Stuffed Calamari

We love calamari at home when we went to buy fish I couldn’t resist to buy them.

Serves 4

Ingredients: (For the Calamari)

  • 4  medium fresh calamari tubes (cleaned, keep the tentacles for the stuffing)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • Chopped tentacles
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 150g of Basmati rice
  • 8 toothpicks


Procedure: (For the stuffing)

  1. Wash and rinse the calamari.
  2. Cut and chop the tentacles.
  3. In a bowl, add the chopped onion, the chopped coriander, the chopped tentacles, the salt, the black pepper and the Basmati rice.
  4. Mix all ingredients.
  5. With a teaspoon stuff the calamari slowly (be careful do not damage the calamari) and close the end of the calamari with two toothpicks (make a diagonal cross) to avoid the stuffing escape during the cooking.
  6. Set aside.

Ingredients: (For the sauce)

  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of red paprika (Spanish for me)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of harissa paste (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 400g of tomato puree
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 liter of water


  1. In a large pot add the olive oil, the sliced onion and the chopped garlic.
  2. Start to cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaves, the paprika, the harissa, the salt and the black pepper.
  4. Continue to stir and mix all the ingredients together for a few minutes.
  5. Pour the tomato puree and mix.
  6. Add the stuffed calamari and cover with 1 liter of water.
  7. Cook for about 1 hour or until the sauce reduced (the rice should be cooked inside).

Ingredients: (For the Basmati rice)

  • 250g of Basmati rice
  • 4 pistils of Saffron
  • Water


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain the rice.
  3. Put water to boil with Saffron.
  4. Pour the rice and cook until the grains become tender and separate.
  5. Drain and set aside.

Final procedure:

  1. In a serving dish add the rice in the middle (I put the rice in a small bowl and I flip into the plate)
  2. Add the sauce and put on the top the calamari.

The calamari is tender and the rice with the spicy sauce is full of flavors. The rice is pale but not completely white.

PS: I am not an expert in cooking rice (at all), my friend Sabrina showed me how to cook basic rice!

Bon Appétit!

35 Comments Add yours

  1. skd says:

    Wow !!! This looks awesome…

  2. sabine says:

    That´s a wonderful recipe – I´m a huge fan of seafood, so I definitely could´t resist to them either!

    1. Thank you Sabine 🙂 I love seafood too and I use it quite frequently in my cuisine, it tastes so good!

  3. Ngan R. says:

    Wow, Linda, fabulous dish you’ve presented here. I am a huge calamari fan and this looks better to me than the fried appetizer I always see around. YUM!

    1. Thank you Ngan 🙂 When I fried my calamari, it’s a disaster 😀 Nobody eat them, this is why I prefer to make stuffed calamari, the texture is very soft!

  4. This is such a unique recipe Linda. We enjoy calamari but have never had it stuffed like this. Sounds delicious.

    1. Thank you Seana 🙂 It’s simple to cook, I’m a lazy mama 😀 You can stuff the calamari with breadcrumbs instead of rice or with shrimps or with your favorite ingredients. It is good!

  5. Amanda says:

    Wow! What a great recipe. This reminds me of the basque dish txiperones en su tinta–squid in its ink. It’s stuffed like this then fried. I love your filling! Saffron, paprika…this is so up my alley. Great job!

    1. Thank you so much Amanda 🙂 What you described looks really delicious. I use a simple filling but it tastes good.

  6. Linda – these are stunning! I love calamari, and this is such an unexpected twist. Reminds me of a play on manicotti (less the cheese, of course). Definitely trying this soon!

    1. Thank you Alice 🙂 It tastes good and simple to cook!

  7. This is definitely an aromatic dish!

    1. Thank you Fae 🙂 It is aromatic, I can imagine eating your rice with my calamari, a real feast!

  8. platedujour says:

    It looks delicious Linda and I have to say it’s very clever the stuffing thing and the way you make the sauce 🙂 Since I’m going to Sicily in 3 weeks and the cooking is on the list I shall try it- we are going to eat lots of seafood oh yay! Lovely pictures too 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Marta 🙂 It was tasty and the sauce was a little spicy (we love spicy food). I’m sure in Sicily the calamari will be much better than mine (lucky girl)! Have a nice day!

  9. Just delicious Linda! Sounds amazing 🙂

    1. Thank you Naina 🙂 It is delicious and spicy!

  10. Very nice recipe Linda! It looks delicious:)

    1. Thank you so much Olga 🙂

  11. Looks fab Linda! frying calamari for me is a disaster so this is a great dish to try out and the flavours are fantastic! Love it!!😊

    1. Thank you Farianti 🙂 Fried calamari is a disaster for me 😀 they taste like rubber…This is why I prefer to stuff them xx

  12. Looks so great! I wish I could prepare sea food with so much ease 😦

    1. Thank you Tasneem 🙂 If you need help, I can show you how to prepare the calamari!

      1. That will be wonderful, Linda!

      2. With pleasure Tasneem 🙂

  13. I don’t even have a clue of the dish but loved the sauce and presentation Linda…..

    1. Love your comment Chitra 🙂 Calamari is a squid, very popular in Mediterranean region, usually fried like onion rings. I prefer to stuff the calamari, I’m more familiar with this recipe and perfect with rice on the side!

  14. Wow, what a mouth-watering dish Linda! I too love calamari, but have never had it prepared like this… can’t wait to try it!

    1. Thank you so much Margot 🙂 In this recipe the calamari is very tender and soft an I like it with rice on the side better than pasta.Thank you very much for the invitation in Australia, it will be fantastic. Have a lovely weekend!

  15. Looks really good. Simple ingredients that work really well together YUM

    1. Thank you 🙂 Sometimes simple ingredients bring a lot of taste!

      1. Absolutely comforting food with not much fuss 🙂

  16. Patty Nguyen says:

    Oh so delish. We’re big calamari fans over here. 🙂

    1. Thanks Patty 🙂 Love calamari too, spicy and very tender!

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