MAKES 16 sliders (4 per serving)

PREP TIME: 9 minutes

COOK TIME: 6 minutes

Sardines aren’t something many of us gravitate toward when we’re hungry, but these mini burgers might change your mind! Sardines are rich in omega-3, vitamin B12, calcium, and many of the minerals we need on keto to balance our electrolytes. This recipe is so good that I made it multiple times while writing the book. It’s my go-to meal when we’re hungry and I have very little time to create something fancy. Even my sardine-hating husband asks for it!

Don’t want to make the mayo-based sauce? Replace it with ⅓ cup (80 ml) of Creamy Italian Dressing (here) or Ranch Dressing (here).

2 (3-oz/85-g) cans sardines

⅔ cup (140 g) mayonnaise, divided

½ cup (38 g) crushed pork rinds

2 teaspoons dried chives

1 teaspoon garlic powder

¾ teaspoon finely ground sea salt, divided

½ teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves

3 tablespoons avocado oil

SAUCE:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon pickle or caper brine

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

7 to 10 lettuce leaves, torn into 4-inch (10-cm) pieces

14 cucumber slices

  1. Place the sardines in a medium-sized bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Add ⅓ cup (70 g) of the mayonnaise, the crushed pork rinds, chives, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of the salt, the paprika, onion powder, and thyme. Stir to combine.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Scoop up 1 tablespoon of the sardine mixture and roll it between your palms, then flatten to a ½-inch (2.5-cm) patty and place in the pan. Repeat with the remaining mixture, making a total of 16 patties. Cook the patties for 3 minutes per side, or until golden and a touch crispy. By the time you’ve finished forming the patties, the first patty you made should be ready to flip. Once done, remove the patties from the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Place the remaining ⅓ cup (70 g) of mayonnaise and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt in a small dish along with the mustard, pickle brine, and cayenne pepper. Stir to incorporate.
  5. To assemble the sliders, place the lettuce pieces on a large serving plate. Spoon a bit of sauce on a piece of lettuce, then place a sardine patty on top, followed by a cucumber slice and another dollop of sauce. Top with a second piece of lettuce. Repeat with the remaining lettuce, sauce, patties, and cucumber slices and serve.

STORE IT: Keep the patties in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. The sauce, lettuce, and cucumbers are best kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

REHEAT IT: Transfer a single serving of the patties to a microwave-safe dish, cover, and microwave for 1 minute; or place in a frying pan with a tablespoon of oil and reheat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes.

THAW IT: Place the patties in the fridge and allow to thaw completely, then follow the reheating instructions above.

PREP AHEAD: Make the sauce ahead; it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

make it LOW-FODMAP:

Omit the garlic and onion powder.

make it NIGHTSHADE-FREE:

Omit the paprika and cayenne.

Per serving of 4 sliders:

calories: 488 | calories from fat: 413 | total fat: 45.9 g | saturated fat: 7.6 g | cholesterol: 87 mg

sodium: 949 mg | carbs: 1.8 g | dietary fiber: 0.5 g | net carbs: 1.3 g | sugars: 0.6 g | protein: 17.1 g

FAT : 85%
CARBS : 1%
PROTEIN : 15%