Best Sardinian Cuisine | 15 Sardinian Foods You Must Try

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To suggest that Sardinia is more than simply wonderful food is an understatement. The area is known as the Italian Riviera because of its stunning beauty, lovely villages, and easy-going inhabitants (or the Costa Smeralda).

Its land mass may be modest in comparison to other regions of Italy, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting Sardinia; there is so much to do on this island, and so many hidden jewels waiting to be found.

Sardinia is significantly distinct from the rest of Italy. It’s all about fish and olive oil when it comes to cuisine. Seafood abounds in this area, with dozens of distinct fish species dwelling in the seas around Sardinia (more about that later).

Olive oil derived from olives cultivated on trees over 400 years old is also a basic Sardinian meal, therefore most people here know how to cook with it or consume it straight from the bottle with bread or spaghetti.

Sardinian Cuisine at its Finest

With Saffron Fregula

Fregola, which translates to breadcrumbs, is a traditional Sardinian pasta dish made of semolina and molded into little balls. There are numerous methods to cook fregola, but the most delightful is a seafood version with clams and prawns served with a saffron broth and a piece of crusty bread.

Not everyone is aware that Sardinia is one of the top saffron-producing areas in Italy. This expensive spice with a rich red color is used in many traditional Sardinian dishes.

It is sometimes referred to as Sardinian red gold since it takes a long time to collect and dry its fine threads and costs almost as much as gold.

When saffron is collected in November, the lilac blooms emit a magnificent lavender hue that is difficult to explain.

Gallurese Zuppa

Zuppa Gallurese is a typical dish of Gallura, Sardinia’s northern area that runs from Badesi to San Teodoro and features some of the country’s most stunning beaches as well as some charming islands and islets.

Even though it is made with broth, zuppa does not officially qualify as a soup. It has a thick consistency, similar to lasagna. The meal consists of baked bread pieces (of various sorts), cheese, and lamb broth. Delicious!

Pasta with Sea Urchin

This recipe will appeal to anybody who like raw fish. From November through April, when the Ricci di mare season is open, this meal should be tried.

To protect this species, harvesting sea urchins at other times of the year is banned, and each fisherman is only allowed to collect a set number of sea urchins.


Snails have long been cooked in Sardinia, notably in the north of Sassari, the island’s third-largest city, where native cuisine reigns supreme.

Snails are eaten in a variety of ways here, but the most common are boiled in a spicy tomato sauce or fried with garlic, parsley, and breadcrumbs.

Suckling Pig Roast

Sheepherding and pastoralism have a long and rich history in Sardinia. Shepherds on the islands would roast little suckling pigs (called coppa) over an earthen pit heaped high with scented wild rosemary as part of this ritual.

Nowadays, the pig is spit-roasted for around seven hours to soften the flesh and crisp the skin. It is roasted and then topped with myrtle leaves before being served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Campidanese Malloreddus

Malloreddus alla Campidanese is a typical Sardinian pasta dish prepared with semolina flour, which lends the gnocchi a toothsome bite.

This meal differs from muddarizzla (pasta) in size (it’s called gnocchi because it looks like small potato dumplings) and because it’s cooked using durum wheat, which makes it lighter than conventional pasta. But it isn’t all.

Other tastes in the recipe include pork sausage, tomatoes, and grated pecorino Sardo cheese.


Seadas is a must-try if you’re seeking something sweet in Sardinia. They are enormous deep-fried semolina dumplings stuffed with fresh sour pecorino cheese and lemon zest and customarily served with bitter Miele amaro (also known as corbezzolo, or arbutus honey). A delicious Sardinian dessert for any occasion.

The sweetness of the Seadas contrasts wonderfully with the sharpness of the Miele filling. This goes well with a bottle of local red wine made from grapes cultivated near the cities!


The popularity of lobster stew, a classic dish in that part of Spain, exemplifies Catalan influence on Sardinian cuisine (especially in the Northwestern region of Alghero).

