What to Serve With Grilled Octopus: 15 Sides + 3 Wines

Trying your hand at grilled octopus?

This Mediterranean delicacy is tender, juicy, and packed with flavor and nutrients. You can serve it on its own, as a main dish, or even as an appetizer!

If you’re already going all out and making octopus, you should do it justice by serving it with the perfect accompaniments.

Along with a few of the perfect wine pairings, I’ve composed this list of my absolute favorite dishes to serve with grilled octopus, including:

And more. Let’s get straight to it!

1. Mediterranean Couscous

This simple couscous recipe is light, fluffy, and super flavorful! It also contains pistachios, which give it a protein boost along with an interesting, diverse texture and rich, nutty flavor.

To make this salad, you first need to cook a cup and a half of couscous, dice a quarter of a red onion, and shell a third of a cup of pistachios.

Then, combine these ingredients along with olive oil, mint leaves (dried is fine), lemon juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, serve and enjoy!

2. Greek Tzatziki

Tzatziki is one of my all-time favorite foods, and there is definitely a reason that some versions of it can be found in many different cultures. It’s creamy, tangy, refreshing, and complements so many foods so perfectly.

This Greek-style Tzatziki keeps things classic and delicious and is super quick and easy to make as well!

Simply peel and grate a cucumber, and squeeze in a cheesecloth to get all extra moisture out.

Then, combine in a bowl with two cups of plain Greek yogurt, a clove or two of minced garlic, a quarter cup of chopped dill, the juice of half a lemon, and salt to taste.

If you’re serving this as a side dip, garnish with a drizzled tablespoon of olive oil, some whole olives, and extra dill!

3. Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables

This roast vegetable medley is tasty, comforting, and super healthy! It’s simple to make, and you can easily modify it to your tastes.

I recommend using seasonal vegetables that work well together, but as a guide, this recipe uses zucchini, carrot, red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, yellow squash, and cherry tomato.

Once you’ve chopped your veggies to all be in roughly the same size pieces, season with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, thyme, oregano, za’atar or sumac, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet, and roast for thirty to thirty-five minutes.

Make sure to stir your veggies halfway through to ensure they cook evenly! I like to cook them a little on the long side to get them super tender with a little charring on the outside, but it’s all down to personal preference.

4. Spicy Garlic Sauteed Spinach

This simple spinach recipe is shockingly addictive.

It’s easy, simple, and uses up two bags of spinach – which means you’ll be consuming loads of iron, b-12, and other essential nutrients!

While two bags of spinach may seem like a lot, you’ll be surprised how much it shrinks when cooked!

This recipe is fast – under five minutes, in total – and super straightforward as well. Just heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan and add in six minced garlic cloves and a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes (adjust to account for personal taste.)

Then, add in your spinach and cook until wilted, garnish with sea salt, and serve immediately!

5. Fennel and Orange Salad

This salad is so fresh, juicy, sweet, and irresistible. It’s quick and easy to make too, taking under ten minutes (including making your own dressing) and using just a handful of ingredients.

To prepare it, combine two cups of spring mix or salad green of your choice in a bowl with chopped fennel and shallots, and thinly sliced rounds of grapefruit and navel orange.

For the dressing, mix three to four tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, sumac, dried oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small container. Then, dress the salad, toss it to combine, and serve!

6. Warm Potato Salad

If you prefer a warm, heartier salad, potato salad is always a hit!

I mean – who can say no to potatoes and bacon? This salad is savory, creamy, satisfying, and delicious.

It’s pretty easy to make as well! Rather than the boil and mash or chop process (with lots of cooling time) that happens with typical potato salads, for this recipe, you simply roast your potatoes.

As well as being easier, this gives them a lovely crunchy outside!

While your potatoes are roasting, sautee a diced large onion in butter until soft and translucent and make your dressing of mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, Tabasco, salt, and pepper.

Then, combine your warm potatoes with the onion and dressing, along with chopped dill pickles, fresh green onion, and crumbly bacon bits.

7. Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

In my opinion, polenta is criminally underrated – though it is slowly gaining in popularity across the world!

If you’re unfamiliar, polenta is ground corn meal – similar to grits but with a much firmer texture that holds its shape really well.

In this recipe, you prepare the polenta according to the packet instructions on the stovetop, then stir in butter and parmesan cheese (the recipe uses vegan, but whatever you have on hand will be okay!), spread in a baking pan, and move to the fridge to set.

Then, roast tomatoes seasoned with balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar until tender. Finally, slice the polenta and grill the slices until the grill marks show, and serve topped with cheese and the roast tomatoes!

8. Aioli Dipping Sauce

This aioli sauce recipe is super simple, but it’s the perfect addition to any meal.

It’s super creamy, zesty, and garlicky, and along with serving it next to grilled octopus and other meats, this sauce is perfect for dipping fries into or even slathering on burgers and sandwiches!

To prepare this aioli, all you need to do is mix together a half cup of mayonnaise with a minced clove of garlic, a tablespoon of lemon juice, two teaspoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. That’s it!

