Seppie ripiene – Stuffed cuttlefish

Seppie ripiene – Stuffed cuttlefish – 10Rosso CC BY 2.0

Seppie ripiene – Stuffed cuttlefish

Small cuttlefish baked with a stuffing of chopped mussels and squid, capers, breadcrumbs, grated pecorino.

Stuffed cuttlefish is a delicious second course, typical of Apulian cuisine, simple to prepare, but which everyone will appreciate for its inviting aroma and delightful flavor!

Simple and quite fast to prepare, it will look great on your tables, and you will see that everyone will appreciate it!
Stuffed cuttlefish are also light, made with simple ingredients, and cooked in the oven. But, at the same time, they are a delicious and flavorful second course because the cuttlefish will be transformed into tender and succulent stuffed caskets with a delightful and tasty filling. In short, it is a recipe that combines the firm texture of the meat of the cuttlefish with a soft and irresistible filling!
Cooking in the oven will give that inviting golden crust, and the sauce that will give off will be an irresistible appeal to your guests. But, of course, the potatoes will be the perfect accompaniment!


4 Cuttlefish (about 450 g each)
80 gHaltamura breadcrumbs
40 mlMilk
1 clove of garlic
1 Egg (medium)
80 gGrated pecorino cheese
q.b.Extra virgin olive oil

How to make

Remove the crust from the slices of bread and cut them into cubes.

With your hands, sbricioliamole further into a large bowl.

Advice: use Altamura bread or homemade bread to obtain a soft and not rubbery texture and a much more robust and tastier flavor.

Add some milk.

We knead everything with our hands so that the milk penetrates well inside the bread.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, let’s dedicate ourselves to cleaning the cuttlefish: mine were already semi-cleaned, but you can also buy them ready-made from your trusted fishmonger.
Use cuttlefish of medium size (about 400-450 gr each) and not too big!

Remove the head, remove the tooth from the center of the tentacles, pressing it upwards with your hands.

Use scissors to cut out the eyes and remove them (be careful of ink splashes).

Rinse the heads thoroughly underwater.

Open the mantles of the cuttlefish, eliminating the leathery side part.

After rinsing them well, set them aside.

With a knife, remove the lower part of the head (opposite the tentacles).

We proceed in this way for all the heads of the cuttlefish.

Finally, chop up both the tentacles and the heads (only of 2 cuttlefish).

Leave the other two heads whole and set them aside.

Let’s now deal with the filling.

Add the chopped cuttlefish heads to the mixture with the bread.

Peel a clove of garlic and remove the soul, i.e., the most indigestible central part.

Crush the clove with a garlic press (or chop it finely with a knife) and add it to the mixture with the bread.

We also add a pinch of salt and pepper, a handful of chopped parsley, an egg, and grated pecorino cheese.

Mix everything well with your hands until you get a homogeneous mixture.

TIP: Add a handful of breadcrumbs if the stuffing is too moist and not very workable.

The mixture obtained should be soft but not too much so that you can stuff the cuttlefish.

Let’s proceed now to stuff the cuttlefish with the stuffing: take a cuttlefish, open it slightly and fill it with some of the fillings.

Press with your hands so that the stuffing adheres perfectly and penetrates inside the cuttlefish.

TIP: do not overdo it with the stuffing because the cuttlefish will tend to shrink a lot during cooking.

Once filled, bring the edges closer together (i.e., the part from which we had removed the head) and seal them with a toothpick so that the filling does not come out while cooking.

Proceed in this way for all the other cuttlefish.

Place the cuttlefish, along with the two whole heads (which we had left aside), in a lightly oiled baking dish (or lined with baking paper).

Sprinkle the part with the stuffing with a pinch of breadcrumbs so that a delicious crust forms during cooking.

Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Finish by drizzling with a bit of oil.

We cook the stuffed cuttlefish in a static oven preheated to 200°C for about 35 minutes.
Finish with a few minutes of grilling.

TIP: Adjust the cooking time according to your oven and the size of your cuttlefish!

You will see that their cooking will have released a delicious sauce and formed a flavorful crust at the end of their cuisine.

Serve hot or lukewarm, drizzling with the released sauce and another small sprinkling of chopped parsley.

The potatoes will be the perfect accompaniment!

As an alternative to baked potatoes, you can also opt for simple boiled potatoes seasoned with a pinch of salt, parsley, and the delicious sauce the cuttlefish will have released during cooking.

Serve this delicious seafood dish with a good glass of aromatic white wine, enhancing the flavor and making it even more pleasant to taste these fragrant and succulent stuffed cuttlefish.

Seppie ripiene – Stuffed cuttlefish is a regional recipe from Puglia.

Enrico Massetti was born in Milan, Italy.
Now he lives in Washington, DC, USA.
Still, he regularly visits his hometown
and enjoys going around all the places in his home country
especially those he can reach by public transportation.

Enrico loves writing guide books on travel in Italy
to help his friends that go to Italy to visit
and enjoy his old home country.
He also publishes books on the Argentine tango dance.

You can reach Enrico at