Loading Search Bar...
25 mins
Sicilian Stuffed Sardines Recipe

Sicilian Stuffed Sardines

Rating 4-5 out of 5 - Most cooks definitely will make this recipe again

Recipe by  

Sicilian Stuffed Sardines is, as you might imagine, a dish of butterflied sardines stuffed with a delight of lovely ingredients. The plump stuffed fish with their tails sticking out are said to resemble the beccafico, a little bird found in Italy that loves to eat figs. Thus, the Italian name for this dish is sarde alla beccafico. As always, there are a number of variations on this dish. Some cooks add diced caciocavallo cheese to the stuffing and the stuffed sardines are dipped in flour and fried instead of baked. Others soak the currants or raisins in Marsala wine or add saffron to the filling. Whatever variation you like, it's easy to make and quite delicious.

      Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

      Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients for Sicilian Stuffed Sardines

If you are not familiar with any ingredients, please check our International Cooking Terms page.
US Imperial Measurements  UK Imperial Measurements  Metric Measurements

Currently displaying quantities in US Imperial Measurements
to serve 6:
1 tablespoon
caster sugar (superfine sugar)
2 teaspoons
white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon
olive oil
anchovy fillets
4 slices
white bread
2 teaspoons
drained capers
1½ oz
pine nuts
1½ oz
1 tablespoon
finely chopped mint leaves
bay leaves


How to Cook Sicilian Stuffed Sardines

  1. Scale the sardines by running a knife blade down each side "against" the normal lie of the scales. Remove the head and innards of each sardine. Cut the crusts from the bread and use a blender to break it into fine breadcrumbs. Zest the lemon and squeeze the juice from both the lemon and orange. Whisk the lemon and orange juices, sugar, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl then set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the anchovy fillets and cook for 1 minute, stirring, or until melted. Add 2½oz (70g) breadcrumbs and cook for a further 4 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, capers, pine nuts, sultanas and mint and stir to combine. Season with pepper and set aside.
  3. Scatter 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs over the base of a lined oven tray. Place 12 of the filleted sardines, skin-side down, in a baking dish and spread 2 teaspoons of anchovy filling over each. Top with the remaining 12 sardines, skin-side up, and place a bay leaf between each sardine pair. Drizzle with the lemon and orange mixture and scatter over the remaining 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven (Mk 6 - 400ºF - 200ºC) for 10 minutes or until the sardines are just cooked. Eat while hot with a few new potatoes and fried tomato.

Here's a simple method for cleaning sardines that will simplify your life.
Print Kitchen-Friendly View

Reviews of Sicilian Stuffed Sardines

Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again September 14 2013
Love sardines - so good for you - and this is a gorgeous dish. I think sardines may be my absolute favorite fish. I like it oily and fishy yumm. The sad part is that fresh sardines are hard to come by here in the West coast well at least in the San Franciso area. Every now and then I find good ones from Monterrey Bay and when I do I get a lot! These were so easy to make (particualry after I read the page on cleaning sardines the easy way). I served them with a wedge of lemon and some crusty bread for lunch and everyone just loved them.
(1 review)
Rating 5 out of 5 - Many cooks will make this recipe again January 26 2013
This is a truly authentic version of Stuffed Sardines from the Catania / Messina region of Sicily. Most people get this so wrong, but this recipe is 100% on the money. Fabulous. Hope you try it. It makes a better main dish than any antipasto.
(1 review)

Your Rating

Click to rate this recipe 'Hate It'Click to rate this recipe 'Didn't Like It'Click to rate this recipe 'Not Bad'Click to rate this recipe 'Liked It'Click to rate this recipe 'Loved It'
(click a star to select)

Your Review
(Max. 1000 characters) ....  characters left.

 Reviewer Logout
Please help us to provide the recipes you want by rating this recipe for content, clarity, originality or any other criteria that matter to you. Just select the relevant icon and then click...







Thank You... your feedback is important to us.

What To Eat Tonight

91 Fabulous Fish & Seafood Recipes
91 Fabulous Fish & Seafood Recipes

Fish can be so easily spoiled by careless cooking, yet its delicate and light meat is so easy to get right if you have the right recipes.

36 Ways with Sausages
36 Ways with Sausages

Pork, beef, turkey, it doesn't matter - a sausage is a great way to get protein on you plate quickly and easily with maximum pleasure!

56 Ways with Bacon
56 Ways with Bacon

Oh, bacon, bacon, bacon. What can we say? Seen by many as a true gift from the gods, bacon is just so tasty, so versatile and so more-ish.

Other Fish & Seafood Recipes

Mackerel and Bacon Salad
Mackerel and Bacon Salad

Warm Mackerel and Bacon Salad is a humble salad that combines creamy, soft smoked mackerel with crisp, streaky bacon. Once tried, never forgotten!

Butter Roasted Monkfish Tail with Sweet Pepper Risotto
Butter Roasted Monkfish Tail with Sweet Pepper Risotto

Making risotto is a gentle process but it can be served with a variety of accompaniments... working particularly well in this recipe with monkfish

Leek and Smoked Salmon Rolls
Leek and Smoked Salmon Rolls

Leek and Smoked Salmon Rolls is an upmarket version of ham and leek bake. Not only is it an unusual dish, it's also good for your figure!


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2021 NeedARecipe.com
By accessing this site, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. Please read them.