Don't let any of that briny, savory, umami flavor go to waste.
Credit: Ingemar Lindewall/Getty Images

We’re huge fans of anchovies around here, and have raved about them before. They’re the unsung heroes of your favorite condiments and sauces, adding just the right amount of briny, umami funk that we just can’t get enough of. So, if you went the extra mile and whipped up your own caesar dressing from scratch, we applaud you! But unless you were making salad for a crowd (and a large one at that), chances are you’ve got a whole tin of anchovies and oil leftover. Not sure how to put it to good use? You’ve got a lot of options.

Store It For Later

It’s surprisingly easy to store opened anchovies. An unopened can will be good for at least a year if it’s stored at room temperature, and according to The New Food Lover’s Companion, once that can is open, you can refrigerate them for up to two months if you keep the fish in oil and in an airtight container. If the leftover oil from the can isn’t enough to completely submerge the anchovies, you may need to top it off with some of your own olive oil so the exposed fish doesn’t spoil. Your best bet is to transfer the fish into a new container instead of keeping it in the can—it’ll be the best way to prevent that metallic taste from messing with the flavor.

Add Oomph to Your Favorite Pasta

What separates a good tomato sauce from a great one? We would argue anchovies. It takes what would be an otherwise mundane pasta dinner to restaurant-quality, lick-the-bowl delicious, with minimal fuss. This Bucatini Puttanesca recipe makes it even easier, with the whole thing coming together in one pan, in less than half an hour. The anchovies + olives combo in the sauce gives it that addictively savory tanginess that you just can’t get from the jarred stuff—and even if you’re just whipping up one of those end-of-the-week pastas made from whatever odds and ends are left in your fridge and pantry, anchovies can transform a boring, utilitarian meal to a dinner that feels like a special indulgence.

Blend It Into Butter

If you’re a fan of the funky, umami flavor of anchovies (and you’ve already got your blender out from that dressing), go ahead and blitz some softened butter, anchovies, salt, lemon zest and juice, and whatever herbs you have on hand for a seriously irresistible condiment you’ll want to smear on everything. And don’t worry—it doesn’t have an overpowering fishiness. Instead, it’s got a subtle savory flavor that takes a basic compound butter from meh to wow-worthy. Our favorite way to use it? This stunning Pan-Seared Hanger Steak with Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes.

Make a Fancy Appetizer For a Crowd

The thought of eating whole anchovies may sound intimidating—but when you skewer them between briny olives and spicy pickled peppers, it makes for finger food you can’t just eat one of. This Pintox Gilda recipe may be one of the lowest-effort appetizers you’ll make, but it’ll be the first to disappear from the spread. Chopped into a bruschetta topping or mixed into a tapenade to enjoy over crusty bread are just a couple of other tasty ways to use up the last couple anchovies in that can.