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The Best Anchovy Recipes Deliver Deep, Rich Umami Flavor

The little fish adds a briny, satisfying kick to all kinds of dishes.


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fish and veggies

Chef Giorgia Goggi, a self-­proclaimed anchovy lover, marinates her own fillets and sun-dries raisins from local grapes to make this delicate sweet-sour dish. Store-bought marinated anchovies work perfectly well, and when they’re soaked in the dish’s pickling liquid, even grocery-store raisins will take on a juicy plumpness. Photo by Eva Kolenko

Whether they’re the star of a dish or the unexpected secret ingredient, anchovies make a flavorful, briny, savory addition to all kinds of dishes. There are so many different ways to enjoy the little fish: if you can get your hands on fresh anchovies, try deep-frying, marinating, or grilling them; pick up a container of already marinated anchovies, such as Spanish boquerones, for an elegant tapa or salad topping; or sneak the oil-cured fillets into everything from pasta to steak—it’ll have all your guests asking “What did you put in this?”; or if you’re anchovy-shy, start with a tube of anchovy paste and add a bit to salad dressing, pasta, pizza, or soup for an indefinable salty tang. Whichever form of anchovies you choose to work with in the kitchen, it’s the best kind of lily-gilder. Here, our best anchovy recipes that all have that certain je ne sais quoi.

fish and tomato in skillet

fish and veggies

sammie with cheese and sauce

green salad

Little Gem Lettuces with Marinated Anchovies and Bottarga. Bottarga, a cured mullet roe available at specialty fish markets and gourmet shops, adds a cheesy-tasting umami to everything it garnishes.

tart with olives and fish

Pissaladière. The layer of onions on a proper pissaladière should be half as thick as the crust. The sweetness contrast nicely with the briny anchovy fillets and niçoise olives on top.


Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally “whore’s pasta”–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Neapolitan working ladies, but the dish’s salacious history is unlikely. Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca.

meat with bone and garnish

Lamb Chops with Mint Salsa Verde

cheesy casserole

salad with seafood

pasta dish

Spaghetti with Anchovy Garlic Sauce

Scrburger with eggs and olives and fisheen Shot 2021-09-08 at 4.57.39 PM.png

green salad

Caesar Salad

veggies in oil

bean salad

meat and sauce

veggies and fish

Salmon Niçoise Salad with Garlic-Herb Dressing

sandwich with greens and meat

red pepper tart

stuffed red peppers

pasta dish

veggies, fish and egg dish

Schnitzel à la Holstein. The crisp-fried veal topped with luscious egg, salty anchovies, and capers is a brilliant study in contrasting flavors and textures.

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This post originally appeared on Saveur and was published July 20, 2019. This article is republished here with permission.

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