Lemon Caper Calamari Steaks

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These Lemon Caper Calamari Steaks have been a favorite of mine since I was a child.

Lemon Caper Calamari

My father used to prepare calamari quite often when I had my yearly summer visits with him. He introduced me to calamari steaks, which were much different than the deep fried little rings and pieces that you’ve probably had as an appetizer. The steaks can be prepared to serve as a main dish. 

About Calamari:

Calamari is squid. Did you know that?  Yep, calamari is not often to referred to its real name… but it’s actual squid. It’s most often served fried with lemon and seafood or tartar sauce. The arms and tentacles of the squid are edible and cut into rings, and that’s often what is deep fried. The body of the squid can be cut into flat “steaks,” and that is how this recipe is prepared. 

Where do you buy calamari steaks?

Check out your market’s seafood department. Often times, calamari steaks are sold alongside shrimp and other seafood. I’ve had good luck finding calamari steaks at Whole Foods Market.

plate of Calamari
photo from Giovanni’s Fish Market

Calamari steaks are featured in the photo above (so you know what to look for).

How to make Lemon Caper Calamari:

The calamari steaks are dredged in a simple mixture of flour, Parmesan cheese and pepper… and then dipped in egg before sautéing in hot oil. The sauce drizzled on top is butter melted with lemon juice and capers. It’s such a simple recipe!

Here are a few more recipes featuring capers that you might like to try:

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Lemon Caper Calamari Steaks

A delicious way to prepare calamari!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 284kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword calamari, capers, Lemon


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 whole calamari steaks (1 pound total)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • lemon wedges


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. While the oil heats, stir together the cheese, flour and pepper in a wide shallow bowl, then lightly beat the egg with water in another wide shallow bowl.
  • Dredge 1 calamari steak into the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, then dip in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, and transfer to a plate. Dredge another steak in flour and dip in egg in the same manner, then sauté the coated steaks over moderately high heat, turning over once, until golden, about 1½ minutes total. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered. Dredge, dip and sauté the remaining 2 steaks in the same manner, transferring to a platter.
  • Pour off the fat from the skillet, then add butter, lemon juice (to taste), and capers to the skillet and cook over moderate heat just until the butter melts, about 45 seconds. Pour the lemon caper sauce over the calamari steaks and serve immediately.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 331mg | Sodium: 220mg | Potassium: 296mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 334IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1mg


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  • Rich wrote:

    I have prepared Calamari lots of times using a lemon caper beurre blanc sauce. Had it first time at the Sands cafe on the docks in Monterrey. It was delicious. I am trying your recipe with the flour/egg saute. I have always cooked it with very fine panko bread crumbs. Panko put in a bullet blender and made very fine… Don’t go too fine or you will have powder.

  • Gary Givens wrote:

    Excellent, served the calamari with mashed sweet potatoes. Loved the blend of the flavors