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A simple authentic Cioppino Recipe that is easy to make and full of flavor. Fresh fish and seafood bathed in a light and fragrant tomato broth. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all the juices.  Keto and Paleo-friendly! Video

A simple authentic Cioppino Recipe

Here’s a simple tasty recipe for Cioppino, an Italian seafood stew. The base is brothy and light allowing the fresh seafood and fish to really shine. It’s surprisingly easy to make and great for entertaining because you can make the flavorful broth ahead- then simply add the fish right before serving.  Garnish with lemon and parsley and serve it up with crusty bread or garlic bread to mop up all the flavorful juices.

It’s a deeply satisfying meal that’s always a hit around here.

Cioppino is actually believed to originate from San Fransisco, where Italian fishermen would pool their resources at the end of the day to create a fresh stew with whatever they had leftover.

How to make Cioppino | 60-sec video

Cioppino Recipe

What is cioppino?

Cioppino actually originates from San Fransisco, where Italian fishermen would pool their resources at the end of the day to create a fresh stew with whatever they had leftover.

Why this Cioppino recipe works:

The great thing about this Cioppino recipe is you can adapt it to your personal taste. If you are not a clam fan, leave them out and add more shrimp. If you don’t eat shellfish, you could use different kinds of fresh fish. Or pull out what you have in your freezer. Just make sure to use fish that will not fall apart ( like cod) in the broth.

Cioppino Recipe

The Cioppino Sauce or broth is made with either fish stock or chicken stock. Fennel bulb adds a delicious sweetness and complexity. Tomato adds the perfect acid along with the white wine. It all comes together easily.

Cioppino Recipe

The key to good cioppino is the quality and freshness of the fish or seafood, and the broth itself.

There are a few tips to elevate the broth, keeping it light while adding depth.  Make sure to read the recipe notes.

The best firm fish for soups or stews:

You generally want to use firm white fish for most stews and soups, because they will hold their shape and not disintegrate in the liquid. Here are 10 the best fish (and seafood) to use in soups and stews.

  1. sea bass
  2. halibut
  3. black cod
  4. haddock
  5. escolar
  6. ono
  7. red snapper
  8. salmon
  9. scallops
  10. shrimp

Cioppino Recipe

Can Cioppino be made ahead?

The broth can be made ahead, refrigerated then reheated right before serving. Add the seafood and fish to the pot a few  minutes before serving!

This paleo-friendly meal is low in carbs and fat and the leftover stew is good for two days, kept in the fridge. For more tasty Broth-based soups take a look at these  Broth-based Soups .

Have a lovely week!



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Simple Authentic Cioppino Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: stew, seafood, fish
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: italian


Simple Authentic Cioppino that is easy to make and full of flavor. Fresh fish and seafood in a flavorful light broth. Serve with crusty bread to mop up all the juices.


Units Scale
  • 1 large onion, diced ( or sub 3 shallots)
  • 2 celery stalks- chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1/41/2 cup fresh Italian parsley ( or basil) chopped
  • optional additions ( lemon, clam juice, fish sauce, anchovy paste – see notes)


  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot or dutch oven, over medium heat. Add onion and fennel and saute for 5 minutes, stirring.
  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and continue sautéing for 5 more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add the tomato paste and stir one minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot, along with the wine. Let the wine reduce by half.
  3. Either add 6 cups fish stock or 6 cups chicken stock ( see notes) and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust salt.
  4. Please see notes for adding more depth.  Once the carrots are tender, the broth is ready (it will only take about 10 more minutes to cook the fish, so often I’ll let the broth “rest” on the stove until right before serving. ) You could also make this ahead and refrigerate.
  5. Bring the broth to a simmer and add the fish and seafood, staggering, adding the longest cooking fish first,  and quickest cooking last if possible. Simmer gently 5-8 minutes.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust salt – and add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
  7. Stir in the fresh herbs right before serving ( or top each bowl with fresh herbs).
  8. Serve with crusty bread.


  1. Mussels and clams will open up when done. Shrimp will turn pink.
  2. If you would like to create more depth in the broth (especially if using chicken stock) try adding a splash of fish sauce, a small bottle of clam juice, or even a couple of teaspoons of anchovy paste.
  3. Sometimes I’ll add a splash of Pernod along with the wine for a more intense anise flavor. Up to you. 😉


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 358
  • Sugar: 4.8 g
  • Sodium: 858.7 mg
  • Fat: 19.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 12.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 33.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 149.9 mg

Keywords: cioppino recipe, italian seafood stew, easy cioppino recipes

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  1. this is the best I ever tried. I have always loved Cioppino, and have a few receipes. This one has everything I need and can use.

  2. This was fantastic! I made the broth the night before leaving on an overnight trip to the mountains. We arrived late afternoon – put the broth on to reheat and put the seafood in just a few minutes before we were ready to sit down. I turned the heat off and add the mussels and clams just before bringing to the table and they were perfect.

    So so easy and delicious. This will be in permanent rotation. Making the broth ahead of time makes this the ultimate weeknight or fast entertaining option.

    Thanks again for another fantastic recipe!

    1. Great to hear Tess! Love that it came together easily, premaking the broth!

  3. First attempt at this dish and turned out great! would never have thought of the fennel but great in the dish. Just barely fit in my biggest le creuset dutch oven. Also made my shrimp stock which added a lot to it. And being on a diet huge bowl!!!

    1. Awesome John! Glad you enjoyed. Yup, the fennel seems to elevate. 🙂

  4. I made this recipe for our daughter’s birthday dinner, and our whole family loved every bite. This is definitely a keeper that we will be enjoying again!
    Thanks so much.

  5. I could not believe I made such a tasty dish (you did actually – I just followed directions!).

    Am making again!

  6. So so good. Full of flavor. Simple and delicious. Will definitely make this again!

  7. Absolutely love this recipe! I used cod, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and squid rings (aka calamari). Added a shot of fish sauce and it was great! If using lots of fish sauce might want to reduce the amount of salt as most fish sauce is pretty salty.

  8. I love the flavors in this recipe! I also love how easy it is to make! This is my go-to recipe for Cioppino. Anyone I make this for, says it’s better than any they’ve had at a restaurant. Try it! You won’t be disappointed. Also, make sure to read through the notes, it’s well worth the read.

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