Octopus Salad with Butternut Squash and Feta

After being so happy with my pre-cooked octopus that I purchased to ale Insalata di Polpo, as recommended by Frank Fariello from his blog Memorie di Angelina, I looked for other ways to use it. You’re supposed to be able to fire-grill the pre-cooked octopus, but I’ve enjoyed it many times cooked right from the ocean over fire that I was too skeptical to do that. Plus who wants overcooked octopus.

Then I came across a different salad recipe using pre-cooked octopus. This is a fall salad, also with butternut squash and feta. I was really intrigued and had to make it.

I originally purchased pre-cooked octopus from Fulton Fish Market, which I’ve relied on often for seafood. They sell a huge variety and fish and seafood, but only what’s in season. What I purchased was wild octopus from Spain. This octopus was shipped by Wild Fork and was equally as good.

I adapted this recipe from one I discovered while looking for pre-cooked octopus recipe ideas. If you click the link there are the many reasons listed why pre-cooked octopus is recommended for cooking. I’m not 100% sold. As I said, I’d never pass on fire-grilled octopus, but living in Oklahoma, this is a very handy product, and one I’ll buy again.

Octopus Salad with Butternut Squash and Feta
Slightly adapted

3 – 10 ounces packages frozen butternut squash cubes, thawed, dried with paper towels
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 pound pre-cooked frozen octopus, thawed
Arugula, dressed and slightly wilted using the oil and vinegar
8 ounces of feta cheese
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Vinegar, to taste (I used Mango Sriracha White Balsamic)
Pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons of toasted pumpkin seeds
A few sprigs of parsley
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash cubes in a baking dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until lightly browned. Keep warm while preparing the remaining recipe.

While the squash is in the oven, slice the cooked octopus into rounds, leaving a couple of cute tentacle swirls for decoration. Warm the octopus gently and keep warm.

To prepare the salads, place some of the wilted arugula on the plates. Arrange the warm squash cubes and octopus over the arugula, then add the crumbled feta. Just before serving, sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, a little parsley, plus salt and pepper.

Sprinkle on the olive oil and vinegar to taste. I enjoy more vinegar than most, and this one was good! Fig vinegar or a pear vinegar would also be good on this salad.

If it was closer to the holidays, I’d add some dried cranberries or cherries to the salad! Maybe even some dates!

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Bernadette October 24, 2023 at 6:07 AM - Reply

    Thanks for this great idea Mimi and the information on where to buy the ingredients.

    • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      Thanks! It was so so good.

  2. angiesrecipes October 24, 2023 at 6:48 AM - Reply

    Love octopus! Just saw LIDL will have some frozen one this Thurs. Definitely gotta buy some! Your salad looks scrumptious, Mimi.

    • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 8:52 AM - Reply

      It was so good. I wish I had more today!

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen October 24, 2023 at 7:49 AM - Reply

    I love the sound of pear vinegar, but I’ve never seen it around here. Did you have to order it Mimi?

    • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 8:53 AM - Reply

      Of course I did! There’s not much gourmet where I live. But there is a pear vinaigrette recipe on my blog using a pear! It’s very good.

      • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen October 24, 2023 at 9:01 AM

        Yum, I’ll give it a try!

      • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 9:31 AM

        But I used a spicy mango vinegar that I got from amazon, not pear. I want some fruitiness plus a bit of zing!

  4. Velva October 24, 2023 at 9:38 AM - Reply

    Besides eating a bite, here or there, of octopus, I never enjoyed octopus. I had the opportunity recently to enjoy it while traveling in Greece and Turkey, and I really enjoyed it. Living here in Florida you would think Octopus would be more abundant but it’s really not easy to source. This recipe is intriguing and has opened my mind to expanding my octopus adventure.


    • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 11:25 AM - Reply

      I think it’s more prevalent in colder waters? But it makes sense you enjoyed it in Greece. That would be the best presented and prepared to me.

  5. Gary October 24, 2023 at 3:45 PM - Reply

    This dish looks fabulous. Octopus is so good. 😊

    • Chef Mimi October 24, 2023 at 3:52 PM - Reply

      Oh i know. It’s the best!

  6. Charlie DeSando October 24, 2023 at 7:42 PM - Reply

    That’s a very interesting combination of ingredients. I never would have thought to pair octopus with squash

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 8:43 AM - Reply

      Me, neither! and it works so well!

  7. Tandy I Lavender and Lime October 24, 2023 at 10:50 PM - Reply

    Can you get uncooked frozen octopus? That’s what I do here if I really need one and they are not in season. Freezing helps with tenderising as well.

