Recipe For Grilled Octopus Greek Style

Octopus marinated in oil and vinegar, or, is pronounced khtah-PO-thee ksee-THAH-toh in Greek.

The marinated version of octopus is especially tender and can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for several days. Octopus is a great favorite in Greek cuisine and can be served as an appetizer or meze, side dish, or main course.

Since octopus loses a lot of volume while cooking, the 4 1/2 pounds specified in this recipe should cook down to 6 servings.

Grill the octopus over high heat until you get a little bit of charring here and there; they’re already cooked, so you are just adding flavor. Drizzle your grilled octopus with really good olive oil, grind some black pepper over them and serve with a wedge of lemon — and a shot of ouzo.
  1. 1100g octopus, cleaned (35 ounces)
  2. 2–3 tbsps red wine vinegar.
  3. 100–120 ml dry white wine (1/2 cup)
  4. 1–2 tbsps honey.
  5. 3 tbsps balsamic vinegar.
  6. 3 white onions, sliced.
  7. 3 tomatoes, chopped.
  8. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.

Greek Grilled Octopus by Chef G

Greek-style Octopus recipe (Xtapodi) 🔗

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

Prep: 5min

Total: 1h


  • 1100g octopus, cleaned (35 ounces)
  • 2-3 tbsps red wine vinegar
  • 100-120 ml dry white wine (1/2 cup)
  • 1-2 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.


How do you tenderize an octopus before grilling?

Last week I came across a Greek food scientist’s report that small amounts of vinegar tenderize octopus. Salting is essential to tenderness, or fatal; brief dips in boiling water tenderize, or long slow cooling, or a rubbing with grated daikon, or the addition of a wine cork to the cooking liquid.

Should I boil octopus before grilling?

A braise in boiling water before grilling will tenderize the meat and prepare it to absorb any marinade. The char of the grill amplifies its flavor and gives it a tender-yet-chewy texture, making octopus a versatile appetizer, side dish, or main.

How is octopus served in Greece?

The simplest method of preparing octopus is to simmer it in liquid. To do this, add the octopus to a saucepan of salted water that has been brought to a boil, immediately turn down the heat, and let the octopus simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.

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