This Gluten-Free Calamari recipe is laced with smoky bacon. It’s a fantastic appetizer for sharing and you’ll want seconds and thirds for sure!
If you’re gluten-free, you might often be excluded from fried foods on menus at restaurants.
This Gluten-Fee Calamari is for you.
And even better than those on most menus, this recipe has bacon in it, giving it the most wonderful smoky deliciousness.
Ingredients for Gluten-Free Calamari with Bacon
- applewood smoked bacon
- cleaned squid – You can purchase already cleaned squid, or here’s how to clean them yourself.
- Gluten-free All-Purpose Flour – Cup4Cup is my favorite.
- corn meal
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- cayenne pepper
How to Make it
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
– Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until it’s crispy. Let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate and leave the fat in the pan. Once the bacon is cool, crumble it.
– Pat the squid dry with a paper towel and cut them into approximately 1 to 2 inch rings.
– In medium-sized bowl, add the flour, corn meal, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mix to blend and then add the calamari rings and toss them into the mixture.
– Turn the heat to high under the same pan with the bacon fat. Once it’s hot, carefully add the coated squid in a single layer. Fry, tossing frequently, until the squid is opaque and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
– Use a slotted spoon to remove them from pan, placing them on another towel-lined plate. Drain and then add it to a bowl along with the crumbled bacon. Mix and serve with lemon wedges.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Make sure the oil and/or bacon fat is super hot before cooking. If it’s not hot enough, the calamari won’t get its crisp “crust.”
- If keeping it gluten-free isn’t important to you, you can use regular all-purpose flour.
- The smoky flavor the bacon adds is delicious — however, if you’d like to skip the bacon, use a neutral oil for the pan instead of the bacon fat. (Vegetable or grapeseed oil are good choices.)
Can you make it ahead?
- You can make the coating and bacon ahead of time, and set both aside. Be sure to leave the bacon fat in the pan.
- I wouldn’t recommend frying the squid any earlier than you need to. The closer to serving time, the better.
- Applewood smoked bacon adds a subtle sweet flavor, though any bacon you love will work well.
Enjoy every last piece of the smoky Bacon Gluten-Free Calamari.
More scrumptious seafood recipes:
- Spicy Cilantro Shrimp
- Hatch Green Chile Shrimp
- Roasted Hatch Chile Seared Scallops
- Mexican Shrimp Ceviche with Tomatillo
Gluten-Free Calamari Recipe
- Cook the bacon. Add a layer of paper towels to 2 plates and set them aside. Add the bacon to a large sauté pan, over medium heat, and cook until it's crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Let the bacon strips drain on 1 of the towel-lined plates. (Leave the bacon fat in the pan!)
- Prepare the squid. Pat the squid dry with a paper towel and cut them into approximately 1 to 2 inch rings. Set aside.
- Make the coating. In medium-sized mixing bowl, add the flour, corn meal, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mix to blend and then add the calamari rings. Use your hands to toss them into the flour mixture, being sure they are all very well coated.
- Fry. Then turn the heat to high under the same sauté pan with the bacon fat. Once it’s very hot, carefully add coated squid in a single layer. Fry, tossing frequently, until the squid is opaque and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the fried calamari from the pan and add it to the 2nd towel-lined plate. Let it drain for a couple of minutes. Then crumble the bacon and add both the fried calamari and bacon to a bowl and toss.
- Serve warm, with a few lemon wedges to drizzle over them.