Sardines (also known as pilchards, are an oily) nutrient-dense fish popular as a shelf-stable snack commonly sold in flat, rectangular cans. A coastal fish, sardines are primarily caught in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of North and South America and Japan. However, some say that “true sardines” are only found in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean.
Types of Sardines at Costco
At my local Costco, I was only able to find one brand of sardines–Season Brand Sardines in 100% Olive Oil.
Each pack of Season Brand Wild Caught Sardines at Costco comes with six individual packages and is priced at $10.99.
If you shop on Costco.com, you can find this same six-pack for $13.49 here. You can also buy a six-pack of Wild Planet Wild Pacific Sardines online, although the price is currently unavailable as it is out of stock.
Costco also sells twelve-packs of Season Brand Sardines on their website, but these are also unfortunately out of stock as of March 2023.
Finally, if you own a commercial business and shop through CostcoBusinessDelivery.com, you can find six-packs of Season Brand Sardines for $12.39 here. Keep in mind that while anyone can shop at a Costco Business Center in person, only those with commercial addresses can place orders on their website.
If you’re a frequent buyer of Costco sardines, keep an eye out for sales. Last fall, Costco offered a $3.30 discount on their Season Brand Sardines…
Season Brand Wild Caught Sardines in Olive Oil
Found in the shelf-stable food aisles near the other canned meats and fish at Costco, Season Brand Sardines are sourced from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco.
Ingredients & Nutrition
As you can see, the only ingredients contained in these cans of sardines are sardines, olive oil, and salt.
Each container of sardines (which amounts to about ½ cup) contains 200 calories from 12 grams of fat, 56 mg of cholesterol, 340 mg of sodium, and 22 grams of protein. These sardines also contain 15% of your daily value of Vitamin D and 1700 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per serving.
Generally speaking, sardines are considered an extremely nutritious food, especially for those wanting to make sure to get enough protein and healthy fats in their diet. Sardines are a great choice for anyone sticking to a high protein and low carb diet, such as a keto or paleo diet, as these sardines contain zero carbs.
Season Brand guarantees that their cans are BPA free and that no GMO ingredients are ever used in their products. They are also considered a “Friend of the Sea” company, meaning that they engage in regulated sustainable fishing practices. You can read more about the Season Brand on their website here.
Although Season Brand does not specify this on their packaging or website, all canned sardines are canned after being cooked as far as we can tell. This means that it is safe to consume your sardines straight out of the can without any prep.
How To Use Canned Sardines
The most popular way to enjoy sardines is pretty simple–straight out of the can! Sardines do not need to be heated up or prepared in any way.
That said, if you’d rather add your sardines to a recipe, you have a number of options.
One of the most popular recipes to add sardines too is a sardine sandwich. Check out this 5-star Spinach and Sardine Sandwich recipe from The New York Times.
You can also try this Simple Sardine Salad recipe from Running to the Kitchen if you want to stick to the low-carb theme.
Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out this article featuring 19 sardine recipes from around the globe, published by A Taste For Travel.
According to Season Brand, “sardines packed in oil and water have a 5 to 7 year shelf life.” However, once your sardines have been opened, they should be consumed within three to five days and kept in the refrigerator.
Overall, Season Brand Sardines sold at Costco have received positive reviews from customers…
That said, the reviews might be more accurately described as “mixed,” considering that so many customers point out that while they’re decent, they’re still not the best sardines money can buy…
Have Costco Sardines Changed?
Although we weren’t able to track down any definitive information about this, customer reports indicate that the Season Brand Sardines sold at Costco have changed a bit over the past few months.
This post is from late 2022…
Their experiences are further affirmed here by yet another Costco customer who noticed a similar change…
Even kids are noticing the change…
If you’re new to buying sardines at Costco, they might still be worth a try. But if you’re a long-time buyer, you might not be so thrilled with the quality of sardines at Costco in 2023.