Crispy, tender, and absolutely divine. Crispy Easy Calamari or squid rings are so easy to make but do require some tender love and care. I am super excited to show you my take on them and I know this recipe will become your go-to method. By now I am sure you have heard of feast of the seven fishes which is incredibly popular throughout Italy. If you are celebrating feast of the seven fishes or love seafood, this is the recipe for you.

Easy calamari by the modern nonna easy calamari

Easy Calamari

If you are celebrating feast of the seven fishes or love seafood, this is the recipe for you.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 4


  • 15 calamari or squid rings
  • 1 cup buttermilk — or make your own with 1 cup milk + 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt pepper, paprika to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 whisked eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs work too
  • spicy mayo = mayo mixed with touch of sriracha
  • lemon slices for garnish
  • avocado oil for shallow frying or avocado oil spray for the air-fryer


  • Buy buttermilk at the store or simply make your own by combining 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, gently stir and leave it alone for 5 minutes to curdle.
  • Once it curdles you can add in the calamari or squid rings and let them sit there to get nice and tender for at least an hour. Once they are tender you can prepare your dredging station and add flour to a bowl, whisked eggs to a second bowl, and breadcrumbs to a third bowl.
  • Make sure the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs are seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. You can even add parm to the breadcrumbs if you wish for extra flavour. Begin dipping each ring in the flour (shaking off the excess) then the eggs, then breadcrumbs and continue this step that for each one.
  • Get the oil in a pan nice and hot and fry them for 2 minutes on each side until golden. You can also air-fry them as per my notes. Enjoy them hot with lots of lemon and spicy mayo on the side — to make the spicy mayo just mix any mayo of choice with any hot sauce you like. Enjoy!



I used squid rings; I defrosted them and patted them dry but please use Calamari if you can find it as it’s more tender.
Feel free to air-fry them in batches at 400F for 6-8 minutes or until golden flipping them halfway through. Make sure to spray them on each side with avocado oil spray.
If you are dairy-free, use coconut milk instead for the “buttermilk”. If you’re shallow frying them make sure the oil is hot and the rings bubble as you place them inside.
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