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Octopus in Port Wine

Polvo a Lagareiro Recipe

Octopus in Port Wine recipe, or Polvo a Lagareiro, is one of the many Portuguese gems that is high in protein and tastes incredible!

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Need to adjust?
1 octopus 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram)
5 tablespoons Port wine 3 ounces (75 milligrams)
8 medium potato(es)
1 onion(s)
2 cloves garlic
1 lemon(s)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1.3 gallons water 5 liters
a bit parsley to decorate
salt to taste
pepper to taste
And a wine cork!

And love - it is the main ingredient!


170 g
Serving Size
34.4 g
13.7 g
1.7 g
Saturated Fat
52.7 g
0 mg
71 mg
105 mg
3.3 g
Tap the "+" to expand/hide the nutrition info.

Please note that I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information is provided for reference only and is approximate. It is calculated using one of the online calculators, like this one.



      • And a wine cork!

      About the Recipe


      Octopus in Port Wine recipe, or Polvo a Lagareiro, is one of the many Portuguese gems that are high in protein and taste incredible!

      Grilled, braised, and/or baked octopus is very popular in Portugal. If you go to a restaurant you can order and try different recipes. But Polvo a Lagareiro or Octopus in Port Wine is the most popular, delicious, and it’s made with simple ingredients.

      Fresh octopus on a white table

      Why do people love to eat octopus?

      1. Taste: Octopus has a unique flavor and texture that many find enjoyable. It has a slightly sweet taste and a firm, chewy texture that can be both satisfying and delicious.
      2. Nutrition: Octopus is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals which are useful for health.
      3. In many cultures, octopus is often seen as a delicacy and is associated with cultural traditions and celebrations.
      4. Sustainable seafood choice: Octopus is considered a sustainable seafood choice because it is a fast-growing and short-lived species.

      All of these may give an idea why this recipe is enjoyed so much!

      How much time do you need to cook octopus?

      Speaking of time, every recipe is different. My recipe requires approximately 1 hour to cook. You may find other recipes, which require more time.

      The cooking time for an octopus depends on several factors, such as the size of the octopus and the cooking method used. If you have a large octopus of more than 2 pounds, you need to boil it for more than 40 minutes, until the tentacles become soft.

      Usually, it is better to start with the boiling method and then finish it with baking or grilling. If you are keen to try octopus in a salad, here is my Octopus Salad recipe. It is an easy salad that uses canned octopus, which is a perfect option if you don’t have much time.

      Boiled Octopus on a white plate

      What to do if you can’t find the Port wine?

      Port wine is a very popular wine in Portugal. Port wine is a type of fortified wine that comes from the Douro Valley in Portugal. This wine is sweet, full-bodied and with a high alcohol content.

      However, you may substitute it with sweet red wine but don’t forget to add a cork from the bottle to a pot. This procedure will make the octopus softer and more tender.

      What to serve with an octopus?

      Traditionally, octopus or polvo is served with smashed potatoes with the skin on. You need to boil potatoes separately with octopus and then gather everything in one skillet before baking.

      As an alternative to smashed potatoes, you may find serving white rice or grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant.

      What kind of wine pairs well with this dish?

      Light-bodied red wine works best (from the Douro or Alentejo region; and if you prefer French, it’s Pinot Noir or Beaujolais) with this octopus in Port wine dish. Such wines have a fruit-forward flavor that complements the delicious polvo a lagareiro without overpowering it.

      If you’ve never tried octopus before, I think it’s time… Enjoy!

      Homemade Octopus in Port Wine Recipe - Polvo a Lagareiro

      Made this recipe?

      Please share your thoughts about this recipe in the comments below. What did you like the most? Did you make any modifications?

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      1 min

      Gather Ingredients

      Get all the ingredients ready on the table.

      3 min

      Set Up a Casserole for Potatoes, Cook

      Pour in 0.5 gallon (2 liters) of water into a casserole #1. Add 8 medium washed potatoes and 0.5 teaspoon of salt. Leave to boil for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

      4 min

      Set Up a Casserole for Octopus

      Pour in 0.8 gallon (3 liters) of water into a casserole #2. Peel and slightly cut 1 onion, then add it together with a wine cork to the casserole (this will make the octopus softer). Leave to boil for 10-12 minutes.

      35 min

      Prepare & Cook Octopus

      In the meantime, rinse 1 octopus in water thoroughly. If the octopus has not been cleaned, make sure to open its head first and clean it. Dip the cleaned and washed octopus into the boiling water for 5 seconds. Repeat three times and let the octopus boil for 30-35 minutes, or until tender (adding 5 tablespoons of Port wine before letting the octopus boil).

      1 min

      Preheat Oven & Check Octopus

      Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Check the octopus if it is done by prickling it with a big fork.

      6 min

      Set Up Baking Tray

      While the oven is preheating, take the cooked potatoes out of the water. Be careful, the potatoes will be very hot. Cut the potatoes in halves and add them to a baking tray. Add the cooked octopus, cut into pieces. Then thinly cut the yellow part of the lemon skin (the white part will give bitterness) and add it to the tray. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.

      30 min


      Cover the casserole with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes have browned and the octopus has cooked through.



      When octopus is ready, serve it with chopped parsley and a glass of favorite wine. You may also serve salsa verde on the side for authenticity.



      Recipe creator and contributing writer to food-related publications.

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