Recipe: Rhode Island Style Calamari at Home

The official Appetizer of the State of Rhode Island!

You don't have to visit Rhode Island to experience the official state appetizer. Rhode Island Style Calamari is easy to make at home: tossed in flour and fried, then served with hot peppers and marinara sauce. This tasty recipe can be on the table in less than 30 minutes. 

Rhode Island Style Calamari was named the official state appetizer in 2014 because more squid is landed in Rhode Island than any other state. The seafood industry has continued to keep jobs and economic activity in the historic Port of Galilee for generations.

The Rhode Island Style Calamari recipe is fried calamari with hot cherry peppers and garlic (sometimes served on fresh salad greens). It's been a tradition to serve Rhode Island Style Calamari since the 1950s, when Italian immigrants arrived and brought their love of calamari with them.

Rhode Island has the highest quality of calamari because of the cold waters and the overall ecosystem. The Longfin Inshore Squid fished off the coast of Rhode Island is bright white and has a sweet flavor that everyone loves.

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Rhode Island Style Calamari


Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 2 minutes

Ready in: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • 1 pound Town Dock tubes and tentacles

  • ¾ cup of flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • Black pepper to taste

  • Corn oil

  • Pickled hot cherry peppers, sliced

  • Sliced Pepperoncini rings, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon pepperoncini juice

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped


1. Begin heating corn oil in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat. Coat pan with about ¼ inch of oil. Mix flour, garlic powder and pepper in a plastic bag. Cut calamari tubes into ½ inch rings trim tentacles.

2. Add calamari rings into the bag and shake evenly coating the calamari. Shake off excess flour.

3. Add ½ pound squid to skillet when oil is very hot.

4. Cook until crisp and brown (approx. 1 ½ minutes). Remove from oil and drain on paper towels, add the rest of squid to oil and repeat.

5. Sautee fresh chopped garlic in oil.

6. Add all peppers and tablespoon pepperoncini juice and heat.

7. Add calamari, evenly coating rings and tents. Serve.