8 Anchovy Recipes that Taste Anything But Fishy

Never fear! Used with a light hand, anchovies don't overpower a dish. Instead, they boost the savory flavor.

By: Alexis Pisciotta

Related To:

Anchovies have a bad rap; the tiny tinned fillets can be intimidating and you probably assume that they taste super fishy. But if you have a jar in the back of the pantry and you want to take the plunge, we are here for you. A small amount added to recipes boosts them with magical meaty flavor — all you need to do is try it to see!

There are a few different varieties you’ll find on the supermarket shelves. Cured anchovies have been around for centuries. In fact, a sauce made from fermented anchovies called Garum was a staple in the Roman empire before even the tomato had arrived in Italy! These small fish are sustainable, inexpensive and good for you. The easiest kind to use are pre-boned fillets in oil — canned or jarred — but anchovy paste is a good option too. Anchovies packed in salt often need to be filleted and rinsed. White anchovies are marinated in vinegar before they’re packed in oil. Their less intense flavor makes them best suited to eating on salads or toast rather than cooking.

Ready to become an anchovy believer? Start by trying one these eight recipes from Food Network Kitchen.

This pasta is as flavorful as it gets even though it’s mostly made from pantry ingredients. Garlic, anchovies and capers come together in a sauce for orecchiette. A crunchy breadcrumb topping takes the meal from simple to stunning.

Food Network Kitchen Step by Steps Beauty Caesar Salad

Food Network Kitchen Step by Steps Beauty Caesar Salad



Who doesn’t love a Caesar salad? This recipe is the perfect way to dip your toes into the anchovy pool. Homemade Caesar is a treat unto itself — and the secret ingredient is surely the anchovies. They are mashed into a paste, mixed with garlic and Dijon and emulsified into a creamy dressing finished with Parmesan cheese. The perfect coating for romaine and croutons.

Maneet Chauhan Thanksgiving Sides _ Weeknight Pizzas

Photo by: Bobbi Lin

Bobbi Lin

A classic flavor pairing? Pizza and anchovies. But this combination of cauliflower, red pepper flakes, Parmesan, olives and anchovies is truly extraordinary. The anchovies punch up cauliflower’s flavor, while all the other briny ingredients add some zing to the pie’s rich mozzarella base layer.

Weeknight Cooking



This classic dish is made from pantry ingredients like olives, capers, dried chiles, canned tomatoes and just the right amount of anchovy to add depth of flavor without screaming "fish." It’s usually served with a blank canvas like pasta, but here it’s a sauce for cod. It might seem like too much to combine fish with more fish, but it works because cod is mild, and the anchovies are cooked in oil until they melt.

Food Styling - Jamie Kimm
Prop Styling - Marina Malchin

Flank Steak_016.tif

Food Styling - Jamie Kimm Prop Styling - Marina Malchin,Food Styling - Jamie KimmProp Styling - Marina Malchin

Salsa verde is an addictive, bright and herby condiment that is served here on charred steak, but can also be dolloped on stewed meat, drizzled on cooked potatoes and smeared on fish, chicken or sausage. Anchovy fillets are finely chopped and combined with fresh herbs, lemon and garlic to make a chunky sauce. It’s covered in plenty of olive oil, which helps it stay fresh for days in the refrigerator.


Photo by: Ryan Liebe

Ryan Liebe

In this simple tartine recipe, roasted tomatoes, anchovies, vinegar and olives are combined into tapenade. It’s spread on French bread, then topped with crispy prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and arugula. The tapenade can be made in advance, as the flavor gets better while it sits. May we recommend eating it on sandwiches, chicken breasts or hard-boiled eggs, too?

entwine, May 2011

entwine, May 2011

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Yunhee Kim, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Earthy mushrooms are stuffed with anchovies, garlic and lemon butter. Them, they are roasted to coax out maximum flavor. The sweet dairy in the butter is key. It tempers the anchovies, leaving deep richness behind.

Photo by: Armando Rafael

Armando Rafael

Dress up your whole roast chicken with anchovies, herbs and marmalade in this French-inspired meal. The marmalade might sound strange, but it works: the citrus flavor brightens up the dish, while the sugars concentrate and glaze the vegetables. The anchovies keep it from being too sweet and add the right amount of flavor without being overpowering.

Related Links:

Next Up

Sardines Versus Anchovies: What’s the Difference?

And are they interchangeable in recipes?

9 Seafood Hacks This Test Kitchen Chef Swears By

Here’s how to take your salmon, tuna, shrimp and more to the next level.

These Nine Meat-Free Instant Pot Recipes are Perfect for Lent

We've gathered tasty, simple dishes to get you through the month.

What Is Feast of the Seven Fishes?

Everything you need to know to prepare this festive Christmas dinner.

How to Season Salmon

Salt, pepper and beyond: Everything you need to know for perfectly flavorful salmon.

How to Tell If Salmon Is Bad

Plus, how to store salmon so it stays fresh.

How to Cook Halibut

The best ways to grill, sear and bake this tasty fish.