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Sunday Dinner: Baked calamari with spicy marinara sauce

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

An appetizer to get started!

Chances are you've enjoyed calamari rings as an appetizer at a restaurant. Why not make an easy, healthy baked version at home?

An appetizer to get started!

Get ready to impress the family! Start your Sunday meal with a popular restaurant-style appetizer they'll love. This Sunday dinner recipe for baked calamari with spicy marinara sauce is definitely restaurant quality, but this version is baked, not fried. That means a tasty, healthier option to serve the family at home, without the mess involved in frying.

Ask your grocer or fish market associate to clean the calamari for you. That way, when you get home, all you really need to do is cut the tubes into rings and prep them for baking. Easy!

Baked calamari with spicy marinara sauce recipe

Serves 4


For the calamari

  • 1 pound calamari tubes
  • 1-1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk (you can also use regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges, for garnish

For the sauce

  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


For the calamari

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 2 baking sheets lightly with the nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pat the calamari tubes dry with a few paper towels. Cut the tubes into 1/2-inch rings (be careful not to cut them too small, as they shrink when they cook).
  3. In a shallow bowl, add the breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper and mix well. Set the bowl near your baking sheets.
  4. In a second shallow bowl, add the milk. Set the bowl near your baking sheets.
  5. Add the flour to a large, plastic zip-closed bag.
  6. Put the calamari rings in the plastic bag with the flour, seal the bag, and shake so the calamari gets coated with flour.
  7. Remove the rings, one by one, and dip them in the milk, then in the breadcrumb mixture, making sure they're thoroughly coated. Place them on the baking sheets in a single layer.
  8. Lightly spray the tops of the calamari with the nonstick cooking spray.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the coating turns golden.

For the sauce

  1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the marinara sauce, red pepper flakes and garlic.
  2. When heated through, remove from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine.
  3. Serve the calamari with the warm sauce and lemon wedges.

You'll love how easy it is to make this dish!

More Sunday dinner recipes

Shrimp and arugula sandwiches
Baked eggplant Parmesan
Pasta with Brussels sprouts

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