Want the best way to use tinned fish? Looking to use up tinned tuna, anchovies and sardines? We take a look at the many benefits of tinned fish, plus share our quick and easy recipes below.


Listen to Charlotte and Angus from Sea Sisters take us through 10 things you need to know about tinned fish, including what it's like to be the only UK canning factory preserving British caught fish and why we should all be eating more of the tinned stuff.

You can also see who won our best anchovies taste test.

Is tinned fish good for you?

It is a common misconception that fresh seafood is more nutritious than tinned. This is not the case: tinned fish is a great source of protein, essential oils and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids – highly nutritious vitamins which benefit heart and eye health and lower blood pressure. Plus, the tin essentially locks in all the nutrition, making it a super healthy way to consume seafood.

Is tinned fish sustainable?

The tinned food industry is hailed for its low-waste output. This is because it preserves fish for longer as it's stored out of the fridge and lasts up to four years. Plus, you can eat everything that's inside the tin (if we all chose to consume fish on the day of catch, the concentrated time frame increases the risk of overfishing). Look out for canned or tinned fish with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, as this means it’s being fished using methods that aren’t depleting the oceans.

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What other benefits are there?

Tinned fish is more affordable than fresh fish, perfect for those looking to keep costs low. Plus, since it's already cooked, it makes a nifty no-cook ingredient. Simply throw into your dish of choice – we love it in pasta, salads, dressings and on toast. This is worth bearing in mind if you're looking to expand your no-cook meal repertoire.

Best tinned fish to buy

Ortiz anchovies in olive oil, £5.25, Sous Chef

These anchovies have a soft, silky texture that melts in the mouth. They’re consistent in thickness and length, and come in a neutral olive oil that lets the umami flavour sing. They’re not overly salty, and the taste is a pleasant flavour bomb without being too fishy. They don’t cook down as well as others due to the thickness, but they’re too good to melt away! Try in a caesar salad, or serve on sourdough with butter.

Ortiz Anchovies in Olive Oil

Rockfish tinned seafood, from £4.95, The Rock Fish

This latest venture from seafood sustainability champ Mitch Tonks preserves fish sourced directly from the south coast of England, reducing waste by using catch that would otherwise go unsold due to varying demand. Sardines, cuttlefish, mackerel and mussels are packed with traditional oils and sauces to infuse them with extra flavour.

Six different types of Rockfish tinned seafood

Epicure anchovy fillets in extra virgin olive oil, £1.69, Ocado

With a really deep, rich flavour and slightly bitter, ‘beefy’ aftertaste, these are for the hardcore anchovy lover, or a recipe that requires a big savoury hit. Perhaps too strong and salty to eat in salads for some, they work well in stews, melted into pasta dishes, or pushed into the skin of roast lamb. Used sparingly, they’re a secret ingredient to keep in your cupboard to make savoury dishes sing.

Epicure Anchovy Fillets in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Ortiz Bonito del Norte tuna in olive oil, £4.95, Sainsbury's

For a pale, delicate tuna, try Spain-based Ortiz's 'Bonito del Norte', a smallish tuna generally weighing less than 20kg. Packed in olive oil, this tuna is best when eaten simply: we love it on toast or in a classic salad Niçoise. Ortiz bonito tuna is individually pole and line caught, which helps avoid unwanted fish being caught and thrown away.

A tin of Ortiz brand tuna

Sea Sisters, from £10, East London Canning Co.

The East London Canning Co has recently launched Sea Sisters, a range of British tinned fish. Using ethically sourced and sustainable fish and seafood, the fish and seafood is harvested only when it’s in season and is therefore plentiful. Each fish is also paired with quality British ingredients, such as Somerset cider and locally produced ’nduja made with regenerative farming practices.

Three Sea Sisters individual fish tins

20 tinned fish recipes

Tinned sardine recipes

10-minute sardines and peppers on toast

Pair tinned sardines with roasted red peppers, parsley and smoked paprika to make this jazzed up sardines on toast. It's super quick to make and an easy midweek meal. Check out more sardine recipes.

Sardines and Peppers on Toast with Lemon

Sardine spaghetti

Let tinned sardines shine in this quick and easy Sardinian spaghetti dish, lifted with dried chilli flakes and smoked paprika.

