Sardine Grain Bowls with Roasted Fennel and Carrots

Is sustainable seafood something you consider when choosing seafood options in your weekly meals?  It’s something I’m always working on! Sustainable seafood means that it has been caught or farmed with minimal impact to the wild population or the environment. As an avid seafood eater myself, I strive to make sustainable choices when possible so that I can play a part in making seafood available for decades to come.

5 tips for making a sustainable seafood decision:

  • Find a reputable vendor, and talk to your fishmonger.
  • Branch out! Shrimp, salmon and tuna make up more than 50 percent of what we eat in America, but there are hundreds of other species commercially available. So try something new to help alleviate the potential of over-fishing!
  • Consider both farmed and wild species when planning meals and shopping. Both can be sustainable!
  • When in doubt: buy US-fish and aim for smaller species. 

I try to incorporate sardines into my meals every few weeks, as I alternate between different fish and shellfish varieties.  Sardines are a small fish, lower on the food chain and have a lower environmental impact. They also reproduce and mature quickly meaning they’re often resilient to over-fishing. Plus! They’re one of the richest sources of Omega 3s, calcium, vitamin B12, and Vitamin D (just to name a few!).

If you’re ready to branch out and try sardines, give this grain bowl recipe a shot. Developed in partnership with Seafood Nutrition Partnership!

Sardine Grain Bowl with Roasted Fennel and Carrots

This comforting grain bowl in an easy way to pack a satisfying desk lunch or meal prep all the components for a simple weeknight dinner. This is also a great way to step into sardine territory if this sustainable yet delicious and nutritious fish is unfamiliar to you!
Servings 4


  • 1 large or 2 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, core removed, and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 pound small carrots halved lengthwise (quarter if larger)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2-3.75 oz cans of sardines packed in extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked barley or your favorite grain, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley roughly chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, toss fennel wedges and carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread vegetables out on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer and roast in oven for 25-30 min or until carrots and fennel are completely tender and golden.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil (sometimes I use the olive oil from my canned sardines!), the lemon juice, honey, and dijon mustard. Add a pinch of salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Taste dressing and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. To assemble, spoon barley in the base of each bowl. Top with the roasted vegetables, and (drained) sardines. Drizzle over a few teaspoons of the lemony dressing. Top with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts and some fresh parsley.
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