Salt and Pepper squid rings, or calamari, is a popular light lunch or entree choice when dining out. Especially when accompanied with a delicious dipping sauce, such as aioli or tartare sauce. It can also make a great sharing plate too, so it only seemed natural to want to make our very own crumbed salt and pepper squid dish at home.
The only thing is that personally, I am not a big fan of deep fried food and tend not to eat it often. The exception is definitely those occasional fish and chips by the beach family days, which often includes salt and pepper calamari! In fact, despite having this conversation many times over the years with my husband, I actually refuse to own a deep fryer at all!
So instead I set about making a healthy oven baked squid alternative, that not only tastes great, but is actually really easy as well!
OVEN BAKED SALT & PEPPER SQUID
- 500g squid rings
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cracked pepper
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line trays with baking paper.
2. Mix flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
3. Coat squid ring in crumb mixture and place on baking tray, ensuring squid rings are well spaced out on the tray and not piled on top of each other.
4. Cook in oven for approximately 16-20 minutes, turning half way.
5. Serve with dipping sauce such as tartare sauce or aioli, or squeeze lemon juice over calamari.
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Oven Baked Squid
This is a really simple healthy salt and pepper squid recipe alternative, simply because you do not require them to be cooked in oil. They may not be as crispy as deep fried calamari, however they taste lighter and with more of the salt and pepper flavours this way, I think.
If you are finding you are having trouble getting your crumb mixture to stick to your squid rings, you can first dip them in a mixture of beaten egg before rolling in the crumbs, however as they are usually fairly moist, I usually skip this step.
You can do this same crumb coating with other seafood such as prawns or fish too for a yummy salt and pepper crumb coating. It is important to avoid overcooking your oven baked calamari though, or they will taste quite rubbery so take care to keep a close eye on them.
Oven baked salt and pepper squid will not be as crunchy and crispy as a deep fried version. If you do still prefer this texture, you can still shallow fry them using the same steps up until placing them in the oven. You can do this with some oil in a frying pan. Or another healthy calamari alternative would be to use an air fryer.
I hope you enjoy my my oven baked salt and pepper squid recipe for a lighter option to enjoy seafood at home.
Check out my air fryer sweet potato fries for a perfect side dish accompaniment: