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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Grilled Calamari the same way as they do it in Greece

Kalamari is very common in restaurants, but it is often prepared with a fryer so it is breaded and crispy. In Greece Kalamari is typically grilled. It still tastes incredible, and it makes the whole dish lighter and healthier. This is how we served it at our Greek restaurant and how I serve it at home for my family. I know at first it may seem intimidating, but I promise it is much easier than you think.

The key to getting this dish started is making sure the squid is completely clean. When I was growing up I used to clean the squid myself, but now I suggest to everyone that they ask the fishmonger to clean it at the market. This means you’ll take it home ready for seasoning and grilled. You won’t need to worry about the eyeballs, beaks, or dye packets, which is a huge help!

To season the squid place it in a small bowl and rub it all over with your homemade seasoning. Squid is very malleable so squeezing it in a small bowl is ideal because it leaves no room for the seasoning to pool at the bottom. While the squid is marinating, bring your grill to very high heat. This is key to grilling it effectively.

Once the grill is ready place the Kalamari directly on the grill with tongs and allow it to cook completely on all sides. This means keeping a watching eye on it since you want to make sure it is fully cooked, but not burnt. Once it is ready return it to a cutting board for cutting and serving with the ladolemono sauce and lots of lemon wedges.

We usually serve this as an appetizer and everyone loves it. It is really ideal for summer because it’s light, refreshing, and filling. Enjoy!

Grilled Kalamari

Kalamari is a very popular seafood that is served all over Greece. It is either fried or grilled and it is always served with fresh lemon, never marinara. Grilling kalamari seems intimidating but is actually quite simple. Serve it with lots of fresh lemon wedges and a drizzle of ladolemono sauce and it’s a wonderful appetizer for your family and friends.

Serves 4 - 6


2 lbs fresh squid cleaned 1 tsp sea salt ½ tsp black pepper 1 tsp paprika ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Lemon wedges for serving

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

  1. Place your squid in a mixing bowl. Whisk the salt, pepper, paprika and olive oil together in a small bowl and pour over the squid, turning the squid over so it is completely coated.

  2. Cover the bowl and allow the squid to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

  3. Remove the squid from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to cook it.

  4. Bring a charcoal grill or gas grill to high heat.

  5. Use tongs to place the kalamari on the grill and cook about 4-6 minutes per side, until completely cooked through. Remove the kalamari to a cutting board.

  6. Cut the kalamari into rings about ½-inch wide to place on a serving platter.

  7. Make the ladolemono sauce by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oregano, drizzle it over the freshly grilled calamari and serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT. She is currently operating with COVID-safe procedures and is happy to discuss your event and catering needs with you. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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