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Katie's Cucina

Calamari Fritti with Smoked Chipotle Aioli

Calamari Fritti with Smoked Chipotle Aioli from

I have been making my own Calamari Fritti for a few years now. I experimented on a whim one hot summers day when I was tasked with making a birthday dinner for my mother in-law. With only one day’s notice I whipped together what I felt to be an amazing meal. Everyone in my husband’s family loves calamari, and I figured why not try to make it for the dinner as a nice surprise appetizer! After doing quite a bit of recipe research online I had finally found what I felt to be the best recipe for Calamari Fritti out there.

Calamari Fritti with Smoked Chipotle Aioli from

I love the Smoked Chipotle Aioli dipping sauce that accompanies this dish. It’s spicy yet creamy and satisfies the taste-buds. Don’t get me wrong. I love dipping the rings of the fried squid into a tomato-basil sauce. But there is also something about an aioli sauce that just does it for me.
Calamari Fritti with Smoked Chipotle Aioli from

Adapted from Tyler Florence, Republished from February 5, 2010

Calamari Fritti

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Calamari Fritti


    For the Calamari Fritti:
  • 1 pound whole squid, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp each; salt and pepper
  • For the Smoked Chipotle Aioli:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chile in adobo
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • Pinch salt


    For the Calamari Fritti:
  1. Rinse the squid and pat dry with paper towel. Cut the body of the squid (tubes) into 1/2-inch rings (trim the tentacles as necessary).
  2. In a large bowl combine the milk, egg, and basil leaves. Mix with a fork until lightly beaten. Put the prepared calamari in the milk mixture. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat deep fryer.
  4. Mix the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Once the oil is hot toss the calamari in the seasoned flour to coat and immediately place it into the deep fryer.
  5. Fry for one-to-three minutes or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried calamari to paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle additional salt, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately with lemon wedges and dipping sauces.
  7. For the Smoked Chipotle Aioli:
  8. Using a food processor combine all the ingredients and blend for 1 minute or until well combined. Refrigerate the sauce until ready to serve. Serve as a dipping sauce with fried calamari.



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15 Responses to “Calamari Fritti with Smoked Chipotle Aioli”

  1. Joanne posted on February 12, 2013 at 7:29 am (#)

    I always think of fried calamari as being seriously Italian so I’m loving the fusion flavors here with the chipotle aioli! Yum!

    • Katie replied on February 12th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Joanne you are too cute. You can pair calamari with just about any dipping sauce you’d like. For an “Asian” twist dip it in sweet chili sauce! 🙂

  2. danielle posted on February 12, 2013 at 8:07 am (#)

    Definitely bookmarking this one – I love everything about this recipe.

  3. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted on February 12, 2013 at 8:43 am (#)

    This is my favorite appetizer!!! You may have just inspired me for Valentine’s Day!

  4. Kim @ Sand & Sisal posted on February 12, 2013 at 1:20 pm (#)

    Oh my! I’m in LOVE! I adore calamari that is cooked to perfection! So many people have tried it in restaurants that have killed it and won’t try it again. I have frozen squid in my freezer as we speak! I just needed a good recipe to try! Thanks Katie! I shared your post on ALL my media outlets too! Love you my friend!

    • Katie replied on February 12th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Awe thanks Kim! It really isn’t difficult to make tasty calamari at home. People get so intimidated by it. The hardest part is watching it fry up and knowing when to pull it out of the fryer. 🙂

  5. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough posted on February 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm (#)

    Love… love… LOVE! (Did I mention that I LOVE this? ;))

    • Katie replied on February 12th, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks Stephanie!

  6. Julie @ Table for Two posted on February 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm (#)

    I eat a whole plateful of these guys when we go out to eat and there is that option – i love that now i can attempt to make it at home. the aioli sounds AWESOME. i bet i’d dip every bite in it

    • Katie replied on February 13th, 2013 at 6:48 am

      ha ha Julie your too funny! My husband and I definitely fight over the last few pieces of calamari just about every time!

  7. danielle posted on February 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm (#)

    Hey Katie – I wanted to let you know that I featured this in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post today – stop by and see!

  8. Mary posted on February 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm (#)

    oh. my. word. I never even considered making this at home. Your photos are amazing and my mouth is actually watering. I’ll be trying this soon. Where do you buy squid? Fresh? Frozen? Grocery store? Specialty? Asian market? I’m just full of questions. This recipe needs to be in my life sooner than later. Thank you!

    • Katie replied on February 25th, 2013 at 10:56 am

      Hi Mary! Yes, you can buy these fresh (formerly frozen) at the seafood counter in your local grocery store. Good luck and email me if you have any other questions!


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