Baked Octopus Portuguese Style With Potatoes

El Rey del Pulpo > Octopus Recipes > Baked Dishes > Baked Octopus Portuguese Style With Potatoes
pulpo a lagareiro

Olive oil is one of the key ingredients in this recipe, so it should come as no surprise that its original creators are said to be Portuguese olive farm workers (the lagareiros mentioned in the Portuguese name). They first created the cod-based dish, bacalhau á lagareiro, and used it as the basis to prepare this octopus dish, polvo á lagareiro, in the fall, when the olives were crushed to make olive oil.

In light of this history, it is important to choose the right olive oil to use in this recipe. Although you should feel free to make this Portuguese octopus recipe with whatever olive oil you’ve already got in your kitchen cabinet, we recommend using a high-quality one whenever possible. When you read the phrase “high-quality oil,” you might be thinking 100% pure extra-virgin, which is indeed high in quality, but remember extra-virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and will degrade more than other oils at high heat. Instead of looking for that extra-virgin label, try to find a bottle containing a blend of oils from as few farms (or countries!) as possible. Even if you’re sticking with your regular go-to pick from the supermarket, the most important thing you should be on the lookout for whenever you use olive oil is that its best by date hasn’t passed. Feel free to experiment with different olive oils every time you make this Portuguese octopus recipe. You just might feel as expert as the lagareiros who first created it.

  • Time: 50min
  • Serves: 4
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Serve as: Main course
  • Calories: 212 kcal/serving

This traditional Portuguese octopus recipe is often served on Christmas Eve in Portugal, and it’s sure to delight your family and friends this holiday season. Although it is eaten all over the country, in and around Braganza, octopus is traditionally served as an appetizer at Christmas dinner before the main dish of cod. So, feel free to serve this dish either as a main dish or do as the Portuguese do and serve it before another dish made from the delicacies of the sea.



3 lbs octopus (three packages of frozen or refrigerated el Rey del Pulpo precooked half octopus)
¾ cup olive oil
2 heads of garlic
1 tbs salt (+1 tbs salt for the potatoes)
2 lbs small potatoes
2 bay leaves
White pepper


  • If using frozen octopus, take out of the freezer. Do not open the package and insert into a bowl of room temperature water. Let defrost for 30 minutes. If using refrigerated octopus, take the octopus out of the packaging and set on a plate and allow to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Set the octopus in a baking dish.
  • Wash and generously salt the potatoes. Bake at 325°F for 35 minutes.
  • Brush any excess salt off of the potatoes and place them in the baking dish around the octopus. Increase oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Drizzle the octopus and potatoes with the oil and scatter the cloves of garlic and bay leaves around the baking dish. Sprinkle with white pepper.
  • Bake until the octopus is golden-brown (about 15 minutes).


If you feel like mixing things up, try smashing the potatoes before roasting them with the octopus. Instead of baking the potatoes in the oven, boil them until soft (about 20-30 minutes), drain, let dry for 5 minutes, place on a tray, and smash with a large fork or potato masher, ensuring they remain in one piece. The thinner they are, the crispier they’ll be! Let rest for five minutes and then continue the recipe from step six.

If you’d like to try another delicious octopus dishes, we recommend the greek octopus recipe, the mediterranean style oven-baked octopus or the Spanish “pulpo a la gallega” octopus.

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