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Air Fryer Frozen Calamari

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Crispy fried air fryer calamari, a delicious snack ready in about 10 minutes. Serve them with your favorite dip.

close up of a golden fried calamari ring.

Learn how to cook frozen calamari in the air fryer; it’s super-fast and easy, a one-ingredient recipe for a great snack or light meal. Well, this cannot really be called a recipe; it’s just a technique, something worth knowing if you happen to love fried calamari just as much as we do.

And if you are looking for more quick snacks, check out the Simple Fried Gnocchi and the Hot Lemon Pepper Wings.

Advantages of using the air fryer

  • No deep-frying: And that’s the best! I avoid deep-frying anything; it’s not just about the calories but also the mess, the lingering smell, and the costs of using so much oil.
  • Healthier: Not frying the breaded calamari also means that they are better for you.
  • Cooking from frozen: There’s no need to defrost the food; just place the frozen calamari in the air fryer and cook them.
  • Super quick:  10 minutes are all the time you need.

What do you need?

frozen calamari rings on a cutting board.
  • An air fryer and the breaded frozen calamari.
  • I can fit the contents of a 10.5 oz (300 g) bag of rings into the basket of my kitchen gadget, about 15-16 pieces. They should not overlap, but if the last 2-3 pieces overlap a bit, don’t stress; everything will work out fine.

How to make air fryer frozen calamari?

  • Preheat the machine according to its instructions, the one I have needs to be preheated for 3 minutes to 370°F (190°F).
  • Place the frozen calamari into the basket in a single layer. If the last 2 or 3 are overlapping slightly is fine (1).
  • Cook for 5 minutes, flip the pieces (with tongs or two forks) and cook for another 3 minutes (2).
frozen breaded calamari rings in an air fryer before and after cooking, two images.

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Recipe tips

  • There’s no need to oil the basket or spray the rings with cooking oil; the breading already contains fat, so the calamari will be as crispy as possible.
  • The cooking time depends on the machine you are using and the size of the rings; those I have are standard, I suppose, not particularly large or thick. A piece weighs between 0.5-0.7 oz (15-20 g).

Recipe FAQ

How to check if the calamari rings are cooked through?

The internal temperature should be 165°F (74°C), but that isn’t easy to measure correctly when the pieces are thin. Instead, cut one piece; you will be able to tell if it’s cooked through or not.
If you are unsure, give them another minute, but don’t overcook them, or they will be rubbery.

Can I cook unbreaded calamari the same way?

Yes, but the cooking time will vary slightly; check after 6-7 minutes already.

How to store and reheat?

Breaded air-fried calamari rings are best when served immediately.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for about 2 days in an airtight container, but they will not be crispy anymore.
You can reheat them for a couple of minutes in the air fryer to make them warm and slightly crispy again.

black plate with a pile of fried calamari rings and lemon slices.

How to serve them?

  • As a snack with a nice dip. I love them with a Greek yogurt and herb dip, sweet chili sauce, or aioli. My kids are happy to eat the air fryer frozen calamari with plain ketchup.
  • Serve them on top of green salad drizzled with vinaigrette or a creamy dressing.

Bonus dipping sauce recipe

  • Mix 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and maybe a tiny pinch of sugar (only needed if the yogurt is low-fat).
  • For a different taste, sub the mint with fresh dill.
  • You can add a small piece of super finely chopped or grated cucumber or 1-2 chopped or grated sweet-sour pickled cucumbers.
breaded air fryer frozen calamari rings served with a bowl of yogurt dip.

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overhead view of a plate of fried breaded calamari with yogurt dip.

Air Fryer Frozen Calamari

Crispy fried air fryer calamari, a delicious snack ready in about 10 minutes. Serve them with your favorite dip. Air fryer
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 350kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients  

  • 10.5 oz frozen calamari rings breaded, 300 g, Note

Instructions

  • Preheat the air fryer according to its instructions; my air fryer needs to be preheated for 3 minutes to 370°F (190°F).
  • Place the frozen calamari into the basket in a single layer. If the last 2 or 3 are overlapping slightly is fine.
  • Air fry frozen calamari for 5 minutes, flip the pieces, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dip.

Notes

If you want to cook more frozen calamari, you should do it in two batches, they should not overlap too much, and the hot air should be able to circulate. This will ensure that they are crispy.

Nutrition

Serving: 150g | Calories: 350kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @thefastrecipe or tag #thefastrecipe!

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