Chickpea and Octopus Bruschetta

Scott Peterson

Rich and rustic, this is the one topping Jennifer McIlvaine always has on her menu. It has made converts of even the most octopus-phobic customers and was the hands-down favorite topping among Sunset's staff. Prep and Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours. Notes: Octopus is often available cleaned and frozen from specialty grocery stores, fishmongers, and some Asian markets.

Yield: Makes topping for 8 bruschettas
Recipe from Sunset

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 255
  • Calories from fat: 56%
  • Protein: 12g
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated fat: 2.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 15g
  • Fiber: 1.9g
  • Sodium: 700mg
  • Cholesterol: 28mg


  • 1 pound cleaned baby octopus (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Basic Bruschetta
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling


  1. 1. In a large pot, cover octopus with cold water. Add vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to keep liquid at a slow boil and cook until a knife easily pierces the meat, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain octopus, let cool, and chop into chickpea-size pieces.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat the olive oil and garlic over low heat. Cook until garlic is soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, add anchovy, and mash thoroughly with a fork.
  3. 3. Put octopus, chickpeas, and garlic-anchovy oil in a large frying pan over high heat and cook, stirring and mashing the chickpeas slightly, until mixture starts to brown. Add white wine and scrape up any browned bits. Remove from heat, spoon onto bruschettas, and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
  4. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving with bruschetta.
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