Grilled Portuguese Sardines


It’s midsummer and that means we’ve got to have a day for grilled sardines! Sure, you can pop them in the oven, but there’s nothing quite like grilling these over charcoal. Besides being absolutely delicious, it’s one of those dishes that emphasise the dichotomy of Portuguese Cooking, it tends to be extremely fresh and simple cooking or complex highly seasoned cooking, nothing much in between hehehe 😀

For portuguese style grilled sardines, it’s just good chubby sardines and salt on if possible charcoals, by the way a little tip for perfection, don’t let the flames roar, you want a gentle heat for that perfect char. Also if you don’t have a charcoal pit to grill, you can use any kind or even a grilling pan, it won’t be perfection but it will be pretty close, let’s check the recipe.

Roasted Portuguese Sardines

  • Servings: 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Grilling sardines, Portugal style. If you haven't had the pleasure of indulging in this summer delight, you're in for a treat.


  • Sardines – 15
  • Coarse Salt – A Pinch


  1. Begin by choosing your sardines wisely. Freshness and chubbiness is key. Look for unblemished, whole sardines, like all fishes, clear eyes, firm body, rosy guills. Scale and gut them or simply scale and wash them thoroughly, keeping the guts in will keep the fish more moist, but of course taking the guts out will give you a firmer fish and easier to eat.
  2. If you’re opting to gut them, make a gentle cut along the belly and carefully remove the innards. Place the clean sardines on a tray and season generously with coarse salt.
  3. Fire up the coals. Once the embers are aglow but not too fiery, position the sardines on the grill. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, until they’re beautifully golden (time may vary based on the size of the fish and grill heat).
  4. Remove from the grill and serve, often over rustic bread and paired with a flavorful roasted pepper salad that you can also make on the grill.
Notes: Feel free to sprinkle the sardines with a bit of lemon juice or a dash of paprika for an extra zing. If you’re a fan of garlic, rub a clove over the bread before placing the sardines. And don’t limit this dish to bread; sardines pair well with a side of potato salad or simply fresh greens.

This recipe for Roasted Portuguese Sardines was originally created on Esta receita de Sardinhas Assadas à Portuguesa foi publicada em português no


Per Serving: 737 calories; 41 g fat; 1 g carbohydrates; 85 g protein.

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