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Simple Authentic Cioppino Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • 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. 😉

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

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