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Over summer, you are pretty much guaranteed to find grilled octopus on the menu of most Greek tavernas – especially at Psarotavernas, which specialise in seafood dishes. 

Trying to make this at home may seem daunting but it’s not that tricky; and although many grilled/BBQ octopus recipes include boiling or poaching the octopus before grilling, the secret to our delicious dish is overnight marination, which will leave your octopus soft, tender and packed with flavour. 


-1/2 x kilo fresh octopus, cleaned

-1 x Spanish onion (cut into chunks)

-3 x cloves garlic (cut in quarters)

-1/2 x cup extra virgin olive oil (extra for drizzling) 

-3 x teaspoons oregano 

-Salt and pepper (to taste)

– 2 x lemons 

-1/4 x cup Ouzo (or white wine) 


-Wash and clean octopus. Drain and cut into large chunks and place into a bowl.

-Add 1/4 x cup of oil, onions, garlic, Ouzo, salt, pepper, and oregano. Mix well and cover with cling wrap. Place in refrigerator and allow to marinate overnight.

-When you are ready to cook your octopus, heat up your charcoal (or gas BBQ) to medium heat.

-Place 1/4 x cup olive oil, juice of 2 lemons, and 1/2 x teaspoon oregano into a small bowl. Mix and set aside. 

-Place octopus on a charcoal grill, brush with olive oil, lemon, and oregano mixture and allow to sear for 5 minutes, then turn. Repeat on the other side and continue to sear and turn for around 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of octopus may take a little longer) or until lightly charred.

-Place grilled octopus on a serving plate, cut it into small pieces. Drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and the remainder of lemon juice and oregano. 

Tips for tender grilled octopus 

  • Make sure the octopus is fresh, try not to use octopus that has been frozen.
  • Allow octopus to dry.
  • Use a charcoal BBQ if possible, rather than gas.
  • Don’t cut the octopus into small pieces until after grilling.
  • For a real Greek island flavour marinate with Ouzo, however, if you don’t have Ouzo, use white wine instead. 

Recipe and Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 


The Athens Guide

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