Above and beyond the ingredients, the cooking method, or should I say methods, couldn't be easier. As long as you braise it gently on low heat, until just tender, and then give it a nice sear before serving, you should be in great shape. This smoky braised octopus is great served with crusty roasted potatoes.

Recipe Summary

10 mins
1 hr 12 mins
2 hrs
3 hrs 22 mins
2 servings


Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place chopped onion, garlic cloves, bay leaf, paprika, salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil into saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until onions start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add white wine to create the braising liquid. Bring to a simmer.

  • Transfer octopus into braising liquid, turning to coat with the liquid. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes and turn octopus over. Continue cooking until octopus is tender, another 40 to 45 minutes.

  • Remove from heat; transfer octopus to a large bowl. Pour braising liquid over octopus. Place bowl above a bowl of ice water to cool to room temperature.

  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap when octopus and liquid are cool. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • Transfer octopus to a work surface and mop off braising juices with paper towels; remove as much of the purple skin as you want. Cut octopus into 3 or 4 serving-size pieces. Brush with olive oil.

  • Transfer braising liquid to saucepan. Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Strain out solids; transfer liquid to a mixing bowl; let cool about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper to make the serving sauce.

  • Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Transfer octopus pieces to grill. Cook until flesh is seared, almost charred, 3 or 4 minutes. Turn and cook other side until dark brown, caramelized, and heated through, another 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to a platter.

  • Slice octopus into fairly thick diagonal slices. Place on a serving dish. Spoon braising liquid mixture over the top. Dust with a bit of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Chef's Note:

I love to serve braised octopus with crusty roasted potatoes.

Nutrition Facts

513 calories; protein 35.1g; carbohydrates 15g; fat 29.7g; cholesterol 108.9mg; sodium 2046.4mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (9)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Loved it! Read More
17 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 14
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Loved it! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Definatley an amazing recipe as for changes I added a bit more white wine total of 1 1/2 cup. Other than that it's one of the best octopus dishes I've done. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Easy peasy (and I did overnight it in the fridge) with the bonus of this patience being it's one excellent plating of food. The braising liquid is delicious once lemon juice, EVO & a pinch of cayenne is added. I did serve with roasted potatoes, with the grilling of the octopus adding a wonderful smoky flavor to the dish. On my short list of those things to impress close friends or family with Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Pretty good. I'll add more salt and get a larger octopus next time. 2.2 lb was too small. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I had a 2.6 lb octopus so I modified things. I’ve never cooked octopus before and I was too lazy to look up how to cut it so I just snipped the tentacles off where I thought was right. Then, I doubled all the braising ingredients and added Greek seasoning in addition to the smoked paprika and did 1/2 tsp less of salt than what doubled would have called for as my Greek seasoning was salted. I only marinated for 1 hr and 40 minutes because my child was yelling “eat!” I then took the leftover onions from the braising liquid and threw them in my vitamix with 1 TBS of brown sugar, Dijon and honey mustard, 3 tbs of white wine vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil. Served octopus over Greek and smoked sea salt 1 inch roasted yellow potatoes @450 for 22 minutes. Served the dressing over spinach with shaved aged Gouda. My toddler approved this meal and ate most the octopus and 3 servings of spinach! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Better than the one my mother use to make I wish they were alive this would have given them extra 10 years Read More
Rating: 2 stars
Other than being incredibly salty the recipe is good method for cooking tender octopus. The best octopus I ever had was at the JW Marriott in San Jose del Cabo. I have been searching for a recipe similar to it but this one was not it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Simple and delicious recipe! I condensed the time frame to 3 hrs instead of waiting until the next day. It was so tender and flavorful. Thank you for sharing this! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely amazing. Only thing I changed was I boiled the octopus for an hour before braising. Left it overnight, seared in the cast iron skillet, and it was tender enough to cut with a fork. Thanks Chef John for this great recipe! Read More