Greek Kalamaria Yemista: Stuffed Squid

A platter of Greek stuffed squid

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 70 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
368 Calories
20g Fat
14g Carbs
27g Protein
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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 variety of seafood dishes that take advantage of the country's proximity to the sea and its delicious, nutritious offerings. Kαλαμάρια γεμιστά, (pronounced kah-lah-MAH-reeyah yeh-mee-STAH) is one such famous Greek dish, which features juicy squid stuffed with a tasty sauce packed with classic Mediterranean flavors like tomatoes, parsley, olive oil, garlic, and onions.

The firm and tender meat of calamari makes them easy to work with, while their bold and nutty flavor leads to great seafood dishes when either served on their own or combined with other shellfish or different mollusks like shrimp and scallops. 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.

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 plates like sun-dried tomato pasta, horiatiki salata, grilled vegetables, and fresh bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 pounds squid, cleaned

  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup dry wine, white or red

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 1/4 cups water

  • 3/4 cup rice, preferably long-grain

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Greek stuffed squid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A cutting board with chopped squid tentacles

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A bowl of wine and tomato paste mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A pan of garlic, onion, and tentacles cooking in oil

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A pan with tomato mixture, cooked onions, and tentacles

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A pan with tomato mixture topped with parsley

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A pan with tomato mixture boiling

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    A pan of cooked rice in tomato mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    A casserole dish of stuffed squid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A casserole dish with stuffed squid topped with tomato rice mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    A casserole dish of baked stuffed squid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Enjoy!

Which Squid Is Best to Buy

This recipe works well whatever your preference for squid size, medium or small. 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