Seared Baby Squid With Parsley and Garlic (French Calamari)

Seared baby squid on white plate

Saso Novoselic / Getty Images

  • Total: 17 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
349 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
24g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 349
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 264mg 88%
Sodium 99mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Protein 24g
Calcium 252mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This classic French calamari dish is so beautifully simple: fresh squid is seared in a hot pan with a little olive oil, tossed with parsley and garlic, and finished with a sprinkle of salt. That's it! Anyone can recreate this amazing dish. The flavor is astounding and will definitely impress your dinner guests. It is also a nice change from the fried calamari we are all used to on restaurant appetizer menus. 

If cleaning squid has deterred you from cooking your own calamari at home, once you learn the steps, it isn't that difficult. Or better yet, have your fishmonger do it for you.

Fleur de sel is called for in this special dish but any nice sea salt will do. Fleur de sel translates to "flower of salt," and is so named because of the flower-like patterns that take shape as the salt forms a crust on the top of seawater. It is used at the end of preparing a dish, either to add flavor or as a garnish.


  • 8 ounces small squid (gutted and cleaned)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled, halved, and minced)
  • 1 cup fresh, flat-leaf parsley (finely minced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fleur de sel (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Rinse the squid, reserving the tentacles and leaving the bodies whole. 

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the garlic and parsley and toss to blend. Set aside.

  3. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking.

  4. Add the squid and tentacles and sear, tossing for even cooking, for 1 minute. Make sure not to overcook as the squid will turn rubbery.

  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the squid and tentacles to the bowl of garlic and parsley and toss to evenly coat.

  6. Season with fleur de sel and serve.