On one of our first dates, my husband ordered fried calamari at a restaurant. I was definitely unsure about it, but finally worked up the courage to try it … it was actually good! Even though it was good in awful-deep-fried-PUFA-oils, I wasn’t sure I could handle it in any form that actually resembled a squid…
Fast forward a few years (and much higher grocery prices) and calamari/squid is one of the least expensive wild caught seafood options. I found it on sale for $3 a pound at our local store and bought some with the resolve to figure out a healthy way to cook it. I did make a healthy version of fried calamari in coconut oil, which turned out great, but I wanted to experiment with other forms of cooking it.
After some browsing in an old Italian cookbook, this rustic calamari pasta seemed like a good recipe to adapt with healthy ingredients. To the pasta-like calamari I add mushrooms, onions, and shredded zucchini along with some spices and a splash of white wine. It’s pretty delicious.
Why to Give Calamari Stir-Fry Recipe a Try…
If you’ve never tried calamari (squid), or have never tried it in any form that isn’t deep fried, I’d encourage you to branch out and try this recipe. If cooked correctly, calamari can be delicious and tender. My kids actually loved this recipe and thought that it was so cool that they were eating “octopus.” It’s definitely one of my more adventurous recipes, but it is inexpensive and nutrient dense!
10-Minute Garlic Butter Calamari Recipe (Stir-Fry!)
- 1 lb calamari tubes and tentacles (defrosted and cut into rings)
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 large onion
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 TBSP white wine (optional)
- If it isn't pre-cut, slice the calamari tubes into thin slices and leave the tentacles intact. Pat dry and set aside.
- Peel the zucchini and using a peeler or a spiralizer, shred the zucchini into "noodles."
- Peel the onion and thinly slice into rings.
- Add the olive oil in a large skillet and turn to medium high heat.
- Add the onion and saute about 2 minutes until starting to become translucent.
- Add the zucchini and saute for another 5-6 minutes over medium heat until the zucchini is just starting to soften. You don't want it too soft at this point. If at any point during the cooking, liquid starts to accumulate in the pan as it cooks off of the zucchini or mushrooms, carefully pour the liquid off. You should be able to saute and slightly brown the vegetables.
- Add the mushrooms and the squid to the mixture and sprinkle with the spices. and saute 5-6 minutes or until calamari is just cooked, but not rubbery.
- Splash with the wine (if using) to de-glaze the pan and add flavor.
- Saute one minute and remove from heat.
- Serve immediately.
Have you ever cooked squid? What is the most adventurous thing you’ve cooked or eaten? Share below!
Discussion (9 Comments)
Uh, the title is 10-minute garlic butter squid, but the only garlic is garlic powder and there’s no butter in it at all.
Planning to make it this evening and use spaghetti squash rather than zucchini.
Hey, I’ve never actually cooked calamari, but I wanted to share a discovery I made with a pasta replacement. My mom brought home a yellow melon-looking squash one night (sorry, I don’t know the name, but I know it’s not Butternut squash) and baked it, and when we cut it open the insides looked exactly like spaghetti. The texture was almost the same as well, and the flavor was very light and unnoticeable. We’re Italian and Brasilian so pasta has been a constant throughout my life, but I switched to grain-free so I haven’t had it in awhile. Seeing this spaghetti-like squash gave me an idea, so I heated up some organic tomato pasta sauce and scooped out a bunch of the squashta onto a plate and it actually tasted almost exactly like pasta! Just wanted to share in case you wanted to try it 🙂 I think the squash might actually be called spaghetti squash, look up pictures on Google!
Also an awesome way to cook it is to dice up onions and garlic (and anything else you might want to add, diced mushrooms or scallions, etc), season with salt and pepper and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or other sauce, ie hot sauce). Take the calamari tubes and stuff with mixture, then use toothpicks to seal the tubes closed. Grill until cooked. Dip in sauce (I like Liquid Aminos) and they taste just like potstickers!!
That is a great idea! I never would have thought of that, but it sounds great! Also makes me think of stuffing them with jalepeno and bacon or other combinations!
Never really thought about it but I guess any sort of dumpling or ravioli might work this way! Jalapeno sounds amazing!!
Most of the time, I eat calamari fried, like you mentioned, but it is also delicious in seafood paella (rice based dish). Another great option (if you can find it, I have not yet) is grilled cuttlefish with parsley and garlic, garnished with aioli. By far the oddest thing my mom would make is baked sheep’s head (my dad’s favorite) which included everything except the eyes. I always got a bite from the brain off my dad’s plate. It is actually pretty tasty with enough garlic, olive oil and parsley on top!
The only way I have ever tried calamari was of course the traditional fried, though that recipe looks delish!
I’ve had calamari but never cooked it – will definitely have to now, though!
The oddest thing I’ve eaten to date is probably “Rocky Mountain oysters,” or, more indelicately, bull testicles. Fried up on a grill, they’re incredibly like my memory of chicken nuggets (haven’t actually had those in over a decade!): a little grainy in texture and with a mild but pleasant flavor 🙂