Greek pickled calamari (καλαμαρι τουρσι )

I love making a range of Greek style pickles - called toursi (τουρσί) in Greek. They are especially great in summertime, when after a day spent at the beach you get that urge for a chilled ouzo and meze. It's so nice to know that you have little jars of toursi tucked away in the fridge or the pantry and the only effort required is opening the jar!

The pickle recipe I am sharing today is for calamari toursi (καλαμάρι τουρσί). It makes for a great meze spread with a little feta dusted with riagni, some simple fava (a yellow split pea dip) topped with sweet red onion and capers - and a little fresh, crispy salad on the side, such as a purslane and marinated olives. Pop open the jar of calamari and in minutes you have some lovely mezethes to enjoy with a chilled ouzo in the garden on a warm, dusky summer evening. If you skip the feta you also have a Greek Orthodox fasting friendly meal for those few weeks before Christmas - or Easter.

If you are interested in making other Greek style pickles, you can find my recipe for octopus toursi here and for simple mixed vegetable toursi here.

Greek pickled calamari (καλαμάρι τουρσί)


3 - 4 whole calamari cleaned and sliced into meze friendly sized pieces (or you could substitute with calamari tubes, sliced) 
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves 
1/2 cup Greek olive oil
1/2 cup of good quality Greek wine vinegar
1 tsp. dried Greek anise seeds  
1 tsp. alleppo pepper flakes 
1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped 
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 
sea salt, to taste 
1 – 2 small sterilized jars


1. Place the pieces of calamari in a medium saucepan with just a little water (about 1/2 cup). Cover and simmer the calamari in its own juices until tender (about 30 minutes).Remove from the heat, drain the calamari and set aside. 

2. In a separate pot, add the Greek wine vinegar and add bring to the boil over medium heat. Turn the heat off, add the garlic, bay leaves, anise, alleppo pepper, rosemary, black peppercorns, salt and olive oil and stir well to combine. 

3. Place pieces of calamari in the jars and then pour the pickling liquid  over the top and into the jars (ensure the calamari is covered). Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 12 hours before using. Stir occasionally. Store in your fridge for up to 1 month.


  1. I can close my eyes and imagine I've just come back from the beach and opened the fridge to find all sorts of magical things for a feast. You make it sound so easy. :)

    1. Thanks Maureen - I promise the pickled calamari really is that easy, especially if you have a kindly fishmonger who does all the hard work cleaning it for you!! xx


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Maira Gall