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Crispy Calamari Air Fryer Recipe on a plate with lemons.

Crispy Calamari Air Fryer Recipe

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5 from 1 review

Crispy Calamari Air Fryer Recipe (easy and light)- These crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside “fried” calamari are simple to make in the oven or the air fryer! This is a healthier version of an Italian family favorite.

  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 pound calamari cleaned and skins removed
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  1. To help tenderize, pound the calamari gently a few times on each side using a kitchen mallet or a heavy skillet (be careful not to tear the flesh).
  2. Cut the calamari into ½ inch thick rings. Pat dry with a paper towel. Make sure they are dry or you risk that they will be more soggy than crispy.
  3. In a large bowl add the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl add the olive oil. Quickly dip the calamari rings in the oil and shake off excess. Toss the calamari rings into the breadcrumb mixture; gently pressing to coat. Lay the prepared calamari on a baking sheet or cutting board lined with parchment paper as you finish preparing the batch. 
  4. Preheat the air fryer oven to 400° degrees F. Lightly grease the basket of the air fryer with oil (or line it with tinfoil and spray). Place the calamari rings in a basket, in a single layer. Do not overcrowd the basket, or they won’t crisp properly. Cook in multiple batches if needed.
  5. Cook the calamari for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking.
  6. Transfer the calamari to a plate and immediately season with a sprinkle of salt. Repeat the steps above with the remaining calamari. Eat the calamari immediately with some lemon wedges and dipping sauce (if desired).


Cooking in the Oven

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with tinfoil and spray generously with cooking spray. Place prepared calamari (not touching or close together) on the baking sheet and cook for about 8-10 minutes turning over half way through cooking. For the last minute of cooking turn oven on broil to get a nice crisp on the calamari. The calamari will be slightly less crispy when cooked this way compared to the air fryer. They are still delicious!

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian