Stuffed Calamari

Dive into Culinary Excellence – Mastering the Art of Stuffed Calamari Extravaganza!

Embark on a gastronomic journey that embraces the sea’s bounty with our Stuffed Calamari recipe. This dish is a celebration of tender calamari tubes generously filled with a flavorful stuffing, creating a symphony of textures and tastes. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of crafting this seafood masterpiece, promising an experience that transcends the ordinary. Get ready to elevate your culinary skills and treat your taste buds to a feast of Stuffed Calamari perfection!


For the Stuffed Calamari:

  • 1 pound fresh calamari tubes, cleaned
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or couscous
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For Garnish:

  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Lemon wedges


Step 1: Prepare the Stuffing

  1. Prepare Quinoa or Couscous:
    • Cook quinoa or couscous according to package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Sauté Aromatics:
    • In a pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, chopped shrimp, and cook until shrimp are pink and opaque.
  3. Mix Ingredients:
    • In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa or couscous, sautéed shrimp, diced cherry tomatoes, chopped olives, finely chopped parsley, lemon zest, and season with salt and black pepper. Mix well.

Step 2: Fill the Calamari

  1. Stuff Calamari Tubes:
    • Gently stuff the calamari tubes with the prepared mixture, ensuring they are well-filled but not overly packed.
  2. Secure with Toothpicks:
    • Secure the open ends of each stuffed calamari tube with toothpicks to prevent the stuffing from escaping during cooking.

Step 3: Prepare the Tomato Sauce

  1. Sauté Aromatics for Sauce:
    • In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
  2. Add Tomatoes and Herbs:
    • Pour in crushed tomatoes and add dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Step 4: Cook the Stuffed Calamari

  1. Simmer in Tomato Sauce:
    • Place the stuffed calamari tubes in the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until calamari is tender.

Step 5: Serve and Garnish

  1. Plate and Garnish:
    • Carefully remove toothpicks from the stuffed calamari. Arrange them on a serving dish over a bed of tomato sauce.
  2. Garnish and Serve:
    • Drizzle with extra sauce, garnish with fresh basil leaves, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Cook Notes:

  • Use fresh, high-quality calamari for the best texture and flavor.
  • Be cautious while stuffing the calamari to avoid tearing.


Mediterranean Twist:

  • Add crumbled feta cheese to the stuffing for a tangy Mediterranean flavor.

Spinach and Feta Infusion:

  • Incorporate sautéed spinach and crumbled feta into the stuffing for a vibrant and cheesy twist.

Sun-Dried Tomato Elegance:

  • Include finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes in the stuffing for a sweet and savory profile.

Keto Versions:

  • Substitute quinoa or couscous with cauliflower rice for a keto-friendly stuffing.
  • Replace the crushed tomatoes in the sauce with tomato paste for a lower-carb option.

Low Carb Version:

  • Opt for zucchini noodles as a base instead of tomato sauce for a low-carb alternative.
  • Use almond flour or coconut flour instead of breadcrumbs in the stuffing.

In conclusion, Stuffed Calamari is a testament to the versatility of seafood and the art of combining flavors. Whether you follow the classic recipe or explore keto and low-carb adaptations, this dish invites you to savor the ocean’s delicacies in a sophisticated and delightful way. So, bring the taste of the sea to your table, experiment with different variations, and let each bite be a journey into the heart of culinary excellence

Elevate Your Stuffed Calamari Experience with Culinary Flourishes

Citrus Glaze Drizzle:

  • Elevate the flavor profile by preparing a citrus glaze with orange juice, honey, and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Drizzle it over the stuffed calamari for a burst of brightness.

Pesto Perfection:

  • Create a basil pesto using fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Spread a thin layer on top of the stuffed calamari before serving for a fragrant and herbal infusion.

Saffron Infusion:

  • Infuse the tomato sauce with a pinch of saffron threads for a touch of luxury and a subtle, earthy flavor.

Craft Unique Flavor Fusions

Seafood Symphony:

  • Enhance the stuffing with a mix of chopped calamari tentacles, diced scallops, and crabmeat. This seafood blend adds layers of complexity and richness.

Moroccan Spice Adventure:

  • Introduce a blend of Moroccan spices, such as cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, to the stuffing for a unique and aromatic twist.

Smoky Bacon Bliss:

  • Add finely chopped smoked bacon to the stuffing mixture for a savory, smoky flavor that complements the seafood.

Keto Creations for Guilt-Free Indulgence

Almond Flour and Parmesan Coating:

  • Create a keto-friendly coating by mixing almond flour with grated Parmesan cheese. Lightly coat the stuffed calamari before simmering for a crispy finish.

Avocado Lime Salsa:

  • Serve the stuffed calamari with a refreshing avocado lime salsa. Dice avocados, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro. Drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice:

  • Replace traditional tomato sauce with cilantro lime cauliflower rice for a zesty, low-carb alternative.

Low Carb Luxuries for Health-Conscious Enjoyment

Zoodle Nest:

  • Create a nest of zucchini noodles (zoodles) on the plate and place the stuffed calamari on top. Drizzle with a light lemon vinaigrette for a low-carb, refreshing twist.

Cauliflower and Broccoli Mash:

  • Make a creamy cauliflower and broccoli mash to serve as a base for the stuffed calamari. The cruciferous veggies add a nutritious element to the dish.

Greek Yogurt Tzatziki:

  • Swap traditional tomato sauce with a dollop of Greek yogurt tzatziki for a tangy and low-carb accompaniment.

Savoring the Culinary Symphony

In conclusion, Stuffed Calamari is an exquisite culinary symphony that invites you to explore a myriad of flavors, textures, and presentations. Whether you choose to infuse citrusy brightness, experiment with unique flavor fusions, or cater to keto and low-carb preferences, this dish is an opportunity to showcase your culinary prowess. So, set the stage for a seafood extravaganza, let your creativity shine, and revel in the pleasure of crafting a Stuffed Calamari masterpiece that delights both the eyes and the palate. Buon Appetito!

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