Grilled Baby Octopus With Lemon

Plate of grilled seafood
Cultura Travel/Tim E White/The Image Bank/Getty Images
Prep: 24 hrs
Cook: 6 mins
Total: 24 hrs 6 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Yield: 1 pound
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
338 Calories
16g Fat
14g Carbs
35g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 338
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 1688mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 35g
Calcium 193mg 15%
*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 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.


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  • 1 pound baby octopus (thawed if frozen)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (finely chopped; or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves (ground)
  • 3 cloves garlic (mashed)
  • Garnish: 2 lemons (cut into wedges)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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 not essential.

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

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

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


  • 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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