Grilled Octopus with Potatoes

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Onions and Pancetta by 2sistersrecipes.com

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Onions, and Pancetta is tender, slightly charred, and delicious tasting! There are two methods when making grilled octopus, and we have decided to use the simple method. This seafood appetizer will make an elegant presentation.

Spring and summertime are the seasons to enjoy some grilled octopus. 

This one is served elegantly with sliced potatoes, caramelized onions, and crispy pancetta.  Topped with a splash of capers, lemon juice, and olive oil. 

Delicious!

 

 

Don’t let this sea creature intimidate you.  I was intimidated by octopus for many years until I finally got the nerve to try cooking it by making one of our favorite appetizers we always order at one of our go-to restaurants here in Charleston.

I found out that octopus is relatively easy to prep before grilling. There’s really nothing to it.

Just boil it in water until the octopus is tender. 

You may be surprised to know that octopus is relatively inexpensive too.  It’s about $8.99 per pound at Whole Foods, and one pound is enough to serve 2 to 4 people.

 

Since we order the grilled octopus as often as we do, I knew I had to ask the chef how he prepares it, and then, of course, I remembered how our mom once made it. 

I was lucky enough to find the octopus at Whole Foods and wanted to try it myself to see if I could duplicate the restaurant’s presentation. 

The outcome was amazing!  The octopus turned out very tender and flavorful, while the potatoes and crispy pancetta added wonderful textures and smoky flavor!

 

There are Two Simple Methods for Octopus Before Grilling:

1.  Braising:  The most common way (and most restaurants use this method) is to braise it in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and parsley for about 1 to 2 hours, to tenderize the octopus before grilling.

2.  Boiling:  Another way is to simply boil the octopus on the stove-top for about 45 to 60 minutes (or longer depending on the size) in water infused with wine, garlic, and peppercorns, mom’s trick to flavoring.

When the Octopus is Ready…

  • Place the octopus directly onto your grill and cook it for a few minutes per side until it’s slightly charred and crispy.
  • Serve it with boiled sliced potatoes, cooked pancetta, and caramelized onions with a splash of lemon, olive oil, and capers.  This grilled octopus dish is a flavorful seafood appetizer.

The flavors are wonderful!  You can enjoy it warm, room temperature, or chilled as an octopus salad!

 

*Full Recipe Card Below!

Ingredients Needed for Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Capers, Onions, and Pancetta:

  • 1 pound octopus (about 2 to 3 small or medium size tentacles)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil- divided
  • 1 yellow onion – diced
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. cubed pancetta
  • 2 lemons, juiced- divided
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, boiled, skins peeled, sliced
  • 1 to 2 tsp. capers
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced on a diagonal, to garnish

How to Prepare the Octopus to Grill?

1.  First, Place the octopus into a large pot with pour water over it, about 2 inches or more to cover the octopus.

2.  Add in 1/2 cup of wine, garlic cloves, 1/2 of one lemon juice, and peppercorns.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat.

3.  Boil the octopus for 45 to 90 minutes, until the octopus is very tender when you pierce it with a fork or knife.

 

4.  Drain, and discard the water.  Then allow the octopus to reach room temperature before grilling.

5.  Meantime, slice potatoes and set them aside. 

6.  In a small non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions and pancetta until the onions are caramelized and the pancetta is crispy brown about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and set it aside.

7.  When your outside grill is hot and ready.  Season octopus lightly with salt and pepper.  Drizzle or brush some olive oil over it and place the octopus directly onto the grill and cook it for about 4 to 8 minutes per side, turning with kitchen tongs, until the octopus is nicely charred (but not burnt) on all sides. Remove and transfer to a cutting board.

8.  Transfer the octopus to a cutting board. Slice the octopus into bite-size pieces, about 1/2-inch thick, and transfer to a serving platter. 

9.  Arrange sliced potatoes on both ends of the platter.  Spoon the pancetta and onions mixture over the octopus and potatoes evenly.  Drizzle over the entire platter with capers, remaining extra-virgin olive oil, and remaining lemon juice.  Lightly season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. 

10.  Garnish with green onions on top.  Serve warm, room temperature or even cold is fine too.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  This can be served as a salad the next day. 

Serve 2 to 4

COOKS NOTES and TIPS for Success!

