Healthy Pilchards & Spinach Bake

Serves 4


400g can Lucky Star Pilchards in Tomato Sauce or Hot Chilli

1 bunch Spinach, washed and chopped

Canola/ olive oil for sautéing

1 onion, finely chopped

1/2 x 225g tub fat- free chunky cottage cheese

Black pepper

½ cup whole-wheat bread crumbs

Cheese Sauce:  

2 Tablespoons Margarine

2 Tbs flour of choice

½ Cup Low fat or fat free milk

½ tsp mustard powder

½ tub fat free chunky cottage cheese

Black pepper


  • Heat the oven to 220◦C, Drain the pilchards and separate into fillets. Keep the Sauce
  • Cook Spinach in a little water in a medium saucepan until limp. Drain well, and then squeeze out excess water. Keep water drained, do not discard.
  • Heat a few drops of oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions until golden. Remove from the heat and mix in the cottage cheese and spinach. Season with pepper. Spread evenly into an oven proof dish. Arrange the pilchard fillets on top.
  • Cheese sauce: Melt Marg in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in flour, milk, mustard powder, and sauce from pilchards and water from spinach. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Remove from the heat and mix in the cottage cheese. Season with pepper.
  • Pour Cheese sauce over the pilchards and sprinkle with breadcrumbs on top, Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the topping is golden brown. Serve Hot.

Dietitian Note: 

Pilchards are part of the oily fish family, they are packed with essential fatty acids: Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids may help us lower blood pressure, reduce bad fats in the blood, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke ad well slows the development of plaque in the arteries.  The American heart association (AHA) recommends the intake  fatty fish at least 2 – 3 x a week, other types of fatty fish include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and of course as mentioned pilchards. While foods are the best source of omega 3 fatty acids, supplements are available for those who dislike fish, do not meet the recommended amount of fish to eat a week or do not eat fish at all.


Mbali Mapholi (RD)

Author: Mbali Mapholi Inc

Mbali is a qualified clinical dietitian (Bsc. dietetics & PGDip dietetics) obtained from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. In dietetics she has special interest in Heart and heart related diseases, gastrointestinal (GIT) related diseases, weight management and African diet nutrition. She is a business woman with entities MiNutrition ZA and Mbali Mapholi Inc, under her belt. She is well published in the field of Nutrition with ray of media contributions (Radio, television and print media). Mbali believes is the type of eating that is nourishing, enjoyable, accessible and affordable. She believes in that nutrition education that is based on science delivered by a trusted source, is important to help people make informed nutrition decisions for themselves and those around them.

Submit your review

Create your own review

Mbali Mapholi Inc.
Average rating:  
 0 reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.