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

Sardine Sandwich, the easiest sandwich ever!

Open-faced canned sardine sandwich is an easy, healthy Mediterranean 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

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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

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

Keywords: easy sandwich, fish recipe

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