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.