Grilled Sardines with Chipotle Dressing | BBQ Sardine Recipes

Grilled Sardines with Chipotle Dressing | BBQ Sardine Recipes

Grilled Sardines with Chipotle dressing – awesome.

Grilled sardines taste delicious (especially on the BBQ) and need nothing more than a light dressing.

They’re cheap, like ridiculously cheap – I bought 5 the other day for a £1. They’re sustainable, they’re healthy and sardines always look kinda’ impressive when you serve them whole.

Chipotle Sauce by Theo Michaels
Chipotle Sauce

When cooking grilled sardines you can treat them in the same way you treat mackerel. Both are oily fish (in a good way) and always go well with a sharp citrus dressing, or at the very least a quick squeeze of lemon and few leaves of parsley. Which is similar to my grilled mackerel recipe served with a fragrant (and ass-kicking) lemon and garlic dressing – which would go great with sardines by the way.

I literally can’t think of one negative of grilled sardines – Except if have to share them, that’s a little annoying.

For my grilled sardines recipe I’ve whipped up a quick chipotle sauce, that goes really well; it has all the criteria I want slathered over my charred sardines; sharp lemon, fragrant herbs, depth from the garlic and all wrapped up with the smoky heat of chipotles which I’ve become a little addicted to recently (as this will confirm!).

You can use dried chipotles that you rehydrate or use the chipotle paste which is now available everywhere.

I always find a certain nostalgic charm to seeing a row of silver sardines lined up like little armour clad soldiers on the grill.

Grilled Sardines on BBQ Charcoal by Theo Michaels
Grilled Sardines on the BBQ

I’ve cooked these sardines on the BBQ, but you can pop them under your home grill instead (but you better have a damn good reason for not standing in the rain holding an umbrella with smoke making your eyes water!) If you live in the UK you’ll know what I mean…anyway, here’s my recipe for Grilled Sardines with Chipotle Sauce.

I serve about 3-5 sardines per person for a decent lunch (plus some good bread) depending on how big they are.

Grilled Sardines Recipe:

This couldn’t be easier…

Sardines – gutted but left whole (get the fismonger or deli-counter person to prepare them)

  1. Wipe with olive oil
  2. Throw onto the BBQ for 3 minutes each side directly over the charcoal until nicely charred
  3. Remove once cooked and set aside (sardines are fine served at room temperature).

Chipotle Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients (enough for about 10 sardines)

Juice 1 lemon

Double quantity extra virgin olive oil

Salt / pepper

4 tbl chopped coriander

1/2 chipotle chopped up (or tablespoon chipotle paste)


  1. Add all the ingredients together and mix thoroughly – taste for preference (more chilli, more citrus, etc. – but it should be strong!)
  2. Lay sardines out and drizzle a tablespoon of the chipotle dressing over each sardine, saving any dressing to serve on the side.

Goes well with some bread to mop up the juices…

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1 thought on “Grilled Sardines with Chipotle Dressing | BBQ Sardine Recipes”

  • Nothing says summer like a BBQ – and sardines have to be one of the cheapest fish you can buy, yet always look impressive!

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