How To Cook Homemade Air Fryer Calamari

Air Fryer Calamari

This recipe is helpful for people that are seeking a healthier and easier method of making fried calamari. Calamari made in an air fryer is cooked with little or no oil and is very crispy. You will save so many calories without losing the taste. This is a perfect appetizer that makes anyone who tastes it come back asking for more.

Fried calamari is a popular appetizer that you will find on the menus of many restaurants, especially when it is happy hour.

Parsley and lemon are usually used to garnish it, and it is served with garlic aioli dipping sauce or marinara sauce.

Calamari does not take much time to be fully cooked. If you overcook it, it can turn chewy and tough. If you want to cook calamari perfectly, it is either you cook it slowly over low heat or quickly over high heat.

About This Air Fryer Calamari:

We will teach you how to use an air fryer to make crispy calamari today.

The air fryer calamari we are cooking is made of calamari with tentacles and tubes.

The calamari rings are being soaked into a mixture of buttermilk. Egg mixture, flour, and breadcrumbs are used to batter them lightly. In the end, you have crispy, delicious calamari without grease.

Air Fryer Calamari

Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Calamari Recipe:

  • There are no oil splatters, meaning less mess

Frying food in an air fryer is the best, as there will be no splattering of oil everywhere.

  • Lower calories

Instead of making food to have a better taste, cooking with oil will even add extra calories and fats to your food.

Only small oil is used to make this fried calamari, but it is ultra-crispy.

  • Cheaper

You need at least a cup of oil to fry foods. This means that you would spend about $1.70, or even more than that, on oil per one recipe. You will also need to use paper towels to drain surplus oil after deep frying, meaning your cost per recipe will increase.

You will definitely spend more money when you eat calamari at a restaurant than when you cook it at home.

How To Tenderize Calamari Before Frying

If you want to create a crisp and light batter and also add flavor to your calamari, then you should marinate it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour in buttermilk.

Buttermilk is an ingredient that is often used in fried foods. It contains enzymes that help in tenderizing the meat.

Air Fryer Calamari Ingredients And Variations

If you want to make crispy calamari strips, buttermilk, milk, panko breadcrumb, a little salt, and black pepper, paprika, egg, flour, and old bay seasoning should be available.

Calamari: Frozen or fresh calamari tubes can be used. You can get calamari from Amazon or any seafood market.

Panko breadcrumb: I love using this particular breadcrumb in my fried recipes. It has an airy and light texture that helps the calamari to a crisp while it cooks. This will even make your calamari to be crunchier and crispier.

Panko breadcrumb can be bought from Amazon or any grocery market for about $1.88 – $2.49 per 8 oz box. But, if you are not able to get the panko breadcrumb in your area, you can use the traditional breadcrumb; it is also great.

Old Bay seasoning: It is commonly used for seafood as a seasoning. It includes a mix of black pepper, paprika, celery salt, and crushed red pepper flakes.

You can get it for $2.50 per 2 oz container at any grocery store. If you do not find it in a grocery store around you, you can substitute it with black pepper, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.


Prep time is approximately 15 minutes

Cook time is about 8 minutes

Course: Appetizer

Calories: 351 kcal

Servings: 3

Cuisine: American, world

Ingredients (Us Customary)

  • 8 oz of calamari tentacles and tubes. Cut the calamari into ½ to ⅓ inch thick rings, and use paper towels to pat dry.
  • ½ cup of buttermilk
  • One large egg
  • ½ cup of all-purpose flour
  • One tablespoon of regular milk
  • ½ teaspoon of ground paprika
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumb
  • One teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Three tablespoons of vegetable, canola oil, or avocado


First, put your panko breadcrumb into a large ziplock and crush the breadcrumb with a rolling pin until it is finely ground.

Combine the buttermilk and calamari strips in a large bowl and marinate them in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Then, set up three separate dishes and arrange then correctly

  • Bowl 1: add the all-purpose flour
  • Bowl 2: beat an egg with milk
  • Bowl3: combine oil, breadcrumbs, a little amount of black pepper, paprika, and Old Bay seasoning.

Take the calamari out of the buttermilk marinade and allow the surplus to drip off. Then coat the strips of calamari in the flour, and shake the excess flour off.

Put the calamari rings inside the milk and egg mixture and leave the surplus to drip off. Coat the calamari rings by tossing them in the breadcrumb mixture.

Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Use cooking spray to lightly grease the basket of your air fryer and crisper tray.

Next, place the calamari rings inside a basket in one layer. Avoid overcrowding the pan. You can cook in batches if necessary. Cook for eight min. Or until the inner temperature gets to 145 degrees F. Flip halfway while cooking.


  • Calories: 351kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 19g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Trans Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 236mg
  • Sodium: 245mg
  • Potassium: 326mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Vitamin A: 360IU
  • Vitamin C: 4mg
  • Calcium: 129mg
  • Iron: 2mg

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