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Spanish Braised Octopus in Paprika Sauce

Prep Time

    •    Prep time: 30 minutes
    •    Cook time: 3 hours & 30 minutes
    •    Yield: Serves 4


    •    1/2 tsp salt
    •    2 to 3 lemons
    •    1/2 cup olive oil
    •    1 tsp black pepper
    •    1 tbsp sweet paprika
    •    1 to 2 pounds octopus
    •    3 chopped garlic cloves


  1. Thaw the octopus in the refrigerator for a day or two.

  2. Wash the octopus thoroughly under running water, paying particular attention to the suckers on the tentacles.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Place the octopus in the pot, cover it and return the water to a boil.

  4. Boil the octopus for 8 minutes.

  5. Take the octopus from the boiling water onto a cutting board and chop off its head. Discard the head for this recipe.

  6. Line a Dutch oven or similar pot with a nest of your choice of Spanish herbs and spices. Possibilities include a combination of oregano, rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, laurel, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme, basil, or parsley. The octopus meat absorbs the flavors of the herbs and spices.

  7. Nestle the octopus legs into the nest of herbs. Cover and cook for three to four hours at 200 F until tender.

  8. Cut the octopus into chunks and keep warm.

For the paprika sauce:

  1. Meanwhile, put the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic in a mortar and pound it until it is a paste. Slowly add the olive oil, stirring and mashing all the while. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you could use a food processor, but the texture will be different.
  2. While the octopus is still warm, put it into a large bowl and toss with the paprika-garlic sauce. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the bowl and toss to combine.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature with slices of lemon.

This great family recipe is thanks to the spruce Eats Recipes at


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