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)
327 Calories
13g Fat
35g Carbs
17g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 327
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 118mg 39%
Sodium 622mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 57mg 286%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 2mg 8%
Potassium 632mg 13%
*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 red bell pepper

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

  • 32 ounces fish stock

  • 2 cups pearl rice

  • 3 to 4 saffron threads

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 (15-ounce) can 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.