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Chilled Calamari Salad with Lemon and Parsley

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A light refreshing calamari salad made with squid, fresh lemon, celery, red onion, roasted peppers, garlic and parsley.

Chilled Calamari Salad
Calamari Salad with Lemon and Parsley

This chilled calamari salad is a wonderful appetizer or light lunch. This comes together pretty quick, let it marinade overnight for the best flavor. If you want a shrimp salad, try my Zesty Lime Shrimp Salad or Creamy Shrimp and Celery Salad.

Calamari Salad

Chilled Calamari Salad is great in the summer for picnics, boating or when you want something chilled. And it’s also great for the holidays or Christmas to serve as an appetizer. It’s low-carb, whole30 and gluten-free.

Squid doesn’t take long to cook, if you overcook it it gets rubbery so be sure to keep a close eye on it and have an ice bath ready before you cook it. If you buy your squid cleaned, this takes minutes to make and is easier than you think.

How To Make Calamari Salad

Start with fresh or frozen squid. If frozen let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Slice into rings keeping the legs whole.

Prepare an ice bath and cook the squid in boiling water about 45 to 60 seconds, then transfer to the ice bath. Meanwhile chop your veggies, add the lemon, vinegar and olive oil and toss everything together. Chill overnight.


Some variations you can try…

  • Make a mixed seafood salad by adding cooked shrimp, crab, mussels, scungilli or a combination of all.
  • Add cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives or hot cherry pepper.
  • Cilantro and lime instead of lemon and parsley would give this more of a Latin flair

Refrigerate up to 4 days. Double or triple the recipe for a larger crowd.

seafood saladItalian Calamari Salad

Chilled Calamari Salad with Lemon and Parsley

5 from 11 votes
A light refreshing calamari salad made with squid, fresh lemon, celery, red onion, roasted peppers, garlic and parsley.
Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
seafood salad
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 15 mins
Yield: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1 scant cup


  • 1/4 cup red onion minced
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced (no stems)
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1 1/4 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 lb fresh squid tube and tentacles cleaned


  • Rinse squid and slice tubes into 1/2 inch rings.
  • Leave the tentacles whole and set aside.
  • Prepare a bowl of water with ice.
  • In a medium bowl combine onion, garlic, celery, red peppers, parsley, olive oil lemon juice, vinegar, salt and fresh pepper.
    seafood salad ingedients
  • Bring a medium pot filled with water and a pinch of salt to a boil.
  • Add calamari all at once and cook until tender yet cooked, (I test it by tasting a ring) about 45 - 60 seconds.
  • Quickly drain when cooked and add to the ice bath until cool, 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Combine squid with the salad and toss well.
  • Taste for salt and add additional seasoning and lemon juice if needed.
  • Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or overnight for best results.

Last Step:

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Makes about 3 1/2 cups.


Serving: 1 scant cup, Calories: 122 kcal, Carbohydrates: 8 g, Protein: 18 g, Fat: 2 g, Sodium: 66 mg, Fiber: 0.9 g, Sugar: 1.2 g


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41 comments on “Chilled Calamari Salad with Lemon and Parsley”

  1. Made this today. Pros: perfect texture on the squid. Great way to serve a seafood that’s often fried at home. Loved the textures and technique. Cons: I think this was missing a seasoning. We let our marinate for about 6 hours and it just felt like it needed “something.” Added some Aleppo pepper, more salt, and more red wine vinegar and will see if its better tomorrow.

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    Mary A Basilone

    Would I be able to add cut up lobster, scallops, and shrimp to this dish and if so should I just alter the other ingredients to match how many pounds of fish I’m using? thanks

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    Saundra Sillaway

    Wonderful recipe! one variation is to use octopus and try a bulb of fennel instead of the celery.. It .always one of the Christmas eve fishes.

  4. Oh MY GOSH – I just clicked on the WW personal points and it took me right to my account for tracking!   Gina you are the BEST!!!!!

    This salad looks amazing – never cooked with calamari – will give it a try!

  5. This is a very fresh and delicious appetizer. May I suggest that you substitute “Italian parsley,” for regular parsley. It has a milder, more subtle flavor. But I do like this recipe very much. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Amazing recipe!!  I added olives,  It turned out really good and a winner of my picky husband and daughters.  This is a keeper.  Thanks for another great recipe Gina!!

  7. Avatar photo
    Michelle Rittenhouse

    I made this today using a bag of mixed frozen seafood from Trader Joe's (contained shrimp, calamari, and bay scallops). It was delicious and so refreshing since it's so hot out. Would also be nice with some orzo and avocado.

  8. Oh my word.

    I grew up in an Italian neighborhood, and "fish salad" was something you'd often find at some delis. Squid, salad shrimp, maybe some mussels. And sadly, also, fake crab meat. What's sad about the fake crab? I developed a wheat allergy and I can't eat any of the salad if it's got fake crab in it.

    This tastes JUST like the stuff I used to buy. I even added some salad shrimp – wonderful.

    You DO want to buy your squid already cleaned. Not for this recipe, but recently I bought "uncleaned" squid and I am not squirmish about a lot of food things, but yeah… that was gross. If you can only find pre-cut rings, those would work great. If you're not a lemon fan, switch out the lemon for more vinegar or some white balsamic, etc. If you like fried calamari… do not fear this recipe. 60 seconds, ice bath, and then into the dressing… the squid will turn out perfect.