Crispy Air Fryer Calamari rings are a restaurant favorite that is so easy to make at home in your air fryer. You are going to love this crunchy air fried snack.
AIR FRYER CALAMARI RECIPE
One of the best parts about having an air fryer, is that it allows you to make things that you'd typically order at a restaurant. Making your own air fryer calamari at home not only saves you money, but fat and calories too. We don't need a deep fryer when we have an air fryer and know how to use it to make crispy, crunchy snacks!
Calamari rings are coated with egg, flour, breadcrumbs and the perfect blend of seasonings to make them crunchy and irresistibly delicious.
INGREDIENTS IN AIR FRYER CALAMARI
Squid Rings - you can find these in most grocery stores in the freezer section. Let them thaw and then pat them dry.
All-Purpose Flour - This makes up the base layer of our breading. You can use regular or gluten free AP Flour.
Egg - A beaten egg is the second layer of the breading and allows the breadcrumbs to stick to the squid.
Buttermilk - Mixed into the egg, buttermilk serves to thin it out and also add a tangy flavor.
Panko Bread Crumbs - These super crunchy breadcrumbs are perfect for this recipe.
Sea Salt - Season your breadcrumbs well for best flavor.
Black Pepper - Where there is salt, there's usually pepper. Again, we're seasoning well.
Cayenne Pepper - This adds a little bit of heat and a lot of warm flavor to the breading.
Fresh Parsley - Garnish your plate with a bit of greenery.
Marinara Sauce - I like to dip my calamari in marinara sauce. Use your favorite.
Lemon or Lime Slices - Serving citrus with seafood is always a good idea. Squeeze some over the calamari before serving.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER CALAMARI
- Place flour in a shallow bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk together.
- In a third bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Coat the calamari rings with flour. Next, dredge the rings through the egg mixture. Press rings into the bread crumb mixture, coating well, then set aside on a plate.
- Spray inside of the air fryer with cooking spray, then place the coated rings inside in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray.
- Air Fry as directed in the recipe until golden brown.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
HOW TO SERVE AIR FRYER CALAMARI
Air Fryer Calamari can be an appetizer or an entree if you like! Serve the calamari immediately after cooking with some citrus wedges and your favorite dipping sauces. Try Marinara sauce, cocktail sauce, or aioli.
WHAT IS CALAMARI?
Calamari is the Italian word for "squid" For most calamari recipes, the squid is sliced into small rings before cooking so that it's easier to eat. The Italian recipe that you may be familiar with is called "Calamari Fritti", and means, "fried squid". This recipe is also found in Mediterranean and Greek cooking.
We are making Air Fryer Calamari Fritti! You will see this on the menus of many chain and independent Italian restaurants, and it's always a delicious treat.
WHY IS MY AIR FRIED CALAMARI TOUGH?
Tough calamari is almost always due to overcooking. The trick to making a tender calamari is to cook it over high heat, fairly quickly.
For this recipe, it's important to pre-heat your air fryer so that it starts off at a high temperature and doesn't need to take any time to get there. The cook time on this recipe is deliberately less than 8 minutes. You shouldn't need much more than that to get to perfectly cooked air fryer calamari.
The recipe should work in other air fryers. This recipe was created and photographed in a Hamilton Beach Air Fryer.
If you have an OVEN STYLE air fryer, you may need to add 1-3 minutes of additional cook time.
Keep in mind that each air fryer runs differently, it is important to check your food often.
MORE AIR FRYER APPETIZER RECIPES
Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings are tangy and tasty and wonderful as an appetizer or a meal.
Air Fryer Potato Skins are another restaurant style favorite that's easy to make at home in the air fryer.
Do you love seafood? Try Air Fryer Shrimp!
If you are looking for vegetarian recipes beyond air fryer ones, we have a Vegetarian Newsletter as well as a Vegetarian Recipes facebook group. This newsletter and FB group offers up recipes that on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, in the instant pot and more!
Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!
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Air Fryer Calamari
- Air fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk together. In a third bowl, combine bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Coat the calamari rings with flour, then dredge through the egg mixture. Press into the bread crumb mixture, coating well, then set aside on a plate.
- Spray the inside of the fryer basket with cooking spray. Place coated rings in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer, spray the tops with cooking spray.
- Air fry for 4 minutes. Open basket, flip calamari, and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately with marinara, cocktail sauce, or aioli.
- Pro Tip: This recipe can be made in the air fryer unit with a basket or the air fryer oven. If you are using the air fryer oven, use the middle rack and select the "Air Fry" function.
- It's important to pre-heat the air fryer for this recipe so that the calamari doesn't get overcooked.
Air Fryers can vary greatly. Please take the time to learn your specific air fryer. You may need to adjust times and temperatures based upon your air fryer. All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.