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Cooking + Entertaining

Grilled anchovies: the recipe for the light and tasty second course

Grilled anchovies: the recipe for the light and tasty second course


Extra virgin olive oil

The grilled anchovies they are a second dish light weight and tasty: a quick variant of the typical Sicilian dish known as “the roasted men“.

To prepare them they will be needed very few ingredients: fresh anchovies, breadcrumbs, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt. The anchovies are breaded, roasted on the grill and, after a few minutes, are ready to be enjoyed.

Tantalizing and delicious, but also rich in nutrients and omega 3, they are also ideal to serve as an appetizer.

If you are looking for other ideas for cooking this delicious oily fish, you might want to try the fried anchoviesthe marinated anchovies of the anchovies au gratincrunchy and baked in the oven.

How to prepare grilled anchovies

First of all, clean the anchovies: remove the central spine and the head, without separating the two parts 1. If you are trying this for the first time, you can read ours detailed guide to clean anchovies to perfection.

Rinse them under running water and dab them with kitchen paper 2.

At this point, bread the anchovies in the breadcrumbs, making it adhere well on both sides 3. If you prefer, you can add some garlic to make the anchovies even tastier.

Heat a griddle or pan with a drizzle of oil and arrange the anchovies. Grill them for a couple of minutes on each side, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and crunchy. 4.

Once ready, arrange the anchovies on a serving dish, let them cool a little, season them with a pinch of salt and sprinkle them with oil and lemon juice. 5.

Grilled anchovies are ready to be served 6.


If you have difficulty cleaning anchovies or want to reduce preparation time, you can buy them already cleaned and gutted from the fishmonger.

If you want to serve anchovies very cold, we recommend keeping them in the fridge half an hour before serving.

Grilled anchovies can also be flavored with aromatic herbs, such as oregano or thyme. In addition, lemon juice can be replaced with balsamic vinegar: in this case, we suggest adding fresh mint to give the dish a fresher flavor.

Grilled anchovies are excellent to accompany with a still and light white wine, able to enhance its flavor.


Those who prefer can prepare the grilled anchovies without breadcrumbs: once cleaned and boned, open the anchovies and cook them directly on the hot grill, on both sides. Once ready, sprinkle them with a citronette made from lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Finally add a sprinkle of oregano to complete.

Alternatively, you can also prepare the Sicilian grilled anchoviesalso known as “roasted men”. Clean the anchovies, sprinkle them with lemon juice and cook them on the hot grill, until they turn white. Once ready, they will then be flavored with salmoriglio or sauerkraut: an emulsion based on lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, chopped parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

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