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Easy Spanish Octopus Salad Recipe

If you are tired of always eating the same types of salad, then it is time for you to delve into the world of Spanish salads.

There is one for every occasion, but few manage to stand out as much as the Spanish octopus salad.

Keep scrolling down this article to learn how to make octopus salad, with some helpful tips for storing, serving, and more.

spanish octopus salad in a white bowl

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Background of the Dish

Spanish octopus salad recipe with tomatoes on a blue plate.

The Spanish octopus salad is one of the best octopus recipes developed in Southern Spain. 

The recipe features all the star ingredients of the region: onions, garlic, octopus, and tomatoes, all dressed with olive oil and sherry vinegar. 

It is often confused with the Spanish grilled octopus salad, but they differ in ingredients and cooking processes.

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13 10 - Easy Spanish Octopus Salad Recipe

Things You’ll Need for Spanish Octopus Salad 

To prepare the best octopus salad recipe you will need octopus, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, garlic cloves, olive oil, and sherry vinegar.

fresh octopus on a wooden table for the spanish octopus salad

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh octopus (about 1.5 kg)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar (optional)

How to Make Spanish Octopus Salad – Step by Step Guide

a pot of boiling water for cooking an octopus on a stove for the spanish octopus salad
  1. To start making this Spanish salad, you have to clean the octopus by rinsing it under cold water to remove any dirt. Remove the eyes and mouth of the octopus (or you can ask the fishmonger to give it to you clean without inedible parts to skip that).
  1. Now, fill a large pot with water and add the bay leaf, peeled garlic cloves, and salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil.
  1. After that, hold the octopus by the head and submerge it in the boiling water for a few seconds and take it out. Repeat this step three more times.
  1. Then, submerge the octopus in the water and cook over medium to high heat for 50 minutes or until the octopus is tender. To check, prick the thickest part of the octopus with a fork, it should be tender but not too soft.
  1. Once cooked, remove the octopus from the water and place it in a container with cold water for a few minutes so it stops cooking and cools down (this will also help you to remove the skin).
  1. While the octopus cools, peel and thinly slice the onions. For this ensalada de pulpo recipe you can chop the onions into small squares too.
  1. Now, wash the peppers and tomatoes, and cut them into julienne strips. Remove the seeds in both cases and any parts you don’t like (the hard parts of the peppers or the skin of the tomato).
  1. For the next step in the Spanish salad recipe, cut the octopus into thin slices (once it cooled down).
  1. After that, grab a large bowl and place the onion, octopus, peppers, and tomatoes.
  1. Up next, sprinkle the octopus salad with chopped fresh parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar to enhance the flavor (optional).
  1. Then, cover the salad with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
  1. Finally, you can serve the Spanish octopus salad cold or at room temperature.

Substitution of Ingredients

spanish octopus salad recipe in a plate

If you want to prepare this Spanish octopus salad, you can do it even if you don’t have all of the listed ingredients.

For example, instead of a big octopus, you can use the same amount of baby octopus (1.5kg), and turn this into a baby octopus salad.

Besides that, if you don’t like the Spanish salad dressing you can use any of your choice, or even a couple of tablespoons of mayonnaise or cream cheese to give some creaminess.

You can also take inspiration from other Spanish salad recipes and do changes in the protein or the vegetables.

You could add chicken breasts instead of octopus and have something more similar to an ensalada de pollo, or make cucumber the main vegetable and it will feel like an ensalada de pepino.

Tips on Serving Spanish Octopus Salad 

spanish octopus salad served in a white plate

The Spanish octopus salad is mostly known as a side dish, but since the main ingredient is octopus, you can serve it as a main dish (it will get you filled up).

In that case, you should serve a bigger portion of the Spanish summer salad, and you can include some croutons or slices of bread toasted with olive oil.

We know this is a fan-favorite among healthy octopus recipes, but you can serve it with less healthy side dishes, like french fries, etc.

Besides that, you can serve this with a salad bar full of Spanish salad tapas, like the Spanish tomato salad and the Spanish mixed green salad.

Try another great salad recipe from Spain, the ensalada de broccoli with prawn, a nutritious and easy-to-make salad.

How to Store Spanish Octopus Salad 

How to Store Spanish Octopus Salad . A photo with different products in a fridge

Something that makes the Spanish octopus salad stand out is the fact that you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days, or in the freezer for a longer amount of time.

In both cases you should follow the Spanish octopus recipe but don’t dress the salad, just place it in a covered container before dressing it.

Then, you can store traditional Spanish salads like this one for up to 4 days in the fridge or 15 days in the freezer.

To make sure that you can keep track of the dates you can write them on a tag and place it on top of the covered container.

Recipe Card: Spanish Octopus Salad

Yield: 6

Spanish Octopus Salad Recipe

spanish octopus salad in a white bowl

If you are tired of always eating the same types of salad, then it is time for you to delve into the world of Spanish salads.

There is one for every occasion, but few manage to stand out as much as the Spanish octopus salad.

Keep scrolling down this article to learn how to make octopus salad, with some helpful tips for storing, serving, and more.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh octopus (about 1.5 kg)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar (optional)
  • 50 g of olives

Instructions

  1. Clean the octopus by rinsing it under cold water to remove any dirt. Remove the eyes and mouth of the octopus (or you can ask the fishmonger to give it to you clean without inedible parts to skip that).
  2. Fill a large pot with water and add the bay leaf, peeled garlic cloves, and salt to taste. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Hold the octopus by the head and submerge it in the boiling water for a few seconds and take it out. Repeat this step three more times.
  4. Submerge the octopus in the water and cook over medium to high heat for 50 minutes or until the octopus is tender. To check, prick the thickest part of the octopus with a fork, it should be tender but not too soft.
  5. Once cooked, remove the octopus from the water and place it in a container with cold water for a few minutes to stop cooking and cool it down (this will also make it easier to remove the skin).
  6. While the octopus cools, peel and thinly slice the onions.
  7. Wash the peppers and tomatoes, and cut them into julienne strips. Remove the seeds in both cases and any parts you don't like (the hard parts of the peppers or the skin of the tomato).
  8. Once cooled, cut the octopus into thin slices.
  9. In a large bowl, place the onion, octopus, peppers, tomatoes and olives.
  10. Sprinkle the salad with chopped fresh parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar to enhance the flavor (optional).
  11. Cover the Spanish octopus salad with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit in the fridge for an hour to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
  12. Serve the ensalada de pulpo cold or at room temperature.

Notes

Salt and pepper are all the seasonings that you need for this octopus salad recipe, in that way, the flavor of the seafood and the vegetables will stand out.

Using a combination of olive oil and sherry vinegar is like the staple dressing on any Spanish style salad, but you can use the dressing of your choice.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 468Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 235mgSodium 1152mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 70g

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