Spanish Calamari Rice (Arroz con Calamares) Recipe

Preparing a Paella
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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
584 Calories
11g Fat
101g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 584
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 15%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 448mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 19g
Calcium 111mg 9%
*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.)

Calamari rice, or arroz con calamares, is a good first course or side dish for a dinner. This calamari rice recipe is easy to put together for anyone who enjoys authentic Spanish cuisine and seafood flavors.

This Spanish seafood dish also could be served as a main course, especially if you add a few pieces of a solid white fish like halibut or a handful of small clams. You also could serve it with a different type of rice, including black rice. It's always good to have a versatile recipe on hand and this one is no exception.

Rice with squid has a great seafood flavor without the additional work of preparing a paella, and it could be served as a main course of a light dinner. Prepare this recipe and see if it's a new family favorite.


  • 5 to 6 small squid (cleaned)
  • 1 onion (yellow or white)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bell pepper (red)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (Spanish virgin)
  • 32 ounces fish stock
  • 2 cups rice (pearl)
  • 3 to 4 saffron threads
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Optional: 1/2 (15-ounce) can of peas

Steps to Make It

  1. Clean the squid thoroughly and cut them into rings. Use the tentacles, but be sure to remove the eye. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Cut the pepper into small pieces.

  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed large frying pan. Sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat. When the onion is golden, add the red pepper and continue to sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

  3. While the onion mixture is sautéing, heat the fish stock in a saucepan, but do not boil the stock.

  4. Add the squid pieces to the onion mixture and sauté for three to four minutes. Add the rice to the frying pan and stir to coat the rice with oil. Add more oil if needed and “toast” rice for about 2 minutes on medium heat, being careful not to burn it.

  5. Pour in fish stock, saffron, and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the rice is cooked. Add optional peas after the rice is cooked. They do add some color and nutritional value to the dish.

  6. Some Spanish families prefer "soupy" rice and will serve this sort of dish with broth. If you'd like this to be more of a soup than a drier rice dish, add a bit more fish stock to the pan just before the rice is finished cooking. Otherwise, keep it as is, as a less soupy version.

  7. Remove the dish from the heat and serve.