Sardine & Zucchini “Pasta” with Grana Padano

This healthy riff on the traditional Italian pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines) gives you those brain-boosting omega-3's atop zucchini noodles instead of carbohydrate-rich spaghetti. In one study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, people who ate a higher percentage of their calories from carbs had an increased risk of cognitive impairment or dementia. If you still prefer a classic flavor, swap whole-wheat pasta for half of the zucchini noodles. Grana Padano is a hard Italian cheese with buttery, nutty notes, but you can substitute Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano or any hard, sharp cheese.

Prep Time
20 min
20 min


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    1 large shallot, thinly

    sliced crosswise

    4 cloves garlic, minced

    1 1/2 cups halved cherry or

    grape tomatoes

    3 4-oz BPA-free cans or

    pouches boneless, skinless sardines in water, drained well

    2 zucchini, spiralized (TIP: You can also purchase pre-cut zucchini noodles.)

    1 tsp finely grated lemon zest

    2/3 cup sliced fresh basil

    4 oz Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

    1 tsp red pepper flakes


1. In a large skillet on medium, heat oil. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, just until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring often, just until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in sardines and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add zucchini and cook, stirring gently to avoid breaking up sardines, just until zucchini is softened, about 2 minutes. Gently stir in lemon zest.

3. Sprinkle with basil, cheese and pepper flakes before serving.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories 370
  • Carbohydrate Content 9 g
  • Cholesterol Content 71 mg
  • Fat Content 24 g
  • Fiber Content 2 g
  • Protein Content 29 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 8 g
  • Sodium Content 814 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 10.5 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g