Female lobsters with their scarlet roe are quickly cooked before being served with a tomato-onion sauce and a quick emulsion of olive oil, lemon, and black pepper.

Carasau Pane

Pane carasau, also known as music paper, is a thin, crispy white bread that may be produced in two distinct forms and is fashioned like a person. Cooked in the Pane Guttiau oven, it is served with cheese or salt-seasoned oil and soup.

When seasoned with salt and oil and baked, Pane Carasau may be served with cheese and meat. Pane Guttiau is the name given to this dish.

When served with tomato sauce, broth, and a poached egg, it is known as Pane Fratau. It may also be used in lieu of spaghetti sheets while making lasagna.

Cappotto with Pecora

The Sardinian islands’ national dish is this hearty mutton stew made with potatoes, wild herbs, and a thick broth.

The expression “sheep in a coat” alludes to a pastoral practice of leaving the oldest sheep in the herd unshorn at the annual sheep-shearing feast.

Mutton is being reclaimed as a delicacy by Sardinian cooks, and it may be found in modern variations of tartare, ragu, and even sheeps milk ricotta panna cotta.


Bottarga is highly regarded across the Mediterranean, and Sardinia is no exception. Spaghetti with grated bottarga on top is a popular dish on the island prepared from dried mullet fish roe. It’s also delicious served on its own, cut into big, thick slices and drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.

Moreover, bottarga has become a must-try at the annual Pesciada festival in Cagliari in late May.

These salted, dried mullet eggs are used over bruschetta, pasta, and salads, grated or split into flakes. Bottargas savory taste is enhanced when combined with butter and lemon.


Quinto quarto (translated as fifth quarter) refers to all offal and off-cut meats that were formerly treasured in Sardinia. Regrettably, many of these classic meals are becoming extinct.

Is there a distinctive Sardinian dish worth preserving? Cordula is another name for roasted lamb intestines. Cooking the meat slowly for hours softens the center while crisping the exterior, and eating with your hands is advised.

Intestines may also be prepared simply with fresh peas or in trattalia, a meal made with spit-roasted heart, lungs, and liver and served with sliced bread.


You’re in for a treat if you’ve never tried Burrida. Burrida’s primary component is gattuccio, a tiny species of catfish that was formerly considered a low-cost trash fish.

Consider a meal like macaroni and cheese but cooked with small fish. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? That’s correct! This is at least the case for those making Burrida as an appetizer or supper in Sardinia.

The most intriguing element about Burrida is how its many components mix to form it.

Before the fish is gently cooked, finely chopped walnuts and the fish’s liver are added to a vinegar-based sauce. In Cagliari, the Sardinian capital, it is generally served as an appetizer.


This prized citrus fruit, wrinkled and golden, is exclusively cultivated on Sicily’s northeast coast in the Siniscola province.

Pompia, a delicious digestive liqueur, is made from the pulp and rind of this species.

Many restaurants offer it with freshly baked bread, although it is also available at more upscale establishments. A traditional Sardinian dish.

Pasta Malloreddus

Malloreddus, or Sardinian gnocchi, are often prepared with semolina flour, water, or milk. They look like little striped shells.

They originated in Italy’s eastern region, the Medio Campidano, but are now widely accessible across the nation.

Common accompaniments include pecorino cheese, tomato sauce, sausage, and saffron.

Summary of Sardinian Cuisine

Sardinia never fails to captivate on all fronts, and its delicacies are inherently interesting.

Considering that it is the Mediterranean’s second-largest island, it is logical to believe that fish is at the forefront of the gourmet culture. Hence, if you like fish, you will undoubtedly enjoy the delicious cuisine offered by Sardinia!

Visiting other parts of Italy? See our other guides:

  • Florence Italy Foodie Guide: The Best Things To Do In 1 Day
  • 10 Best Trento Restaurants

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