Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. August 23, 2023
Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe

Squid in its own ink is a traditional dish associated with Spanish gastronomy, although its may have also originated in other areas with squid as a common ingredient. These include parts of Asia. While squid is noted for its tender texture, although it can be rubbery if not cooked properly. To some, squid ink is the essence of the sea in terms of flavor. It has a rich, salty and umami flavor which pairs well with the meat of the squid itself, as well as other seafood dishes. Squid can be enjoyed deep fried, grilled, stewed or in many other preparations, but there are some key things we need to get right.

At oneHOWTO, we discover this squid in ink sauce recipe. We show you how to cook squid in its own ink so that you make the most of these flavors, while preparing the squid in a way that it has just the right tender texture.

3 diners Between 30 & 45 minutes low difficulty


You'll need:

Steps to follow:


Clean the squid very well, both outside and inside. Removing the frills from the side and any remains that may be still lurking.

Check out our article on how to know if seafood has gone bad in case you are unsure of the squid's quality.

Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe - Step 1

Cut the tentacles from the body. Slice the body at the side and reserve the ink sac inside, if it is there. You may have to ask the fishmonger to do this for you.

When the squid itself is clean, cut the main body into strips.


Peel the onion and slice it into thin strips. Peel and slice the garlic.

Put a little olive oil in either the non-stick pan or casserole, depending which you prefer. Ensure the bottom is covered, but no more. Add the onion and sauté for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Once they start to become translucent, you can stir in the garlic.

If you overdo it on the garlic, you may be interested in our related article on how to remove garlic breath.

Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe - Step 3

After a minute or so, the garlic will start to release its flavor and you can then add the tomato. If you leave this too long, the garlic will burn and become bitter. Either add chopped tomatoes from a can (ensuring they are good quality) or you chop fresh tomatoes yourself, you can add a half teaspoon of sugar to counteract the acidity. This is only if needed. You can add some parsley also.

Keep the sauce on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occaionally with a wooden spoon.

When the tomato liquid begins to reduce about halfway through cooking, add the white wine and raise the heat for a few minutes so that the alcohol evaporates. Lower the heat again and add a little of the fish broth, but not all.

Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe - Step 4

After a few minutes, it is time to incorporate the squid. Throw them into the casserole and let them cook over low heat with the pot lid on.

Keep them like this for about 20-30 minutes, ensuring the broth does not completely evaporate. If you see that they are getting too dry, add more fish broth.


After 20-30 minutes over low heat, mix the squid ink with a little of the broth so that it is diluted. Add it to the stew and stir well. Add a little salt and pepper to your liking.

When the ink is fully incorporated, continue to let the pot simmer over low heat for another 15-20 minutes. Set the lid to the side so that some of the liquid can evaporate, but stir and check regularly. You don't want all the moisture to evaporate before the squid has cooked or for the sauce to burn at the bottom.


After this time, turn off the heat and add breadcrumbs (or crushed dried bread) to thicken the sauce to your liking. Wait a few minutes until the squid in its ink is not too hot, and enjoy this intensely flavored dish.

Learn some other rich seafood recipes with our guides to making Olive garden chicken and shrimp carbonara and easy tagliatelle with prawns.

If you want to read similar articles to Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe, we recommend you visit our Recipes category.


  • Squid in its ink is a simple dish to make, although it requires starting with excellent raw materials. You will also need to have enough time to cook them slowly the squid is tender and juicy, as well as the sauce being rich an flavorful. It is also best to make this dish in advance of eating. While it will be delicious immediately, waiting until the next day means all the flavor will have developed over night.
  • This recipe can use small variations to suit each palate. For example, some people may want to add vegetables such as green pepper to the sauce.
  • If you want a restaurant-style version of this sauce, you can carefully remove the calamari with a slotted spoon. Blend the sauce and strain it for a velvety smooth texture, then add the squid back in to reheat.
  • Squid is a food rich in protein of high biological value that also provides essential fatty acids such as healthy omega-3 fatty acids..
  • This dish can be served with various sides, but one of the best is simple boiled white rice. This means the rich sauce won't be overpowered.
  • Remember that you can use the ink from the squid itself that you are going to cook. If the ink has been removed, you can buy sachets of good quality squid ink from speciality stores. Your fishmonger will know where.
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Squid in Ink Sauce Recipe