  • TENDERIZE THE OCTOPUS BEFORE BOILING IT: Place the octopus on a cutting board. Use a wooden spoon or meat mallet, and pound the octopus multiple times, starting in the middle and moving down each tentacle to tenderize the meat.
  • Do you own a pressure cooker? Then toss in the octopus into your pressure cooker, add enough water to cover it, and set the timer to tenderize. It should tenderize the octopus in half the time.
  • When Grilling: the grill rack should be about 4 inches from the heat source. 
  • The best-grilled octopus becomes smoky and tender when the grill does its job, and that’s when the outside of these tentacles becomes lightly charred and crisped, and the interior soft and tender.
  • You Can Prepare the Octopus: at least 24 hours in advance by boiling it until tender, draining, covering, and refrigerating octopus. Then grill it (as in our recipe card) and serve it sliced with boiled potatoes, onions, and pancetta.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers. This can be served as a salad the next day. Enjoy!
Grilled octopus with potatoes by 2sistersrecipes.com

The grilling season is a great time to try something new and delicious.  

Your guests could become “hooked.” Think of grilled octopus for your next BBQ.

and Enjoy!

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes Onions and Pancetta by 2sistersrecipes.com

MORE TASTY SEAFOOD RECIPES!

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Onions and Pancetta

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Onions and Pancetta by 2sistersrecipes.com

Grilled Octopus with Potatoes, Onions, and Pancetta. Tender-grilled octopus served with sliced potatoes, and a caramelized-smoky topping makes every bite of this seafood appetizer triply delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound octopus (about 2 to 3 small or medium-size tentacles)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil- divided
  • 1 yellow onion - diced
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. cubed pancetta
  • 2 lemons, juiced- divided
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, boiled, skins peeled, sliced
  • 1 to 2 tsp. capers
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced on diagonal, to garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the octopus into a large pot with pour water over it, about 2 inches or more, enough to cover the octopus. Add in 1/2 cup of wine, garlic cloves, 1/2 lemon juice, and peppercorns. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat.
  2. Cook octopus for about 45 to 90 minutes, or until it's tender when pierced with a knife or fork through one of the tentacles.
  3. Drain, and allow the octopus to reach room temperature before grilling.
  4. Meantime, slice potatoes and set them aside. In a small non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté onions and pancetta until the onions are caramelized and the pancetta is crispy brown about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set it aside.
  5. When your outside grill is hot and ready. Season octopus lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle or brush some olive oil over it and place the octopus directly onto the grill and cook it for about 6 to 8 minutes per side, until the octopus turns brown. Remove and transfer to a cutting board.
  7. Slice the tentacles about 1/2-inch thick, and transfer to a serving platter.
  8. Arrange sliced potatoes on both ends of the platter. Spoon the pancetta and onions mixture over the octopus and potatoes evenly. Drizzle over the entire platter with capers, remaining extra-virgin olive oil, and remaining lemon juice.
  9. Lightly season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Garnish with green onions on top. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
  10. Serve 2 to 4

Notes

  • TENDERIZE THE OCTOPUS before boiling it: Place the octopus on a cutting board. Use a wooden spoon or meat mallet, and pound the octopus multiple times, starting in the middle and moving down each tentacle to tenderize the meat.
  • Reserve any leftovers in a sealed container and chill in the refrigerator. Enjoy this octopus as a salad the day after.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2 to 4 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 2.5gCarbohydrates: 25.9gFiber: 3.3gSugar: 2.7gProtein: 36.1g

If you make our grilled octopus with potatoes onions and pancetta, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating!  We’d love to hear from you.  Sharing your insights and experiences helps everyone who reads them, and helps us too! 

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!  

Happy Cooking and Grilling  🙂

xo Anna and Liz

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8 Comments

  1. Great recipe,have been cooking it for 30 yrs now.Ever since we where traveling in the Greek islands.Love all your recipes. 😉Thanks Louise

    1. Aw, thanks so much, Louise! Thank you for subscribing to us and trying our recipes. It means a lot to us. You are so sweet! 🙂
      If there is a recipe you would like me to try, please let me know? Have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. We have a favorite restaurant that really does grilled octopus well. We've tried it at other places but it's been rubbery and not flavorful at all. The stove top method sounds so easy to prepare the octopus but I like the sound of the braising method too. Maybe I'll need to try both! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  3. Oh come on Tricia, we know you can do it! I too didn't have the confidence until the chef at the restaurant assured me that it's easier than it looks – and it was! I hope you'll give it try soon! Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely week.

  4. You are the bravest women I know! I am such a chicken – and have never wanted to do anything with octopus – but you make it look so easy and delicious. I don't know 🙂 I have yet to cook my own lobster – but it's on my list! Thanks for the interesting, and delicious looking, creative dish. I feel like I learned at lot 🙂