Shrimp and Calamari Skewers with Breadcrumbs

Shrimp and Calamari Skewers are a really appetizing and tasty Italian seafood recipe.

We are going to show you the baked version of shrimp and calamari skewers with a crispy flavored breadcrumb coating. This way of preparing skewers is typical of the seaside towns of Romagna and Marche.

You can find the same recipe in Italian restaurants, but cooked on the grill. And if you have a barbecue in your backyard, you can make these grilled shrimp and calamari skewers at home, just like the ones you find in the Italian restaurant!

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The only hassle, as with all fish recipes, is the cleaning, unless you buy the fish already cleaned and ready to cook.

After cleaning, cut the calamari into strips, peel the shrimp, and dip them in seasoned breadcrumbs before skewering.

A simple and light baking will make this dish golden, tender and crispy.

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You can serve the skewers with a side of tomatoes au gratin or a fresh seasonal salad.

If you are in the mood for a simple and appetizing seafood dish, accompanied by a tasty side dish and a good glass of chilled white wine, try this Italian recipe for shrimp and calamari skewers! It’s sure to be a success!

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How to Make Italian Shrimp and Calamari Skewers Recipe

  • Prep Time: 30 Min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Servings: 4


  • 300 g (2/3 pound) of calamari (net of waste)
  • 400 g (~1 pound) of shrimps (net of waste)
  • 150 g (~1 1/2 cups) of breadcrumb
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • fine salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil


BEFORE YOU START! You can use fresh or frozen squid and shrimp. If you use frozen fish, remember to thaw it in the refrigerator for a few hours before using.

You can buy cleaned calamari or shrimp, or ask your fishmonger to clean them for you. Sometimes, however, you may need to clean calamari and shrimp yourself before cooking them. If this is the case, carefully read the sections after the recipe instructions, “How to clean calamari” and “How to clean shrimp”.

TIP: Use calamari that are not too large, but small enough to cook evenly with the shrimp. Use firm shrimp or prawns. Do not use shrimp that are too small or they will shrink and become dry and tough.

Let’s start by showing you how to prepare these skewers, assuming the calamari and shrimp are already cleaned.

shrimp and calamari skewers step 1

Step 1) – Separate the body of the squid from the top knot. Then cut the body into rings about 1.5 cm (2/3 inch) thick.

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Step 2) – Cut and open the rings. This will create rectangular strips. Set them aside.

shrimp and calamari skewers step 3

Step 3) – Prepare a mixture of: breadcrumbs, chopped parsley, salt, extra virgin olive oil and a clove of garlic.

PLEASE NOTE: If you really like garlic, you can crush it or chop it finely. Otherwise, leave it whole. This will add a subtle flavor to the bread, but you will not eat it.

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Step 4) – Place the cleaned and well dried shrimp and squid in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Mix well so that the breadcrumbs cover each part of the fish well.

Allow to sit for a few minutes. Occasionally stir and press with your hands to make sure the bread sticks well.

shrimp and calamari skewers step 5

Step 5) – Now you can prepare the skewers. You can use steel or disposable wooden skewers.

PLEASE NOTE: Before preparing the skewers, be sure to soak the wooden skewers in water: this trick will prevent them from charring in the oven.

Form the skewers by alternately threading a tuft or strip of folded calamari and a shrimp. Thread about 6-8 pieces on each skewer. This depends on the size of the shrimp and calamari.

Do not overfill the skewer, but leave the tip and a piece of the other end uncovered, which will be the handle for gripping the skewer.

shrimp and calamari skewers step 6

Step 6) – Line the bottom of a baking pan with parchment paper. Place the skewers in the pan and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C (370°F) for about 10 minutes. Do not overcook, otherwise they will dry out and the fish will be chewy.

Halfway through cooking, turn the skewers so that they are browned on both sides. They should be soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. They are done when they form a light golden crust.

If you want an even crispier texture, you can turn on the grill mode of the oven for the last two minutes. Be careful not to burn or dry out the fish.

shrimp and calamari skewers step 7

Step 7) – When cooked, remove from the oven and season with a pinch of salt. If you like, add a few drops of lemon juice and a sprinkle of grated lemon zest.

Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot with a few slices of lemon.

PLEASE NOTE: Not everyone likes lemon on fish. But if you do, remember to add it only when you are serving the fish, not before. Otherwise, the lemon will tend to give the fish a slightly bitter taste.

The shrimp and calamari skewers are ready to be enjoyed hot and fragrant. They will be so good and tasty that they will disappear in no time!

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How to Store Shrimp and Calamari Skewers

The best way to enjoy the full flavor of Shrimp and Calamari recipe is to eat them while they are still hot.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. When cold, and especially when reheated, unfortunately they become a bit chewy.

You can freeze raw skewers only if you have used fresh fish.

How to Clean Calamari

Cleaning squid is one of the those things that many consider to be the most boring in the kitchen. Sometimes even complicated. In reality, it’s much simpler than it looks like. So let’s see together how to clean calamari in few easy steps!

how to clean calamari step 1

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.

how to clean calamari step 2

Step 2) – Remove the horny beak located in the center of the tentacles, the eyes and all the surrounding part with the help of scissors or a knife.

how to clean calamari step 3

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 stuffed squid recipes!

How to Clean Shrimps

how to clean shrimps

To clean shrimps, first remove the heads. Then remove the shells. Finally remove the black intestinal thread by gently pulling it out.

Shrimp and Calamari Skewers: Some Variations

AROMATIC HERBS: You can flavor your breadcrumbs with as many herbs as you like. For example, in addition to parsley, fresh oregano, marjoram or fennel seeds are also very suitable.

LEMON: As we suggested earlier, you can also add a little grated lemon zest to the breadcrumbs to add more flavor to your preparation.

CURRY: You can also season the bread with a little curry or sweet paprika.

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PARMIGIANO: Many people add a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to the breadcrumbs for an extra touch of flavor.

You can also make skewers with just shrimp and squid instead of alternating.

VEGETABLES: An idea to have a complete meal without thinking about the side dish. Alternate the fish on the skewer with vegetables. For example, zucchini, peppers or eggplant. Depending on how long the vegetables take to cook, you can either let them cook a bit before putting them on the skewer or cook them together with the fish.

WITHOUT BREADCRUMBS: If you want to make lighter skewers, you can skip dipping them in breadcrumbs. You will make simple skewers with squid and shrimp. In this case, just season the skewers with a drizzle of oil or a mixture of oil and lemon juice, parsley, garlic and salt.

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