Taste of Kos: traditional stuffed calamari recipe

Taste of Kos: traditional stuffed calamari recipe

You ‘ve visited Kos, you’ve experienced Kos, you loved Kos and now you want to take Kos with you back home. How is even that possible you might wonder? Well, by bringing Kos… on your plate.
Stuffed calamari is a traditional recipe of the Dodecanese, you’ve probably tasted during your vacation on Kos. It might sound too sophisticated, but in fact it doesn’t take too much skill, you can make it even if you are not that experienced in cooking. All it takes is some fresh squid, rice, herbs and spices, to make your kitchen smell like the Aegean Sea!


1kg fresh squid, cleaned
150 gr white rice, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 dried red onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup grated tomatoes
2 cups hot water
A little dill or parsley
Lemon for serving


Clean the squids by removing the bone and the ink. Make a small hole on the edge of the tail and pour plenty of running water so as to remove the sand from the inside of the calamari. Remove the eyes from the head of the squid and finely chop up the tentacles to use for the stuffing.

Add oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Add the chopped-up tentacles, sauté for 1-2 minutes until they change colour, and remove the garlic. Add the rice and stir well until it is translucent. Add the tomato paste, rub it at the base of the pot for minute and then add the herbs, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of warm water. Stir until the rice absorbs the liquid and remove from the heat.

As soon as your rice has cooled off start staffing the squids, leaving some space for the rice to expand as it gets cooked.
Secure each stuffed squid with a toothpick so that the filling does not spill out during baking and put them in a pyrex or baking tray. Add olive oil, the wine and 1 cup of water to cover the squid. Cover your tray with aluminium foil and cook for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180oC for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the tomatoes and extra water if needed, and continue baking for another 20 minutes until the squids change colour.

Serve your stuffed calamari with freshly squeezed lemon and sprinkles of parsley or dill. Pair it with a glass of ouzo. Yiamas!