Lemon Pepper Air Fried Calamari

Lemon Pepper Air Fried Calamari

Sandy Spice
3 minute read

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Get ready to delight your taste buds with our irresistible Lemon Pepper Air Fried Calamari recipe. These crispy calamari rings are coated in a zesty blend of lemon zest, black pepper, and breadcrumbs, then air fried to golden perfection. Serve them alongside marinara sauce or aioli for dipping, and get ready to indulge in a flavor-packed appetizer or snack that's sure to impress.


  • 1 pound calamari rings

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • Cooking spray

  • Marinara sauce or aioli, for dipping


1. Prepare the Calamari Rings:

Start by preparing the calamari rings. If using frozen calamari rings, make sure they are fully thawed before proceeding. Pat the calamari rings dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

2. Make the Coating Mixture:

In a shallow dish, combine the lemon zest, black pepper, and breadcrumbs. This flavorful mixture will form the coating for the calamari rings, adding zesty citrus notes and a hint of spice.

3. Coat the Calamari Rings:

Place the calamari rings in the breadcrumb mixture, tossing them gently to coat evenly. Press the breadcrumbs onto the calamari rings to ensure they adhere well. Make sure each ring is fully coated in the flavorful mixture.

4. Preheat Your Air Fryer:

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) while you prepare the calamari rings. This will ensure that it's hot and ready to cook your calamari to crispy perfection.

5. Air Fry the Calamari Rings:

Lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Arrange the coated calamari rings in a single layer in the basket, making sure they are not overlapping. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the calamari rings in batches.

6. Cook Until Crispy and Golden Brown:

Carefully place the basket in the preheated air fryer and cook the calamari rings for 6-8 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown. Keep an eye on the calamari rings as they cook to prevent them from overcooking.

7. Serve with Dipping Sauce:

Once the calamari rings are cooked to perfection, transfer them to a serving platter. Serve them hot, accompanied by marinara sauce or aioli for dipping. The tangy marinara sauce or creamy aioli adds an extra layer of flavor and indulgence to the dish.

8. Enjoy:

Serve the Lemon Pepper Air Fried Calamari immediately, while they are still hot and crispy. These flavorful calamari rings are perfect for serving as an appetizer or snack at your next gathering or party.

Tips for Success:

  • For extra flavor, you can add additional spices or herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, such as garlic powder, paprika, or dried herbs like oregano or thyme.

  • Make sure the calamari rings are fully coated in the breadcrumb mixture for a crispy exterior.

  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket to ensure even cooking and crispy results. Cook the calamari rings in batches if necessary.

  • Serve the calamari rings with additional lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top, if desired.

  • Garnish the calamari rings with chopped fresh parsley or lemon zest for a pop of color and freshness.

With these tips in mind, you're ready to create a restaurant-quality Lemon Pepper Air Fried Calamari dish that's sure to impress. Enjoy the crispy, golden brown calamari rings paired with tangy marinara sauce or creamy aioli for a delightful culinary experience.

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