grilled squid

Savouring the flavours of Portugal: Grilled squid recipe

Regarding quintessential Portuguese flavours, few dishes can compete with the mouthwatering delight of grilled squid. Succulent, tender, and infused with the smoky aroma of the grill, grilled squid is a beloved delicacy that captures the essence of Portugal’s rich culinary heritage. In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of grilling squid perfectly and share some intriguing curiosities about this delectable seafood dish.

Try this delicious grilled squid recipe

What you need

  • 4 fresh squid (approximately 1 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  1. Prepare the squid. Firstly, start by cleaning the squid. Remove the head and tentacles, and peel off the skin. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
  2. Score the squid. Using a sharp knife, gently score the squid tubes in a crisscross pattern. This helps the squid cook evenly and allows the marinade to penetrate.
  3. Make the marinade. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper to create a flavorful marinade.
  4. Marinate the squid. Place the cleaned and scored squid in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Make sure to coat each piece thoroughly. Then, cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, allowing the squid to absorb the delicious flavours.
  5. Preheat the grill. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 400°F or 200°C). Make sure the grates are clean and lightly oiled to prevent sticking.
  6. Grill the squid. Thread the marinated squid onto skewers or use a grill basket to prevent them from falling through the grates. Grill the squid for about 2-3 minutes per side until they develop grill marks and turn opaque. Be cautious not to overcook, as squid can become tough if done so.
  7. Serve and garnish. Remove the grilled squid from the grill and place them on a serving platter. Garnish with fresh parsley and an extra squeeze of lemon juice for a burst of citrusy freshness.

Pro Tip: To ensure tender squid meat, either cook it quickly over high heat or slow-cook it at a low temperature. Rapid grilling or flash-frying prevents overcooking and preserves that delightful tenderness, while slow simmering in flavorful sauces can also yield succulent results. In conclusion, experiment with both methods to find your preferred squid-tenderizing technique! 🦑🔥🍽️

What do you need to know before grilling squid?

Portugal’s love for seafood

Portugal is renowned for its seafood-centric cuisine. Grilled squid is just one of many beloved seafood dishes that showcase the country’s deep-rooted maritime heritage.

What is the difference between calamari and grilled squid?

While squid and calamari are often used interchangeably, they are distinct species. Squid have longer bodies and are typically associated with Mediterranean cuisine, whereas calamari are shorter and are commonly found in Italian dishes.

Adding some chimichurri to this recipe will give you tasteful results! Photo: Broil King

Grilling tradition

Grilling seafood is a cherished tradition in Portugal. The combination of the country’s coastal location and love for open-flame cooking has given rise to numerous delicious grilled seafood recipes. Try our grilled sardines recipe or this spicy grilled prawns recipe!

Versatile flavours

Grilled squid is a versatile dish that can be customized with various seasonings. In addition to the classic garlic and paprika, you can experiment with different herbs, spices, and marinades to create your own unique flavour profile.

Achieve a tender texture when you try the grilled squid recipe

You must cook the squid either for a very short time (2 minutes or even less over high heat) or for a very long time (at least 30 minutes for the squid to re-tenderize). Anything in between will make the squid rubbery.

Grilled squid is a true taste of Portugal, offering a delightful combination of fresh seafood and the rich smokiness of the grill. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress your taste buds and transport you to the sunny shores of Portugal. So, fire up the grill, embrace the tradition, and savour the flavours of Portugal with this delectable grilled squid dish. Bom apetite!

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