This Sous Vide Octopus recipe is the most foolproof way to get tender, flavorful octopus. Finish it off on a hot grill or skillet to get the most perfect char on the outside. Delicious served with Romesco Sauce, Mojo Sauce or Chimichurri Sauce.
The most simple, surefire way to get octopus every time?
Truth be told, I was totally intimidated to make octopus at home because I’ve had it in restaurants where it was chewy, lacking flavor, and basically not worth it.
But I knew that with the sous vide in my arsenal, I could tackle this one.
The sous vide has been my weapon for tackling so many dishes, and it turns out perfect every time. Sous vide is the way to guarantee perfectly cooked filet mignon, tender & juicy pork chops, and the most amazing chicken breasts ever. But the dish I’d been most eager to try with the sous vide was octopus.
First things first…
What is Sous Vide?
- Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique is amazing because it makes it virtually impossible to overcook your food. Making it perfect for cooking delicate cuts of meat and seafood, like octopus.
Octopus turns out especially great in the sous vide because the low and slow process turns the collagen into gelatin, creating that most perfect tender texture that’s not chewy at all!
I found my spanish octopus online. But you can also find it at the fresh seafood counter or frozen at some supermarkets. It was actually super affordable too! I purchased a medium sized (3 lb.) octopus at it was around $35. That will easily serve 4-6 people as a substantial main course or appetizer.
This recipe works for octopus of any size: baby, medium, or large.
How to Prepare Octopus
My octopus was fully cleaned with the head and beak still attached. You can choose to leave the head attached, and cook it, or simply remove it and dispose of it. (It’s less substantial and tasty than the legs, but can be used in ceviche, stews, etc.) You’ll also need to remove the beak. To do that, look for the black “beak” that’s in the middle of all the legs, right under where the head would be. Use a paring knife to slice around it and carve it out, then dispose of it.
How to Cook Octopus Sous Vide:
- Blanch the octopus quickly in boiling water to allow the legs to curl up. Then chill in an ice water bath.
- Season the octopus with salt and olive oil.
- Vacuum seal to remove as much air as possible using a vacuum sealer or the “water displacement” technique.
- Cook for 5 hours.
- Remove from sous vide and chill in an ice water bath.
- Dry very well with paper towels. (For best results, let sit in the fridge overnight to dry out even further).
- Sear on high heat over a grill or in a skillet.
What Temperature Do You Sous Vide Octopus?
- Tender but firm: 140° F (60° C) for 24 hours (good for soups & stews)
- Very Tender & Soft: 170.5° F (77° C) for 5 hours (good for searing/grilling)
- Tender & Soft: 185° F (85° C) for 24 hours (good for salads and ceviche)
For general purposes, I prefer cooking octopus at 170.5° F for 5 hours.
How Long to Sous Vide Octopus?
- Sous vide octopus at 170.5° F for 5 hours.
Once the octopus is done cooking, it goes into an ice bath. This cooling process ensures that the skin won’t fall off. Once it is cool to the touch, you can either serve it as is, slice it, or give it a good char on a grill or in a skillet (my favorite way to enjoy octopus).
How to Get Crispy Octopus:
My favorite octopus has a good char on the outside and is a bit crispy. To ensure that you get a nice char, you want to be sure to dry the octopus very well once it is done in the sous vide. Pat it dry with paper towels and be sure to dry the tentacles completely. If time allows, my preference is to first dry the octopus with paper towels and then let it sit in the fridge overnight to dry completely. Then, I just sear the octopus right before serving.
You want to be sure to get your grill or a cast iron skillet super hot. Then char it for about 8-10 minutes, flipping occasionally.
If you loved this Sous Vide Octopus recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
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Wine Pairings for Octopus:
- Opt for a lively white wine such as an Italian Verdicchio or a Pinot Gris from Oregon.
- A light-bodied, acidic red wine such as a young, slightly chilled Chianti will work well with this recipe.
