Baked calamari is a quick and easy fish recipe, perfect for any occasion.
Crispy baked calamari rings are perfect to serve as a main dish or appetizer.
In addition, baked squid rings are a crispy and tasty finger food, great for an appetizer with friends.
Compared to the classic fried calamari recipe, this more modern cooking method is much lighter. Thanks to the breading, calamari turns out just as crispy.
You can flavor the breading to your liking with different herbs and seasonings, such as garlic, paprika or chili, for example. We suggest flavoring the breadcrumbs with lemon and fresh chopped parsley.
The lemon marinade gives the squid a fresh flavor and the aromatic mix of breadcrumbs makes them so tasty and crispy.
Quick and easy to make, this oven baked calamari recipe is also perfect if you are on a diet but want to eat something healthy but tasty. If you make this recipe, you will have a delicious but light meal, perfect for a low-calorie diet.
Of course, if you use fresh calamari, the flavor will be more intense and they will be more tender. But frozen and already cleaned squids, possibly already cut into rings, are fine for this recipe as well. They are certainly very convenient!
Here is the recipe for baked squid rings. Crispy and lemon-scented. They will be a big hit with your guests!
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Baked Calamari Rings
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 20 Min
- about 500 g (1 pound) of cleaned calamari (frozen or fresh)
- 1 organic lemon (for its juice and zest)
- 200 g (1 1/4 cups) of breadcrumb
- 3 tablespoons (about 50 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
- fine salt
- ground black pepper
- a small bunch of fresh parsley
Kitchen Tools and Equipment
To make baked Calamari rings recipe, you definitely need a cutting boards on which clean and slice the Calamari. The plastic cutting boards that are easy to wash even in the dishwasher are very handy and practical.
Then you need two large bowls to mix all the ingredients. One for the lemon marinade and the other for the breadcrumbs.
An electric chopper will be very useful for shredding bread and parsley and also a grater for the lemon zest.
For the amounts given, you need a baking pan – we would say about 9×13 inches – and baking paper to line the pan.
Crispy oven-fried calamari rings are perfect for parties or appetizers with friends, like classic fried potatoes or meatballs. You can then serve them hot, in the original grease-absorbing cones for quick and practical one-portion treats.
How to Make Crispy Oven-Fried Calamari Rings
PLEASE READ BEFORE YOU START!
You can use fresh or frozen calamari. If you are using frozen squid, remember to defrost them in the refrigerator at least a few hours ahead of time. Either way, you need to CLEAN THE SQUID before you start cooking them. You can buy them already clean, ask the fishmonger to clean them for you or clean them yourself. In this last case, carefully read the paragraph below “How to Clean Calamari”.
Step 1) – Cut the calamari into rings and place them in a bowl with the tentacle tufts. It’s very important that the calamari are well dried. So pat them dry with paper towels. Now add a pinch of salt and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Step 2) – Squeeze the lemon and add its juice. Grind on top a little black pepper. Stir and let the squid marinate for about 10 minutes.
Step 3) – Meanwhile, prepare the breadcrumbs. Grind the stale bread very finely. Then add the lemon zest and chopped parsley. Finally, mix well.
Step 4) – Now remove the calamari from the marinade and transfer them to the bowl of breadcrumbs. Mix well so that the bread sticks evenly to the calamari.
Step 5) – Line a baking sheet with baking paper large enough so that the squid do not overlap each other. Drizzle the squid with the remaining oil and bake at 200°C (392°F) for 15 minutes.
Step 6) – In the last minute you can turn on the grill function for even crispier calamari. Avoid cooking the calamari longer, otherwise they’ll turn out hard and dry.
Crispy baked calamari are ready! Enjoy them hot with a few drops of lemon and a fresh green salad or crispy baked potatoes as a side dish
How to Store and Re-heat Baked Calamari
Baked calamari rings should be enjoyed immediately to appreciate their flavor and crispness.
But if they are leftover, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a day in an airtight container.
Heat them quickly in a nonstick frying pan over high heat or in the oven.
You can freeze breaded, raw calamari rings only if you have used fresh ingredients.
How to Clean Calamari
Cleaning calamari is one of the most tedious things many people consider in the kitchen. Sometimes even complicated. In reality, it’s much simpler than it seems. So let’s see how to clean calamari in a few simple steps!
Step 1) – First, remove the tentacles. So, grab the squid’s head with one hand and its body with the other. Gently pull the head to remove the entrails. Then remove the hard clear cartilage from the body.
Step 2) – Remove the horny beak located in the center of the tentacles. Finally the eyes and all the surrounding part with the help of scissors or a knife.
Step 3) – Remove the skin and rinse the calamari tubes under running water to remove any residue, being careful not to break them. Wash also the inside of the calamari tubes and the tentacles as well, to remove any residual sand. Dry with kitchen paper and set aside, ready to be used in your fantastic squid recipes!
Variations to this simple recipe concern the method of cooking and how to flavor the breadcrumbs, according to one’s preferences.
Air Frier Calamari Recipe
Baking is certainly handy and makes foods lighter than traditional frying, as the amount of oil used is very low.
For a result very similar to baking, we recommend trying the convenient air fryer. The result is dry, light and crispy fried calamari.
How to Season Breadcrumbs: Some Variations
In this recipe, the main ingredient and star of the dish, besides the calamari, is the breadcrumbs.
We recommend that you don’t use ready-made breadcrumbs, but prepare it yourself at home. It’ll definitely be tastier! If you want more information and tips read How to Make Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
You can flavor the bread to your liking.
We have suggested lemon zest and fresh parsley, a classic combination for fish.
Other flavorings are sweet/hot paprika or chili powder and chopped rosemary instead of parsley.
If you like garlic, it’s a very good seasoning for this recipe. You can add it in pieces to the marinade or add it together with breadcrumbs.