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Air Fryer Calamari Recipe

This air fryer calamari recipe is one of my son’s favorite recipes to cook. It is quick and easy with just a few ingredients needed to serve this delicious dish. 

air fryer calamari

Easy, healthy, budget-friendly, and tasty…these are descriptions of the recipes right under my son’s alley. My son as a college student residing in a dormitory, there are not many options to choose from. With insufficient time and space, not to mention money, coming up with a hearty and delightful treat is essentially close to null.

College undergraduates constantly struggle to eat a proper meal, with the frenetic schedule and not enough food subsidy to spare. All cramped up in a tiny space, cooking often is a challenge. On top of this, researching, studying, and working on projects can drain you out with all the energy in the world. Besides sleeping, which my son is always deprived of, eating a tasty and healthy meal reinstates his vigor as he threads the sea of paperwork and exams.

To survive, he learns to be resourceful with the equipment you have like a rice cooker, microwave oven, and toasters. Please make use of ingredients within your budget and make them edible to a certain extent. Often, you wonder when you can a homecooked meal or restaurant-quality dish.

One day, I discovered this recipe. It was simple and fun to cook; I dared to jump right into the challenge. Eureka! I felt like Einstein came up with an ingenious way to fight malnutrition in the 20th century for all college students. This recipe broke all my bias and brought me on an all-time high. I felt accomplished and famous even to my son’s peers after cooking this sumptuous meal.

air fry calamari recipe

What Makes A Good Air Fryer Calamari?

Let me start off by declaring that whoever came up with the air fryer was a genius for responding to the desires of ailing students dying for fine food. Who would ever think you can have delicious calamari without soaking in hot oil?

A good air fryer calamari is simple, healthy, budget-friendly, and tasty. Fresh squid or calamari rings from the grocery is the secret to this recipe. You can still use frozen squid, but the fresh ones will take the dish up a notch. Have your fishmonger cut it for you, especially for young cooks. Cut the rings thinly and evenly. They have to be cooked properly.

air fryer calamari breaded

Preparing the coating is an easy feat. It can be messy but fun at the same time. The good thing is you can even ask your friends to coat the calamari rings for you. Just ensure that they coat them properly to get that crispy bite.

Calamari rings are best cooked in a deep fryer with lots of oil. Eating it without the greasy feel makes this iconic dish at par, or even better than its deep-fried counterpart. The thick, crunchy coating the chewy texture of the squid is the cherry on top of a cake. As if you bought one from a bar.

calamari in air fryer

Air Fryer Calamari

Air fried calamari in just a few minutes

Course Appetizer
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 2


  • 6 oz Calamari Rings If you can't find fresh squid, go for frozen but they should be thawed, washed, and pat dry.
  • 1 piece Egg beaten
  • 1 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • Non Stick Cooking Spray


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: corn meal, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper. In a separate bowl, add flour.

  2. Crack and beat the egg in a separate bowl.

  3. To avoid mixing the wet and dry ingredients together, use your right hand for the wet ingredients (beaten eggs) and left hand for the dry ingredients (corn meal mixture) and flour.

  4. Coat the rings with the flour first, then the egg, then the corn meal mixture. Dust off any excess flour.

  5. Place the coated calamari rings in the air fryer cooking basket. Spray them with non stick cooking oil. Cook at 320F for 12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Cook in batches if needed.

  6. Garnish with lemon wedges.

  7. Serve with tartar sauce or your choice of dipping sauce.

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