Today, we had a huge desire to enjoy seafood.
We decided to start our day with an early visit to the local fish market.

Octopus stifado goes really well with linguine pasta


A rule of thumb is that the earlier you get to the market, the better quality you’ll find!
Tightly packed rows of all sorts of seafood were waiting for us!
Fresh catches from seasonal fish to fresh shrimp, shellfish, lobsters and many more unfolded before our eyes.
Amongst them, we spotted a wonderful fresh octopus, which we finally bought.

We were determined to cook the most delicious octopus stifado!
This octopus stifado recipe is magical, because you place everything in a large plus saute pan and then all you need to do is to wait patiently!
The secret to a delicious octopus stifado is to simmer it.
Throughout the whole process, you must not be tempted to lift the lid and stir octopus all the time!

Simmered to perfection…


It is important to emphasize that fresh octopus usually needs more cooking time compared to a frozen one.
Taking all these into account, we’ve sometimes had octopus stifado ready in 1 hour and 30 minutes and sometimes in 2 hours.
It’s vital not to overcook the octopus, because it will turn out completely tasteless.
Moreover, onions should be tender, but not super soft!

If, at the end of the process your sauce in the plus saute pan is still runny, you can transfer the onions and the octopus in a warm platter and continue simmering the sauce without the lid.
When the sauce thickens according to your liking, you can return the octopus and onions into the pan.

Octopus stifado will amaze you with its deep flavor!
You can serve it with fresh pasta, french fries, aromatic rice or delicious mashed potatoes.
Octopus stifado is one of the most interesting dishes of the Greek traditional cuisine.

Enjoy your meal!

Fresh herbs and aromatic spices…


Octopus stifado (Greek octopus stew)

Total Time 2 hours
Servings 4


  • 1,5 kg octopus, rinsed, cleaned and beak removed
  • 1 kg small onions (kokkari onions in Greek, similar to pearl onions or shallots), peeled
  • 1 kg fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped or pureed
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 pimentos
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fine quality red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  • Separate and cut the tentacles and the head of the octopus into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add them in a large plus saute pan.
  • Add the onions, fresh tomatoes, rosemary, pimentos, bay leaves, garlic,red vinegar, olive oil, sugar and tomato paste.
  • Carefully mix with a spatula or a big spoon.
  • Cover with a lid and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer, stirring carefully every 20 minutes, until octopus is fork tender and sauce has reduced.
  • Taste and season according to your preference.
  • Enjoy!