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Sardine Rillettes

Sardine Rillettes

WebMD Recipe from

  • 2 cans
    sardines packed in olive oil, drained (3 3/4-ounce)
  • 2 1/2 ounces
    cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 1 small
    onion, minced, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1-2 
    scallions, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • limes (or 1 lemon), juiced
  • 2-3 tablespoons
    minced fresh herbs (such as chives, cilantro, parsley and/or dill)
  •  pinch
    piment d’Espelette or cayenne
    salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. You can use skinless, boneless sardine fillets. If you buy ones that have not been boned, use a paring knife to cut them open down the belly and back and separate the fish into 2 fillets. Lift away the bones and, if there is a little bit of tail still attached to the fish, cut it off.
  2. Put cream cheese in a medium bowl and, using a rubber spatula, work it until it is smooth. Add everything else except the sardines — holding back some of the lime or lemon juice until rillettes are blended — and mix with the spatula. Add sardines to the bowl, switch to a fork, and mash and stir sardines into the mixture. Taste for seasoning, adding more juice, salt and/or pepper, if you’d like.
  3. Scrape rillettes into a bowl and cover, pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface. Chill for at least 2 hours, or for as long as overnight.
  4. To serve: Offer the rillettes in a bowl surrounded by toasted country bread, crackers or Pringles, if you dare, or use it as a stuffing for cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, or piquillo or Peppadew peppers.

To store: Wrapped airtight, the rillettes will keep for up to 2 days; stir well before serving.

Nutritional Information

Makes: 5 servings
  • Calories129
  • Carbohydrates11.4 g
  • Cholesterol15 mg
  • Fat8.9 g
    • Saturated fat3.2 g
  • Sodium130 mg
  • Protein3 g
* Nutritional Guidelines based on the USDA's MyPlate Standards.
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