Insalate - Salads

Traditional Italian Octopus and Potato Salad (Insalata di polipo e patate)

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Do you ever wonder how does traditional Italian octopus and potato salad taste like? 😉

Well, I can describe it as tender, juicy octopus with firm potatoes, garnished with fresh parsley, chopped onion, and extra virgin olive oil.

Sounds good, right?! 😉

I love to prepare this salad because it’s easy and simple and super delicious. It stores well in the fridge and you can make it all year round.

You can make it too! So, lets start!

How do you prepare octopus for cooking?

Once the octopus is defrosted you will need to remove the tooth which is in the middle of the body. Flip it upside and you will see the circle in the middle. That’s the octopus’s mouth. Use the knife to extract the tooth (it looks like a beak).

Run it under the fresh water and rinse it well. Rinse its head too by flipping it inside out.

Once the octopus is cooked you will remove its eyes by simply cutting off that part of the head.

5 Tips to get tender octopus every single time!

1.Never boil the fresh octopus.

Freeze the octopus and then defrost it. Freezing breaks down the fibers of the octopus making it tender when cooked.

2.Use the kitchen meat hammer to beat the octopus.

I always prefer freezing the octopus, but in case of emergency, there is another trick! You can beat it well with your kitchen meat hammer (or rolling pin). And when I say beat it, I do mean it. Two-three hits won’t do it!

3.Cook it with bottle cork (Myth or true)

I don’t throw the cork in the water when cooking the octopus, but many people believe that it helps with making the octopus tender.

4.Cooking time.

Cook the octopus 25 – 30 minutes for every kilogram (2 pounds) of its weight.

5.Resting time

Once the octopus is cooked you should leave it to rest in the water you cooked it for the same amount of time you used to cook it.

Meaning if you cooked it for 1 hour, then it should rest for 1 hour before you start to cut it.

How to make Octopus and Potato salad?

Follow the procedures described in the recipe. Make sure you steam cook potatoes as they will have a better taste and texture. Steaming them, they will not absorb water and get soggy.

What is the fastest way to tenderize an octopus and avoid getting a chewy and rubbery taste?

The best way to get tender and juicy octopus is to freeze it before cooking. You can put it in the freezer over night and then defrost it in the morning.

The octopus should be dipped 3-4 times in the boiling water, before letting it to cook. Every time you dip it and take it out, it will curl its tentacles a bit. After 4 dips tentacles should be well curled and firm.

Dipping it will cause the thermic shock and will additionally break the fibers which will make it more tender on the end.

Then leave it to cook on medium heat for a necessary time.

Can you boil frozen octopus?

No. Octopus should be defrosted before you start to cook it. You want to do a thermic shock on the octopus. If you would put the frozen octopus into boiling water, you would lower down the water temperature and it wouldn’t create necessary thermic shock.

How do you know if an octopus is cooked?

The simple hack to know that your octopus is cooked is to measure time. Set your timer for 30 minutes for every 1 kg (2 pounds) and once the time passes you can use the fork to prick the octopus to see the level of its tenderness.

If you love cooking delicious, nutritious food, here are some recipes you have to try:

  1. Chicken in white wine sauce
  2. Pasta and beans soup
  3. Leek and potato soup

What part of the octopus do you eat?

The whole octopus is edible. Obviously, the tentacles will be more pleasing than the head. But if you are preparing Italian octopus and potato salad you should use all the pieces of your octopus.

How long do the octopus and potato salad last in the fridge?

You can store octopus and potato salad in the fridge for 3-4 days in a well-sealed container.

Did you make this Italian Octopus and potato salad? Please leave a comment and if you share your pics please tags us IG so that we can leave you the like!

Serves 4 persons

Traditional Italian Octopus and Potato Salad (Insalata di polipo e patate)

Everybody loved a good Italian octopus and potato salad. Once you make it once, it will become your preferred festive salad. Try it! You will love it! 🙂

15 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of Octopus
  • 1 kg (2 pounds) of potatoes
  • 1 purple onion (or your preferred kind)
  • bunch of fresh parsley
  • Salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon juice


  1. Defrost the octopus or if you are using the fresh one beat it well with your kitchen hammer.
  2. Remove it's tooth.
  3. Rinse under cold water.
  4. Bring the water to boil and add a generous amount of coarse salt.
  5. Dip the octopus several times in the boiling water, until the tentacles have curled up. For octopus that are the size of 1 kg (2 pounds) I dip them around 4 times, but if you have a large one do it 7-8 times.
  6. Then leave it to cook on medium heat for necessary time (25-30 minutes for every kilogram (2 pounds) of its weight).
  7. Once the octopus is cooked, leave it to rest to cool down in the water, the same amount of time you have cooked it for.
  8. Peel potatoes and cut them in chunks.
  9. I love to steam them instead of regular cooking as they maintain their structure better and they don't absorb water.
  10. Once the octopus has cooled down slice it into nice chunks. I usually try to cut potatoes and octopus into similar sizes.
  11. Chop the onion and fresh parsley (don't add dry one if you don't have fresh).
  12. Take two big bowls.
  13. In one place chopped octopus and in the second potatoes.
  14. Add salt, oil and parsley on each.
  15. Then take one bowl and slide its content into second and repeat the process until all ingredients have mixed well.
  16. By doing it this way you will avoid squishing the potatoes with spoons.
  17. Add lemon juice if you want a bit of zest, but it's not necessary.
  18. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.


This salad stores well in fridge. Keep if in air tight container. Take it out of the fridge 30 min before serving it and add some extra virgin olive oil. Some potatoes types tend to absorb oil and liquid while in the fridge, leaving the salad a bit dry.


gluten free
dairy free
egg free
soy free
wheat free
treenut free
sesame free
mustard free

Write A Comment

Rate this recipe:
Pin it