Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (2024)

This Cioppino recipe is easy to make and full of rich flavor! Fresh fish and seafood isbathed in a light, fragrant tomato broth. Video.

Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (1)

Here is one of my favorite seafood stews … Cioppino! This Italian fish stew is believed to originate from San Francisco, where Italian fishermen would pool their fish and seafood at the end of the day to create a meal with whatever they had leftover.

Brothy and light, Italian seafood stew allows 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.

For more tasty broth-based soups take a look at these delicious Broth-based Soup recipes.

Why You’ll Love Cioppino!

  1. Versatility: This recipe is highly adaptable, allowing you to customize it according to your personal taste. If you’re not a fan of clams, you can leave them out and add more shrimp or use different kinds of fresh fish. It’s a great way to use up what you have in your freezer.
  2. Flavorful Broth: The base of this Cioppino is a light and fragrant tomato broth enriched with fish or chicken stock. The combination of fennel bulb, tomato, and white wine creates a delicious balance of sweetness and acidity, making the broth the star of the dish.
  3. Fresh Seafood: The key to a great Cioppino is the quality and freshness of the fish and seafood. This recipe calls for a variety of firm white fish such as sea bass, halibut, and black cod, along with shrimp, scallops, and clams. When combined with the flavorful broth, they create a satisfying and luxurious meal.
  4. Easy to Make: Cioppino is surprisingly easy to make despite its impressive flavors. The flavorful broth can be prepared ahead of time, allowing you to simply add the fish and seafood right before serving. It’s a great option for entertaining or enjoying a restaurant-quality meal at home.
  5. Health Benefits: This recipe is keto-friendly and paleo-friendly, making it suitable for those following low-carb or grain-free diets. It’s a nutritious meal that’s low in carbs and fat, while still providing a satisfying and delicious dining experience.
Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (2)

Cioppino Recipe Ingredients

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.

  • Onion (or shallots) and garlic: Add depth and a savory, aromatic flavor to the stew.
  • Fennel bulb: Provides a hint of sweetness and complexity to the broth.
  • Celery stalks: Add a subtle crunch and earthy taste to the stew.
  • Carrots: Adds sweetness to the Cioppino.
  • Tomatoes: Adds acidity and balances the flavors of the stew.
  • Dry white wine: Makes the broth rich and fortified, giving it a delicious depth of flavor. Use something you would want to drink; pino grigio, sauv blanc, etc.
  • Fish stock: The base of the Cioppino broth, made with either fish stock or sub chicken stock.
  • Seafood: Manila clams, mussels, scallops or shrimp.
  • Firm fish: Halibut, sea bass, black cod, or salmon
  • Fresh Italian parsley or basil: Adds a fresh and herbaceous note to the stew.
  • Red pepper flakes: Add a touch of heat to the ciopinno; adjust according to your preference.
  • Optional additions: Lemon, clam juice, fish sauce, or anchovy paste can be added to enhance the flavors of the Cioppino.

Best Firm fish to use in soup

Seek out firm fish for soups and stews so they hold their shape and do not disintegrate in the broth. Here are our favorites!

  1. sea bass
  2. halibut
  3. black cod
  4. haddock
  5. escolar
  6. ono
  7. red snapper
  8. salmon
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how to make Cioppino

  1. In a large pot, saute onion, fennel, celery, carrots, celery, and garlic until fragrant. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Add the tomato paste and stir for one minute. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the pot, along with the wine. Let the wine reduce by half.
  2. Add the fish stock (or chicken stock) and bay leaves and bring to a simmer, simmering until the carrots are tender.
  3. Add the fish and seafood, staggering, adding the longest-cooking fish first, and quickest cooking last if possible. Simmer gently until the fish is cooked through.
  4. Taste the broth and adjust the salt – and add a squeeze of lemon if you like.
  5. Stir in the fresh herbs right before serving ( or top each bowl with fresh herbs).

Chef’s TipS

If you would like to create more depth in the broth (especially if using chicken stock) try adding a splash offish sauce, a small bottle of clam juice, or even a couple of teaspoons ofanchovy paste.

Storage and MakE ahead Instructions

The Cioppino broth can be made up to 4 days ahead and refrigereated, or can be frozen. Before serving bring to a simmer, then add the fish.

Leftover Cioppino will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Cioppino FAQs

What makes the best cioppio?

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

Where did cioppino originate?

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

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!

What does Cioppino mean in Italian?

Cioppino means “chopped” or “torn to pieces” referring to the fish in the stew.

Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (4)

What to serve with Cioppino

Cioppino is truly a one-pot meal. Serve it with bread to mop up the flavorful broth!

Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough Bread

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Savory Leek Bread

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Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (9)

More recipes you may enjoy

Peruvian Seafood Stew with Cilantro Broth

Salmon Sinigang

Clam Chowder

This paleo-friendly meal is low in carbs and fat and the leftover stew is good for two days, kept in the fridge.

Have a lovely week!

Sylvia

Cioppino video

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Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (14)

Cioppino Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star4.9 from 32 reviews

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: stew, seafood, fish
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Description

This Cioppino recipe is easy to make and full of rich flavor! Fresh fish and seafood isbathed in a light, fragrant tomato broth. Video.

Ingredients

UnitsScale

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced ( or sub 3 shallots)
  • 1 cup fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 celery stalks- chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes ( or sub 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups fish stock ( or chicken stock-see notes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1 pound manilla clams
  • 1/2 pound scallops or shrimp
  • 1 pound firm fish- black cod, sea bass, halibut
  • 1/41/2 cup fresh parsley ( or basil) chopped
  • optional additions (lemon juice, clam juice, fish sauce, anchovy paste – see notes)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottom pot or large 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, oregano, and chili flakes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 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 boil then simmer. Taste and adjust salt.
  4. Please see the 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 for 5-8 minutes.
  6. Taste the broth and adjust the 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.

Notes

  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. 😉

Nutrition

  • 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
Cioppino (Italian Fish Stew) (2024)
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