RECIPE: Portuguese (Azorean) Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)

RECIPE: Portuguese (Azorean) Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)

As a little girl, I used to sit in the kitchen, while my Mom cooked, and I would watch her closely.

My Mom loved to cook for us, her kids and husband. Even after she got sick, she still continued to cook when she had the strength to; sometimes, she even let me help. After she got sick, I started cooking most of the family Lunches and Dinners.

Being from a big Portuguese family, food was a big part of family gatherings. When I got into my middle teens, I used to keep a notebook in the kitchen. Every time she would start to cook, I would pull out the notebook and write down the ingredients that would go into each dish.

Whenever I travel to the Azores, this is always one of my favorite traditional dishes to order at a restaurant.

Today, in memory of my Mom, I am sharing a popular Portuguese dish with you, Azorean Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado). Please bear in mind that this is more of a comfort food type of dish, and not for those watching their waistlines.

Azorean Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)

I hope you enjoy it! HAPPY COOKING!!!

Portuguese (Azorean) Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)
Recipe type: Seafood
Cuisine: Portuguese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 3 lb frozen package of Octopus (thawed in the refridgerator overnight)
  • 2 Tbsps crushed Red Pepper Sauce (Pimenta Moída)
  • 1 Tbsp of Paprika (Optional)
  • 2-3 Tbsps Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups of Red Wine OR 1 cup of Red and 1 cup of White
  • 8-10 Potatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp of Tomato Paste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Parsley (Optional)
  1. Rinse the Octopus in fresh water thoroughly.
  2. Cut out the eyes and beak - also known as the ink sack (Some people like to remove the head altogether)
  3. Cut the Octopus 1-2 inch pieces. (Octopus will shrink in size while cooking)
  4. In a large pot, add the Olive Oil, Onions and garlic in pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the Octopus, crushed Red Pepper Sauce (Pimenta Moída), Wine, Salt and Pepper, Tomato Paste, and stir.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Let it cook for 1 ½ hours, keep stirring frequently.
  7. (If you notice that the liquid is absorbing quickly, add 1 cup of Water OR another cup of Wine)
  8. Once the stew has cooked for the 1 ½ hours, add the Potatoes and Parsley (if desired)
  9. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, then check, if the potatoes are cooked through.
  10. Taste the stew and check to see if you need additional Salt and Pepper.
  11. **Ladle into a bowl and serve with crusty bread or Portuguese Corn Bread

Have you cooked Azorean Octopus Stew? Have you ever tried it while at a Restaurant or Family/Friend’s house? Leave me a comment below, and LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS!

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20 Responses to RECIPE: Portuguese (Azorean) Octopus Stew (Polvo Guisado)

  1. Sarah says:

    Delicious! I made this recipe last week for my husband, who is Portuguese. He enjoyed it very much. He said that it reminded him of when he used to go to Portugal. This is the typical food of the Azores. I enjoyed making it and eating it also. Very easy recipe to follow.

    Please keep these recipes coming.

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. I miss Portugal, I go there at least once a year. This is one of my favourite meals to eat while I am there.


  2. Jason Medeiros says:

    Perfect recipe I’ve made it 4 times and it was absolutely delicious the best I’ve had

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Jason,

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. This stew is one of my favourites. I hope you continue to make this recipe and come back often as I will be posting more. Please consider subscribing so you can get recipes in your inbox.

      Come back anytime,

  3. Fred says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. When my Wife and I were in the Azores last year, we had one these dishes at a restaurant and LOVED IT. Since then I have been searching for an easy to follow recipe for the Octopus Stew. I made this last night and surprised her. She said it was Amazing.

    Thanks for making me look good! :)

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Fred,

      WOW! You made my day. I’m happy that I made you look good. But, you did all the work, I only supplied the recipe. So glad that you enjoyed the dish, it reminds me of a restaurant in downtown Sao Miguel, Azores – amazing food they serve.

      Thanks for dropping by.
      All the Best,

  4. Erin says:

    This recipie sounds so good!!! Problem is my family will not eat the octopus..Still going to make it and figure out what to do with the leftovers…Thanks for the recipie

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Erin,

      No problem. I hope you have made this recipe and enjoyed it. Even if you make this for yourself, the leftovers will be amazing.


  5. Maria Soares says:

    Thanks for this recipe i made this last night and it was great.
    please pass on more of you amazing easy recipes.Thanks to you and in memory of your mom Thank-you

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Maria,

      I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed my recipe. I will be posting more recipes soon. Please check back often.

      Thanks for your lovely comments.

  6. Audrey Vieira says:

    Being Portuguese, we ate this regularly when I was growing up. It’s been years since I’ve had it. Made it tonight and loved it. Even my 4 year old liked it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Audrey,

      Thank you for your nice comments. I’m glad your family enjoyed my recipe, especially your 4 year old.


  7. Susan says:

    This recipe is exactly what my mother use to make. She passed away 3 years ago and did not have the opportunity to ask her for her recipe. This has brought back so many beautiful memories. Thank you!

  8. Nancy says:

    I was just telling my husband how much I miss this recipe. My mom made it every Christmas for our family dinner. We are also from the azores (St . Michael) and this sounds identical to hers. She passed away years ago, and I have never found the same recipe. I can’t WAIT to make this.

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Nancy,

      So sorry to hear about your Mom. I hope you get the chance to make this recipe and it brings you fond memories of your Mom.


  9. Lori Ann Ball says:

    Which do you prefer – the 2 cups of red wine or 1 cup of red and 1 of white? Can you recommend the best wine to use? I’m making this tomorrow for my boyfriend who comes from the Azores.

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Sorry for the late response. I have been fighting a nasty cold for the last few weeks.
      I prefer to make this recipe with the 2 cups of red wine. I always bring my wine from Portugal. So, my suggestion would be to go to your local wine store. In the Portuguese wine section, just pick a dry wine. Most of the wines there are good choices.

      Have you made the recipe already? If not, I can check my local wine Store and give you a suggestion. Please let me know.


  10. Frank says:

    O menina Fil esto polvo gizado é muinto saboroso very good. I grew up on a lot of seafood being of a fishing family and octopus stew was one of my favorites

    • Fil Resendes says:

      Hi Frank,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you liked the recipe. Growing up, my parents always made Octopus Stew on a weekly basis. It is still one of my favourite dishes, especially when I am in Portugal.
      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it.


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