Polpette di Sarde

Kirby loves sardines which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of vitamin D, calcium, B12, and protein.

A popular Italian dish from Sicilly is a sardine dish called Polpette di Sarde which translates to Balls of Sardines and is often served with a simple tomato sauce.  The best way to prepare this dish is using fresh sardines which just can’t be found where I live. The next best thing is canned sardines.  

When shopping choose quality brands and pay attention to the variety of flavored sauces they come packed in.  Avoid the ones packed in mustard or hot pepper sauces to name just a few.  For Kirby I like to use the ones packed in olive oil or tomato sauce. 

This is my adaption from the original recipe. These are normally fried in hot oil but I do very little frying preferring to bake everything in order to cut back on unnecessary calories. 

 Polpette di Sarde

Polpette di Sarde

A popular Italian dish from Sicilly is a sardine dish called Polpette di Sarde which translates to Balls of Sardines is now dog friendly.

Yields: 24 balls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Nutrition facts:
45 Calories, 23 Calories from fat
Total fat: 2.6g or 4% (1.1g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)


  • 2 (3.75 oz) cans sardines packed in olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups instant potato flakes
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan, Romano & Asiago cheese
  • 1 finely minced clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground egg shell
  • Tomato sauce (optional)


  1. Pour sardines with the oil into a medium size bowl and mash them up.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and thoroughly mix.
  3. I used a small cookie scoop but you can easily form small balls with your hands.
  4. Place the meatballs in a baking dish. I have a ceramic coated baking dish so I didn't need to grease it. You can mist your baking dish with a fine layer of olive oil to avoid any sticking
  5. Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Let cool and serve. Pour tomato sauce over the meatballs to complete the dish. Pasta would make a good base if you want to stretch out the servings.

Kirby enjoys a meal of three meatballs with a smidge of tomato sauce. This is a classic meal you can share with your dog! These will keep for a week in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer.  If freezing let the meatballs cool first and then place in freezer bags.