Quality Seafood Redondo Beach, CA

On the Boardwalk in Redondo Beach, CA

Since 1953

Easy 5-Step Garlic Sauteed Calamari

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Easy 5-Step Garlic Sauteed Calamari

Garlic sauteed calamari is one of the easiest and most wonderful ways to prepare squid. Using a hot pan and sauteing the squid for a short amount of time ensures deliciousness every time.

The difficulty in preparing squid, and octopus as well, is you must cook it for either a very short amount of time (sauteed or fried for no more than 3 minutes) or a long amount of time (stewed for over 20 minutes). Yeah, it’s confusing, I agree, but anything in between turns into a chewy old rubber shoe sole (not literally of coarse). So here’s an quick an easy way to impress your guests with my Garlic Sauteed Calamari recipe.


  • 1 pound cleaned squid
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • blended olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper

1. Clean, Prep and Dry Squid

Cleaning involves removing the beak, eyes, quill and skin of the squid. Cut squid into 1/2-inch to 1-inch wide rings. If you can, sweet-talk your local fish monger to do this for you. If you can’t, check out this video if you have questions.

2. Add Oil to Hot Saute Pan

Adding oil to an already hot pan (fire set to medium high) will prevent sticking. Oil should almost be on the verge of smoking before adding the garlic, parsley and red chili flakes.

3. Saute Garlic, Parsley and Chili Flakes

Add garlic, half of the parsley, and red chili flakes to the hot oil and saute for only 10 seconds, or so, to bring out the flavors and oils. You don’t want the garlic to overcook, turn brown and become bitter.

4. Saute Squid

Add cleaned and dried squid to the sauteed garlic, parsley and chili flakes. Only add enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan, to ensure you have enough space and heat to cook the squid correctly. Add a pinch of salt and some cracked pepper. Keep the squid moving in the pan to prevent it from burning. Sauteed calamari is done when it just turns firm and opaque in color, should only take about 1-2 minutes.

5. Garnish and Add Lemon

Add remaining parsley, a big squeeze of lemon, stir them through, plate the garlic sauteed calamari and ENJOY!

And yes, it’s as easy as that!

So how did yours turn out? Please be sure to let me know how your creation turned out and/or what your general experiences have been with cooking squid.

Share and Enjoy!!

37 Responses to Easy 5-Step Garlic Sauteed Calamari

  1. cat

    Always wonderful tto have a healthy squid recipe vs the deep fried! I used prechop garlic sauce for ease. Squid also gd sautéed w onions n lemon n topped w fresh basil.

  2. Miriam

    Last night, I approached making this recipe, with a strange combination of hope and a high level of skepticism. “This is way too easy: tender calamari after sautéing for only 3 minutes? Is there ever such a thing?” If you like calamari, then you must make, taste and see this is the very definition of what good tastes like. I am delighted with how delicious and unpretentiously elegant this recipe turned out. My impromptu guests got a taste and were were clamoring for more. I am now actively calling family and asking them cook it. And I will cook it again tonight!. Thank you for sharing. We feel the love!

    • CJ

      Miriam – We are glad you enjoyed it. We think that calamari is best when lightly cooked as to not overcook. You can impress and it is so easy! Thank you for sharing your feedback

  3. Eileen

    Have always loved sautéed calamari but never cooked it. Bit the bullet and bought some and cooked it with this recipe. So easy and delicious! Thank you!

    • CJ

      Eileen, you are welcome. We are glad you found something new, fun, and super easy. Not only that, it creates quite an impressive dish to share with others. We are glad you gave it a shot. Thanks for your feedback!

  4. Martin Ward

    Excellent. Thanks for the recipe. We are house-sitting for a friend in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. A fish van comes to the village once a week and we bought some nice-looking squid. Not having my recipe collection I looked online and found yours. I had most of the ingredients, sort of. A bit of improvisation: dried rather than fresh parsley, pimenton picante and pimenton dulce to replace the crushed chillis.
    It worked fine and was just delicious.

    I’ve eaten at Legal Seafood in Boston and the Hog Island Oyster Co in SF, but have never been to LA. When I visit you’re definitely on my list!

    Greetings from Spain/England, and thanks again for putting this recipe up for all to enjoy!

    Best wishes


  5. Peggy

    I was a bit unsure how sauteed calamari would be, coming from the aspect of loving fried calamari. I was not disappointed! It was really good. Of course I used more garlic but who doesn’t love more garlic? I will be using this recipe again!

  6. Cheyenne Warsaw

    Could you put ginger into this?

  7. Betty

    This was the best calamari ever, never had it so good, just like you said don’t over cook it we used 2 pounds. We did not add salt, was salty enough. Thanks for the great recipe.

  8. amy

    Ran into your website as I was just searching for a simple squid saute recipe.. came out delish! Thank you!

  9. Alicia

    Delicious. Thanks for sharing recipe. P.s. I also used used cilantro…it was in my fridge. Thanks again.

  10. Liz

    OMG!This was the best calamari recipe ever! I usually get my calamari from a local Greek restaurant but now with this recipe, I can make it at home! I had it for two days straight. Thanks again!

  11. Brian

    Thanks for the recipe. I set my timer for about 90 seconds. I added a little too much squid the first time, so I had to cook it for about 2 & 1/4 min, but the second batch was smaller and my oil was hot. Super tender and delicious.

    Also, I replaced cilantro for parsley, and made the wine sauce as suggested. Both were big pluses in my book.

    Thank you everyone!

  12. anni

    new at cooking squid. Just bought cleaned calamari..skin on! can i use this in recipe? thankyou

  13. Ryan

    This is a great, simple recipe. After pulling the meat, I deglazed the pan with white wine and reduced the liquid a bit before adding a tablespoon of butter for an impromptu beurre blanc.

  14. Debbiepelusio

    Delicious and easy, thanks for sharing!

  15. Courtney

    This was really yummy and prefer this to deep fried calamari way to much fat , was really delish! Thanks for this

  16. Vivian Banh

    Can I sub the parsley with scallions?

  17. Samantha

    This is exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a calamari recipe that didn’t require breading. I just need to defrost my calamari now. Hopefully it’s ok to get it frozen.

  18. amberr

    Peppers choked out my house.

  19. Selwyn Colby

    Sautéed calamari recipe needed.

    Thank you.

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