February 3, 2021

Air Fryer Calamari

One of my favourite things to order when I'm out at a restaurant is definitely fried calamari. But let's be honest, deep frying (although delicious) is kinda intimidating when you're doing it at home. Never mind the clean up afterwards. Enter, these air fryer calamari! Crispy, easy, way less oil and absolutely delicious. And now it's easy to enjoy calamari right at home!

air fryer calamari on a plate

This recipe was originally published in 2021 and has since been updated with newer photos.


One of the biggest things I love about making air fryer calamari is the minimal amount of ingredients you need. With just nine ingredients (including salt and pepper) you can enjoy some delicious crispy calamari rings in about 20 minutes. Here's what you'll need to make them:

ingredients laid out


Fresh calamari is fairly inexpensive and easy to work with. I like buying fresh at my local seafood spot, but you can also find it frozen as well. You'll need about 1 lb. of fresh calamari.


To help tenderize the squid, milk is recommended. I have used regular milk and dairy-free milk to soak the squid so either will work. The other great thing about using milk, is that once it's done tenderizing and ready to fry, it can just go directly in the flour mixture to coat. No need for multiple breading stations or bowls to be set up.

All Purpose Flour

I use all purpose flour for this air fryer calamari. I tested this with two other gluten-free flours (almond and rice) and both weren't as good as all-purpose. However, a gluten-free all purpose flour would work just as well, so feel free to use that.

I'd recommend this one from Bob's Red Mill.

Arrowroot Flour/Cornstarch

To help get the squid nice and crispy in your air fryer, you'll want to use some arrowroot flour (or cornstarch).

Smoked Paprika

Adding a little hint of smoked paprika brings some flavour to this crispy calamari.

Garlic Powder

Garlic powder is a great addition to this air fryer calamari.

Avocado Oil Spray

One of the tricks to getting this calamari crispy in your air fryer is to use some avocado oil spray. You'll need a spritz on the air fryer bottom and then once you put the squid in, a spray on top of those rings as well.

air fryer calamari on a plate with a hand reaching in

How to Make Calamari in Your Air Fryer

Making this air fryer calamari really couldn't be easier. So if you enjoy calamari, don't be intimidated to make it yourself at home. Here's how you can make it!

Soak your Calamari

First, you'll want to soak the calamari rings in some milk. This helps to tenderize the rings, as the lactic acid in the milk tenderizes the muscle fibres of the calamari. You can also use a dairy-free milk. Let that sit for at least one hour (longer if you have time).

calamari soaking in milk

Get Your Breading Station Ready

Once that's done, it's time to get your breading station ready. In a large bowl, add your flour, arrowroot and spices, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.

breading station for calamari

Preheat your air fryer to 380ºF for a few minutes so it's nice and hot.

Now, take one calamari ring from the milk and shake off any excess.

calamari rings taken out of milk

Next, coat the calamari in the flour mixture and tap any excess flour from the ring. This is important so that you don't have any flour residue on the calamari rings.

dipping calamari ring into flour

Last, place on a plate. Repeat with all remaining rings until all are coated.

rings coated in flour sitting on a plate
calamari in flour on a plate

Time to Air Fry!

When your air fryer is ready, spray some oil on the bottom. Add the calamari rings and spray oil on the rings. Bake at 380ºF for four to five minutes.

calamari rings in air fryer

Flip them over, spray again with oil and fry for four to five minutes longer.

Don't be afraid to open and check on them to ensure they aren't burning.

Work in batches so that the rings aren't touching. This will help to make sure they can all get crispy.

air fryer calamari on a plate with dip

How Long Do You Cook Fresh Calamari in the Air Fryer?

Each and every air fryer is different, I've learned! So what works for me in my air fryer may be slightly different for you.

I have found that a lower temperature is needed to ensure that you don't end up with burnt calamari rings. For this reason, I recommend cooking your squid at 380ºF for about 10 minutes total.

The great thing about using an air fryer, is you can easily open the door and see how they're coming along.

air fryer calamari on plate close up

Which Air Fryer Do I Use & Recommend

I've tried three different air fryers over the years, and my most recent is also my favourite.

It's the Wonder Oven from Our Place. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it, for several reasons.

  • Aesthetically pleasing: as with all Our Place products, the design is unmatched. This means you can leave it out on your countertop and don't need to hide it away in a cluttered drawer.
  • Non-toxic: the trays that come with the Wonder Oven are all non-toxic and made from stainless steel and aluminum with a toxin-free nonstick ceramic coating. This is SO hard to find with other types of air fryers and is the main reason I use it so much.
  • Different cooking modes: this is not just an air fryer, it can air fry, bake, toast, roast, reheat and broil. I also love the steam function for bringing breads back to life.
  • Compact size: I love how small and mighty it is. It won't take up much room on your countertops, something that was so important to me living in a condo with limited countertop space.

