Chipirones encebollados is a traditional Spanish dish that combines tender baby squid with a flavorful onion sauce. This mouthwatering recipe is a favorite among seafood lovers and is often enjoyed as a tapa or main course. In this article, we will explore the origins of chipirones encebollados, the ingredients needed to prepare this dish, and step-by-step instructions to recreate it at home.

The Origins of Chipirones Encebollados

Chipirones encebollados originated in the coastal regions of Spain, where fresh seafood is abundant. The dish showcases the simplicity and elegance of Spanish cuisine, combining the delicate flavors of squid with the sweetness of caramelized onions. It is believed to have originated in the Basque Country, a region known for its rich culinary traditions.


To prepare chipirones encebollados, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 500 grams of baby squid (chipirones)
  • 2 large onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


Follow these step-by-step instructions to prepare chipirones encebollados:

  1. Clean the baby squid by removing the heads, tentacles, and innards. Rinse them thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Finely chop the onions, garlic, and bell peppers.
  3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until they become translucent and start to caramelize.
  4. Add the garlic and bell peppers to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until they soften.
  5. Push the onion mixture to one side of the pan and add the baby squid. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until they turn opaque.
  6. Sprinkle the sweet paprika over the squid and vegetables. Stir well to coat everything evenly.
  7. Add the white wine vinegar to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir again to combine all the flavors.
  8. Cover the pan and let the chipirones encebollados simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  9. Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley.
  10. Serve the chipirones encebollados hot as a tapa or main course. They pair well with crusty bread or a side of rice.


1. Can I use frozen squid instead of fresh baby squid?

Yes, you can use frozen squid if fresh baby squid is not available. Thaw the squid thoroughly before cooking and make sure to pat them dry to avoid excess moisture.

2. Can I substitute the white wine vinegar with another type of vinegar?

While white wine vinegar adds a subtle tang to the dish, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar if desired. The choice of vinegar will slightly alter the flavor profile of the dish.

3. Can I add other vegetables to the dish?

Absolutely! Chipirones encebollados can be customized to your liking. You can add other vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, or even peas to enhance the flavor and texture of the dish.

4. How long can I store leftovers?

Leftover chipirones encebollados can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

5. Can I freeze chipirones encebollados?

While it is possible to freeze chipirones encebollados, the texture of the squid may change slightly upon thawing. It is best to consume the dish fresh for optimal taste and texture.


Chipirones encebollados is a delightful Spanish dish that combines tender baby squid with a flavorful onion sauce. Originating from the coastal regions of Spain, this dish showcases the simplicity and elegance of Spanish cuisine. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can recreate this delicious recipe at home. Whether enjoyed as a tapa or main course, chipirones encebollados is sure to impress your taste buds with its delicate flavors and satisfying textures.


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