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.


  • 1 large onion, diced ( or sub 3 shallots)
  • 2 celery stalks- chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • ½ teaspoon fresh pepper
  • ¼½  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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Recipe rating


  1. This IS NOT anauthentic Cioppino recipe. I am Italian, and have been making Cioppino for over 50 years from an old family recipe…even for a group of over 100 people!
    This is too watery and there ingreidences that don’t belong in Cioppino

  2. I thoroughly enjoy this every time I make it. My only recommendation would be to do about a third the amount of red pepper if you struggle with spicy foods. I have to drink between bites but its great and very easy to follow.

  3. Absolutely delicious! I added the clam juice & next time plan to make with anchovy paste as well. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  4. I’ve made other cioppino recipes, but Sylvia’s is the quickest with delicious flavoring. Will be my new go to recipe for a tasty and impressive meal.

  5. Amazing!! I did add clam juice and 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste since I used chicken broth. Thanks for recommending that. Seriously It was a hit!! Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe!!

  6. All I can say is this is an exceptional recipe. I’m thoroughly impressed. A definite keeper. Molto Bene! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  7. my first attempt @ Cioppino…wonderful, healthy,&
    satisfying all in one pot! Your recipe made it easy for me to follow…bon appetit as Julia Child would say🍷

  8. love at first slurp… savouring it big time, I ate it with grilled cheese sandwich, I just can’t stop eating. OMG, I couldn’t believe I made that dish taste really well, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your recipe!

  9. Wow! This was soo yummy
    Served it over rice and used cilantro as a garnish and a little feta cheese for me
    Used Trader Joe’s frozen seafood mix(calamari, shrimp scallops) and added frozen shrimp too .

  10. HELP!!! – I’m cooking for 14 this Saturday and want to make the Cioppino sauce using:

    2 lbs Mussels
    1 ½ lbs clams
    4 Lobster Tails
    ½ lb Scallops
    2 btls Clam juice

    Two questions – in what order should I add them to the sauce?

    The pan is going to be a bit crowded – should I split into two pans?



    1. Yes, You could definitely split into two pans. How big are the scallops? How big will the lobster pieces be? My hunch is to add the clam juice and the clams first ( cook 2-3 minutes, covered) then add Mussels and other items according to size ( bigger first). You could lay the scallops over the top of the stew, ( if they are small). Cover simmer very gently.

  11. Absolutely loved this recipe, so easy, so weight watcher friendly and beyond delicious!!!
    I was out of diced tomatoes and so I improvised with Rotel ( diced tomatoes, peppers and onions) will do it that way again, fabulous!!!

  12. I am making this as I am sending this comment. I substituted Dry Vermouth in place of the wine. I am in Portland visiting my son and love to cook for him whenever I can. I’ve raised my children loving food and have always tried giving them a wide range of mouth watering experiences. I am excited to see how it all turns out.

  13. Haven’t made it yet but will. Sound scrumptious. I would like to save the recipe but you don’ t give that option.

    1. I just keep a bookmarks folder of recipes. Easy to have a few sources then, too! Though most of my favorites are right here!!

  14. The first time I made it, it as amazing. Even my neighbour who is quite a good cook herself thought it was great. If you love seafood, this meal is a big bowl of awesomeness!

  15. Simply Delicious! We used prawns and black mussels for this recipe with fish stock and a table spoon of fish sauce. It was an absolute hit around the family table. – Thank you!

  16. Tried this today. Very flavorful! The note helped a lot. I ended up using chicken stock and clam juice with some fish sauce. I will try with fish stock next time to see the difference.

  17. Some of the ingredients aren’t available to me because of my location but I substituted crushed fennel seed for fennel, celery seed for celery, use chicken broth, added one bottle of clam broth, anchovies and had to use vermouth for white wine. It was fabulous

  18. Delicious! Played a little w quantities as we were only 3 and I didn’t have all ingredients (not enough chicken stock but added two small bottles of clams) or seafood on hand (only haddock and shrimp) but what a great meal. All happy and satiated.

  19. Sylvia, this recipe is so delicious and so easy! I am in the Azores and did not have all of the ingredients but fennel grows wild here and we chopped up the tender stems and fronds. We had an herb that tasted like celery (celeriac?) and some good local white wine. Fresh prawns and mixed mollusk were at hand and toasted bread to soak up the broth. After a day of hiking it was so quick to pull together! Thanks for the time efficient recipes that do not compromise on flavor!!

    1. Yay Mert, I’m so glad you adapted it based on what you could find in your area. The wild fennel sounds perfect!!! Azores?! I’m so jealous… I want to come visit you! It’s on my bucket list! Looks amazing. xoxo

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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