Recipes for Calamari

Squid is a staple ingredient in cuisines across the world

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

Plancha-Burnt Calamaretti with Pimentón Oil

Argentine grill-master Francis Mallmann has been making a version of this dish for 20 years, but he likes to change it up from time to time. "Harmony in food is for children," he says. Here, he pairs smoky grilled calamaretti with rich avocado, spicy pimenton oil, and charred tomatoes, resulting in an elegant summer dish.Matt Taylor-Gross
Crispy Calamari with Pesto Mayonnaise

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.Todd Coleman
Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes

Calamari with Chorizo and Artichokes

Squid and artichokes are sautéed here in the paprika-laced drippings of chorizo.Landon Nordeman
Stuffed Squid (Encornets Farcis)

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.Helen Rosner
Tuscan Seafood Stew (Cacciucco)

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.Todd Coleman
Fritto Misto (Fried Squid, Fish, and Shrimp)

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.Todd Coleman
Cioppino

Cioppino

This hearty version of San Francisco's signature seafood soup comes from Sotto Mare in North Beach.Barbara Ries
Fried Calamari Sandwich

Fried Calamari Sandwich

Fiery sriracha sauce and fresh herbs and cucumbers balance the richness of chef Tom Colicchio's fried calamari sandwich.Todd Coleman
Veracruzan Seafood Cocktail (Vuelve a La Vida)

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).Todd Coleman
Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche

Grapefruit and Seafood Ceviche

Grapefruit juice, fiery jalapeño, and fragrant ginger transform shrimp, scallops, and calamari into an aromatic, spicy salad. Get the recipe »Ingalls Photography
Seafood Soup (Iraü Lau Juyeirugu)

Seafood Soup (Iraü Lau Juyeirugu)

Fresh basil, oregano, and sage lend their fragrance to this hearty soup loaded with five different types of seafood.Joseph De Leo

Kombu and Squid Steamed Rice

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.Andre Baranowski

Thai Charred Squid (Pla Muek Yang)

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.Matt Taylor-Gross
Fisherman's Paella (Paella a la Marinera)

Fisherman's Paella (Paella a la Marinera)

A paella classic from coastal Spain, this hearty recipe calls for a plethora of seafood. Fresh langoustines or head-on shrimp make for an eye-catching presentation.Todd Coleman
Stuffed Calamari

Stuffed Calamari

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