Thanks, Ginny! Greens just work so well in pastas, don’t they?

  • Debra C.
    September 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    High quality ingredients expertly made, this dish looks amazing! Such a lovely meal!!

  • Luci's Morsels
    September 28, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Yummy! These flavors look delicious and I love how simple this recipe is to make!


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