The only drawbacks I've noticed while using this is the timer function. It's not digital and can be hard to be precise when using it. So I prefer to just use the timer on my oven or microwave when using it to be sure it's exact. The knob also has to be turned off manually by turning it rather than having an on/off switch.

But honestly, other than those missing features, it's such a great appliance and I do recommend it.

You can check out Our Place Wonder Oven here!

air fryer calamari on plate with hand dipping a ring into the dip

Easy Lemon-Sumac Dip

This easy dip is quick to make and tastes delicious with the air fried calamari. The lemon and sumac help to brighten the flavour of the dish, and complement the fried taste from the squid. If you don't have sumac, feel free to omit it, although it is a nice spice to have on hand!

All you need is some mayo, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, and sumac!

How to Store Air Fryer Calamari

These air fryer calamari are best served immediately after making them. Once they're baked, they will lose their crispiness the longer they sit out. For this reason, I wouldn't suggest storing them after frying. You can keep them hot in your oven on a low temperature while you fry all batches separately.

To re crisp them again, place them back in the air fryer for one minute.

air fryer calamari on plate

Can I make this Calamari Gluten-Free?

Absolutely, feel free to use any gluten-free all purpose flour, or white rice flour as well. I tried with almond flour, and the coating didn't stay on as well, so I wouldn't suggest that one.

I like this gluten-free flour from Bob's Red Mill.

Tips and Substitutions

To make these the best air fryer calamari, follow these tips:

  • Don't overcrowd: it's best to work in batches to ensure that the rings aren't touching each other. This will help them get very crispy as well.
  • Shake off excess flour: this will help to remove any excess flour from the calamari rings after you're done air frying.
  • Don't be afraid to open the air fryer while cooking: take a peek inside to ensure that your air fryer calamari isn't browning too quickly. If needed, reduce the heat, or lessen the time needed to bake.
  • Tenderize the rings: soaking in milk does help in this regard, so I wouldn't recommend skipping it. If you can't have dairy, use a dairy-free milk.
  • Spray the calamari: you want to give these calamari rings a decent spray of oil to be sure they are coated and in turn get crispy.
  • Don't let the squid sit in flour: if you're working in batches, it's best to only coat them in flour when you're ready to put them in the air fryer. Avoid letting them sit too long with flour on as it can get gummy.
  • Be careful while flipping: when turning the rings over, I find it easiest to use my hands to carefully flip them over rather than tongs which could end up removing some of the coating.
air fryer calamari on plate with lemon

More Air Fryer Recipes

Looking for more air fryer goodness, check these ones out!

Ready to make this? Let's get to it!

If you make this air fryer calamari, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to tag me on Instagram, and/or leave a comment, rating or review below.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only share products and services I have personally used and love. Disclosure here.

Air Fryer Calamari

Craving crispy calamari? This air fryer calamari is crispy and SO easy to make at home.




For the Dip

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon juice plus zest from half the lemon
  • 1/4 tsp sumac ground, optional
  • pinch salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl soak the calamari rings in some milk, use enough milk to cover the rings. Soak for at least one hour, up to four to five hours if you have the time.
  2. In a large bowl, add your flour, arrowroot, spices and salt and mix well to combine.
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 380ºF for a few minutes so it's nice and hot.
  4. Take one calamari ring from the milk mixture and toss in the flour. Tap any excess flour off of the rings. Place on a large plate until enough are done to fill one layer of the air fryer.
  5. When your air fryer is ready, spray some oil on the bottom of the tray. Add the calamari rings (working in batches to ensure they aren't touching) and spray oil on the rings. Bake at 380ºF for four to five minutes. Flip them over, spray again (lightly) with oil and bake for four to five minutes longer, until golden brown and crispy.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dip.
  7. Keep them stored in the oven on the lowest temperature while you cook all the calamari rings. If you need to crisp them up again, bake in the air fryer for one minute.


Don’t be afraid to open and check on them to ensure they aren’t burning. Turn down the heat, or lessen the time if needed.

You don’t want to overcook the calamari as they will turn rubbery. They shouldn’t take longer than 10 to 12 minutes total.

Work in batches so that the rings aren’t touching. This will help to make sure they can all get crispy.

Let's be friends...

Comment Below

Did you love this? Let us know!

Thanks for contributing to our community! Your comment will appear shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Be the first to comment on this recipe