Grilled Baby Octopus With Lemon

Grilled Baby Octopus With Lemon recipe

The Spruce / Danielle Moore

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 6 mins
Marinade Time: 24 hrs
Total: 24 hrs 11 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Yield: 1 pound
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
322 Calories
16g Fat
9g Carbs
34g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 322
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 1159mg 50%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 176mg 14%
Iron 12mg 67%
Potassium 793mg 17%
*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.)

Don't be scared off by the fact that this Greek dish requires a whole baby octopus. The rich, meltingly tender taste of the marinated octopus mixed with the smoky taste of the grill makes believers out of skeptics. It's a great seafood dish to prepare when the weather gets hot.

Enjoy these grilled octopuses as an appetizer, or for a meal; cook up some fingerling potatoes and grilled veggies, or your favorite sides.


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  • 1 pound octopus, thawed if frozen

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tablespoon dried)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • Lemon wedges, for serving, optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Baby Octopus With Lemon ingredients

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  2. In a plastic bag or container with a tight-fitting lid, place the octopus, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, oregano, cloves, and garlic.

    octopus, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, oregano, cloves, and garlic in a plastic bag

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  3. Massage the marinade into the octopus and put it in the fridge for 24 hours to marinade. Massage it periodically during the marinating phase.

    Massage the marinade into the octopus

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  4. Fire up the grill. If you have a gas or charcoal grill, it is vital that you add some kind of wood smoke. Without it, the dish becomes far less interesting.

    outdoor grill

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  5. While the grill is heating, skewer the little octopi. It's a good thing if some of the herbs or garlic from the marinade sticks to the octopus, but it's not essential.

    skewer the little octopi

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  6. Grill over the smoky fire, covered, for 3 minutes.

    grill the skewered octopi

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  7. Turn them over and grill for 3 minutes more.

    octopi cooing on a grill

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  8. Serve while still hot with lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy.

    grilled octopi on a plate

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore


  • Choose a favorite hardwood to create the smoke. Use soaked wood chunks, placing them on charcoal or in a grill-safe container on a gas grill.
  • One easy option is to soak hickory sawdust overnight, dump it into a makeshift bowl made from heavy-duty foil, and place that on the grill.

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