Can you eat the oil in canned sardines | 6 practical ways to use it

Can you eat oil from canned sardines
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There are many options when it comes to sardines, but, sardines packed in olive oil are hands down the best option.

And there are a multitude of reasons for this, including the fact that this delicious delicacy is pumped full of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, is rich flavor, and super healthy for you.

But, the question remains: Can you eat the oil in canned sardines?

It is safe to consume the oil found in canned sardines provided that the oil is olive oil. There are other oils used in canned sardines, such as sunflower oil and soybean oil. There are a plethora of other uses for the oil as well. The oil is rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids and other health benefits.

Can you eat the oil in canned sardines

Sardines are typically canned in oil, brine, or water.

When it comes to oil varieties, the sardines may be packed in vegetable oil, olive oil, or in some cases, extra virgin olive oil. One of the main benefits of storing the sardines in oil is that not only the sardines but also the oil, are bursting with minerals and vitamins. For example, a tin of sardines in olive oil contains approximately 61% Omega 3 Fatty Acids. That means the tin and oil are laden with good fat.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are excellent at lowering cholesterol levels as well as to prevent blood clotting. Furthermore, the Omega 3 Fatty Acids help with heart disease. In addition, it contains a very high amount of vitamin B12 which helps with the formation of red blood cells.

Whether it is vegetable oil, olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil, it is safe to consume the oil that sardines are canned in.

Do you drain sardines of sunflower oil?

Let’s start by talking about what sardines canned in sunflower oil contains. These small tins are a powerhouse of micronutrients. You may want to think twice before draining and discarding the sunflower oil in canned sardines.

The nutrients found in this tin include:

  • Vitamin B12
  • Omega 3 EPA/DHA
  • Phosphorus
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  • Essential amino acids

These micronutrients contribute a plethora of benefits to your health. For example, calcium is essential for bone and tooth health, Omega 3 EPA/DHA helps your body and brain to function normally, while regulating blood pressure. And, vitamin B12 is good for immune system function, reducing tiredness and fatigue, as well as mental health.

You could drain the oil and preserve it for later or other uses. Or, you could consume it with the sardines. However, be careful not to consume too much of this type of oil.

Can you eat the sunflower oil in sardines?

It is safe to consume the sunflower oil in canned sardines. However, keep in mind that consuming sunflower oil is usually not as beneficial for you as consuming other types of healthier oils, such as olive oil or extra virgin olive oil.

What do you do with oil from a sardine tin

Regardless if it’s vegetable oil, olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil, there are a host of health benefits associated with this oil as it is packed in with the fish. Keep in mind, though, that the flavor and degree of fishiness of the oil may not appeal to everyone, so be cautious how and when you use it.

1. Use it to mask medication for your animals

You can use the oil and mix it in with your pet’s regular pellets. Your pet will love you for it and will gobble up every last bite without knowing that you managed to sneak in their medication.

In addition, this oil is great for your pet’s overall health. It supports your animal’s heart health, ensures shiny coats, healthy skin, strong joints, and a healthy immune system.

2. Make a salad dressing

Instead of reaching for your usual olive oil from the bottle, use the oil from the sardines to mix in with your garden salad. Keep in mind that this oil may have an overly fishy aroma to it.

So, if you are sharing the salad, you may want to check that everyone is on board for the flavor profile. Mix the oil with some lemon juice, fresh herbs such as oregano, Italian herbs, or even rosemary, and give it a good stir before mixing it in with your salad. It’s very nutritious and healthy.

3. Sautee garlic and onion with it

The base of any great stew is a well sauteed onion and garlic mixture. Use the oil to saute your garlic and onion mixture before sauteing your meat. It will give a more diverse flavor profile to your entire dish and is a great way of adding Omega 3 Fatty Acids to any stew.

4. Mix it in with mashed potatoes

Yes, you read that right. Instead of mixing butter, use the oil to mix in with your mashed potatoes. Or, even better, add the oil and butter together for an even richer flavor.

5. Fry your morning eggs in it

Social media is a very powerful tool. And this is where we got this idea. Some of the more health conscious ladies on social media have been abuzz about how well this oil works for frying your eggs.

According to them, it even crops up the edges of the eggs beautifully. So next time you are in the mood for some fried eggs, don’t reach for the oil in your cupboard. Instead, try the sardine oil that you’ve been saving for exactly such an occasion.

6. Drench some over rice

There are few things as bland as rice. Next time you would like to impress your guests, add some sauteed vegetables and sardine oil to your rice to spice things up. It’s super healthy and adds a depth of flavor to a very boring side dish.

How to strain canned sardine oil

The fastest and easiest way to drain oil from a can of sardines is to use the lid of the can. Pull the lid back completely until it comes off the can. Then press the lid back into the can and squeeze it tightly. Gently tilt the can to one side to allow the oil to drain out.

You could use a strainer to drain out the oil. Place the strainer inside a bowl to help catch the oil as it drains out. Empty the contents of the can into the strainer and allow the oil to drain through. You can transport the oil to another container when it is done for later use.

Why are some sardines packed in oil

Oil helps to preserve the fish while it is being stored in the can or tin. While oil is great for storing fish, there has been speculation about the health benefits, which has seen more and more canned food manufacturers opt to store fish in other liquids, such as brine, tomato sauce, and even fresh water.

However, there has been no evidence to clearly state that storing fish in oil is bad for you. In fact, quite the contrary, some studies have found that storing fish in higher quality oils such as olive oil is actually very good for you.


I am a kind of person that would sneak a taste out of grandma’s pot when I was barely tall enough to reach it. I grew up in kitchens full of love and liveliness and have spent my whole live learning, experimenting and succeeding in the art of cooking. At Pro Family Chef, every day is an opportunity for a new meal and a brand new flavor. I created this website to connect people that love to cook, with the products designed to make their cooking easier, hassle-free and rewarding every time.

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