9. Chilled Gazpacho

If you’re looking for the perfect hot weather dish, you can never go wrong with gazpacho.

This recipe makes a chunky, cooling, and super fresh chilled soup, ideal for refreshment and enjoyment.

It comes together in just 30 minutes as well, and half of that is chilling time!

Simply mix together a cup of finely chopped cucumber and orange bell pepper with six diced Roma tomatoes and finely minced garlic, red onion, and jalapeno.

Then, add in lime juice, zest, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and four cups of tomato juice, season with salt and pepper and hot sauce, and chill. Serve chilled or at room temperature!

10. Arugula and Parmesan Salad

This easy salad comes together in under five minutes, but it still packs a delicious flavorful punch!

It’s simple, fresh, and highlights the quality of the ingredients by lightly dressing them and letting them shine.

To make this salad, first whip up a dressing of three tablespoons each of olive oil and lemon juice, one minced garlic clove, two tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese, and a little salt and pepper.

Then, mix together arugula and shaved parmesan, dress, toss, and serve! I love this salad as is, but if you want to make it more complex you can add more ingredients; cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and pine nuts all come to mind.

11. White Bean Puree

If you’re looking for a super creamy dip that is dairy-free and packed full of protein, this white bean puree is calling your name.

It’s savory, simple, and delicious – perfect as a side, or for dipping!

To make white bean puree, you first saute half an onion (chopped) until soft and translucent, then add in a minced clove of garlic and cook for another minute.

Following that, add a rinsed can of cannellini beans, garlic and onion, a quarter cup of vegetable stock, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to a food processor or blend, and blend until smooth.

You can adjust the amount to stock to get the puree thinner or thicker if you desire!

12. Pita Bread

Pita bread is tasty, versatile, and surprisingly easy to make yourself! These pit pockets are light and fluffy, perfect for filling, dipping, or just enjoying.

It takes a little while to make this recipe, but it doesn’t take any crazy cooking skills or special equipment – only patience!

You first activate your yeast by adding it to a bowl with warm water and sugar, stirring, and then leaving it to sit for ten or so minutes.

Then, combine flour and salt and add in your yeast mixture, as well as a third cup of milk (of your choice).

Knead with your hands or in a mixer until combined, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap at let rise until doubled in size (about an hour to an hour and a half.)

Divide the dough into balls, place on a greased cookie sheet, and let rise for another thirty to forty-five minutes before rolling them flat and baking them three or four at a time until puffed up!

13. Saffron Rice Pilaf

This rice pilaf is savory, spiced, and gently sweet, as well as beautiful to look at; it has a deep golden color from the saffron and other spices.

To make it, you pre-soak your basmati rice and saffron (separately), saute onion and garlic in butter oil and spices, and then add in your rice, toasted mixed nuts, and fruits.

This process infuses the rice with rich and intricate flavors as it cooks!

14. Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This super simple recipe comes together in under an hour and makes the perfect roasted sweet potatoes.

They’re caramelized and crispy on the outside, soft and melt in your mouth on the inside, and the perfect blend of salty, savory, and sweet.

To make it, simply cut your sweet potatoes into inch cubes, coat them with olive oil, melted butter, and salt and pepper, and roast in the oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes.

Serve as is, or brush with more butter and drizzle a little honey!

15. Quick Pickled Vegetables

If you’d like to serve a veggie of your choice, one that’s in season, or one that you think pairs especially well, why not mix things up by quick pickling it?

It’s surprisingly simple to pickle vegetables at home as well! Just prep the veggies of your choice, layer them in jars, with spices, and pour in your boiled pickling liquid.

Then, seal the jars and refrigerate for at least eight to twelve hours (ideally a couple of days) and serve them with whatever you like!

Wines:

1. Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko is a Greek white wine, unique in its ability to retain dryness even when made using very ripe grapes. It’s a dry, sweet, and almost syrupy wine, perfect for indulgence.

2. Albariño

Albariño is made primarily in Portugal and Spain and is an acidic, botanical white. It’s a lighter wine, sitting at around 11%, making it perfect for a glass (or two) in the afternoon.

3. Vermentino

Vermentino is a light-bodied, Italian, white wine. It’s often sweet, and intricate with both dry and fruity varieties.

What to Serve With Grilled Octopus

Print Recipe
Course Side Dish
Keyword Grilled Octopus, Octopus
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • Mediterranean Couscous
  • Greek Tzatziki
  • Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables
  • Spicy Garlic Sauteed Spinach
  • Fennel and Orange Salad
  • Warm Potato Salad
  • Grilled Polenta with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes
  • Aioli Dipping Sauce
  • Chilled Gazpacho
  • Arugula and Parmesan Salad
  • White Bean Puree
  • Pita Bread
  • Saffron Rice Pilaf
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Quick Pickled Vegetables
  • Wines:

Instructions

  • Select a side dish.
  • Pick a wine.
  • Enjoy!!