Braised Squid in Savory Tomato Sauce

by Kimberly Hickok

Here’s the thing about squid. If you don’t want it be turn out all chewy and rubbery it has to be cooked quickly or braised over a long period of time. I’ve ordered braised squid out at restaurants but this was my first time making it at home and it turned out great! It was very tender, almost buttery in consistency.

I’ll start with the recipe. Below that I’ve got pictures showing what I did along the way.

Braised Squid in Savory Tomato Sauce
Serves 6 as an appetizer 
Cook time: 45 minutes to an hour
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
1 1/2 pounds squid, cleaned and cut into 1/2″ rings
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup marinara sauce
2 squirts sriracha
3 pepperoncini, sliced into 1/2″ rings
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons pepperoncini juice
Olive oil

You’ll need a large skillet or frying pan that has a lid. I used a cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet over medium high heat. Add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the celery, carrot and onion. Cook until soft but not brown. Add everything else EXCEPT the squid. Let simmer for 5 minutes and then add the calamari. Reduce heat and cover. Let it simmer for 30 minutes. Test the squid to see if it’s tender. It should be. If not, just let it keep simmering and check again in 10 minutes. At this point, add salt if needed.

Serve immediately.

Squid cut into rings for braising

Make sure it’s free of any hard bits, the cartilage.

Celery and carrots for braised squid dish

The vegetables really add nice flavor to the sauce.


braised squid in a cast iron pan

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like there’s a lot of liquid in the pan. As the squid braises, you’ll get more liquid.


I made this as an appetizer when our friends John and Hilary came over. I served it right from the cast iron pan and we sopped up the juice with baguette slices. Next time I might just make this and serve with pasta instead. It was soooooo good. Two thumbs up!

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1 comment

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic February 10, 2014 - 12:08 pm

Hi Kim! So nice meeting you this weekend. Team 3 forever! :p

This squid dish sounds delicious. I’ve never attempted making squid myself but I do like it a lot.

Hope you enjoyed the rest of the weekend!


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