Pulpo a la Gallega, or Galician-style Octopus, is a famous dish from Galicia, Spain. Tender pieces of octopus are boiled until succulent, then cut into bite-sized portions. The dish is typically presented on a wooden platter and seasoned with smoked paprika (pimentón), high-quality olive oil, and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. The combination of flavors enhances the natural taste of the octopus, creating a delightful smoky, savory, and ocean-infused culinary experience. Pulpo a la Gallega is a beloved symbol of Galician cuisine, celebrated for its simplicity and celebration of fresh seafood.


- 1 large octopus (approximately 2 to 3 pounds), cleaned and thawed if frozen

- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika (pimentón)

- Extra-virgin olive oil

- Coarse sea salt

Optional accompaniments:

- Boiled potatoes (small, waxy potatoes like baby potatoes work well)

- Crusty bread

Note: The quantities of ingredients may vary depending on the size of the octopus and your desired taste preferences.


1. Tenderize the Octopus:

- If using a frozen octopus, make sure it is completely thawed. You can tenderize it by freezing it overnight and then thawing it before cooking.

- In a large pot, bring water to a boil. You may add a bay leaf and a few black peppercorns for extra flavor if desired.

- Submerge the octopus in the boiling water, tentacles first. Some recipes suggest dipping the octopus into the boiling water three times to achieve a better texture.

- Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the octopus for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until it becomes tender. You can check for tenderness by inserting a fork into the thickest part of the tentacle; it should go in smoothly.

2. Prepare the Octopus:

  - Remove the octopus from the pot and let it drain. You can also pat it dry with a clean cloth or paper towels.

  - Cut the octopus into small, bite-sized pieces. You may also choose to keep the tentacles intact for a more rustic presentation.

3. Season the Pulpo a la Gallega:

- Arrange the octopus pieces on a wooden platter or serving dish.

- Sprinkle the smoked paprika generously over the octopus, coating each piece evenly for a smoky flavor and a vibrant red color.

- Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the octopus to enhance its taste and richness.

- Finally, sprinkle coarse sea salt over the dish to add a finishing touch and enhance the flavors.

4. Serve:

- Pulpo a la Gallega is traditionally served warm.

- You can serve it on its own or with optional accompaniments like boiled potatoes or crusty bread.

- Enjoy this delicious Galician-style octopus dish with friends and family!

The nutritional values provided below are approximate and can vary based on the specific cooking method and preparation:

1. Octopus (2 to 3 pounds, cooked):

  - Calories: Approximately 150-250 calories per 3-ounce (85g) serving.

  - Carbohydrates: Negligible. Octopus is low in carbohydrates.

  - Protein: Approximately 25-30 grams per 3-ounce (85g) serving. Octopus is a good source of protein.

  - Fat: Approximately 1-2 grams per 3-ounce (85g) serving. Octopus is relatively low in fat.

2. Smoked Paprika (2 tablespoons):

  - Calories: Approximately 40-50 calories.

  - Carbohydrates: Approximately 8-9 grams.

  - Protein: Approximately 2 grams.

  - Fat: Approximately 1-2 grams.

3. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (amount used for drizzling):

  - Calories: Approximately 120 calories per tablespoon (15ml).

  - Carbohydrates: Negligible.

  - Protein: Negligible.

  - Fat: Approximately 14 grams per tablespoon (15ml).

4. Coarse Sea Salt (amount used for sprinkling):

  - Calories: Negligible.

  - Carbohydrates: Negligible.

  - Protein: Negligible.

  - Fat: Negligible.

It's important to note that the majority of the calories in Pulpo a la Gallega come from the octopus and olive oil. The dish is relatively low in carbohydrates and fat but provides a good amount of protein. As with any recipe, portion size and serving method will determine the overall nutritional intake.

For precise nutritional information, it is recommended to consult specific product labels or use a reliable nutrition calculator. Additionally, the nutritional content may vary depending on how the dish is prepared and seasoned.


Pulpo a la Gallega can be enjoyed by many people, but it's essential to consider individual dietary preferences, allergies, and health conditions. Here are some points to consider:

1. Seafood Lovers: Pulpo a la Gallega is a treat for seafood enthusiasts, especially those who appreciate the tender and flavorful taste of octopus.

2. Protein Source: The dish is an excellent source of protein, making it suitable for individuals looking to add more protein to their diet.

3. Low Carbohydrates: Pulpo a la Gallega is low in carbohydrates, making it a potentially good option for those following low-carb or ketogenic diets.

4. Gluten-Free: The basic preparation of Pulpo a la Gallega is gluten-free, making it a safe choice for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

5. Healthy Fats: The extra-virgin olive oil used in the dish provides healthy monounsaturated fats.

6. Sodium Considerations: The sodium content can vary depending on the amount of coarse sea salt used. For individuals on low-sodium diets or with hypertension, it's essential to moderate the salt intake.

7. Allergies: Some individuals may have allergies to seafood, paprika, or olive oil, so it's essential to consider any specific allergies or intolerances.

8. Personal Preferences: Like any dish, individual taste preferences play a role in whether someone enjoys Pulpo a la Gallega.

As with all foods, moderation is key. While Pulpo a la Gallega can be part of a balanced diet for many people, it's essential to enjoy it as part of a diverse range of foods to ensure all nutritional needs are met.

If you have specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine if this dish aligns with your dietary requirements.

Remember, cooking times and flavors can be adjusted based on personal preferences. This recipe provides a basic guideline, but you can experiment with the seasoning and accompaniments to suit your taste. Buen provecho!

Chef Culinary Creationss

I am a passionate chef, dedicated to crafting exceptional culinary experiences.