Spain on a Fork > All Recipes > Main Dishes > Got Canned Sardines? Make this DELICIOUS Rice from Spain
All Recipes, Main Dishes / September 20, 2023

Got Canned Sardines? Make this DELICIOUS Rice from Spain

This Spanish Rice with Canned Sardines, known as Arroz con Sardinas en Conserva, is possibly one of the best rice dishes that hail from Spain. We´re talking layers of amazing flavors, easy to make and all done in a little over 30 minutes.

DELICIOUS Rice from Spain
To make this recipe I used Spanish round rice. Which is the one that´s typically used for paella. Very similar to arborio rice. However, you can use whatever rice you like. Just make sure to check the package instructions in the rice that you are using. As the rice to liquid ratios might be different than listed below.

DELICIOUS Rice from Spain
For the broth I used fish broth, but other liquids can be used, such as: Chicken broth, Vegetable broth or even water. For the sardines I used canned sardines in olive oil, but you can also use sardines in water. Either way, when removing them from the can, remember to be gentle, so they don´t break apart.

DELICIOUS Rice from Spain

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: One I added the rice, it took me about 15 to 17 minutes to fully cook the rice. 10 Minutes on a high heat and the rest on a low medium heat. Of course every pan and stove top heats differently, so it might take you less time or more.

DELICIOUS Rice from Spain

Key Ingredients & Cookware I used in this Recipe:

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Watch the Video Below on How to Make this DELICIOUS Rice from Spain with Canned Sardines

Spanish Rice with Canned Sardines

Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 512 kcal
Author Albert Bevia @ Spain on a Fork


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 60 ml
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika 2.50 grams
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 cups fish broth 720 ml
  • 1/4 tsp saffron threads .17 grams
  • 1 cup Spanish round rice 190 grams
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas 55 grams
  • 2 cans sardines in olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash black pepper


  1. Finely chop the onion, roughly chop the garlic and finely chop the red bell pepper & carrot

  2. Heat a large fry pan with a medium heat and add in the olive oil

  3. After a couple of minutes add in the chopped vegetables, mix continuously, after 3 to 4 minutes and the veggies are lightly sauteed, add in the paprika, quickly mix together, then add in the tomatoes finely grated and season with sea salt & black pepper, mix together, then simmer without mixing the mixture

  4. Once the grated tomato has slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes, add in the fish broth, saffron and bay leaf, turn it up to a high heat and give it a gentle mix

  5. When the broth comes to a boil add in the rice, give it one final mix so everything is evenly distributed, simmer without mixing

  6. After 9 to 10 minutes and most of the broth has been absorbed by the rice but there is still plenty of broth left, lower to a low-medium heat, add in the frozen peas over the rice, making sure they´re evenly spread around and the canned sardines, I like to add them in a circular design as it gives the dish a beautiful presentation, continue to simmer without mixing

  7. Once there is virtually no broth left, about 5 minutes, turn it up to a medium-heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, this is to achieve the socarrat, which is that layer of burnt caramelized rice underneath, then remove from the heat, cover the pan with foil paper and a dish cloth and let it sit for a couple of minutes, the uncover the pan

  8. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve at once, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Get the Saffron and Spanish Paprika I used to make this Recipe

Nutrition Facts
Spanish Rice with Canned Sardines
Amount Per Serving
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 13g
Cholesterol 89mg30%
Sodium 554mg24%
Potassium 812mg23%
Carbohydrates 55g18%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 4406IU88%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 282mg28%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  1. Ulrich with Eva

    We just prepared this lovely basic paella and we are blown away by the delicious taste. Thank you very much for this wonderful recipe.

    04 . Oct . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Happy to hear that!! Much love 🙂

      04 . Oct . 2023
  2. Ramya

    Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use vegetable broth and tofu i never had delicous rice with canned sardines before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work

    20 . Sep . 2023
    • Spain on a Fork

      Sounds great Ramya! Thanks for the comment 🙂 Much love

      22 . Sep . 2023

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