Greek Style Roasted Anchovies

roasted anchovy

This may simply be one of the healthiest meals you will ever eat. There is not one ingredient in this recipe that is not good for you. Everything in this dish will not only benefit your body but will make your taste buds happy too! Starting with the anchovies, which are an excellent source of the hard to find omega-3 fatty acids that may protect from stroke and from inflammation, and they are also a healthy source of protein. The anchovies are blended with a mixture of onions, garlic, oregano and olive oil. All these ingredients are excellent sources of antioxidants while the olive oil gives us an additional boost of the good monounsaturated fats that can help lower bad cholesterol.

With all this discussion about whether the moderate fat Mediterranean diet is better then a low fat diet, I will note that this is not a low fat dish. Over 50% of calories come from fat. But before you start panicking, let’s see what that fat is. Most of the fat in this meal is from the good polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and the monounsaturated fats of the olive oil. So let’s see…what would you prefer to eat? Rich fatty fish full of good fats along with tasty vegetables cooked in olive oil, or a boring chicken breast along with some vegetables with a bit of vinaigrette? I know I would prefer the anchovy meal, not only is it tastier but as research is showing, it may be even better for your heart.

fresh anchovy

Now, this recipe needs fresh (or frozen could work) anchovies and you could probably use sardines as well. If you are lucky you can get the anchovy gutted at the store. I have had times where this was not the case, so I will explain how you do it. It is simple and quick but just a bit messy. I basically use a small pairing knife making a small cut below the head and then pulling it off the rest of the body. When you pull off the head, usually all the guts come out with it. You should be able to do this all with one quick movement. Rinse the fish with a bit of water and you are done. You may choose to remove the bone but I find it time consuming and unnecessary because the bones comes off really easy once it is cooked. I also cut off the tails with kitchen scissors.


Greek Style Roasted Anchovies


  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen anchovies
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves chopped
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tomato cut in round slices
  • salt/pepper

1. Preheat oven at 350 Fahrenheit (180 Celsius)

2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients except the tomatoes and anchovies and let it sit

3. Clean the anchovies, add a bit of salt and pepper and place in a pan.

4. Pour the sauce over the anchovies making sure all anchovies have been covered with the sauce. Place on top the sliced tomato.

5. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, be careful not to overcook.

6. Remove and serve.

You can accompany this with a simple potato salad or just good bread.

Photo by Olive Tomato

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  1. I found fresh anchovies, already cleaned, at an Armenian/Greek specialty grocer

  2. Melissa D Gathings says:

    What is the serving size,or number of servings in this recipe? Haven’t cooked. With small fish before.

  3. Can I use anchovies packaged in sunflower oil, vinegar and salt? If so should I rinse them first? That’s all I can find.

  4. Hi, I live in Turkey and can buy frozen, prepared (filleted) anchovy. What weight would I need to use please? This recipe looks amazing!

  5. Oooooo !!!!! my Gosh LOVE fresh Anchovies I have not seen them at the fishmoungers of late … this sounds and looks so tasty, I think your greek potatoes would be an excellent side dish with this the potatoes can soak up all the juices..

      1. Mick Moriarty says:

        Indian Suermarkets usually sell pan ready frozen anchovies

  6. I got mine at Tony’s Meat Market in Colorado. Check meat markets as well as fresh fish markets. They are really yummy!!!

  7. Have never once found fresh anchovies in any market in the U.S. Even the fresh sardines seem to be old by the time we get them, and that’s no wonder since they’re high in oil and are usually imported from Portugal…wish we had more of a “small fish” culture here.

    1. Sorry to hear that. I know that special fish markets, carry them, seasonally. I will share some recipes with more accessible canned fish.

      1. In the US, some times large Chinese markets carry frozen anchovies

  8. Helene Poulakou says:

    I do this a lot, both with fresh anchovies or with sardines.
    Tasty, healthy, and easy-to-prepare.

    1. Mick Moriarty says:

      Indian shops as well.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If I can find the anchovies, I’m making this. Maybe I can make it when I come to Greece this summer.