Mastering the Art of Reheating Calamari: 5 Best Techniques

How to reheat calamari: 5 best ways

Calamari is a popular seafood item loved by many, but reheating it without compromising its texture and flavor can be a challenge. In this article, we will explore the best and most effective techniques for reheating calamari. We will discuss the pros and cons of each method and provide step-by-step instructions. Let’s dive right in!

What is calamari? How is it used?

Calamari refers to cooked squid, a type of cephalopod used in many cuisines around the world. Squid have an elongated body with eight arms, two tentacles, and large eyes. All parts of the squid, including the body (mantle), arms, tentacles, and ink, are edible except for the beaks and the tail.
Calamari can be prepared in a variety of ways, offering versatility in flavor profiles and cooking techniques. It can be pan-fried or deep-fried to achieve a crispy and crunchy texture. Baking is another option, often used for stuffed calamari heads/tubes. Regardless of the cooking method, proper storage is essential to maintain freshness and quality.

How to store calamari?

Calamari, like any meat-based ingredient, requires specific storage rules to prevent spoilage and foodborne illness. Here are some tips for storing cooked calamari:

Keeping cooked calamari in the fridge

1. Allow the cooked calamari to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
2. If it is still lukewarm, place it in the refrigerator, partially covered, until completely cold.
3. Once cooled, transfer the calamari to an airtight container.
4. Store the container in the refrigerator, away from raw meat, fresh fruit or vegetables.
5. Cooked calamari will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Storing Cooked Calamari in the Freezer

1. Allow cooked calamari to cool to at least room temperature.
2. Place the calamari in an airtight container and cover with a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
3. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Tips for Storing Calamari

1. Make sure your refrigerator is operating at a stable temperature below 40ºF, while the freezer should be around 0ºF.
2. Do not store cooked calamari in stained containers or containers with strong odors, as calamari can easily absorb flavors.
3. Discard cooked calamari if it becomes discolored, slimy, or has a fishy odor.

The best ways to reheat calamari

Let’s explore the five best ways to reheat calamari. Each technique has its own advantages and is suitable for different types of cooked calamari. Choose the method that best suits your needs and enjoy delicious reheated calamari.

1. Pan Fry

Pan-frying is an appropriate method for basic fried calamari, pan-seared calamari, and plain baked calamari. Follow these steps to reheat calamari using the pan-fry method:

  1. Add a small amount of olive oil or butter to a saucepan or frying pan and heat over medium heat.
  2. Add the cooked calamari to the preheated pan and stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning.
  3. Reheat the calamari until they reach the desired temperature.
  4. If the calamari looks oily, drain it on paper towels.
  5. Serve reheated calamari immediately while still warm.

2. The oven

Reheating calamari in the oven is a convenient method that works well for stuffed calamari heads, previously baked calamari dishes, and pan-fried calamari. Follow these steps to reheat calamari in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 320ºF.
  2. Place the precooked calamari in a lined ovenproof dish.
  3. Bake the calamari in the oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the dish.
  4. Once reheated, remove the calamari from the oven.
  5. Serve reheated calamari immediately.

3. Microwave

Microwaving is a quick and convenient way to reheat calamari, although it may not work for all types of calamari. Follow these steps to reheat calamari in the microwave:

  1. Look for the “reheat” function on your microwave. If available, use it for best results. Otherwise, use a low or medium power setting.
  2. Place the calamari on a microwave-safe plate.
  3. Microwave the calamari for a few minutes, checking periodically to avoid overcooking.
  4. Remove the calamari from the microwave and let them rest for a minute or two.
  5. Serve the reheated calamari immediately.

4. Air Fryer

Using an air fryer is an excellent way to reheat fried calamari while maintaining its crunchy texture. Follow these steps to reheat calamari in an air fryer:

  1. Preheat the fryer to 375ºF.
  2. Place the cooked calamari in a single layer in the basket of the fryer.
  3. Reheat the calamari for 3-5 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even heating.
  4. Remove from the fryer and allow to cool.
  5. Serve reheated calamari immediately.

5. Sauté

Sautéing is a great way to reheat fried calamari or calamari dishes with sauces. Follow these steps to reheat calamari using the sauté method:

  1. Heat a small amount of oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the cooked calamari to the skillet and stir gently to coat with the oil or butter.
  3. Sauté the calamari for a few minutes until heated through.
  4. Remove the calamari from the pan and absorb any excess oil on a paper towel.
  5. Serve reheated calamari immediately.


Reheating calamari without compromising its texture and flavor is possible with the right techniques. Whether you choose to fry, bake, microwave, air fry or sauté, each method offers a way to enjoy delicious reheated calamari. Remember to store cooked calamari properly to maintain its freshness and quality. By following these methods and tips, you can enjoy the flavors of perfectly reheated calamari at home.


Can I reheat calamari more than once?

It is generally not recommended to reheat calamari more than once. Each time you reheat it, the texture and flavor may deteriorate further. It is best to reheat only the amount you intend to eat to ensure the best quality.

How long can I keep cooked calamari before reheating?

Cooked calamari can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before reheating. If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze it.

Can I reheat frozen calamari?

Yes, you can reheat frozen squid. It is recommended that you defrost them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating them using one of the methods mentioned in the article.

Can I reheat calamari in the microwave if it was originally fried?

While you can reheat fried calamari in the microwave, it may not retain its crunchy texture. It is best to use methods such as pan frying or air frying to maintain crispness.

How can I tell if reheated calamari is safe to eat?

Always ensure that reheated calamari reaches a safe internal temperature of 165ºF (74ºC) to kill any potential bacteria. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature before eating.

Can I reheat calamari that has been mixed with sauce or other ingredients?

Yes, you can reheat calamari dishes that have been mixed with sauce or other ingredients. Methods such as sautéing or reheating in the oven work well for these types of dishes and ensure even heating throughout.