Greek Kalamaria Yemista: Stuffed Squid

Stuffed squid

Philippe Desnerck/Getty Images

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
368 Calories
20g Fat
14g Carbs
27g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 396mg 132%
Sodium 433mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 475mg 10%
*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.)

Greek cuisine has a great number of seafood dishes that take advantage of the country's proximity to the sea and its delicious and nutritious offerings, which can be prepared in a variety of ways. Kαλαμάρια γεμιστά, (pronounced kah-lah-MAH-reeyah yeh-mee-STAH) is one such famous Greek dish, which features juicy and firm squid stuffed with a flavorful sauce filled with classic Mediterranean flavors like tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, garlic, and onions.

Usually referred to as calamari, from the Italian term for squid, these tasty mollusks are a great source of protein, with 13 grams per 3-ounce serving. The firm and tender meat of calamari makes them easy to work with, while the bold and nutty flavor leads to great seafood dishes when either served on its own or combined with other shellfish or different mollusks like shrimp and scallops. Squid makes a simple and tasty appetizer when pan-fried or deep-fried and served with wedges of lemon. That said, our stuffed calamari is a wonderful and filling main dish, especially if accompanied by other Mediterranean-inspired dishes like sun-dried tomato pasta, horiatiki salata, grilled vegetables, and fresh bread.


  • 2 1/4 pounds squid (cleaned)

  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup wine (dry, white, or red)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)

  • 3/4 cup rice (preferably long-grain)

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1/4 tablespoon parsley (fresh, chopped)

  • 2 1/4 cups water

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the squid tentacles from the bodies, and chop them up into small pieces. Reserve.

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the tomato paste with the wine until smooth. Preheat oven to 340 F.

  4. Add the olive oil into a large frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic, and half of the chopped tentacles.

  5. When the onion has softened and the mixture is steaming, stir in the wine and tomato paste mixture.

  6. Stir in parsley and cook until the mixture thickens slightly.

  7. Add half of the water and bring to a boil.

  8. Stir in the rice, turn off the heat, cover, and wait for the rice to hydrate and expand, or about 15 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust if necessary.

  9. Using a small teaspoon, fill the squid tubes with the rice stuffing, up to 1/2 inch from the top. Thread the top with one or more toothpicks to close tight and place in a baking pan. Repeat the process with the remaining squids and stuffing.

  10. Mix any leftover stuffing with the reserved chopped tentacles and remaining water, and add the mixture on top of the stuffed squid.

  11. Bake the squid for one hour and 10 minutes. Carefully remove toothpicks before serving.

  12. Enjoy!

Which Squid Is Best to Buy

Whatever your preference for the squids' size, medium or small, this recipe works well regardless. Stuffing small squid can be more difficult than stuffing squid that are larger in size. However, if you have a choice, always buy fresh over frozen squid, and always choose the medium size over the small.

Most commercially available small frozen squid can be bought already cleaned, which will save you a great deal of time. They might not include the tentacles, however, which are needed for our recipe. So you might need to buy them separately, which isn't always convenient, or cheaper.

When buying larger fresh squid, you get the entire body, even if the necessary cleaning process falls to you. Cleaning the 2 1/2 pounds of squid required for our recipe might take up to 40 minutes. If buying from a local fishmonger, call ahead and ask if they can prepare them for you.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Squid, Raw. FoodData Central, United States Department of Agriculture