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5 from 6 votes

Fried Calamari

Tender calamari is lightly dusted with flour and corn starch and fried until golden and crisp. Serve with lemon wedges and a simple marinara.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound calamari tubes cut into 1/2" circles and tentacles left whole
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling after frying
  • water enough to cover calamari in bowl
  • vegetable oil enough to fill pan at least 1" high
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup cherry peppers optional, see notes below
  • 2 large lemons cut into wedges

Flour mixture (mix together in large bowl)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 200f. Place the calamari into a bowl and cover with water. Stir in the baking soda and kosher salt and set aside for 15 minutes.
  • While the calamari is soaking heat vegetable oil to 370f in a cast iron or heavy gauge frying pan.
  • After 15 minutes remove the calamari and pat dry.
  • Place calamari into the flour mixture and shake off excess. Gently place the floured calamari into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden. Work in batches and do not crowd the pan.
  • Remove the fried calamari with a slotted spoon and place onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with salt immediately. Place the fried calamari into the oven to keep warm.
  • Remove any bits of flour from the oil and once it again reaches 370f fry the next batch. Repeat the process until finished. Serve with marinara, lemon wedges, and/or cherry peppers. Enjoy.



  • Salting the calamari after frying is key to having great flavor.  The hot calamari will readily absorb the salt so do this immediately after each batch comes out of the oil.
  • For a thicker batter, place calamari in milk for 15 minutes instead of water then proceed to dip into the flour mixture and fry the pieces.
  • Use this marinara sauce or make your own.
  • Cherry peppers can be served on the side or dipped in flour and fried along with the calamari.
  • Fried calamari should be eaten immediately and shouldn't be served for leftovers.  If you must have it leftover, reheat in the oven and not the microwave.


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 26.8g | Protein: 20.4g | Fat: 29.6g | Saturated Fat: 5.4g | Cholesterol: 263mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 0.1g | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg