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
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
437 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 437
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Sodium 1289mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 121mg 605%
Calcium 245mg 19%
Iron 16mg 87%
Potassium 1272mg 27%
*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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"The wonderfully flavorful lemon-oregano marinade comes through even with a short marinade time making this grilled octopus recipe a keeper, especially when starting with frozen cooked and thawed octopus. The entire recipe comes together easily and made me feel like a star in front of my guests." —Mary Jo Romano

Grilled Baby Octopus With Lemon/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds cooked octopus, thawed if frozen

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

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 zest and juice, oregano, salt, pepper, 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 20 to 30 minutes to marinade. Massage it periodically during the marinating phase.

    Massage the marinade into the octopus

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  4. Fire up the grill to high. 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 (if using wooden skewers, soak for 30 minutes before skewering). 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 2 to 3 minutes.

    grill the skewered octopi

    The Spruce / Danielle Moore

  7. Turn them over and grill for 1 to 2 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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