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 8:43 AM - Reply

      I can, but I was so intrigued by the pre-cooked, and it’s really good! I’m just not tempted to do anything more to it.

  8. Sherry Mackay October 25, 2023 at 1:04 AM - Reply

    I’ve never seen pre-cooked octopus in the shops before. Or any octopus for that matter. then again I haven’t been looking. I do enjoy it though. I remember years ago all the local cafes used to sell baby octopus salads, but now all we get is hamburgers and fries etc…

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 8:44 AM - Reply

      Oh that’s sad. I’d much rather have a baby octopus salad!

  9. Davorka October 25, 2023 at 2:49 AM - Reply

    Lovely combination; I would never think of octopus and butternut squash combination!

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 8:44 AM - Reply

      I know! I’m so glad I discovered this recipe!

  10. spicedblog October 25, 2023 at 6:30 AM - Reply

    I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with octopus, so the pre-cooked version sounds super convenient. We did have grilled octopus at a restaurant not too long ago, and it was quite tasty. The combination of fall flavors here sounds fantastic!!

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 8:45 AM - Reply

      This recipe is exquisite. And perfect for fall.

  11. thatskinnychickcanbake October 25, 2023 at 1:30 PM - Reply

    I had octopus when we were in Athens!! I don’t see it on the menu around here, so it was fun to get a chance to order it at a cafe near our hotel.

    • Chef Mimi October 25, 2023 at 5:03 PM - Reply

      I can’t imagine octopus tasting any better than in Greece! How lucky!

  12. Ben | Havocinthekitchen October 25, 2023 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever paired butternut squash with octopus (nor with any other seafood), bit it looks delicious, elegant, and beautiful!

    • Chef Mimi October 26, 2023 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Ben. It’s really a wonderful recipe.

  13. Ann Coleman October 25, 2023 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    I’ve never tried octopus, but it sure looks good!

    • Chef Mimi October 26, 2023 at 8:34 AM - Reply

      The best way I’ve had it is grilled over fire.

  14. Healthy World Cuisine October 26, 2023 at 8:21 PM - Reply

    Mango Sriracha Balsamic Vinegar? You always find the most intriguing sauces and ingredients. This salad looks like autumn in one delicious bite. Pre-cooked tentacles sure saves you a bit of time.

    • Chef Mimi October 27, 2023 at 8:19 AM - Reply

      Thanks to Amazon, I find all kinds of goodies. I love amazon!!! The pre-cooked octopus is very high quality.

  15. Jeff the Chef October 28, 2023 at 12:03 PM - Reply

    It’s certainly a colorful salad, and that vinegar sounds amazing!

    • Chef Mimi October 28, 2023 at 1:26 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It really worked well with the salad.

  16. Frank | Memorie di Angelina October 29, 2023 at 8:42 AM - Reply

    Intriguing combo of flavors, Mimi! If I ever have some leftover octopus salad I’ll give this a go.

    • Chef Mimi October 30, 2023 at 10:58 AM - Reply

      The salad is truly exquisite!

  17. Raymund October 29, 2023 at 5:19 PM - Reply

    Octopus Salad with Butternut Squash and Feta sounds like a delightful and unique combination. It’s great to hear that you found success with pre-cooked octopus and that it makes this dish more accessible. The mix of flavors and textures, from the tender octopus to the hearty butternut squash and the tangy feta, must create a delightful balance.

    • Chef Mimi October 30, 2023 at 10:58 AM - Reply

      The salad was truly amazing. I’m so glad I made it!

  18. Thao @ In Good Flavor October 30, 2023 at 1:26 PM - Reply

    I’m probably missing out, but octopus is not an ingredient that I use. On the other hand, I think the salad is a great way to incorporate into a fall dish!

    • Chef Mimi October 30, 2023 at 2:42 PM - Reply

      No rules! No everybody needs to love octopus!

  19. David Scott Allen November 2, 2023 at 8:50 AM - Reply

    What a truly unique combination of flavors. As I trust you, I will add it to my list of things to try — but it isn’t a combination that would have stopped me in my tracks! Sometimes I can get fresh octopus here in Tucson but more often than not, I need to buy pre-cooked as well. I often marinate it in some olive oil and pop it on the grill for a few minutes — it doesn’t seem to overcook.

    • Chef Mimi November 2, 2023 at 3:24 PM - Reply

      Oh that’s really good to know! I have so far been wary of cooking to any extent. But fire-grilled octopus is my favorite!

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