This easy and quick sardine soup can help you lower your cholesterol with its rich omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber.
This sardine stew is made from pantry staples and can be easily whipped up when you are craving something warm and comforting.
Why Make Sardine Stew
- a quick and easy meal that comes together in 20 minutes
- full of pantry staples
- rich in omega-3 fatty acids (and low in mercury!)
- satiating soluble fiber from the cannellini beans
- can be a stew or soup, depending on how much liquid you add
Sardines are an inexpensive source of protein and healthy fats. They are available fresh, frozen, and canned.
Unlike other omega-3-rich fish, they are low in mercury and other containments. They are small in size and have a short life span which means they don’t have as long to accumulate mercury as larger fish like tuna. They also eat plankton which is relatively low in mercury.
As for heart health, they are full of inflammation-stopping omega-3 fatty acids. They are a great source of protein and calcium too.
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends two servings of omega-3-rich fish per week, and eating sardines can help you meet this goal (1).
Other beneficial nutrients found in sardines include magnesium and potassium. Two heart-healthy micronutrients that manage blood pressure according to the DASH diet.
You can eat them right out of the can even though the skin and bones remain intact. This is where some nutrition lies, like in the calcium-rich bones.
|1 can of sardines in oil (2)||Daily Requirements For Adults Depends on age, sex, and activity level (3)|
|Protein (g)||22.6||Around 20 grams per meal|
|Potassium (mg)||365 mg||2600-4700|
|PUFA 20:5 n-3 (EPA) an omega-3 fatty acid||0.44 g||250 mg of combined EPA and DHA|
|PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA) an omega-3 fatty acid||0.47 g|
As you can see in the table above, sardines are high in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy minerals like potassium, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, 1 can of sardines has almost:
- 35% of your calcium needs
- 14% of your potassium needs
- over 100% of your omega-3 needs
- meets your protein needs for the day
That being said, canned sardines are often high in sodium, in fact, one can of sardines provide almost 1/3rd of your recommended intake. Read on to learn how to purchase low-sodium sardines.
Tips To Purchase Canned Sardines
I prefer canned sardines because they are convenient and inexpensive. Two tips to consider when purchasing canned sardines:
1. When purchasing canned sardines choose ones that are packed in olive oil or water. When possible, you want to avoid the ones packed in omega 6-rich fats like soybean oil, which may promote inflammation.
If you choose the ones packed in water, you can rinse the sardines to get rid of excessive sodium.
However, if you choose one packed in oil, you will want to use the oil when possible because some omega-3s may have moved from the fish to the oil.
2. Try to find canned sardines with the lowest amount of sodium listed. If you can’t find any low in sodium, try rinsing the sardines before consuming or be sure to eat them with other low-sodium foods to help manage your blood pressure.
Can You Cook Canned Sardines?
You can absolutely cook canned sardines. They can be eaten straight from the can, or heated just like this Mediterranean stew recipe.
Sardine Soup Ingredients
This sardine stew recipe is full of foods that will unclog your arteries and lower blood pressure:
- sardines – can be purchased fresh, canned, or frozen
- onion, garlic, parsley, paprika – flavor enhancers and antioxidants
- spinach – a mild-tasting green leaf with lots of nutrients, switch it up by using kale, chard, or arugula instead
- tomatoes – choose fresh or no-salt-added canned tomatoes
- olive oil – heart-healthy monounsaturated fat full of polyphenols
- white cannellini beans – choose dried or no-salt-added canned beans
The most important thing to consider here is when purchasing other canned items for the sardine soup, be sure they are labeled as “no salt added” or “low sodium” on the front of the package, to make the final fish a reasonable amount of sodium.
How To Make This Mediterranean Stew
- First, prepare ingredients. I like having everything pre-chopped and ready to go.
- Then I heat a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté the onions, and garlic with the olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, cannellini beans, and then sardines. Note: you can use water here instead of chicken or fish stock to keep the sodium low in the final dish.
- Mix in the paprika.
- Bring to a boil and simmer.
- Right before serving, stir in the spinach and top with parsley.
- Taste and adjust as possible.
- Other add-ins: mussels, brown rice, diced potato, red pepper
What Can I Do With Tinned Sardines?
Here are some ideas you can do with leftover tinned sardines
- Toppings for salads and sandwiches
- Sautee in olive oil
- Add to pasta
- Try sardine tacos
- They are delicious in a sushi roll
- Or use them as a dip
Other Sardine Recipes
Try this chunky sardine soup to get the omega 3s you need for heart health. Who knew sardines could taste so good?
Sardine Soup with Cholesterol Lowering Beans
- 1 Saucepan
- 1½ tsp olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 1 can diced tomato no salt added
- 1 can cannelli beans no salt added
- 2 cups chicken stock low sodium
- 2 cans sardines in water
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 cup baby spinach
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- Prepare vegetables
- Sauté onions and garlic in saucepan with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat
- After 5 minutes, add tomatoes, canned beans, chicken stock and mix together
- Bring to a boil, and add 2 packs of drained sardines to the saucepan
- Add paprika to the soup, mix well
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Add spinach leaves and mix
- Serve, and top with parsley