Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes
Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes. Landon Nordeman

Squid—often referred to by its Italian name, calamari— is a staple ingredient in cuisines all over the world. When prepared well it has a mildly fishy flavor and tender texture with just a slight bite. We love squid prepared all sorts of ways—fried, stuffed, stewed, and more. We’ve rounded up our favorite calamari recipes to introduce you to this versatile seafood. Cleaning squid can seem intimidating, so check out our 4 quick steps for cleaning squid at home.

Calamari is most often seen deep-fried. This classic Italian appetizer can come in various forms. For a fritto misto platter, batter and fry squid, shrimp, and small whole fish such as smelt or sardines. To lighten the dish up, serve the fried fish with salad greens and homemade aioli. We also like frying calamari with cauliflower and chickpeas. A pesto mayonnaise makes a great dip.

For frying squid are generally cut into rings. Leave the bodies whole and they are perfect for stuffing. Since a whole squid will come with tentacles as well, they are a natural choice for stuffing. Chopped tentacles, bread crumbs, and aromatics, stuff the squid, and then cook until tender in sauce made of tomatoes or veal stock.

Squid has a place in a variety of similar fish stews. Cacciucco is a Tuscan dish with a base of tomato and white wine absolutely packed with seafood—our version uses squid, octopus, monkfish, red snapper, shrimp, and mussels. Cioppino is a signature dish of San Francisco. We make it with a fish stock and tomato base and load it up with squid, shrimp, scallops, cod, clams, mussels, and Dungeness crab.

Find exciting uses for squid in our collection of calamari recipes.


Plancha-Burnt Calamaretti with Pimentón Oil

Here, Argentine grill-master Francis Mallmann pairs smoky grilled calamaretti with rich avocado, spicy pimenton oil, and charred tomatoes, resulting in an elegant summer dish. Get the recipe for Plancha-Burnt Calamaretti with Pimentón Oil »

Crispy Calamari with Pesto Mayonnaise

Chef Jim Leiken of DBGB in New York City serves pesto-spiked mayonnaise as a dipping sauce for fried calamari, cauliflower, and chickpeas.

Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes

Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes

Stuffed Squid (Encornets Farcis)

Veal stock adds richness to these plump stuffed squid in a recipe from home cooks Jean and Carole Maurice of Miquelon, an island in the North Atlantic 12 miles from the southeastern tip of Newfoundland.

Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)

This Tuscan soup has a base of octopus, squid, tomatoes, wine, garlic, sage, and dried red chiles; other fish are added at the end of cooking, before the soup is served over garlic-rubbed bread. Get the recipe for Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco) »

Fritto Misto (Fried Squid, Fish, and Shrimp)

Deep-frying seafood in a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil imparts fruity, peppery flavors and creates an incredibly delicate crust.
This hearty version of San Francisco’s signature seafood soup comes from Sotto Mare in North Beach.

Fried Calamari Sandwich

Fiery sriracha sauce and fresh herbs and cucumbers balance the richness of chef Tom Colicchio’s fried calamari sandwich.

Veracruzan Seafood Cocktail (Vuelve a La Vida)

This bracing seafood cocktail is a popular Mexican hangover cure (its name means “return to life” in Spanish).

Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche

Grapefruit juice, fiery jalapeño, and fragrant ginger transform shrimp, scallops, and calamari into an aromatic, spicy salad. Get the recipe »

Seafood Soup (Iraü Lau Juyeirugu)

Fresh basil, oregano, and sage lend their fragrance to this hearty soup loaded with five different types of seafood. Get the recipe for Seafood Soup (Iraü Lau Juyeirugu) »

Kombu and Squid Steamed Rice

This one-pot sticky rice dish from chef Tadashi Ono combines sweet squid, spicy ginger, and shredded seaweed. It makes for a surprisingly satisfying, simple meal thanks to the complex layering of savory, spicy, and subtly sweet flavor.

Thai Charred Squid (Pla Muek Yang)

This grilled squid dish, covered in a tangy sauce and topped with peanuts and cilantro, is a Thai roadside treat. Get the recipe for Thai Charred Squid (Pla Muek Yang) »

Fisherman’s Paella (Paella a la Marinera)

The Art of Making Paella »

Stuffed Calamari

Squid stuffed with breadcrumbs, pecorino, parsley, and oregano is a Feast of the Seven Fishes favorite.