Traditional Portuguese Octopus Rice


Indulge in the wonders of Portuguese cuisine with this classic recipe from Portugal, nothing like creamy Octopus Rice. Despite its similarity to seafood rice, Octopus Rice is different. Its consistent pleasure comes from the bold octopus flavour. It’s a steadfast recipe that never fails. Unlike its more variable seafood counterpart, it depends a little on what fish and seafood you choose or what’s available at the time.

The secret of this enticing dish lies in the stock – which comes from the octopus itself – and in cooking the octopus until it is tender and then adding it to the rice at just the right moment, so you get a delicious tomato and octopus rice, with perfectly tender octopus, it’s just oh so delicious, the only drawback is that it doesn’t keep well, so you have to eat it all, no leftovers allowed; D Let’s check out the recipe!

Traditional Portuguese Octopus Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Normal
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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You are going to love this recipe, portuguese style octopus rice is a absolute delight and one of the most delicious way to eat tender octopus.


  • Octopus – 1kg
  • Onion – 1 Large
  • Garlic – 3 Cloves
  • Tomatoes – 2 (or the equivalent in puree)
  • Carolino Rice – 1 cup
  • Water – 2+1/2 cups (From Octopus Cooking Broth)
  • Seafood Stock Cube – 1
  • Bay Leaves – 2
  • Cilantro – A Pinch
  • Olive Oil – A Drizzle
  • Pepper – A Pinch
  • Salt – A Pinch


  1. Begin by cleaning and cooking the octopus. Here are detailed instructions for preparing and cooking octopus to perfect tenderness.
  2. Clean the octopus and remove the entrails. Prepare a large pot with hot water, two bay leaves, a quartered onion, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Once the water boils, dip the octopus in and out of the water three times and leave it in the water the fourth time. This blanching method ensures the skin adheres well and does not separate from the meat.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it cook. A small 1kg octopus should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour to cook.
  5. Remove the octopus from the water and set aside. Cut it into cubes (you can use part of it for other dishes, like grilling the rest).
  6. In a wide pot for cooking the rice, start by preparing a base with finely chopped onion and garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and bay leaves. Sauté until the onion is golden.
  7. Once the onion is golden, add the peeled and chopped tomatoes and let them cook a bit. Then add the rice and a pinch of salt.
  8. Add 2+1/2 cups of the octopus cooking broth, the seafood stock cube, and cook for about 10-15 minutes until the rice is tender.
  9. Add the cubed octopus, let it simmer, taste, adjust the salt and pepper, add some chopped cilantro, mix well, and it’s ready to serve. Bon appétit!
Notes: Some recipes use parsley instead of cilantro or add a dash of lemon juice or vinegar to balance sweetness. You can replace the octopus cooking broth with seafood stock or white wine. Add more rice if you want to stretch the portion of octopus rice.

This recipe for Traditional Portuguese Octopus Rice was originally created on Esta receita de Arroz de Polvo Português foi publicada em português no


Total: 2000 calories; 23 g fat; 122 g carbohydrates; 307 g protein.

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