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Octopus Salad from Scratch
Light, fresh, and extra delicious

Easy Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad is a fantastic recipe for a cold appetizer, light lunch, or dinner. It's fresh and beautifully seasoned with olive oil. All made from scratch.

Easy Octopus Salad
There are so many different Octopus Salad recipes out there. From Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, and many more. Here in Slovenia, Octopus Salad is known and often prepared too. We usually make it with cooked potatoes, but this time, we kept it super simple. We cook the frozen octopus, then add olives, parsley, onion, garlic, and a bit of chili for spiciness. The dressing is made of olive oil and lemon, but it’s pure perfection nonetheless. A simple recipe, with few ingredients, for any day of the year.

Octopus Salad from Scratch

It's impossible to resist this phenomenal Octopus Salad, especially when using high-quality, local ingredients. This is one of our favorite summer salads, and this is the reason why:

  • fresh, light, flavorful, and inspired by our Slovenian cuisine
  • the octopus is perfectly cooked and sliced into small pieces
  • drizzled with high-quality olive oil with a subtle zing from the lemon juice
  • perfect as a cold appetizer, light lunch, or dinner
  • make it for picnics, celebrations, or take it with you to work/school
  • it's gluten-free, dairy-free, and appropriate for those on a low-carb or keto diet

Octopus Salad

Octopus Salad

Gastronomski zakladi Istre in morja - Maristra

For this recipe, we went on an extraordinary quest. A quest to rediscover Slovenian Istria. A culinary rich and delicious area located in the southwest of Slovenia. The local municipalities Ankaran, Izola, Koper, and Piran, together with the European Union, created a fantastic project called Maristra - Gastronomski zakladi Istre in morja (Maristra - Gastronomic treasures of Istria and sea) to connect tourism and gastronomy in this affluent area. 

The goal of the program is to connect fishers, winemakers with the local gastronomy treasures. This way, we can quickly discover everything Slovenian Istria has to offer too. 

This post is sponsored by the municipality of Ankaran, so we, too, had a fantastic time discovering and relearning Slovenian recipes that are local, delicious, seasonal, and easy to make. The first recipe in our collaboration is this simple Octopus Salad celebrating all the good Slovenian treasures: octopus from the Slovenian sea, high-quality olive oil and olives, and local vegetables like onion and garlic. 

To make this whole Slovenian experience even further, we recommend serving this dish with one of these wonderful Istrian wines: 

  • Malvazija
  • Malvazija Pristna

Try these amazing fish stew - Brodet recipe too. It’s made with delicious Slovenian ingredients that are easily available around the world too.

How to cook Octopus (cooking formula)

Before you plan on cooking the octopus, make sure to freeze it or buy a frozen one. However, if you buy fresh octopus, freeze it. Why? Because when cooking a frozen octopus, you get the most tender, juicy, soft meat—pure perfection.

Follow this simple cooking formula when cooking the octopus:

For each kg or every 2 pounds of the octopus, cook it for 30 minutes. Our octopus had 1.5kg or 3.3 pounds, so we cooked it for 30 minutes + 15 minutes, so 45 minutes total. As simple as that.

Cooking Octopus

Cooking Octopus

How to make Easy Octopus Salad from Scratch

Making Octopus Salad from Scratch is actually quite simple, but it takes a few hours, so we like to prepare it a day ahead. This is how we make it:

  1. First, freeze the octopus, or buy a frozen one. 
  2. Dip the octopus in the water a couple of times, then add the spices and cook the octopus as instructed in the recipe below.
  3. Leave the octopus to cool completely, then peel it.
  4. Prepare the rest of the ingredients for the salad and dressing.
  5. Stir everything together
  6. Serve cold.

Sliced Easy Octopus Salad

Making Easy Octopus Salad from Scratch

Dressing for Easy Octopus Salad

How to store the octopus salad

Store the octopus salad sealed in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2 days. Serve cold.

Try these amazing fish and seafood recipes too


Lets get cooking!

  • serves
    people (appetizer)
  • preparation:
  • cook:
  • total time:


  • Cooking the octopus

    Fill a large pot with water until half full. Place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Using metal thongs, dip the octopus into the boiling water for 5 seconds, then lift it and repeat the process 3 times. Then, dip the octopus into the boiling water, add the bay leaves, peppercorns, onion, and lemon wedges. Cover with a lid and simmer for 45 - 60 minutes, depending on the size of the octopus. The octopus is cooked when you can effortlessly push the forks into the meat.

  • cooling

    When the octopus is cooked, let it cool completely by leaving it in a pot filled with cooking water for at least 2 hours or overnight. Then, using metal thongs, transfer the octopus to a large bowl. Peel the octopus and cut it into smaller slices, and place in a large bowl.

  • Octopus Salad

    Cut the olives in half. Finely dice the onion, garlic, and chili. Chop the parsley, and add all the ingredients to the octopus in a bowl. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the octopus, stir to combine, and serve.


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