Moroccan Baked Whole Sardines Recipe

Moroccan baked sardines

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
591 Calories
32g Fat
0g Carbs
71g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 591
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 12g 59%
Cholesterol 223mg 74%
Sodium 7291mg 317%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 71g
Calcium 44mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Morocco sardines can be found in abundance along the long coastline, making these flavorful little fish extremely affordable. For families living in areas near the ocean, sardines are a staple, showing up as a regular if not weekly offering on their tables.

Flavor and pricing aside, there's another good reason select sardines at the fish market –they're very good for us! Rich in vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids as well as in calcium and vitamin D, the tasty, humble sardine is regarded as a superfood.

Allow approximately one-half pound (250 g) of sardines per person when serving whole baked sardines as an entrée. The fish should be gutted and descaled before cooking proceeding with the recipe.


  • 2 pounds whole fresh sardines, gutted and descaled
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt (or rock salt, more or less as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: fresh lemon, thinly sliced or cut into wedges
  • Garnish: cumin (as a condiment for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Moroccan sardines
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  2. Preheat your oven to 350 F (175 C).

  3. Wash the sardines in a bowl of water, scraping off any residual scales with a small knife. Drain the sardines.

    Sardines in a bowl
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  4. If desired, line a shallow baking dish or rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Generously sprinkle rock salt or coarse sea salt on the bottom and arrange the sardines on top of the salt.

    Sardines on a baking sheet
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  5. Brush or drizzle each sardine with a little olive and season generously with freshly ground pepper. If you like, sprinkle additional rock salt over the fish, topping with a few thin slices of fresh lemon.

    Brush with olive oil
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  6. Bake the sardines in the middle of the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or just until the skin slides off easily and the fish is tender. For darker coloring, bake in the upper part of the oven.

    Sardines on tray
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  7. Transfer the sardines to a serving platter garnished with lemon wedges. Cumin may be offered at the table as a condiment.

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