This fresh, colorful Grilled Calamari Salad with Potatoes is inspired by the calamari and potato dishes we ate on our trip to Spain. It's a perfect appetizer or salad for a light lunch, as a side for dinner, or for a party!
Why not throw a Tapas Party and serve this salad as one of the tapas?
Related recipe: No-Mayo Potato Salad with Feta
Calamari and potatoes
Calamari (or squid) and potatoes might sound like an odd combination at first, but it's a really really good combination of ingredients. Salty grilled calamari pairs perfectly with soft, creamy boiled potatoes, especially when tied together with a light lemony dressing with good olive oil and lots of fresh herbs.
I add fresh bell peppers and thinly sliced red onion to this calamari salad to give it more texture, flavor, and color.
If you're looking for a fancy-pants potato salad, give this Spanish-style Grilled Squid Salad a try. Think of it as a Tapas Salad.
Related recipe: Instant Pot Potato Salad
Easy salad recipe
This salad is super quick to make - it's ready in less than a half hour and requires minimal cooking. Just boil young potatoes, take a couple of minutes to pan-fry or grill the calamari, and toss all the ingredients in a large bowl.
The simple dressing with lemon juice and olive oil is just perfect to tie all the flavors together with lots of fresh parsley and a little bite from the red onion. I couldn't get enough!
I do recommend using a lemon to get fresh squeezed lemon juice for this salad - it just gives everything a much fresher flavor than the bottled lemon juice. Here is my favorite lemon squeezer, I use it daily to add fresh lemon juice to my salads, veggies, and seafood!
Related recipe: Grilled Calamari Salad with Bell Peppers
Serve this salad warm or chilled
The Calamari Potato salad tastes wonderful when it is freshly made while the potatoes are still warm, because the warmth of the potatoes brings out the fresh parsley and lemon flavors.
But it is also great served cold after chilling in the fridge. So basically, it makes for delicious leftovers if you don't finish it all in one sitting. 😉
Related recipe: Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous Salad
Cooking squid / grilled squid
If you've never cooked calamari (squid), do NOT get freaked out! Pan-cooked or grilled calamari is super easy and is SO MUCH lighter than the breaded and deep fried calamari most of us are used to from appetizer menus in restaurants.
You can use a regular skillet to pan-fry the calamari, or use a grill pan to make grilled calamari. Honestly, the flavor and texture will be the same. It just feels fancier to say "grilled calamari salad" or "grilled calamari tapas salad." 🙂
I like this grill pan because it is large and you can cook a lot of things on it without overcrowding anything - which means better grill marks!
How to grill squid / cook squid:
First, check whether your grocery store sells sliced frozen calamari - that is the easiest way to go. If yes, thaw it and cook for a few minutes per side in a searing hot skillet. Just like most seafood, calamari cooks quickly and all it really needs is some olive oil, lemon juice, and a bit of salt to make it taste fantastic.
If your store doesn't sell cleaned squid, ask the seafood department of your grocery store if they would clean and slice the squid for you. If not, here is a good step by step tutorial for how to clean squid. It's really not that hard and SO worth it to make this salad.
Looking for other fancy-pants easy seafood appetizer recipes?
- Seafood spread on a baguette (AMAZING for tapas night!)
- Cilantro lime shrimp
- Avocado stuffed with shrimp salad
- Shrimp avocado mango salad
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Spanish Style Calamari Potato Salad
- 1 lb baby potatoes halved or quartered if they are not bite sized
- 1 lb fresh squid/calamari rings thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 2 small bell peppers seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup parsley leaves chopped
- Salt & pepper about 1/2 teaspoon each or to taste
- Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 5-8 minutes, or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Drain and rinse under cold water. It is fine if the potatoes are still warm.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet or brush a grill pan with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the calamari rings with salt & pepper (to taste), and cook the calamari rings over high heat for 2-4 minutes, or until they are fully cooked.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, sliced red onion, and mix well. Add the sliced bell peppers, chopped parsley, cooked potatoes, and cooked calamari and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon each.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve chilled.
- Shrimp (or a mix of shrimp and calamari) would be wonderful in this recipe too!
- Try adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the dressing, for a little kick of heat