Grilled Octopus

We are always looking for new ways to cook octopus, and I recently read that fish mongers in Italy beat the octopus against the rocks by the sea to tenderize it before cooking it. Since we live in a downtown condo here in Toronto, beating octopus against rocks just wasn’t feasible.

Instead, I double bagged the octopus and ran it through the spin cycle in my washing machine. I must say this preparation created the most tender octopus we have ever made yet, so I think I will continue with this unorthodox method of tenderizing the octopus! For some reason, adding a wine cork to the cooking pot is also said to tenderize octopus so this is a step we also include as well.

To serve your cooked octopus, simply drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, or a light citrus vinaigrette as is shown in the photo. This octopus can be eaten exactly as shown as an appetizer or as an entree, or it can also be used chopped into pieces with other ingredients as part of a delicious seafood salad.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Grilled Octopus

Grilled Octopus

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Octopus is first boiled until it becomes tender, then is grilled until lightly browned in this easy recipe.


  • 2 Pound Octopus
  • 1 to 2 Wine Corks
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • 1 Lemon, Halved
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Fresh Chopped Parsley
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper


  1. In a saucepan large enough to hold the octopus, add one half of the lemon, a wine cork, and the cup of white wine.
  2. Add enough water to cover the octopus and cover with a lid.
  3. Heat on a stove burner on high, and once boiling reduce the heat to a slow boil.
  4. Cook under the octopus is tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Shut off the heat and allow the octopus to cool in the cooking water to room temperature.
  6. Remove the tentacles from the head and if you want, cut the head into pieces as well.
  7. Drizzle the octopus pieces with a little olive oil and mix to lightly cover.
  8. Heat up the grill or broiler, and cook until the edges begin to brown and crisp.
  9. Drizzle on a little more olive oil, squeeze the remaining lemon on top, and sprinkle with chopped parsley and minced garlic.
  10. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 642Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 218mgSodium: 1196mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 68g

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. 2-3 lbs of small octopi cook in 20 minutes in my electric pressure cooker. Water just to cover and a little salt. Super tender and tasty. Then you’re ready to go! I like to cook ahead and freeze so when I’m in the mood for some, they are handy! Thanks for your post! 🙂 Pretty funny about the spin cycle….

  2. I have been reading your blog which i adore and came across this recipe and saw corks, have to know why as i am intrigued.

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