Greek-style Octopus recipe (Xtapodi)

Fresh octopus might not be a common sighting outside Greece but nonetheless its one of those dishes that is worthwhile going out of your way to find (i.e. your local fishmonger…)! For many years I have been wary of cooking this little delight at home, even though I was a huge fan when visiting a local tavern especially during my summer island hopping! That is until one day I just decided to get over my fears and give it a try.

So I went to my local taverna and asked them for their recipe. And in typical Greek fashion, I was given a mini-master class in Octopus cooking by the head chef himself! I was surprised to discover that there is really not that much into it. Boil it till done but still “crunchy”, fry it for that extra crispiness and deglaze with some fresh Mediterranean spices and ouzo! And oh my what a delight it turned out to be!

So if you miss your summer holidays, this extra special Greek style octopus recipe will transport you straight to your favorite island! Enjoy!

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Greek-style Octopus recipe (Xtapodi)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (590 votes, average: 4.59 out of 5)
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 55 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Greek


This traditional Greek Octopus recipe will transfer you back to your favorite Greek island! Find out all the secrets to cook the perfect Greek style Octopus


  • 1100g octopus, cleaned (35 ounces)
  • 23 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 100120 ml dry white wine (1/2 cup)
  • 12 tbsps honey
  • 3 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 3 white onions, sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • some chopped parsley


  1. Into a large pan, add the tentacles of the octopus, along with the red wine vinegar, the wine and bay leaves and bring to the boil. Boil with the lid on, on medium low heat, for 40-60 minutes. Do not add any water, because the octopus, will shrink and emit enough water. Be careful not to add any salt, as the octopus is salty enough and not to over-boil it, because it will get mushy. When cooked nicely, the octopus should be crunchy.
  2. When done, remove the octopus from the pan and keep the juices into a bowl.
  3. Into a very hot pan, add the octopus, without the juices, and color nicely for 1 minute. This will allow the octopus to get crispy on the outside.
  4. Add the sliced onions and chopped tomatoes into the pan, along with 1-2 tbsps of olive oil and the garlic and stir. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the onions caramelize.
  5. Deglaze with the balsamic vinegar and wait for it to evaporate. Pour in the juices from boiling the octopus, that you kept aside, and 2 tbsps of honey. Season well with freshly ground pepper, sprinkle with some chopped pasley and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve with some crusted bread and ouzo or tsipouro.

Keywords: Greek Octopus recipe, How to cook Octopus Greek style

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  1. Also great cooked in a little Ouzo

  2. Damian Meehan

    Used Rose wine as no white, coriander as no parsley , yes your. Winner 10/10
    Well done

  3. MEEHAN Damian

    Chips as no bread

  4. When you say 3 onions what does that mean? Three whole yellow/red onions? Green onions?

  5. Best octopus recipe I heave ever cooked. I used garlic leels as I had lots in the garden.

  6. Guy Kirtley

    Quick question: boil octopus till cooked, remove, heat a different pan, when hot add octopus to crisp it up, now do you leave the octopus in the pan when you add the onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and garlic or remove it and set it aside? Was worried if I left it in would that over cook it?

    Thanks, looking forward to trying this one!

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