The aim of this study is to examine the drying characteristics of blanched and unblanched sardines during indoor and open sun drying processes. Changes in temperature and relative humidity of the air during drying were recorded. The color, peroxide value (PV), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), free fatty acid (FFA) content, fatty acid composition, and sensory attributes of dried samples were also evaluated once a month for 5 months of storage. High drying rates were obtained in all samples at the start of drying and then decreased with increasing drying time. The highest drying rate and effective water diffusivity (Deff) were observed in blanched sardine during open sun drying. Blanching treatment slowed down the FFA progression during product storage but adversely affected the color, PV, and TBARS content as well as sensory properties. Although sardine dried for a longer time under indoor drying conditions, it attained a stable moisture ratio that was lower than in open sun-dried samples. Indoor drying produced a quality stable product with less lipid oxidation and the desired moisture content, higher polyunsaturated fatty acids and sensory properties. Blanching treatment negatively affected the fish quality and is therefore not recommended for commercial sardine drying.