Sauteed Calamari with Tomato Caper Salsa {Paleo}

This sauteed calamari with tomato caper salsa is a much healthier alternative to the typical battered, fried calamari. This preparation is Paleo and Whole 30 friendly.

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It's hard not to like fried calamari, isn't it? Fried anything is always highly addicting, throw in a good dipping sauce, and all willpower is out the door, right?

Is Calamari Healthy?

Calamari can be quite healthy - right until that point where it hits the batter and fryer. Here are a few highlights of fry-less calamari:

  • High in omega-3s

  • Low in calories and fat

  • Good source of protein, calcium, B12, zinc and Vitamin C

  • Low mercury count

  • Sustainable source of seafood

fresh calamari

How to Cook Calamari

You on board yet? Now, let's make it taste good without submerging it in oil. A quick, high heat flash in the pan will have you eating healthy in no time. You want high heat so your calamari doesn't turn to mush, leaving you chewing for days.

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And make sure to use a high heat oil like avocado oil so you don't take in any added toxins. You definitely don't want a side of that with your calamari. I like Primal Kitchen's Avocado oil for high heat cooking.

Cutting Calamari

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A friend from Paris gave me a cool scoring technique when using calamari of slicing 90% across so when it cooks, it curls up all pretty and there are no runaway rings.

She also topped it with a tomato caper salsa, which not only tastes delicious but looks very pretty and quite colorful on the plate.

Once you finish, you'll forget all about calamari's fried, unhealthy counterpart.

Sauteed calamari with tomato caper salsa | TastingPage

Sauteed Calamari with Tomato Caper Salsa

Serves 2-3


  • 1 pound calamari tubes, cleaned

  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons capers

  • 1 tablespoon caper juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Score the calamari 90% across, but not all the way through and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Place tomatoes, garlic, parsley, capers and caper juice in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and let sit.

  3. Place a non-stick pan over high heat. Add coconut oil and then the add the calamari, making sure not to overlap so it forms a single layer. Turn after a minute. The calamari is done when it's opaque, approximately 2-3 minutes total.

  4. Remove from pan and top with lemon juice and tomato caper salsa.

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