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.