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Air Fryer Calamari Recipe

platter full of air fryer calamari

Crispy Air Fryer Calamari


Discover the secret to making restaurant-style Crispy Air Fryer Calamari at home, offering a lighter version of the beloved appetizer without deep frying. This recipe ensures the calamari is tender on the inside with a golden, crunchy exterior, achieved through the air fryer's magic.

Perfect for serving at gatherings, as a sophisticated snack, or alongside your favorite seafood dishes, this air fryer calamari comes with a tangy marinara dipping sauce that complements its flavors beautifully.

Ingredients List - Air Fryer Calamari Recipe

  • 1 lb calamari, cleaned and cut into rings

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the Marinara Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • Salt to taste

Step by Step Cooking Instructions

  1. Prepare the Calamari: Pat the calamari dry with paper towels. Season the flour with paprika, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Place the beaten eggs in another dish, and the panko breadcrumbs in a third dish.

  2. Bread the Calamari: Dredge the calamari rings first in the seasoned flour, then dip them in the beaten eggs, and finally coat them with the panko breadcrumbs.

  3. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C) for about 3 minutes.

  4. Cook: Arrange the breaded calamari in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don't touch for even cooking. You may need to cook them in batches. Air fry for 4-6 minutes, or until the calamari is golden brown and crispy.

  5. Prepare the Marinara Sauce: While the calamari is cooking, combine the tomato sauce, minced garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Serve: Serve the crispy calamari immediately with the warm marinara sauce and lemon wedges on the side.

plate of calamari with garnish and lemon wedges

Pro Tips and Suggestions

  • For an extra crispy coating, spray the breaded calamari lightly with cooking spray before air frying.

  • This calamari pairs wonderfully with a fresh green salad or as part of a seafood platter for a complete meal.

  • Ensure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket to achieve the best crispiness on all sides of the calamari.

Interesting Alterations You May Want to Try

  • For a gluten-free version, use almond flour and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.

  • Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the flour mixture for a spicy kick.

  • Experiment with different dipping sauces, such as aioli or a spicy mayo, to find your favorite pairing.

Key Takeaways and Calories

  • Crispy Air Fryer Calamari offers a delicious, healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried appetizer, maintaining all the flavors and textures you love.

  • Utilizing the air fryer for this dish not only simplifies the cooking process but also reduces the need for added oils, making it a lighter choice.

  • A serving of this air fryer calamari, excluding the dipping sauce, is approximately 300-350 calories, making it a satisfying yet mindful appetizer or meal component.


The Crispy Air Fryer Calamari recipe is a game-changer for calamari lovers, proving that you can achieve that perfect crispy texture without the hassle of deep frying. Whether you're hosting a dinner party, looking for a quick and tasty snack, or wanting to add a touch of sophistication to your meal, this air fryer calamari is sure to impress with its delicious flavor and lighter preparation method.




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