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Best Spanish octopus recipes 🐙

The Spanish octopus recipe is known for being one of the most delicious seafood recipes in the world. The octopus itself is not different than the one you will find in other countries, what makes it be so tasty is the way it´s done.


In Spain there are more than 50 ways of cooking octopus, but two of them are very popular: Galician style octopus and Grilled Spanish octopus. Both are delicious and we are going to teach you how to make them:

Steps before learning how to cook octopus Spanish Style

The octopus from Spain is one of the best Galician dishes. Although it is originally from Galicia, now a days it´s served all over the country.

No matter if it´s the Galician or the grilled octopus recipe, there are certain steps you should follow before cooking it.

1- Soften the octopus ❄️

The Octopus is a very tough meat, therefore it´s very important to soften it a little before cooking it. There are two easy ways to make this possible:

  • A) The most common one is just buying a frozen octopus or freeze it yourself. Don´t forget to take it out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge one day before cooking it
  • B) The second way, which is the traditional way of doing it, consists on hitting the “pulpo” repeatedly against a big rock! (May seem a little bit weird, but it works)

2- Boil the octopus 🍵

Again, no matter which kind of recipe for Spanish octopus you have decided to do, you will first need to boil it. There are two ways of boiling it, with or without water, as the normal way of doing it is with water, that´s what we are going to do.

  • 1) First, on a big bowl, we heat water until it boils.

  • 2) As soon as the water is boiling, we take the octopus from the head, and we dip the tentacles into the water three times (be careful with your hands).

  • 3) Once the octopus is inside, and the water is boiling again, we lower the hit, and let it simmer. Around 17 minutes if it´s 1 kg (2.2 pounds) and 35 minutes if it´s a 2kg (4.5 pounds) octopus.

  • 4) Turn off the heat and let it cool for about 20 minutes.

Galician style octopus recipe 🍽️

The Galician octopus it´s also known as polbo á feira in Galician or pulpo a la feria in Spanish, and It´s not only the simplest way to cook the octopus, but also the preferred by the Spaniards.

As you can imagine this Galician octopus recipe has its origins in Galicia, where is common as a tapa or starter. Next, you will find the best pulpo Gallego recipe:

“Pulpo a la gallega” ingredients

  • 1 Octopus of 1 or 2Kg (2.2 to 4.5 pounds)
  • 1 kg / 2 pounds of potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Spanish (or not) sweet or hot Paprika
  • Sea salt
  • Water

How to make galician octopus

  • 1) After you have already softened and boiled the octopus, you can go ahead and cut the tentacles in small slices

  • 2) Place them in a wood plate (you can also use a normal one)

  • 3) Season the octopus slices with olive oil, salt and sweet and hot paprika.  

  • 4) Your Galician pulpo is ready! Enjoy it!

*In Spain is very typical to serve the Galician octopus with boiled potatoes, but of course that´s up to you.

Spanish grilled octopus recipe 🍳

Another of the ways to eat octopus in Spain is grilling it at the grill or the barbecue. There are many people who always choose grilled food instead of the braised ones, that´s why the grilled octopus is also very popular in Spain.

This recipe is very easy to make and it won´t take you much more time than other octopus recipes. Let´s learn how to make the grilled octopus Spanish style:


  • Octopus tentacles of 1 or 2Kg (2.2 to 4.5 pounds)
  • 1 kg / 2 pounds of potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Spanish Paprika
  • Sea salt

How to make grilled octopus Spanish style

  • 1) Again, the first thing you will have to do is to soften and boiled the octopus, once that´s done, you will have to let it cool at the fridge for about 12 or 24 hours.

  • 2) The next day, you will just need to cook it at the grill until it has a golden colour

  • 3) Last of all, take it out of the grill and add olive oil, salt and paprika

Other Spanish Pulpo recipes

That´s it! Now you know the best way for cooking octopus Spanish style, the next step is making it.

Although these are the two main Spanish octopus dishes, there are others that are also very popular. Let´s see if you can recognise any of these pulpo recipes:

Octopus Salad from Spain


The octopus from Spain is so famous and people like it so much, that they even have salads with it.

The Spanish salad with octopus is also known as “Salpicón” and it´s a very healthy dish. It is mainly done with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onions…. and of course, Octopus.

Spanish octopus stew


Another way of eating pulpo in Spain is on a stew. This dish is typical from the South of Spain, and although it´s not the most common plate, it´s a delicious dish during winter season.

The Spanish octopus stew is normally served with potatoes and a lot of paprika, but you can also use other ingredients like mushrooms

Eating Spanish octopus as tapas

Many of you wonder when is the best time to eat pulpo? Although you can really eat Spanish octopus as a main dish or even as a snack, the majority prefer it as a tapa.

In the restaurants of Spain, specially in Galicia, it´s very common to have an octopus tapa with a beer or a Spanish tinto de verano

Enjoy the Spanish octopus dish

That´s all you need to know about the pulpo of Spain. Hope you enjoy it as much as every Spaniard do and if you have any question or sugestion, please let us know!

By the way… Which is your favourite pulpo dish?? Galician style? Grilled? Tell us in the comments!

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Best Spanish Octopus recipes: 🐙 Grilled & Galician style ✌
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