sardine cakes

Sardine Croquettes

sardine cakes

Sardine Croquettes

Sardines and leftover potatoes combine to make something delicious in this pantry-friendly recipe.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, European
Servings 4


  • 2 4-oz cans skinless boneless sardines in water, drained
  • 1 lb leftover roasted Russet potatoes, skin removed, about 2 potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon nonpareil capers
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion


  • Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet.
  • Place the sardines, potatoes, mayo, and mustard in a medium bowl and, using a potato masher, mash until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.  Form into 3-4 inch cakes, using a firm hand to really compress the mixture together.
  • Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel-line plates.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • If your mixture is very wet and not sticking together, add in some bread crumbs.
  • Too dry? Add a little more mayo.
Keyword pantry cooking

The last time we grocery shopped it was mid-June. We get a box of misc produce delivered each week (since mid-April) but we’ve been doing the majority of our grocery shopping in person. My goal is always 3 weeks between shops. This time I wanted to see if we could make it a full month to help rotate out some pantry items and items we’ve frozen since March.  Part of what makes it easier to shop less is making a real effort to use up everything that comes into the house even if they are inexpensive or seem insignificant. We don’t (normally) get basics like potatoes or onions in our produce delivery so we have been trying extra hard to make sure we don’t waste either. No one wants to run out of onions halfway through a recipe!

In this case, I was at the end of a bag of baking potatoes and didn’t think they’d last too many more days in the bag. So I decided to have baked potatoes for dinner and bake up the last two (huge!) potatoes in the bag. You don’t want to store leftover baked potatoes in foil (botulinum risk) but they are fine to stick on the shelf in their skin until they are ready to use. A couple of days later I scooped out the insides and made these croquettes.

Sardines are a favorite of mine in any form but boneless, skinless sardines are perfect for anyone a little nervous about trying sardines and aren’t sure what to do about bones or are nervous about the texture of the skin. They mash up really well. If you can handle canned tuna, you can handle these sardines. Sardines have more omega-3 fats than salmon and are a great source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and protein.

Potato-based croquettes can be a little on the bland side so I added some major flavor via mustard and capers, and red onions. Sardines have a rep for being “fishy” but they really are just savory and have a very meaty texture. A lot of croquette recipes call for eggs but since we are shopping less, eggs have become pretty precious! In this case, I used a mixture of mayo and mustard as binder instead. Not only did it save an egg for another use, but it also added flavor. I love eggs but they don’t add much flavor-wise in recipes like this. The croquettes really reminded me of pan bagnat but in patty form. So good!


  1. Patrick Marshall

    5 stars
    Excellent! I substituted microwaved baked potatoes since the skin was not relevant. I also substituted yellow onions, although I think red would have been better but I did not have any on hand. The capers are a nice touch and add a lot to the flavors. My suggestion is to serve them with mustard and prepared horseradish (mild) as a condiment. Will definitely make it again but using red onion.

  2. 5 stars
    Hello I would like to know what is the rice dish featured alongside the sardine croquettes in the picture for the sardine croquettes? I love rice and I am always looking for different ways to make it.

    Thank you.