Picture of black spanish rice

Best Spanish Rice Recipe – Black Rice with Squid

Which is the Best Spanish Rice Recipe?
How about Arroz Negro con Calamares?
Do you know how to make black rice?

Basically, you use the ink from the squid to dye the rice black, making sure you use enough ink, otherwise your rice can end up looking rather anaemic.

When buying fresh squid from the fishmonger, you’ll discover the black ink inside an ink sac in its innards – round about an inch long.

You may prefer to purchase your squid ready-cleaned and/or sliced into rings.

Black Spanish Rice

If this is the case, just buy the squid ink separately – you’ll find it sold quite cheaply (in Spain at least) in little plastic packets in local supermarkets.

In the first part of the photo above, you’ll see a couple of these plastic packets which I bought from my local supermarket, followed by their contents – the squid ink – tipped out onto a saucer. Finally, of course, the results you’ll achieve from the recipe below.

how to clean squid

When preparing and cleaning the squid yourself, buy medium-sized squid, say around 6 inches or so.

Pull off the head and tentacles, and clean the main white pouch or body well – both inside and out.

Also, pull out and discard the thin skin inside the pouch.

Once clean, it’s ready to slice into rings or use as required.

The tentacles are edible, but are not used in this recipe, although you could always chop them up and add them when you introduce the green pepper, tomatoes etc.

¡Qué aproveche!

Best Spanish Rice Recipe – Arroz Negro Con Calamares

Black Rice With Squid

Ingredients – for 4 people

  • 4 cups rice
  • 8 cups fish stock
  • 400 gr squid – cleaned and roughly chopped or sliced into rings
  • 1 onion – finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper – cored, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes – skinned and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 strands saffron – crumbled
  • Seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Black squid ink – approx 2/3 teapsoons
  • 1 lemon (optional)


  • Heat oil in pan and sauté onion and garlic.
  • Add squid and lightly colour.
  • Lower heat and stir in paprika, pepper, tomatoes, saffron, seasoning.
  • Simmer very gently for 10-15 minutes.
  • Stir in rice and cook for one minute.
  • Pour in fish stock with squid ink mixed in.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes – until rice tender and stock absorbed.
  • Decorate with lemon quarters and serve.


“You’ll also discover more delicious, traditional Spanish recipes on this page. Enjoy!”

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