Easy French Food and Recipes

Squid Recipe

Make this squid recipe with frozen calamri rings for a quick and easy main dish served on rice.  You can also make it with fresh squid if you have the time to clean and prepare it. If you decide to make it with fresh squid, you will need to learn how to clean and cut squid to prepare it for cooking.

Squid Cooking Tips

squid recipe

Usually squid is cooked rapidly because it can get as elastic as a rubber band when overcooked. One of my French cookbooks mentions that this is because the squid loses water easily.

Strangely enough the squid will also respond nicely to a long slow cooking, becoming more and more tender as it is simmered delicately, which is how it is cooked here.

The Bouquet Garni

One of the pleasures of cooking in France is the availability of a wide variety of prepared bouquet garnis, or little bundles of herbs. There is one for lamb, one for pork, etc. The one I used in this squid recipe was specifically for fish and contained thyme, bay leaf, rosemary and fennel. Don't worry if you can't find this, just use a couple of teaspoons of dried thyme, some rosemary and toss in a bay leaf.

Calmars en sauce tomate

Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 pounds frozen calamari rings (or 3 pounds of fresh, cleaned and sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove,chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • pinch (or two) of dried cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


Defrost the calamari rings, then rinse with cold water and dry them with paper towel.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the carrot, shallots, onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Add the squid and saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the tomatoes, wine, tomato puree, bouguet garni, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down low and cover. Cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes.

Serve hot on plain white rice.

Calamari in France

Squid, or calamari, as it is often called once it reaches our table, is a fairly popular seafood in France. It is fished both out of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, so you will find it in recipes from the northern regions as well as from Provence.

Many times named calmar, it is also referred to as an encornet, a chipiron (in the Basque region) and a supion in the south.

You can frequently buy it fresh, but squid is one seafood that holds up pretty well to freezing. I made this recipe with frozen calamari rings and the result was quite tasty.

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