Sardines, tomato pesto & soft polenta
Waitrose and Partners

Sardines, tomato pesto & soft polenta

Sneak a couple of cans of sardines into your trolley this week. This bold and rustic recipe takes just 35 minutes to pull together

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1 of your 5 a day
  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare15 mins
  • Cook20 mins
  • Total time35 mins

Please note that while we take every care to ensure the product and recipe information displayed on our website is correct, in the event that a product is unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution may be given. This may affect the nutrition and allergen information, therefore if you have any allergy or intolerance, please ensure you have reviewed the product label to ensure it is suitable for you to consume.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100g Essential Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 100g Essential Pitted Black Olives, from a can, roughly chopped
  • ½ x 15g pack oregano, finely chopped, plus extra leaves to sprinkle
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150g quick cook polenta
  • 250g Essential Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 3 x 120g cans Essential Sardines in Tomato Sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the onion for 3-5 minutes until softened. Stir in the pesto, olives, oregano and 100ml water and remove from the heat.

  2. In a separate saucepan, heat the milk and 600ml water, the garlic, salt and a little pepper until simmering. Slowly tip in the polenta, whisking well until smooth. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently

  3. 3 Stir the tomatoes into the pesto sauce and heat through for 2 minutes. Tip the contents of the can of sardines on top. Cover and heat through for 5 minutes, taking care not to break the sardines up too much. Spoon the polenta onto plates, then the sardines and sauce on top. Serve scattered with oregano leaves

Cook’s tip

Polenta is a very useful ingredient to keep in the store cupboard. Serve as a quick and easy alternative to mash with Mediterranean-style stews and casseroles. Beat in some grated parmesan or Cheddar, or chopped herbs, for additional flavour. 


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,250kJ/ 539kcals



Saturated Fat












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4 out of 5 stars1 rating