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A bowl Cioppino seafood stew filled with shrimp, scallops, crab legs, fish, clams, and mussels and served with slices of bread.
4.9 from 55 votes

Cioppino Recipe (Seafood Stew)

Cioppino is a comforting San Franciscan seafood stew filled with shrimp, clams, mussels, white fish, and crab legs simmered in a rich broth made from tomatoes, white wine, and fish stock. A family favorite, enjoy this easy and delicious one-pot seafood stew recipe for a special weeknight or holiday meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 462kcal


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 shallots chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers seeded and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 30 oz clam juice or fish broth or seafood stock
  • 1 lbs mussels scrubbed, debearded
  • 1.5 lbs littleneck clams scrubbed
  • 1/2 pound calamari
  • 1.5 lbs halibut or other firm-fleshed fish fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb salmon
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1 lb uncooked large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb king crab legs
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped


  • Add the olive oil to a large heavy pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion and shallots and mix well to combine. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes, or until the onions start to soften and turn translucent. Stir often.
  • Stir in the diced bell pepper and continue to cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, before adding the dried oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Mix the tomato paste with the cooked onions, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Allow the tomato paste to cook with the onions for 1-2 minutes.
  • Increase to high heat and add the white wine, crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, and fish/clam broth. Mix well and bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for approximately 25 minutes.
  • TIP: you may make this homemade tomato-based broth ahead of time. If you choose to make it ahead of time, stop cooking and store in the refrigerator before adding any type of seafood.
  • Still simmering, add the clams and mussels to the pot. Cover, and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open (approximately 5-10 minutes). Discard any clams and mussels that do not open. Add the calamari and fish and cook for 5 minutes, gently mixing to combine. Next, add the scallops and shrimp, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Last, but not least, add the crab legs to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and garnish with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread (including sourdough bread or French bread), or, mashed potatoes (not traditional, but amazing!) Enjoy!


  • You will need an extra-large pot or Dutch oven. I love this one from Le Crueset or this (more economical) version from Calphalon
  • If you would like to freeze Cioppino, I recommend freezing the broth before adding any fish or seafood.
  • This recipe stores well in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • This is not a budget-friendly recipe. That said, it makes a huge pot of stew and will easily feed my husband and me for at least 4 nights. Save a few dollars and skip the fresh crab legs and jumbo sea scallops.
  • Try to purchase sustainably caught seafood. If you're unsure of the difference, ask your local fishmonger.
  • Fresh seafood will result in the best tasting seafood stew. If something doesn't look fresh, swap it for something else.
  • Traditional cioppino recipes are served with the crab legs and other seafood left in their shells. Serve with a large collecting bowl for all the shells and plenty of napkins.
  • If you prefer not to cook with white wine, substitute with additional fish broth or clam juice.
  • Not sure where to find fish and clam broth? You can find each of these pantry essentials at most major supermarkets in the canned tuna or seafood section. I don't have a preference, so in this case, I used one can of each clam and fish stock. You may also substitute with chicken or vegetable broth as a last resort.
Originally published Nov. 18, 2018


Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 300mg | Sodium: 1557mg | Potassium: 1275mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1475IU | Vitamin C: 53.5mg | Calcium: 160mg | Iron: 4.7mg
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