This post is sponsored by King Oscar | Opinions are my own

January is full of healthy promises and resolutions. For the first two weeks, salads and veggie-filled soups go a long way.

But the hankering for pasta dishes inevitably hits us sooner or later.

The good news is we can cheat our way through these cravings by swapping noodles for things like spaghetti squash and spiralized zucchini — and zucchini noodles tossed in a velvety mushroom sauce with meaty bits of peppered sardines is a great place to start.

If you aren’t keen on replacing your beloved carb-y noodles, you don’t have to. This sauce is full of enough healthy goodies to keep this dinner option as a healthier choice.

Never judge a book by its cover, and never judge a sauce by its color.

That should be on a t-shirt, or a mug, or something. It’s an important reminder, because at first blush, this creamy and flavor-packed mushroom sauce is anything but pretty. The brilliantly green zucchini and parsley give this dish the first-glance wow factor it deserves. Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme

Rich and creamy can be healthy, thanks to cannellini beans.

If the idea of beans in your cream sauce irks you, shake it off. You won’t even know they’re there.

When puréed, cannellini beans add volume while offering up a wholesome sauce packed with protein, iron, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. As if that wasn’t healthy enough, King Oscar’s spicy peppered brisling sardines enhance things further with omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamins and minerals.

Hello, guilt-free second helpings!

Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme

King Oscar Brisling Sardines With Spicy Cracked Pepper

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.

And of course, some sardine fanatics have been known to eat them straight out of the can. Present company included.

Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme

Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme

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 a desperate sales pitch; it’s a lengthy list!

To name a few…

  • They 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

If you consume a lot of tuna, I dare you to switch it up and swap your can of parched skipjack for a can of tender and nourishing sardines. I guarantee that once you step into the world of King Oscar, you’ll forget about tuna.

Further to all that, with eco-friendly goals, King Oscar is committed to protecting and enhancing fishing grounds by only taking what the ocean can support. 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.

Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme

If you make this recipe, please snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @killing__thyme! I love hearing from you <3

For more delish recipes that bring King Oscar to your table, try these:

Not sure if King Oscar products are available near you? Find out here.

Get the Recipe:

Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines

Creamy and dreamy, this plateful of Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines is full of hidden healthy things making it completely guilt free.
5 from 3 votes


Ingredient for blender.

  • 1 15.5 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Away from the blender.

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, well-cleaned and sliced
  • 1 TBSP tamari sauce, you can substitute with soy sauce
  • 1 3.75 oz King Oscar Cracked Black Pepper Brisling Sardines, drained
  • 3 medium-sized zucchini, spiralized
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped, optional


At the blender.

  • Drain and rinse cannellini beans in a colander under cool water and transfer to a blender. Add the milk, chopped garlic cloves, parmesan cheese, and two TBSP of olive oil. Season with approx. 1/4 tsp salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Away from blender.

  • Spiralize the zucchini into noodles; set aside in a large bowl.
  • Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet. Add the diced onions and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender and golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tamari (or soy sauce), the sardines, and the bean puree. With a spatula or large stirring spoon, roughly break the sardines down into small chunks. Bring to a bubbling simmer and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken to a rich and creamy consistency. Taste and season with s + p to your liking.
  • While the sauce simmers, toast the walnuts over medium-low heat in a dry pan until golden brown. This should only take a few minutes. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn up quickly. When done, set aside.
  • Finally, toss the zucchini noodles into the sauce. Plate, then garnish with toasted walnuts and fresh parsley.
Zucchini Noodles With Mushroom Sauce and Peppered Sardines | Killing Thyme