Mexican-style octopus in guajillo peppers sauce

Summer and hot weather is almost here, try this delicious recipe and its smoky flavors, pair it with your favorite beer, cocktail or any cold drink and imagine you are in vacation in a beach destination.


  • 1 large octopus
  • Bay leaves
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tbsp of coarse salt
  • 3 Jalapeño peppers, stem, and seeds removed.
  • 3 guajillo peppers
  • Salt / Pepper to season
  • Olive Oil

How to clean the octopus and prepare it for cooking:

  • Most of the octopuses you buy at the market or the fishmonger come without organs, if this is not the case, just slice through the head membrane at the base, to create a pocket-type structure with the flesh. Turn the pocket inside out, exposing the entrails and internal organs.
  • Detach the eyes. Pinch together the flesh surrounding the eyes, and neatly slice them off. You can use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife.
  • Remove the beak. Spread the tentacles to locate the beak. The beak is found amid the start of the tentacles. Slice around the base of the beak. Push the beak out. Firmly press the soft surrounds of the beak using your thumbs. This will push it through to the other side so that it can be disposed.
  • Rinse the octopus under cold running water until it is clean. Then place it in a bowl or container.


  • For our recipe we used an Instant Pot, first, add 1 liter of water and set it to boil, once it starts boiling, turn off the heat and holding the octopus from the head pocket submerge the tentacles slowly in hot water for 2 seconds, and lift, repeat this process 3-4 times until the tentacles curl due the effect of boiling water.
  • Drop the whole octopus in the water then add half of the onion, 3 garlic cloves, the bay leaves, the all-spice, coarse salt, and the thyme.
  • Close the lid and set it to pressure cook for 15 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot is done cooking, quick release the steam, open the lid, and drain the octopus. Let it cool down for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice the tentacles by doing 1-inch cuts, and slice the center of the octopus into small cubes.
  • Prepare a quick guajillo sauce: remove seeds and veins of peppers, boil them in some water to soften them, and put them in a blender with half onion, 3 garlic cloves, salt, pepper & the oregano. Reserve.
  • Mince one onion and the jalapeño peppers. Add in one large pan or wok some olive oil and brown slightly the onion and peppers.
  • Add the chopped octopus’s meat, and integrate all ingredients. Finally, add the sauce to the octopus and allow it to braise for 10 minutes at medium to low heat until the sauce thickens.
  • Serve warm with some rice and fresh salad, you can save some guajillo sauce for your guests and also you can add some lime juice to enhance flavor.

Author: F. Guerra

Foodie, amateur cook/baker & a spicy food lover with a sweet tooth.

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