Parsley and Garlic Seared Baby Squid

Seared Baby Squid With Parsley and Garlic (French Calamari)

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 mins
Total: 17 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
233 Calories
15g Fat
6g Carbs
18g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 233
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 264mg 88%
Sodium 343mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 314mg 7%
*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 simple. Sear the squid in a very hot pan with a little olive oil, toss it with parsley and garlic, and finish it with a sprinkle of salt. That's it. Squid is so flavorful that very few additions are needed to create the perfect dish. Quick to make and delicious, these squids are great on their own but also beautiful when served on a salad, on top of a garlic pasta dish, or with a few slices of crusty bread. For our recipe, we recommend using fleur de sel, but if you can't find it at the store, any nice salt will do.

Many abstain from eating squid because of the cleaning process involved—which contrary to common belief is not that difficult—but the good news is that most commercially available squid is already cleaned and ready for cooking. Frozen squid is available in most grocery stores, and as it thaws quickly, there's no need to plan too much ahead of time for your meal. Cleaned and cut squid could cost you a little more per pound, whereas whole, uncleaned squid might save you some money. For best results, always cook the squid either hot and fast or low and slow, as anything in the middle will yield a chewy result.


  • 8 ounces small squid

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For Serving:

  • Fleur de sel, or flaky salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Seared baby squid with parsley and garlic (French calamari) ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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

    Rinse the squid in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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

    Combine the garlic and parsley

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the squid and tentacles and sear for 1 minute, tossing for even cooking. Make sure not to overcook as the squid will turn rubbery.

    Cook the squid in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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

    Transfer the squid and tentacles to the bowl of garlic and parsley

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Season with fleur de sel or flaky salt and serve.

    Seared baby squid with parsley and garlic (French calamari) seasoned with flaky salt

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Enjoy.

What Is Fleur de Sel?

Different than sea salt, fleur de sel is an expensive type of salt, also from seawater, that is collected from the water's surface as it evaporates. The crystals have a pretty flowerlike pattern the salt its name. Traditionally collected by hand in France, Spain, and Portugal, the salt crystals are removed, handled with care, and then left to dry out in the sun before packing them for sale. Due to the amount of labor that entails producing a pound of this salt, fleur the sel is particularly expensive, although extremely flavorful and great to finish dishes that require just the right amount of delicate seasoning—it's not meant to be used for cooking.