Canned sardines on wood
How To Keep Canned Sardines Intact While Cooking
To make sure sardines stay intact when you cook them, you'll want to either add them in when your dish is almost done or cook them separately and toss them in right before you eat.
Sardines shouldn't be included in the early stages of cooking and should come in after everything has heated, browned, or simmered. You can add them just before everything is done.
As an alternative, cook your seafood separately. They sauté beautifully with some oil, shallots, garlic, and lemon juice for just a few minutes, but you can also fry or broil them.