Air Fryer Calamari is a Restaurant-worthy Appetizer Made Easy

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

Your air fryer can make crispy, golden calamari without the mess of deep frying. These perfectly cooked air fryer calamari are a sophisticated, restaurant-worthy appetizer that is crispy outside, tender inside, and bursting with flavor.

Forget the overpriced portions at restaurants and make fried calamari at home. It isn’t just cost-effective; it is also a healthier alternative to deep-frying, using significantly less oil but still giving a satisfying crunch.

Save This Recipe Form

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & I will send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes each week!

And it is easy, too. This appetizer is made with simple ingredients and ready in less than 30 minutes. So get ready to impress your friends and family with this air fryer magic. 

In the next few scrolls, I’ll cover everything from the breading technique to fun serving ideas. So get ready to take your next appetizer spread to a new level, perfect for game day, movie night, or a romantic dinner.

Your air fryer is excellent at making seafood! Try air fryer Kung Pao shrimp, air fryer tuna steak, or air fryer shrimp egg rolls for more delicious recipes.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Calamari tubes: You can use the tentacles, too, but I find it easier to just bread and fry the tubes.
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs: I coat my calamari with both panko and regular breadcrumbs. Mixing them together gives you the best of both worlds.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cooking spray

🥣How to Make Air Fryer Calamari

  1. Start by cutting those calamari tubes into rings. Think consistency – even slices mean even cooking.
  2. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F
  3. Set up your three-bowl breading station. Put flour in one shallow bowl, beaten eggs in another, then breadcrumbs seasoned with all the spices in a third.
  4. Dip the calamari rings in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumb mixture, coating each ring thoroughly.
  5. Place the coated calamari rings in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray them with cooking spray.
  6. Air fry them at 350 F for 8-10 minutes. When they are done, they will be golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve them hot.
A cutting board holds a partially sliced piece of squid alongside a knife. Surrounding items include eggs, a towel, and ingredients in bowls.
Slice the squid.
Ingredients for breaded fried calamari, including sliced squid on a plate, a bowl of flour, beaten eggs, and a bread crumb mixture with paprika, placed on a white surface with a lemon wedge nearby.
Set up the breading.
A plate with uncooked calamari rings prepared with bread crumbs and rice cakes. Nearby are eggshells and a bowl with breading mixture.
Dip the squid in the breading.
Golden brown calamari in an air fryer basket, ready to be served.
Air fry for 8 minutes.

🍴Serving Ideas

Once you’ve got your Air Fryer Calamari golden and crispy, it’s time to enjoy them. You can go simple and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them.

Or serve them with a couple of your favorite dipping sauces. Marinara sauce is a classic choice, but my favorite is a spicy sauce like boom boom sauce. For a cool and refreshing sauce, choose tzatziki sauce or garlic aioli.

Or serve the calamari atop a bed of mixed greens for a “squid salad.” It adds color and nutrition and makes it a complete meal. You can even tuck a few crispy calamari rings into a slider bun with some spicy mayo and lettuce for a mini seafood sandwich that’s big on taste.

Close-up of a pair of tongs holding a golden-brown, breaded calamari

💭How to Store

Calamari doesn’t really store well since they tend to get rubbery when reheated. But if you have leftovers, you can refrigerate them in an airtight container for two days. 

When you can enjoy them again, put them back in the air fryer for 3-4 minutes. Just don’t expect them to be as good as they were the first time.

Close-up of crispy, golden fried calamari rings garnished with lemon wedges and sprinkled with chopped parsley.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Before you start breading, pat the calamari dry with a paper towel. This will help make sure they get nice and crispy.
  • You can play around with the spices if you like. Add more or less salt, pepper, and paprika. For extra flavor, you can also add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or garlic powder.
  • When breading, use one hand for the wet ingredients and the other for the dry. This keeps things from turning into a sticky mess. 
  • Don’t let the calamari rings touch each other in the air fryer basket. Good air circulation equals even cooking and that golden, crispy texture you want.
  • Calamari can go from perfect to rubbery fast. Keep an eye on the clock and use the lower end of the cooking time as your starting checkpoint.

📝Reader Questions

Can I use pre-cut squid rings for this recipe?

You can definitely use pre-cut calamari rings for this recipe. It saves you time on preparation and makes the cooking process even easier.

Can I use frozen squid for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen squid. Thaw the squid in the refrigerator overnight or soak it in cold water for quicker thawing before using it in the recipe. Be sure to pat dry and remove excess liquid.

How do I ensure the calamari rings are crispy?

Coat them thoroughly in the flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture. Spraying the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray helps prevent sticking and promotes even crisping.

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Golden brown calamari in an air fryer basket, ready to be served.
No ratings yet

Air Fryer Calamari Recipe

Published By Anne
Air Fryer Calamari is crispy, delicious calamari that's easy, affordable, and healthier than deep-fried. Enjoy restaurant-quality results at home, minus the mess and expense.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 10 ounces calamari tubes 3 large ones
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup regular breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  • Slicing the squid tubes into rings about 1/2 inch wide. Ensure they are evenly sliced for consistent cooking.
    10 ounces calamari tubes
  • Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
  • Set up your breading station in three separate shallow bowls. Place the all-purpose flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another, regular breadcrumbs and panko breadcrumbs mixed with sea salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning and smoked paprika in the third.
    ½ cup all-purpose flour, 2 large eggs, 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, ½ cup regular breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Dip each calamari ring into the flour, then the beaten eggs, and finally coat them evenly with the seasoned breadcrumbs mixture. Make sure each ring is thoroughly coated.
  • Lightly spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking.
    Nonstick cooking spray
  • Arrange the coated calamari rings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they do not overlap. Lightly spray the calamari rings with cooking spray.
  • Cook the calamari rings in the air fryer at 350°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. You may want to shake the basket halfway through cooking for even crisping.
  • Once cooked, remove the calamari rings from the air fryer and serve immediately with your favorite dip or a squeeze of lemon.


  • Before you start breading, pat the calamari dry with a paper towel.
  • When breading, use one hand for the wet ingredients and the other for the dry. This keeps things from turning into a sticky mess. 
  • Don’t let the calamari rings touch each other in the air fryer basket so the air can circulate.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 494mg | Sodium: 1706mg | Potassium: 579mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 542IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Enjoy this recipe?Follow Family Friendly Foods on Facebook
A plate of fried calamari garnished with dill and lemon wedges, accompanied by dipping sauces in the background.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating