Grilled Calamari - Kalamari tis Skaras

Grilled Calamari - Kalamari tis Skaras

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Total: 33 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
385 Calories
23g Fat
31g Carbs
14g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 385
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 378mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 222mg 5%
*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.)

You've probably sampled grilled calamari if you've ever been to Greece: this quick and easy appetizer is a perennial favorite there. Called kalamari tis skaras in Greek, it also works well as a main meal. Top it with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice and enjoy with a nice chilled glass of ouzo.

"I served this for dinner with grilled fingerling potatoes and a large salad. Delicious! The secret to tender calamari is high-heat and fast-cooking. I used a grill pan with holes to avoid losing the calamari between the grill grates. The marinade was perfect. Be sure to serve with plenty of lemon wedges." —Diana Andrews

Grilled Calamari-Kalamari tis Skaras/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds whole, cleaned calamari, thawed if frozen

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mint

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus wedges for serving

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Grilled Calamari - Kalamari tis Skaras ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Slice the calamari bodies crosswise into ½-inch rings.

    Slice the calamari bodies horizontally

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Combine the oil, garlic, oregano, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

    Combine the olive oil, garlic, oregano, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Add the calamari slices and tentacles to the bowl and toss them to coat well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes—you can heat the grill while you're waiting. 

    calamari and marinade in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Drain the calamari in a colander, then lift each piece out separately to allow any remaining liquid to drip off. 

    calamari in a colander

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Thread the calamari rings onto metal skewers. Thread skewers through the tentacles to secure. Alternatively, use a grill pan with holes. Grill the calamari over high heat (500 F to 600 F), turning once until it's opaque in color, 1 to 2 minutes at most.

    Grill the calamari over high heat

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Remove the squid from the grill and serve immediately with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

    Grilled Calamari - Kalamari tis Skaras served with lemons

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi


  • Calamari is available for purchase at most fish or seafood stores, but this doesn't necessarily mean it's fresh-caught. Squid has almost invariably been frozen at some point, so there's not much difference between buying it frozen or "fresh." There's certainly no shame in using frozen calamari and thawing it. 
  • You can place the calamari slices directly on the grill, but placing them on skewers makes a nice presentation. 
  • Most fishmongers sell squid divided into two parts — the tentacles and the body. Slicing isn't mandatory. You can grill the bodies as is, but increase the cooking time just a bit. 
  • Take care not to overcook the calamari — it will become chewy. 
  • Ouzo is good and it's a Greek tradition, but it might not suit everyone's palates. Pairing the calamari with a crisp white wine works well, too. 
  • Serve the squid with a salad and crusty bread as a meal, or alone as an appetizer. You might also use it to stuff a pita along with a little of the salad.