Home » Recipes » Fish & Seafood » Mediterranean Cooked Octopus With Pasta

Mediterranean Cooked Octopus With Pasta

A Mediterranean dish full of flavor and aromas. This octopus with pasta is cooked in an aromatic tomato sauce and takes less than an hour to prepare. Enjoy!
Mediterranean Cooked Octopus With Pasta.

I love Mediterranean dishes with fish and seafood. It’s something that I miss having since moving abroad and the first thing I have when I go back to Greece. When I came across some octopus tentacles at the local store, I just had to buy them. They came already cooked and that saves some time from having to tenderize the octopus beforehand. There are a lot of recipes that I could think of using it in, but I thought to try first a Greek dish that I love, octopus with pasta cooked in an aromatic tomato sauce.

I will be looking out for raw whole octopus too, I’m convinced I’ll find a shop selling some one day. Since the octopus I’m using here is pre-cooked, it takes less than an hour to prepare it, making this cooked octopus pasta a great dish for midweek meals and busy days.

If you also love Mediterranean fish dishes like me, make sure you check my recipe for baked branzino with potatoes (fish plaki) or my squid stew with spinach in a lemony sauce.

Jump to:

Why you should try my recipe

  • Easy to follow recipe.
  • Ready in less than an hour.
  • Full of aromas and flavors with a rich tomato sauce.
  • Details on how to make it with raw octopus.

Ingredients & How-to

To make this Mediterranean octopus you are going to need cooked octopus, ditolini or short macaroni pasta, onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes or passata or peeled, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I’m using cooked octopus tentacles but you could also use raw octopus. For raw octopus, you will need to cook it first in salted water with a bay leaf and some vinegar in for about an hour until it’s tender. So let’s get started!

Ingredients for octopus with pasta.

01. I start with prepping the ingredients. I’m chopping the onion and garlic cloves and set them aside. I cut the octopus into big chunks around 1’’ or 2.5cm. Since I’m using pre-cooked octopus, it’s already soft and easy to cut into pieces.

02. Moving to the pot, I add some olive oil and sauté the chopped onion for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. This brings out the sweetness and flavor of the onion, so it’s a must-do when I’m making stews.

Chopping the octopus into chunks. Sauteing the chopped onion.

03. Next, I add the chopped garlic and tomatoes to the pot. You can use chopped tomatoes or canned peeled tomatoes that you mash with a fork, or a couple of blended fresh tomatoes. Whatever you prefer and have in your pantry. For seasoning, I’m using a bay leaf and a cinnamon stick, and of course some salt and pepper.

If you don’t have any cinnamon sticks around, then you could use half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon. For some extra aroma you could also add a tablespoon of dried mixed herbs or Italian seasoning. I add a cup of water and leave it to simmer for 6-7 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.

04. Then, it’s time to add the octopus and the pasta. I add 2 more cups of water and leave it to simmer for around 40 minutes or until the pasta is cooked. I’m using short tube pasta that is called ditolini or short macaroni but you could also use rotini or gemeli pasta.

Cooking the tomatoes before adding the rest of the ingredients. Adding the pasta and octopus to the pot.

05. Make sure you check it now and then and stir as the pasta will quickly absorb the water and you might need to add a bit more. If there is a little bit of water left in the pot when you turn off the heat, then just cover with the lid and the pasta will absorb it.

Cooked octopus with pasta on wooden spatula.


  • Check the pasta every now and then in case you need to add more water.
  • If you are using fresh tomatoes, cook them 10-15 minutes before adding the pasta and octopus.
  • You could add a teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning to the tomato sauce for more flavor.


  • If you use raw octopus, boil it in salted water with some vinegar and a bay leaf for an hour until it’s tender.
  • Instead of bay leaves, you could use 2-3 allspice kernels.
  • Instead of a cinnamon stick, you could use half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Serving suggestions

We usually have this easy octopus pasta dish served with a nice salad on the side and a slice of crusty bread. Just some arugula with cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or you could pair it with a traditional Greek salad or a cabbage salad.


If you have any leftovers of the cooked octopus with pasta, you could store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stove or in the microwave until it’s piping hot. You could also freeze it for up to 3 months. Then thaw overnight and warm up in a pot or microwave for a few minutes.


  • Can I use raw octopus instead of cooked? If you would like to use raw octopus, then you will have to cook it in advance. Fill in a big pot with water and add some salt, vinegar and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and add the raw octopus. Simmer for an hour until the octopus is tender.

  • What type of pasta can I use for octopus pasta dish? Ditalini or short macaroni is usually used to make this Greek cooked octopus pasta dish. If you can’t find any of those two, then you could use rotini or other small pasta that you have.

Watch the video

Mediterranean Cooked Octopus With Pasta

This cooked octopus with pasta in tomato sauce is so Mediterranean, delicious and ready in less than an hour! You don't need any special cooking skills and it can't really go wrong. A seafood delicacy that combined tender pieces of octopus with al dente pasta cooked in an aromatic tomato sauce. Kali orexi!
Category: Fish & Seafood Difficulty: Easy

4 servings

Prep time

5 minutes

Cooking time


  • 500gr / 17,6oz octopus (cooked)
  • 2 cups pasta ditalini or short macaroni
  • 1 onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped or peeled or passata
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt & pepper


  • Peel and cut the onion into cubes. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Cut the octopus tentacles into chunks around 2cm.
  • Add the olive oil to a pot and saute the onion for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the chopped garlic and tomatoes. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and octopus. Add 2 cups of water and continue simmering for 30-35 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Check occasionally in case you need to add more water.


- You could use 4 plum tomatoes instead of canned.
- Instead of cinnamon stick, you could use half a teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Instead of water, you could use broth.


You could store the cooked octopus with pasta in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 497kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 32g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Fiber: 3g | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 266mg | Sugar: 5g

I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.

Tried this recipe?

Mention @mamazilla.moodforfood or tag #mamazillamoodforfood on Instagram!
This recipe is: dairy free, nut free, egg free, greek savoury,
Recipe keywords: octopus pasta, greek octopus in tomato sauce, mediterranean octopus, cooked octopus