Greek Octopus and onion stew recipe (Octopus stifado)

Greek Octopus and onion stew recipe (Octopus stifado)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 80 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stew
  • Cuisine: Greek


A traditional Greek octopus stifado recipe! This simple octopus stew is the perfect dish for the Lenten period! The octopus is braised with wine, shallot onions, tomato, aromatic herbs and spices creating a delightful stew.



  • 1 large octopus (cleaned), approx. 1 kg (35 oz.)
  • 2 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 1 kg baby shallot onions, peeled (35 oz.)
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 of a cup olive oil
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 34 allspice berries
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. To prepare this delicious Greek octopus stifado recipe, place the octopus in a large pot, pour in 1 cup of water and the vinegar. Boil the octopus for about 20 minutes. Remove the octopus from the pan, chop into pieces and place in a bowl along with 1 cup of the broth.
  2. In the meantime peel the shallots and carve them crosswise. A little trick to peel them more easily is to place the shallots in a bowl full of water and leave them in the fridge overnight.
  3. In a saucepan add the oil and shallots (whole) and sauté (medium heat) for about 10 minutes or until softened. Turn the heat up, add the octopus and sauté. Add the tomato paste, grated onion and garlic and sauté for 1 more minute.
  4. Pour in the red wine, 1 cup of the hot broth, the bay leaves, allspice berries and season. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let the octopus stifado simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or until the octopus is tender and the sauce has thickened. If the sauce needs some more thickening, then let it cook for a while uncovered.

Keywords: Greek Octopus Stew recipe, Octopus stifado, Xtapodi stifado