Sardine spaghetti

Warm roasted pepper, sardine and ciabatta salad

You'll need 2 x 140g tins of sardines to make this Italian-style salad, combined with roasted peppers and ciabatta. It makes for a simple low-calorie midweek meal to feed the family.

Warm roasted pepper, sardine & ciabatta salad

Celeriac and sardine toasts

The zingy topping of celeriac, apple, celery and lemon juice really cuts through the deliciously oily sardines in this quick and easy sardine toast recipe.

Sardine and celeriac toast

Tinned anchovy recipes

Asparagus and anchovy pasta

You'll need anchovy fillets to rustle up this bowl of asparagus and anchovy pasta, teeming with umami taste and added crunch thanks to the fennel seed pangrattato topper. Take a look at more anchovy recipes.

Two bowls of asparagus spaghetti

Oven-baked potatoes with capers and anchovies

Anchovy fillets combine with potatoes, peppers and capers to make a dish full of umami flavour. It's perfect just with a leafy salad but also makes a great accompaniment to lamb or fish.

Oven-baked potatoes with capers and anchovies

Salsa verde

Try this fresh green sauce made with anchovy fillets, capers, lemon and fresh herbs. Pair it with grilled fish, chicken or vegetables.

Mortar and pestle with salsa verde

Easy caesar salad

Finely chopped anchovy fillets add salty depth and a real kick of flavour to this caesar salad dressing. Expect crisp romaine lettuce, crunchy croutons and salty bacon lardons.

Easy Caesar Salad Recipe

Tinned tuna recipes

Tuna, sweet potato and gruyère melt

Tinned tuna combines with gruyère and sweet potato to make a nutritious family meal. Serve with a green salad, if you like. Here's more of our best tinned tuna recipes.

Tuna, Sweet Potato and Gruyère Melt Recipe

Edamame, potato and tuna salad

Check out this vibrant salad using tinned tuna. If you can’t get hold of edamame, double-podded broad beans or sliced mangetout would work well instead.

Edamame, Potato and Tuna Salad Recipe

Tuna, orzo and bean salad

Use that tin of tuna alongside other storecupboard staples to make this vibrant, nutritious orzo pasta salad with roasted red peppers and black olives.

Orzo, Bean and Tuna Salad on Two Plates

Tuna pasta bake

Put tinned tuna to good use with this classic family recipe, spiked with dried chilli flakes and rosemary. This comforting dish is a real crowd-pleaser and will be on the table in 50 minutes.

Tuna pasta bake in a white dish with a spoon

Spaghetti with tuna, capers and chilli

A nifty midweek dinner for when you want to use up storecupboard staples, featuring spaghetti, tinned tuna, capers, chilli, red onion, garlic and herbs. To give this dish an individual touch, add spices and herbs of your own choice.

Spaghetti with tuna, capers and chilli

Linguine with tuna, lemon and dill

A quick and simple pasta dish with tinned tuna, lemon, red onion and dill. Add some chilli or a tablespoon of drained capers for an extra kick. This would make a great fresh pasta salad too – just mix the salad with cooled short pasta such as fusilli.

Linguine Recipe with Tuna, Lemon and Dill

Tuna fishcakes

Fishcakes are the ultimate comfort food and these ones, made using tinned tuna, are super easy. Squeeze over plenty of lemon juice and serve with a parsley, cucumber and caper salad.

Tuna fishcakes with parsley and caper salad on a plate

Tuna niçoise pâté

Just tinned tuna, butter, cream and lemon zest make up this delicious pâté. Serve it with hot toast, olives and capers to impress the family using few ingredients.

Tuna Niçoise Pâté Recipe

Tuna melt jackets

Tinned tuna makes a great budget-friendly topping for a baked potato. This recipe adds cheese and spring onions for an extra melty finish, perfect for a comforting midweek meal.

Tuna Melt Jackets Recipe

Spicy tuna puttanesca

This simple Italian pasta can be made in 15 minutes, making the most of store-cupboard heroes such as tinned tuna, capers and black olives.

Spicy tuna puttanesca recipe

Tuna crunch baked potato

Perk up a jacket potato with a tin of tuna, spring onion, celery and sour cream. It's really easy to make and perfect for when you're short on time.

Tuna baked potato

Tuna and caper bagels

Struggling on what to make for lunch? Jazz up your bagel with a tin of tuna, mayo, spring onions, capers, cornichons and parsley.

Tuna and Caper Spread

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