10 Best Anchovy Recipes

Classic Fried Whitebait (Fried Tiny Fish), fried fish and lemon wedges on a plate

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Anchovies sometimes get a bad rap, but the salty, fragrant little fish can really boost a whole range of dishes. Both fresh and canned varieties have a delicious flavor seafood fans will love. If you're looking for a new way to enjoy the anchovies, try one of these tasty recipes.

If you're using the canned variety, don't throw out the oil. Add a little to sauces or salad dressing to give them an extra umami element but know that you may want to reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to account for the oil's salinity.

  • 01 of 10

    Provençal Pissaladière

    Provençal pissaladière onion tart
    HUGHES Herv / hemis.fr

    This savory Provençal onion tart gets layered with anchovies, olives, and herbs for a delicious light lunch or snack that shows up as a fast food item all across France and even further afield. You can also slice it into small squares and serve it as a starter. Make your own using puff pastry as the base for an easy dish.

  • 02 of 10

    Classic Caesar Dressing

    Caesar salad with classic Caesar dressing

    Westend61 / Getty Images

    You'll never go back to bottled Caesar salad dressing again once you try this homemade version. Fresh Parmesan, lots of garlic, egg yolks, and anchovies all give it that signature rich and creamy texture and aromatic, zesty flavor. Use it to top fresh romaine and crispy croutons, dress a wrap, or even top a grilled chicken sandwich.

  • 03 of 10

    Fried Fresh Anchovies

    Fried fresh anchovies with lemon wedges

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    If you find fresh anchovies at your local seafood counter, try frying them up in this simple and delicious presentation. For this recipe, make sure the anchovies are especially small, no bigger than your pinkie finger. All they need is a squeeze of fresh lemon and a cold beer on the side, although they taste great dipped in some garlic aioli, too.

  • 04 of 10

    Anchovies Marinated in Vinegar (Boquerones en Vinagre)

    Boquerones en Vinagre, anchovies marinated in vinegar
    mamadela / Getty Images

    In Spain, these vinegar-marinated fresh anchovies often appear on tapas menus, sometimes over potato chips or alongside olives. Buy already cleaned anchovies or quickly clean them yourself before marinating them for a few hours and serving as part of your appetizer spread for a unique starter. They pair beautifully with a glass of vermouth or fortified wine.

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  • 05 of 10

    Anchovy Butter

    Salmon with anchovy butter
    Philippe Desnerck / Getty Images

    Anchovy butter has an assertive flavor that tastes great atop steak, chicken, or salmon, and it could hardly get easier to make. Simply combine chopped, mashed anchovy fillets (anchovy paste will also work) and softened butter, roll up, and chill. To give the compound butter even more flavor, add lemon juice, garlic, or capers to the mix.

  • 06 of 10

    Simple Anchovy Sauce

    Anchovy sauce on toast

    nobtis / Getty Images

    This simple anchovy sauce will level up all manner of foods like pasta and salads but also works as a spread of its own atop some crusty bread. It comes out very similar to the Provençal dish anchoïade, except that this recipe uses red wine vinegar instead of white. If you prefer a less salty sauce, soak the anchovies in cold water or milk for 15 minutes to an hour before draining and using.

  • 07 of 10

    Pasta alla Puttanesca

    Pasta all Puttanesca

    DronG / Getty Images

    With an assertive, slightly spicy sauce made of tomatoes, olives, capers, and anchovies, this classic Italian pasta dish will have guests licking the bowl. Since the recipe calls for a short list of ingredients, use the best quality items you can find. Try topping it with a little good olive oil before serving to really bring out the depth of flavors.

  • 08 of 10

    Traditional Nicoise Salad

    Salad Nicoise with aioli dressing

    Jules Clancy / Flickr

    Canned tuna, green beans, potatoes, hard-boiled egg, and olives are all nestled atop a bed of greens in this traditional French salad. Adding anchovies to the dressing gives it that signature flavor without it being too in your face. Freshly seared and sliced tuna can be used, if preferred, for a more flavorful experience.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Veal in Tuna-Caper Sauce

    Veal in tuna caper sauce

     Natasha Breen / Getty Images

    Salty anchovies and capers, fresh lemon juice, and vinegar combine for a luscious sauce that gives this showstopper of a veal dish its signature flavor. Making the mayonnaise from scratch takes a little more time than a prepared one, but the results will be well worth it.

  • 10 of 10

    Korean Anchovies (Myulchi Bokum)

    Myulchi Bokum, Korean anchovies
    Topic Images Inc. / Getty Images

    A typical side dish or appetizer served in Korea, these dried anchovies come out deliciously complex with a little umami, a little spice, and a little sweetness. Dedicated anchovy fans will enjoy this unique presentation, and it might even win over those who think they don't love the fish.