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A serving platter of sardines in tomato sauce garnished with chopped parsley

From Canned Sardines to Wow Dishes for Under ₱100

You can always count on canned sardines to get you through penny-pinching days. But having a budget shouldn't limit your meal options. These canned sardine recipes offer a balance of carbs, protein, and nutritious veggies, all for under ₱100. Yes, you can enjoy sardines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Everything Under ₱100: Recipes to Make With Canned Sardines

A tin can of sardines in tomato sauce styled with peppercorns, parsley leaves, and lemon

Never resort to sardines straight out of the can again! Fill up with these warm, wholesome dishes that cover all your major food groups in one plate.

Recipe 1: Sardine scrambled eggs

A plate of scrambled eggs with sardines and onions

You can always rely on scrambled eggs for a simple yet satisfying breakfast! Make them extra filling by adding sardines and a crumbled Knorr Chicken Cube for seasoning. Keep the eggs’ texture custard-like (not rubbery!) by cooking your scramble low and slow.


1 tsp cooking oil – ₱1

1 pc onion – ₱5

1 (155-g) can sardines – ₱23

1 pc Knorr Chicken Cube – ₱6

½ cup water – ₱0.50

3 pcs eggs – ₱22.50

Total: ₱58

Recipe 2: Tortang sardinas

A plate of savory fried pancakes with fish and greens

Filipino-style torta is another foolproof egg dish you can easily customize with whatever is on hand. This recipe features sardines, carrots, and green onions, but you can add more veggies if your budget allows. Malunggay and fresh tomatoes are other nutritious options that pair well with fish. Fry your torta until crispy and serve with banana ketchup.


1 tbsp cooking oil – ₱3

1 (155-g) can sardines – ₱23

2 pcs egg – ₱15

1 pc Knorr Chicken Cube – ₱6

½ cup green onions – ₱26

½ cup carrot – ₱18

Total: ₱91

Recipe 3: Ginisang sardinas at ampalaya

A plate of sauteed sardines and ampalaya in tomato sauce

Sardines and ampalaya isn't the most obvious pairing, but the two complement each other in this dish. Sardines in tomato sauce have some sweetness to them, which helps neutralize the bitter gourd. For better results, ensure that the ampalaya cooks through while retaining its refreshing crunch. Sautéing in onions and garlic also makes it more palatable.


1 tbsp cooking oil – ₱3

1 pc onion – ₱5

1 clove garlic – ₱0.25

1 pc ampalaya – ₱37.5

1 (155-g) can sardines – ₱23

½ pc Knorr Chicken Cube - ₱3

½ cup water – ₱0.5

Total: ₱72.25

Recipe 4: Odong noodle soup

A bowl of odong noodle soup with pechay and sardines in tomato sauce

Craving a comforting bowl of instant ramen but want to lessen your sodium intake? Try this hearty rainy-day staple from Mindanao. It features thick, al dente odong noodles in a soup made of sardines, tomato sauce, and aromatics. If you can’t find these noodles anywhere, you can use Japanese udon, miki, or spaghetti as substitutes. 


1 tbsp cooking oil – ₱3

1 clove garlic – ₱0.25

1 pc onion – ₱5

1 (155-g) can sardines in tomato sauce – ₱23

1 pc Knorr Chicken Cube – ₱6

2 cups water – ₱2

2 (40-g) packs odong noodles – ₱6.50

1 bundle pechay, sliced – ₱20

Top: ₱65.75

Recipe 5: Sardine pandesal sandwiches

A plate of pandesal filled with sardines and mayonnaise

When all else fails, have faith in warm pandesal. Head to your nearest panaderya and grab them freshly baked – it makes all the difference! Slice them in half and slather each side with mayonnaise before sandwiching spoonfuls of sardines in between. Fresh tomatoes make these more nutritious. Enjoy with coffee or juice for an energizing merienda!

Costing (scaled recipe for merienda):

2 pcs tomatoes – ₱8

40 ml mayonnaise – ₱17.25

8 pcs pandesal – ₱16

1 (155-g) can sardines – ₱23

Total: ₱64.25

Recipe 6: Spicy tomato sardine pasta 

A plate of bucatini pasta with tomato sauce, sardines, and herbs

This spin on the classic Spanish-style sardine pasta uses sardines in tomato instead of in oil. As a result, you get a more full-bodied dish that red sauce lovers would appreciate. Let the chili flakes simmer in the liquid to dial up the spice levels, or simply use them as a garnish for mild heat. Optionally, top with Parmesan and an extra scrunch of pepper.


250 g fettuccine – ₱37

1 tbsp olive oil – ₱4

¼ cup minced garlic – ₱3

1 red onion – ₱5

1 teaspoon chili flakes – ₱1

2 (155-g) cans sardines in tomato sauce – ₱46

salt and ground black pepper – ₱1

Total: ₱97

Recipe 7: Sinigang na sardinas 

A bowl of canned sardines sinigang

If you're in the mood for sinigang but trying to cut costs, give this abot-kayang alternative a try. Inspired by this recipe for bangus sinigang, it captures all the essential flavors with sardines and an instant sampalok mix. Got a few more pesos to spare? Load it up with other local produce, including labanos, sitaw, and okra. Tip: add the sardines last to keep them from dissolving in the soup.


2 (155-g) cans sardines in tomato sauce – ₱46

1 pc tomato – ₱4 

1 pc onion – ₱5

1 (11-g) pack Sinigang sa Sampalok Mix – ₱7

1 bundle kangkong – ₱20

Total: ₱82

These dynamic recipes prove that there's more to canned sardines than meets the eye. Have them with rice, over noodles, in stir-fries, as hearty sandwich fillings – the list goes on. A little creativity in the kitchen goes a long way when working with a tight budget!

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