Sardine Sandwich, the easiest sandwich ever!

open-faced sardine sandwich layered with spinach, cucumber, sardines and red onion

Open-faced canned sardine sandwich is an easy, healthy lunch!

When it’s hot and you’re hungry, this ticks the boxes.

  • quick and easy
  • flavorful and fresh
  • healthy and hearty

I keep trying to add more vegetables to my meals. Baby spinach and cucumber to the rescue! Canned sardines are a good source of protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Nutrition recommendations are that we eat fish twice a week. Shelf-stable sardines are a convenient way to help meet that goal in just a few minutes.

Colorful and pretty. Unique and delish, I was all over the open-faced sandwiches that fill shops in Denmark. Called smorrebrod, many were elaborate designs, but I want quick and easy for lunch at home. (Read about that Copenhagen trip here).

slices of bread with spinach leaves, cucumber slices and sardines with mustard

What is an Open-Faced Sandwich?

Open-faced sandwiches are a piece of bread or toast with other food layered on top. A hot turkey sandwich with gravy is one version. A tuna melt is another. So is a dark, seeded rye bread, topped with things like:

  • picked herring onions, capers
  • hard-cooked egg, shrimp, mayonnaise, lemon zest, arugula
  • fish filet, remoulade, dill, capers, lemon
  • roast pork, stewed red cabbage, pickled cucumber
  • Danish meatball, potato salad, tomato, red onion, chives

How to make a Sardine Sandwich

Here's how to make an open-faced sardine sandwich. Mustard, spinach, cucumber, sardines and red onion.
a swipe of mustard, a layer of spinach and cucumber, sardines and onion
  1. Lightly toast rye bread or sourdough
  2. Spread with mustard. Dijon is my go-to.
  3. Layer baby spinach, thinly sliced cucumber, and red onion.
  4. Top with sardines.

Cooks’ Note: Other ways to snazz this up: a dab of horseradish, a sprinkle of dill, sliced hard-cooked egg, a squeeze of lemon juice

How to eat an Open-Faced Sandwich

The neatest way (and polite) to eat an open-faced sandwich is with a knife and fork. Though I’ve also stood over the sink to eat mine!

Try some more open-faced Sammies

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open-faced sardine sandwich layered with spinach, cucumber, sardines and red onion

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How to make Open-Faced Sardine Sandwich

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An easy recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Flavorful and fresh, it’s ready in minutes. Crunchy greens and flavorful sardines make a quick open-faced sandwich. Protein, healthy fats, and veggies make it good for you!

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: quick
  • Cuisine: Scandinavian


  • sourdough or rye bread, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • canned sardines


  • Spread toast with mustard. 
  • Layer spinach, cucumber, red onion on toast. 
  • Top with sardines.


Opened sardines keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Make it your own: Replace mustard with horseradish. Layer on sliced hard-cooked egg or sprinkle dill. 


  • Serving Size: 1

making sardine sandwiches with sourdough slices, baby spinach, sardine and mustard


  1. Very Norwegian and delicious. Try shrimp with lemon zest or hard boiled eggs with anchovies. Layer on your favorite rye or 12 grain bread and lettuce or spinach and add fave spices or toppings. Beets are good. Pickled ones.

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