• Alissa Love

Quinoa & Shrimp Stuffed Squids in Tomato & Bell Pepper Sauce

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Baby squids are are not always available here in our local supermarkets so when I saw them that day, I had to grab them! I wanted to make something fancy - but also simple and healthy - so I came up with this recipe. We've been trying to consume less white rice lately in our household and one of the things we've been incorporating more and more is quinoa. So these squids are stuffed with herbed quinoa, but you can use rice or even chopped seafood if you like.

Recipe serves 5-6 people. 20 mins prep time, total cook time approximately 60 mins.


For the stuff squids

10 - 14 baby squids, cleaned inside and out

1 cup shrimps, uncooked and finely chopped

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 cup coriander, chopped

1 white onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Salt & pepper


For the tomato & bell pepper sauce

Olive oil

2 large red onions, sliced

8-10 peeled tomatoes, finely chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 bell peppers, your choice of color

1 cup coriander, chopped

3 chili padi, finely chopped

1 tablespoon chli powder

1 tablespoon chili flakes

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon cumin

Lemon zest & wedges to serve


For the tomato & bell pepper sauce

1. In a low pan or cast iron pan, add oil, garlic and ginger. Fry until garlic is golden brown and onions are translucent. About 7-8 mins.

2. Add 1 cup of water with the tomatoes, bell peppers and all other ingredients and let simmer for 20 mins. You can start on the sauce while you prepare the squids.

3. Stir occasionally until bell peppers are soft and tomatoes have dissolved into a sauce.

For the stuffed squids

1. In a pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onions and garlic and fry until garlic is golden brown and onions are translucent. About 7-8 mins.

2. Add the chopped shrimp and fish sauce until shrimp is cooked.

3. Add the quinoa and quickly mix in the coriander, salt & pepper.

4. Wait for the stuffing mixture to cool down and stuff the squids using a teaspoon. Make sure to fill up two thirds of the squid, pressing and pushing the stuffing to make sure it is well filled up. Use toothpicks to close the ends. You don't want to over-stuff or it will pour out to your sauce during cooking.

5. Gently place the squids over the tomato sauce, cover with a lid and let cook for 20mins over low heat.

6. Serve hot with a lemon wedge & some lemon zest for freshness, and top off with fresh coriander.


1. Stuffed squids can be prepared 2 days ahead of time ad kept in the fridge.

2. You can stuff the squid with rice, brown rice, beans or whatever you like! And feel free to mix up the stuffing flavors to your liking. This recipe is pretty free and easy so you can play around according to your taste.

3. If tight on time, replace fresh tomatoes with canned tomatoes. Or you can even cheat and use ready-made pasta sauce.

4. For a fuller meal, you can also use large squids. I opted for baby squids as they are aesthetically more pleasing, and is able to absorb the flavors of the sauce more easily.

5. I used a tagine to cook this for dramatic effect. You can use whatever low baking dish, casserole dish or pan that you have.

#Quinoa #Squids #Prawns #Shrimp

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