Air Fryer Frozen Calamari

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This Air Fryer Frozen Calamari recipe uses store-bought frozen calamari, cooked in the air fryer for just a few minutes and served with a creamy chipotle dipping sauce.

Air Fryer calamari on a plate with lemon and dipping sauce.

Whether you choose a battered or no-batter frozen calamari, you can cook it very easily in the air fryer and get a nice crispy, delicious snack.

I’ve tried many different brands of calamari and they all cook at about the same time/temperature, so you don’t have to worry about getting a specific brand. You can also cook breaded or non-breaded. It’s down to your preference.

The one I use most often is Northern Chef Sea Salt & Pepper Calamari. It’s not breaded. You can find it at Vons and Safeway. For breaded, I like Salt & Pepper Calamari from Phillips Seafood the best. You can get it at Target or Aldi. Read more about the best calamari brands.

» You might also like Easy Air Fryer Teriyaki Salmon

Ingredients You Need

Ingredients for air fryer frozen calamari
  • Frozen calamari – See above for my recommended brands. You can buy breaded or non-breaded. You can even make your own.
  • Chipotle pepper – I use chipotle powder because I always have it on hand. You could also blend chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, if you prefer.
  • Mayonnaise – Mayo is the base of the sauce. If you don’t like mayo, you could use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic or powdered will add a nice bite to the sauce.
  • Lemon – Lemon juice adds a nice fresh acidity to the sauce.
  • Salt – to taste

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
  • Small dip bowls – I like to use small 1 oz ramekins for the dipping sauce, but any small bowl will work.
Air Fryer calamari on a plate with lemon and dipping sauce.

Air Fryer Frozen Calamari

This Air Fryer Frozen Calamari recipe uses store-bought frozen calamari, cooked in the air fryer for just a few minutes and served with a creamy chipotle dipping sauce.
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Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 246 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

  • 1 bag frozen calamari
  • 1/4 cup (59.15 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.2 g) chipotle pepper powder
  • 1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions
 

  • Pour the bag of calamari into the air fryer. No need to spray with cooking oil.
  • Cook on 400° F for 8 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
  • Add the chipotle powder, mayonnaise, lemon, garlic and pinch of salt to a bowl and blend until combined. Cover and refrigerate the sauce for 15 minutes before serving, if you have time.
  • Serve calamari with chipotle dipping sauce.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 3gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 239mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 49IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Calamari, Frozen
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How Do You Air Fry Battered Calamari

No matter whether your calamari are battered or not, they will cook at about the same time from frozen. It takes about 8 minutes. The only difference you will find is if you batter your own calamari, because it will need to be sprayed with oil before cooking in order to get them crispy.

Because your homemade calamari are not frozen, they may take less than 8 minutes to cook. Keep any eye on them as they cook, to ensure you don’t overdo it.

Air Fryer calamari on a plate with lemon and dipping sauce.

Is Calamari Good For You?

As with anything breaded and fried, you are adding calories and fat that might not be beneficial to all diets. However, calamari itself is a very healthy food. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and contains a good amount of Vitamin B12, plus vitamin C, iron and calcium, and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

If you want to find a calamari brand that has the best ingredients and nutrition, you should always read the nutrition information on the box before you buy.

What Other Dipping Sauces Go With Calamari?

There are many different sauces you can dip your calamari in. We really like the chipotle mayo we make with this recipe. However, there are many other options. Try one of these:

  • Sweet chili sauce (the Mae Ploy brand is really good)
  • High-quality pesto sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Sriracha mayo

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