Octopus Stew

A couple weeks ago I had a hunkering for comfort food.  And what was the first thing that came to mind?  Why Octopus Stew, doesn’t everyone crave that when they think of comfort.  Now, this was a very strange thought for me, as I typically think of childhood memories such as mac and cheese, or tender beef stew, or p&J sandwiches.  I never had octopus as a child, and I am sure I would have cringed at the mere thought.  I am positive that my Basque heritage was swimming in octopus recipes, and that is what I blame for this sudden craving out of nowhere.

Octopus Stew

Lenny did grow up eating octopus, traditionally for holiday meals.  His mother still makes a traditional Portuguese recipe during the season, but, I am not a fan of the big daddy octopuses that she uses, so Lenny indulges for the both of us.  I prefer the small, tender morsels that were plucked from the sea much too early, but they are almost bite size and succulent.

I made a version of this particular recipe from Gourmet Magazine, a few years ago, but when this hunkering overtook me, I decided to change things around a bit.  While the original recipe is wonderfully delightful, I am definitely a fan of this new version.  Normally the recipe calls for using canned octopus as well as vinegar and tapenade.  I liked the slightly pickled taste, but was not in love with it.  This time I still opted to use fresh octopus, and I loaded the dish with chili peppers, olive oil, onion, garlic (lots), lemon zest and white beans.  The finished dish was spicy but fresh, the octopus was tender and the beans and potatoes made the broth rich and creamy.  It was so perfect served in deep bowls with warm crusty bread along side.







  1. YUM, yum yum! I love octopus and would eat it in a heartbeat. I would never have imagined eating them with beans or potatoes (I’m so Asian, I like ‘em with rice), but I’m willing to give it a try.

  2. How beautiful! We call those supions in French and we love them! When husband is in a mood that he doesn’t mind cleaning the slippery little buggers, he cooks them too and we love them. I must try this wonderful stew!

  3. Am I crazy for thinking those octopus are the cutest things ever? What wonderful, unique flavors you included in the mix! I don’t know if I could eat the octopus though, I would definitely eat around them!

  4. I grew up eating fried calamari but never octopus. I am not sure I would have gone for this as a kid, but I do know that I’m drooling over it now!

  5. You can do it, Reeni! They are really delicious ….

  6. Words cannot express how much I love octopus. Never had them in a stew though! I love this idea, thank you!

  7. Elise, glad to hear there is a fellow lover of octopus!!

  8. Srecko says:

    Octopus is always great and tasty seeafood
    here is my recipy from Dalamtia

  9. Saptarshi says:

    Well I had fried red chili octopus once, now I gonna try this recipe

  10. Let us know how you like it! The version with red chili sounds great as well!


  1. […] Serve the octopus as is, with the juices, or cut into pieces and make into an octopus salad dressed with good quality olive oil and fresh lemon juice (cold boiled and sliced potatoes make a nice addition) with freshly chopped parsley; a mixed seafood salad; or make octopus carpaccio (scroll down to see photos in this recipe for easy instructions) drizzled in olive oil and lemon dressing. Or perhaps you could add potatoes and beans and make a version of this nice sounding octopus stew. […]

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