Oven Baked Calamari Rings

Crispy Oven Baked Calamari Rings prepared without added fat. Easy, simple and healthy meal for the whole family.

Oven crispy baked calamari squid rings

Lately, I’m super crazy about frying food in the oven. Few months ago I didn’t think that’s possible, and I just found out you can actually fry fish in the oven. Well, imagine my surprise when I manage to fry calamari rings that tastes absolutely delicious – like real fried ones, but without excess grease. Heureka!! 

Well, my husband was even more surprised when I served him this healthy crispy calamari rings. While I love all kinds of seafood, that’s not the case with my husband. He loves only a few types of fish – to be more precisely, he loves ONLY trout, hake and fried calamari. When we switched to eating healthy food, his favorite fried calamari was kinda forbidden food, due to high unhealthy fat content. I often caught him watching with melancholy in his eyes that big superstore freezer, looking at calamari and recalling in his mind the taste of that greasy rings. Now you can imagine his excitement when I told him that I have found the way to prepare him a healthy fried calamari rings. And I surprised him real good, yes I did. Pleasantly I must add. 

To be honest, I work for quite some time on this Oven Baked Calamari Rings. I tried out few baking combination and I experimented a lot with different spices in frying mixture. In the end, I drop all that and decide to publish this quite simple recipe because this is the point of fried calamari dish – it supposed to be quick and easy. Right? And today we are adding one more attribute – a HEALTHY too!

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If you didn’t know, calamari (Italian for squid) are an excellent source of easily digestible protein (32% of RDA per 100 g), and contain a significant amounts of vitamins and minerals: vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, selenium, phosphorus, zinc. Thanks to its low-fat content and a relatively high protein content, calamari is very nutritious food that will satisfy your hunger without excess calories. That is of course if you do not fry calamari in oil. Then it’s turned into a fatty calorie bomb. 

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For the frying mixture – although today we are not going to fry anything, I used whole wheat breadcrumbs in which I added a bit of dry polenta (corn grits or stone-ground cornmeal). Polenta gave calamari a really special crispness, and mild sweet flavour. You can also add other spices like garlic powder, sweet paprika, onion powder if you desire. Before I threw cleaned and thoroughly washed calamari rings into a mixture, I sprinkled them with extra virgin olive oil. Then I placed coated calamari rings on a baking sheet and put in the oven. In less than a 20 minutes, perfectly crunchy and healthy Oven Baked Calamari Rings were ready for serving. There were no splashes of oil around the stove (I hated that!!!), no burned fingers, there was no unpleasant fishy smell all over the kitchen. While I prepared a salad and set the dining table, calamari rings were baked. Just perfect, isn’t ?! 

I served Oven Baked Calamari Rings with potatoes, but honestly, I think calamari is best served only with some greens and a drop or two of fresh lemon juice. That’s how we eat fish here in Mediterranean country – Croatia ;)

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Crispy oven baked calamari rings prepared without added fat. Easy, simple and super healthy meal for the whole family. CLICK to read more, or PIN for later!

Crispy oven baked calamari rings prepared without added fat. Easy, simple and super healthy meal for the whole family. CLICK to read more, or PIN for later!
3.85 from 40 votes

Oven baked calamari rings

Crispy and delicious oven baked calamari rings prepared without added fat. Easy, simple and healthy meal for the whole family.
Course Lunch
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2
Author Natalie


  • 1 lbs (400g) calamari rings
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup polenta (corn grits or stone-ground cornmeal)
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • garlic powder (to taste, if desired)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
  2. Wash calamari rings thoroughly and dry excess liquid. Transfer in a large bowl and add olive oil. Stir well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix breadcrumbs and polenta. Add garlic powder if desired.
  4. Dip the calamari rings into the mix. Place on the baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until nicely golden.
  6. Serve straight away with few drops of lemon juice.

So, how do you like the idea of healthy fried calamari?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!



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Crispy Oven Baked Calamari Rings prepared without added fat. Easy, simple and healthy seafood meal for the whole family. CLICK to read the recipe or PIN for later! #seafood #holiday #healthy #easy

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  1. Tried this for dinner tonight. It was great. We added some home made Cajun spice to the breading for the second batch. It gave the calamari a nice kick.

    • Great. I’m so glad you liked it, Bob :) It’s so much healthier than frying in oil. I sometimes add garlic powder in the mixture, will try with the cajun spice mix. Thanks for tip ;)

  2. Maria Karagianni

    Excellent recipe! Due to health problems my doctor strictly forbids fried foods so this meant no fried calamari. As I like my crispy fried calamari rings this recipe has given me a great and tasty alternative. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Maria :) I’m sorry to hear about your health problems :/ Yes, this is a great alternative. With calamari prepared this way, you are actually receiving full benefits of this very healthy fish ;)

  3. Hi Natalie was looking over your receipe for baked calamari which looks very good by the way, but something caught my eye when Iwas looking into the ingredients for coating for the rings, my question is very simple to ask and answer but feel it’s needed to be questioned in the ingredients is polenta,from the little that I know of it only things I have read of course , I know it to be cornmeal but what I’m getting to is the polenta you are are using is it wet mixed polenta or plain dry cornmeal ty any response would be appreciated

    • Hi William. I’m glad you asked this question. You are right. Polenta can refer to cooked cornmeal or cooked cornmeal porridge, yes. But in this recipe I used plain dry ingredient – cornmeal. In Croatia, where I’m from, we use same term “polenta” for dry ingredient aka. cornmeal and cooked cornmeal porridge. I’m sorry for not being more accurate in my writing. It’s a simple language barrier :) Hope I clarified that for you.

  4. Hi Natalie yes that cleared up a few things thanks for the clarification, now once I’m able, it will be one of the top things I’ll be doing and let you know how the dish turns out, looking forward to it, thanks for the posting of the Recipe.

  5. Made these for appetizers before a salmon dinner. Nice and crunchy, MMM. Thanks Natalie. Used fine grind corn meal and fresh bread (what I had) and we used some homemade seafood sauce.

  6. Jennifer Talarski

    Hello, I was just wondering where you got the Calamari unbreaded. I would love to try this recipe just not sure where I would get it!

  7. Do I have to defrost the squid rings before cooking? The package says to keep frozen until ready to use.

    • Yes. You need to defrost the squid. I usually put them to room temperature, it takes few hours. Or you can defrost it by leaving in warm water (not boiled hot).

  8. Thanks! That’s what I figured but, wanted to be sure.

  9. Hi Natalie, had these twice now and absolutely love them. My 19 month old boy and hubby love them too, they are now on the menu once a fortnight! Thanks for a lovely tasty idea. I cut my own rings from squid tubes and add different flavouring each time, and shake the rings in a container with the crumb mix to evenly coat.

    • I’m so glad to hear that your whole family loves it. It’s healthy and very nutritious meal. We love it too! Thanks for container hack :) I’ll try that next time.

  10. Karyl Henry

    I love calamari, but I’ve always been terrified to try it at home. Cause I’ve had overcooked calamari in restaurants, and it’s not good :( But this looks so delicious, I think I need to give it another shot so I can make it whenever the craving strikes

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