What to Serve with Octopus:
- Pan Con Tomate
- Radicchio Salad with Olives & Parmesan
- Creamy Polenta
- Crispy Brussels Sprouts
- Blistered Shishito Peppers
Sauces for Octopus:
More Sous Vide Recipes:
- Sous Vide Pork Chops Recipe
- Sous Vide Lamb Chops
- Sous Vide Chicken Breasts Recipe
- Sous Vide Filet Mignon
- Sous Vide Ribeye Steak with Compound Butter
- Sous Vide Infused Vodka
- Sous Vide Homemade Limoncello Recipe
Sous Vide Octopus
- 1 medium octopus (about 3 pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (plus additional for searing)
- Kosher salt
- Fill a large pot with water, and bring it to a boil. Preheat sous vide to 170.5 degrees.
- Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the octopus to the boiling water and cook for not more than 1 minute, just until the tentacles curl up a bit. (This is optional, but ensures a nice shape for your sous vide octopus). Remove with tongs and add to the ice water bath.
- Once cool, add the octopus, olive oil and a pinch of salt to a FoodSaver bag and seal using vacuum sealer. Alternatively, you can use the water displacement method, however, I would recommend double bagging the octopus. If the octopus is very large, you may want to cut it into two or more portions.
- Place the bag in the water bath, making sure not to block the intake or output sections of the sous vide, and cook for 5 hours.
- Meanwhile, set up another ice bath. Transfer the cooked, bagged octopus to the ice bath. (This step ensures that the skin won't fall off)
- Once it is cool to the touch, you can either serve it as is, slice it, or give it a good char on a grill or in a skillet.
- To char, heat a grill or cast iron skillet to high heat. Dry the octopus very well with paper towels and drizzle it with olive oil. Cook until charred, flipping occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
14 thoughts on “Sous Vide Octopus Recipe // Tender & Flavorful”
I haven’t cooked octopus before, but recently got a sous vide and we love octopus! So when I read your blog, I was stoked. We bought an octopus at our lical fish market today and my question is… are you cleaning it before you cook it? Or are you boiling it whole? Rivers if gratitude.
Hi Michelle – My octopus was fully cleaned with the head and beak still attached. You can choose to leave the head attached, and cook it, or simply remove it and dispose of it. (It’s less substantial and tasty than the legs, but can be used in ceviche, stews, etc.) You’ll also need to remove the beak. To do that, look for the black “beak” that’s in the middle of all the legs, right under where the head would be. Use a paring knife to slice around it and carve it out, then dispose of it.
Made this last night with friends. Thank you for a great recipe! The octopus was perfectly cooked and served with romesco sauce. Everyone loved it. I will definitely try some more of your recipes!
I’m so happy to hear that Lauren!
WOW… Just made this and it was ridiculous good… perfect instructions on the recipe… highly recommend making chimichurri along with the romesco… citrus rounds out the dish well. Served with butter beans that added a creamy component
Yummy!!! That’s looking so delicious. I will surely try it for my family…
Just read this recipe and can I use frozen octopus tentacles and would this recipe work in an Instant Pot Sous Vide feature?
Hi Don – I haven’t yet tried out the Instant Pot sous vide feature, but I think it should work!
how long do you cook a 500gram occy in the sous vide?.. recipe says 3lb or approx 1.5 kilos for 5 hrs?? is it the same for smaller occies?
Hi Carmela – You should be able to cut an hour off the sous vide time.
Recipe looks interesting. I’ve done Octopus several times with varying degrees of success. I have a 6lb in my freezer now that I’m thinking of doing this weekend. Do you remove it from the vac sealed package when putting it in the ice bath after cooking. If you leave it overnight to dry do you give it a light brushing of olive oil prior to searing on the grill or a cast frypan? Thank you and I’ll gladly let you know how it goes
Thanks Elliott! I hope you enjoy it! Sounds like a great weekend project 🙂
Sous vide this Friday night for 6 hours as I had a 6.5lb octopus. Seared it Saturday night. Served it with a mango salsa. Absolutely delish. Thank you