Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid (with video)

Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid, stuffed with eggplant, tomato, garlic, spinach, squid tentacle and finished on the grill will transport you to the Mediterranean!

Episode 7 Of The Great American Recipe On PBS Was Epic As I Made My Stuffed Squid!
Episode 7 Of The Great American Recipe On PBS Was Epic As I Made My Stuffed Squid!

Oh my, can you just smell the aromas, while sitting along side of a Mediterranean sea shore! The slower pace of life, the smell of seafood in the air and the roasting of food on a grill!

Mediterranean Squid Dishes

As a first-class cook, I am going to stick my neck out and say something I am sure to get chopped for, ‘Only an uneducated palate eats everything fried’! I saw that expression!

perfectly grilled stuffed squid
Perfectly Grilled Stuffed Squid

Squid, for example, nine times out of ten, people eat it fried. Why?

Because options are rarely available and truth be told, most of us are shy to cook it any other way, for fear it will be rubbery

Grilled Stuffed Squid Made Tender

That has changed for me. Squid is a delicate tender seafood that needs very little cooking and absorbs so many of the flavors we cook it with. 

When not grilling squid or frying it, and don’t get me wrong, I love a lightly dusted squid tentacle quick fried, just not ladened down with goopy batter.

Squid Is Versatile And Oh So Mediterranean

I also love squid with pasta dishes. 

Take for instance this scrumptious Squid Ink Pasta with Squid.

Very little cook time on the squid and the squid ink pasta certainly compliments the squid. 

squid ink pasta with squid
Squid Ink Pasta with Squid

A summer salad I love is a lightly sautéed squid in olive oil, a dab of butter and a little lemon juice.

Toss that over a Mediterranean Orzo Black Olive Salad (I also made for the PBS program), and you’ve got one simple, fantastic dish!

Definitely quick, flavorful and perfect for a summer lunch or light fare. 

Sauteed squid over Mediterranean orzo black olive salad
Sautéed Squid Over Mediterranean Orzo Black Olive Salad

Mediterranean Stuffed Squid

When making stuffed squid, whether I will grill it, bake it, or simmer it in tomato sauce on top of the stove, I always cook the stuffing first. 

filling is sautéed in advance
Filling Is Sautéed In Advance

Since the squid tubes don’t need more than a few minutes on each side to cook, if stuffing the tubes with tentacles or eggplant, as I have done here, the filling needs to be cooked.

Stuffing Squid Can Be Tricky

Stuffing the squid can be tricky, since the tube part of the body is often small and very slippery.

It reminds me of trying to feed a four-month old baby their first spoons of cereal; shove it in, half falls out. 

I use a little demitasse size spoon to slide the filling inside. A pureed filling can be piped in as well. 

toothpick closure
Toothpick Closure

A wooden toothpick to close the top of the squid body opening and the squid is ready to be cooked and served. 

Mediterranean Grilled Squid

Truth be told, I am by no means a grill master.

I don’t quite understand how to use the heat of an open fire to cook, the way I understand a stove. 

But one thing I do know, is how much I love the flavor of grilled foods.

So, I cheated! I bought myself a fish cage or rack designed for grilling. 

seafood grilling cage
Seafood Grilling Cage

A Fish Cage For Grilling Makes The Job Easier

The squid lay inside the wire cage, it closes and is so easy to cook all the squid on one side and turn them all over together for perfect timing on both sides.

I also love to use the wired cage for grilling shrimp, okra and asparagus!

Since the filling of the squid is already cooked, the outside of the squid is all we need to give our attention to on the open fire. 

grilled stuffed squid
Grilled Stuffed Squid

About three or four minutes on each side, not over direct fire but rather hot embers on either side, and the squid is perfectly charred, hot and ready to eat. 

This recipe is sure to change the way you think of squid. The filling alone is rich in flavors. 

Ingredients Needed

  • Squid – tentacles and tubes
  • Olive oil
  • Eggplant
  • Tomato
  • Spinach
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Allspice
  • Marjoram
Ingredients needed for stuffed squid
Ingredients Needed For Stuffed Squid

Equipment Needed

  • Fish Rack for Grilling – my favorite grill basket is below
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • 3 Mixing bowls
  • Saute pan
  • Spatula
  • Grill or stove top griddle
  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Demitasse spoon, or baby spoon
  • Stovetop or burner

Three Steps To Make Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid

  • Prepare the filling while the squid marinates
  • Stuff the squid
  • Grill the squid 3 – 4 minutes on each side

When making this at home, it’s easy to relax, sip on some wine while trying to stuff this amazing filling inside the tiny opening of the squid.

While making this on national television, in 60-minutes, cameras everywhere, no wine to sip on (LOL), not so relaxing.

Those slippery little squid tubes dang near ended up on the floor of the film studio!

However, they came out beautiful, filling tasted amazing and it sure wowed the judges.

So, if I can make this scrumptious stuffed squid under those conditions, you’re gonna have a blast making it at home!

My Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid On National Television – PBS

Imagine, a recipe you’ve made for years and years and then one day you have the opportunity to make it on national television!

Episode 7, round 1 on The Great American Recipe with PBS is where this fabulous recipe got its spotlight!

Making these slippery little guys on a time clock is not advisable!

Take your time and by all means, grill them, something I was not able to do on a television set!!

My Mediterranean Stuffed Squid On The Great American Recipe - PBS
My Mediterranean Stuffed Squid On The Great American Recipe – PBS
Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid

Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid

Mediterranean flavors of eggplant, tomato, garlic, spinach and squid tentacles sautéed and stuffed inside squid tubes and finished on the grill.
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Course: Seafood
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • Grill or stovetop griddle
  • Fish rack for grilling
  • Demitasse spoon or piping bag
  • Toothpicks


  • 1 lb Squid tubes and tentacles
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil – 1/3 cup, enough to marinate squid and to cook the filling marinate and cook
  • 1 cup Eggplant peeled and confetti-cut
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes confetti cut
  • 1 lb Fresh Spinach finely chopped
  • 2 Lemons juiced
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Marjoram dried or fresh


  • Prepare the grill.
    If not using a grill then have a cast iron griddle ready to heat up on the stovetop.
  • Peel and confetti cut (quart-inch cubes), the eggplant.
    Place in a bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and allow to sit for 15-minutes.
    Rinse the salt off, drain and press with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Remove the squid tentacles and chop very fine, set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
  • Marinate the squid tubes with juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • While the squid and eggplant are set aside, confetti chop the tomato, and rough chop the spinach.
  • In a sauté pan add remaining olive oil, chopped tentacles, eggplant, tomato, 1 garlic clove, pinch of salt, other spices and spinach.
    Sauté until tentacles turn pink and eggplant is cooked. Cool.
  • With a tiny demitasse size spoon, fill each tube, squeezing down the filling to the end of the tube. Place a toothpick at the top of each filled tube to keep them closed.
  • Place inside a fish rack or a fish pan used for cooking on a grill. No need to oil either since the squid has been marinating in olive oil.
  • Grill 3 – 4 minutes on both sides, not over direct fire. Serve.


Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid
Mediterranean Grilled Stuffed Squid




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