The Delicious Recipe of “Receta de Arroz con Calamares”

Arroz con calamares, or rice with squid, is a traditional Spanish dish that combines the flavors of tender squid, aromatic rice, and a medley of spices. This mouthwatering recipe has been passed down through generations, and its popularity has spread far beyond the shores of Spain. In this article, we will explore the history of arroz con calamares, the ingredients required to make this delectable dish, and the step-by-step process to prepare it. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets behind this culinary delight!

The History of Arroz con Calamares

Arroz con calamares has its roots in the coastal regions of Spain, where seafood is abundant and forms an integral part of the local cuisine. The dish is believed to have originated in the Valencia region, known for its rich agricultural lands and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. Rice cultivation has been a significant part of Valencia’s history, and the combination of rice with seafood was a natural evolution.

Over time, arroz con calamares gained popularity throughout Spain and became a staple in many households. It is often served during festive occasions, family gatherings, and even as a comforting meal on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The dish’s versatility allows for various adaptations, with each region adding its own unique twist to the recipe.

The Ingredients

To prepare a delicious arroz con calamares, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of squid
  • 2 cups of rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups of fish or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

The Preparation Process

Now that we have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of preparing arroz con calamares:

Step 1: Cleaning and Preparing the Squid

Start by cleaning the squid thoroughly. Remove the head, tentacles, and internal organs. Rinse the squid under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut the squid into rings or slices, depending on your preference.

Step 2: Sautéing the Aromatics

In a large pan or paella pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced bell peppers. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and fragrant.

Step 3: Adding the Squid and Tomatoes

Add the squid to the pan and cook for a few minutes until it turns opaque. Then, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Step 4: Incorporating the Rice and Spices

Add the rice to the pan and stir it well to coat it with the flavors of the sautéed vegetables and squid. Sprinkle the paprika and saffron threads over the rice, giving it a vibrant color and a distinct aroma.

Step 5: Cooking the Rice

Pour the fish or vegetable broth into the pan, ensuring that the rice is fully submerged. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Allow the rice to simmer for about 20 minutes or until it is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

Step 6: Garnishing and Serving

Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve the arroz con calamares hot, straight from the pan. It pairs perfectly with a crisp green salad and a glass of chilled white wine.


1. Can I use frozen squid instead of fresh squid?

Yes, you can use frozen squid if fresh squid is not available. Thaw the squid thoroughly before cleaning and preparing it for the recipe.

2. Can I substitute the squid with other seafood?

While arroz con calamares traditionally uses squid, you can experiment with other seafood such as shrimp, mussels, or clams. The cooking times may vary, so adjust accordingly.

3. Can I make arroz con calamares vegetarian?

Absolutely! You can omit the squid and replace it with vegetables like artichokes, peas, or asparagus to create a delicious vegetarian version of the dish.

4. How can I make the rice more flavorful?

To enhance the flavor of the rice, you can add a splash of white wine while sautéing the vegetables. Additionally, you can incorporate a pinch of smoked paprika or a dash of lemon juice for a tangy twist.

5. Can I make arroz con calamares in advance?

Arroz con calamares is best enjoyed fresh, but you can prepare it in advance and reheat it when needed. Store the cooked dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of broth if needed to moisten the rice.


Arroz con calamares is a delightful Spanish dish that combines the flavors of tender squid, aromatic rice, and a medley of spices. Its rich history and versatility make it a favorite among seafood lovers worldwide. By following the step-by-step recipe provided in this article, you can recreate this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen. So, gather the ingredients, unleash your inner chef, and savor the deliciousness of arroz con calamares!

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