Frozen Calamari Air Fryer Cooking Method: Quick and Tasty!

Any time we go out to eat, particularly at Italian restaurants, I always end up with calamari for an appetizer. There’s just something perfect about those salty, crunchy rings! Instead of shelling out for a night out, though, I’ve swapped to frozen calamari in the air fryer instead.

frozen calamari in the air fryer dinners done quick

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

No more slicing, breading, and doing all the hard work when all you need to do is reach into the freezer! These frozen calamari come ready to cook, with no defrosting required when you use your air fryer.

In under 10 minutes, you’ll have perfectly crisp breading on your calamari, just ready to be dipped in marinara or your other favorite sauces!

holding a piece of crispy air fryer calamari

These easy frozen calamari rings are great to have on hand for a snack or appetizer anytime. They’re perfect as part of a fried seafood platter for a complete meal too!

What You’ll Need

frozen calamari next to packaging
  • Frozen calamari, any brand
  • Dipping sauce if desired (optional)

Ingredient Tips and Notes

  • I have Phillips frozen salt and pepper calamari here (from Aldi) but you can use any brand. Some other favorites are Seapak, Ocean Royale, or Tasty Catch
  • While calamari is tasty on its own (especially this salt and pepper seasoned version) it’s also delightful dipped in marinara, sweet chili sauce, or aioli

How to Cook Frozen Calamari in Air Fryer Step By Step

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  2. Remove frozen calamari from all exterior packaging. Place into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
frozen calamari in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 6 minutes at 400°F, pausing halfway through to flip them
  2. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F for food safety. Add additional cooking time in small increments (1-2 minutes) to achieve this if necessary
  3. Serve with your favorite dipping sauces!
overhead view of air fried calamari in a bowl

What to Serve With Calamari

  • Seafood risotto
  • Squid ink pasta
  • Coleslaw
  • Papaya salad
  • Potato salad
  • Fries
  • Polenta
  • Grits
  • Spring rolls
  • Stir fry vegetables
  • Yellow curry
  • Green salad
  • Tartar sauce
  • Remoulade
  • Sweet chili sauce
  • Marinara
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Ranch
  • Garlic or lemon aioli
  • Malt vinegar
  • Lemon wedges

Calamari pairs so well with a variety of other dishes as well as sauces for dipping when serving as an appetizer or snack.

Serve your frozen air fryer salt and pepper calamari with my easy Microwave Garlic and Cheese Grits, crispy Air Fryer Frozen Spring Rolls, quick Air Fryer Ore Ida Fries, or just some lemon wedges and garlic aioli. Yum!

Recipe FAQs

Can You Fry Frozen Calamari in an Air Fryer?

You can air fry frozen calamari in an air fryer, though it’s not quite the same as deep frying. However, the process delivers a similar crispy exterior without the need for lots of oil.

Frozen calamari may be cooked directly from frozen, requiring no defrosting.

What Temperature Do You Cook Frozen Calamari in an Air Fryer?

Typically, you cook frozen calamari at a temperature of 400°F in an air fryer.

However, if that setting isn’t available to you, you can use a temperature of 370°F – 380°F and cook for a few extra minutes.

How Long to Air Fryer Frozen Breaded Calamari Rings?

Frozen breaded calamari rings need to air fry between 6-10 minutes on average.

The thicker the rings, the longer it will take, and times will vary slightly between air fryer models.

Why Is My Calamari Rubbery?

Calamari only gets rubbery when it is overcooked. It’s important to use small increments of cooking time and to check it frequently near the end of the cook cycle.

Calamari is done when it’s opaque in color and the internal temperature reaches 145°F for food safety. Note that this is a USDA guideline and that often the recommended temperature is 135°F or above.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Most frozen breaded calamari comes with oil in the breading already, so no additional oil needs to be added before cooking
  • If you are cooking unbreaded, plain calamari rings then reduce cooking time to 5 minutes to start
  • My frozen Phillips salt and pepper calamari was perfect after 6 minutes in a Ninja air fryer. Times may vary for different air fryers and brands of ingredients
  • Some frozen breaded calamari comes with dipping sauce included (Phillips has a pineapple sweet chili sauce). While the calamari cooks, run the sauce packets under hot water to defrost
  • I recommend using tongs to flip the calamari as the breading is somewhat delicate and tends to fall off if you just shake the basket
air fryer calamari in a bowl with lemon and dipping sauces

Storage and Reheating

  • Store leftover calamari in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not refreeze once cooked
  • Reheat leftover calamari rings in the air fryer for 4-6 minutes at 400°F, or until heated through

More Air Fryer Frozen Seafood to Try

Final Thoughts

This frozen calamari air fryer cooking method delivers crispy, perfectly cooked calamari straight from your freezer.

Whether you’re using this tasty salt and pepper calamari or plain doused in your favorite sauces, it’s a perfect snack or appetizer anytime!

Since it takes under 10 minutes to cook up, it’s even perfect for a light meal or as part of your weekday seafood feast!

frozen calamari in the air fryer dinners done quick featured image

Frozen Calamari Air Fryer Cooking Instructions

Frozen calamari cooks up perfectly in under 10 minutes in your air fryer! Whether you have Phillips salt and pepper or another variety, they’re all great for air frying.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Seafood
Servings 2
Calories 240 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 10 Ounce frozen calamari, any brand (Phillips salt and pepper pictured)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F
  • Remove frozen calamari from all exterior packaging. Place into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
    10 Ounce frozen calamari, any brand
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 6 minutes at 400°F, pausing halfway through to flip them
  • Frozen calamari are cooked when the internal temperature reaches 145°F. Add additional cooking time in small increments (1-2 minutes) to achieve this if necessary
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauces!

Notes

  • You can use any brand of frozen calamari. Some other favorites are Seapak, Ocean Royale, or Tasty Catch. Larger sized rings generally take closer to 8 minutes
  • While calamari is tasty on its own (especially this salt and pepper seasoned version) it’s also delightful dipped in marinara, sweet chili sauce, or aioli
  • Most frozen breaded calamari comes with oil in the breading already, so no additional oil needs to be added before cooking
  • If you are cooking unbreaded, plain calamari rings then reduce cooking time to 5 minutes to start
  • My frozen Phillips salt and pepper calamari was perfect after 6 minutes in a Ninja air fryer. Times may vary for different air fryers and brands of ingredients
  • Some frozen breaded calamari comes with dipping sauce included (Phillips has a pineapple sweet chili sauce). While the calamari cooks, run the sauce packets under hot water to defrost
  • I recommend using tongs to flip the calamari as the breading is somewhat delicate and tends to fall off if you just shake the basket
  • Store leftover calamari in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not refreeze once cooked
  • Reheat leftover calamari rings in the air fryer for 3-5 minutes at 400°F, or until heated through
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand and flavor of ingredients, any sauces or sides added, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 85gCalories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 10gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 830mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Keyword air fried calamari, air fryer calamari, air fryer squid, calamari, frozen calamari, frozen calamari air fryer, frozen calamari recipe, frozen calamari rings, frozen calamari rings air fryer, phillips frozen calamari air fryer
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frozen calamari in the air fryer dinners done quick pinterest
Katie Vine
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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