Seafood Cioppino Recipe

Alluring Seafood Cioppino Recipe | ASpicyPerspective.comA dazzling Seafood Cioppino Recipe, to delight the senses and warm the belly. This seafood stew is not to be missed!

Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

It was luring me. Making it’s beguiling qualities present at every turn. Cioppino.

First I watched a celebrity chef make it on TV. Next, a friend of mine found a seafood cioppino recipe and emailed it to me. A few weeks later, I came across yet another version of seafood cioppino in a beloved cookbook, previously undiscovered. And again, fish soup, printed in the next edition of my favorite magazine.

Seafood Cioppino. I couldn’t escape it.

Stunning Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

Pronounced “Chip-een-o.” An American creation from San Fransisco.

Fishermen and fishmongers, mostly Italian immigrants, invented this at the market. As the story goes, one said to another, “Can you chip-in-o some fish?” “Si!” “And you, chip-in-o some clams?” “Si, si.” This continued until every necessary item was “chipped in” for a fantastic communal meal.

Who knows if this is truly how cioppino came to be, but I love the thought of it.

Making Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

Regardless of it’s humble and formally unknown origin, this is the most lovely seafood stew I have ever had the honor of tasting. This is no Tuesday night, throw-together dinner. A good Seafood Cioppino Recipe is an event in a bowl!

The broth alone has a wonderfully complex fusion of both robust and delicate flavors. And the seafood… anything you add clams or lobster to, can’t be bad. This is a perfect show-off meal, but can certainly be served in a casual setting.

How to Make Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

Ingredients that must be “chipped in” include: white fish (cod, halibut, pollock), shellfish (lobster, crab, shrimp) and mollusks (oysters, clams, mussels) Some recipes I’ve seen included 5-6 different types of seafood. But, I’m a less is more kind of girl, so 1 item from each group for me.

Any variety is acceptable. Just buy the freshest seafood you can find.

How To: Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

The wine you select is important.

Use a light red like a Rioja or Pinot Noir. The wine produces a brilliant color and intense depth of flavor. Choice a wine you would drink. You don’t want to ruin your high-quality seafood with lousy wine.

Steamy Seafood Cioppino Recipe |

The lesson learned here: When opportunity presents itself over and over, take it as a sign from above! Something delicious is bound to come out of it.

My Seafood Cioppino Recipe, is a culmination of what I considered the highlights in several different recipes I found. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Steaming Seafood Cioppino Recipe |


Seafood Cioppino Recipe

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time:20 minutes

Cook Time:45 minutes

5 / 5 (3 Reviews)
Did you make this recipe?   Leave a review »

Seafood Cioppino Recipe, rich and alluring. Loaded with spice and herbs. Completely irresistible! This simple cioppino recipe is bold and inviting.


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried tarragon (2 tablespoon fresh tarragon)
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 large pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups wine
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounce carton seafood stock
  • 1 1/2 pounds little neck clams or mussels
  • 1 pound firm white fish
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour
  • Lemon wedges and chopped parsley for garnishing


  1. Prepare the fennel: Cut off the stalks. You can use the fronds later in the week. (Think salads, sauces, mixed with goat cheese, sprinkled over fruit…) Then half the bulb and remove the core. Slice the bulb thin. You may want to quarter the bulb for smaller slices.
  2. Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoon oil to the pot. Sauté the fennel and onions for 5 minutes; then add the garlic and tomato paste.
  3. Sauté one more minute. Then add the tarragon, thyme, saffron, red pepper, bay, salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well. Pour in the wine, stock, and tomatoes. Bring the stew to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the fish into 1 inch cubes and toss the fish and shrimp in flour. Rinse and check all mollusks for freshness. They should all be completely closed. If they are open, squeeze them shut. If they don’t instantly close up again, THROW THEM OUT. Any open or cracked mollusk should not go in the cioppino.
  5. Once the stew has simmered for 30+ minutes, add the mollusks. Stir and allow them to cook for 3-5 minutes until they are mostly opened. Next add the fish and shrimp. Stir well and simmer another 3-5 minutes. The broth should thicken and all the mollusks should open wide.
  6. Remove the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and any unopened mollusks. Garnish the cioppino with parsley and lemon wedges. Then serve with lots of warm crusty sourdough bread or parmesan toast.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 servings, Serving Size: 1/8th recipe

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 378 Calories
  • Total Fat: 8.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Cholesterol: 183mg
  • Sodium: 692mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Sugar: 1.9g
  • Protein: 55.7g
All images and text ©

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70 comments on “Seafood Cioppino Recipe

  1. Johnposted October 20, 2018 at 3:41 pm Reply

    Question: Are you supposed to fry up the flour coated seafood at all of just throw them just coated into the stew?

    • Sommer Collierposted October 22, 2018 at 9:09 am Reply

      Hi John,

      No need to fry. The flour just works its way into the broth to thicken it as it simmers. If you add it on its own, it will clump.

  2. Andrea Footeposted July 14, 2018 at 2:54 pm Reply

    Fabulous! I made it without a single change and it was really, really good.

    Rating: 5
  3. Thorinposted December 10, 2016 at 6:45 pm Reply

    It turned out wonderfully, thank you!!

    The name actually comes from ciuppin, a seafood stew from the Liguria region of Italy.

    Rating: 5
  4. Mindyposted April 25, 2016 at 1:01 am Reply

    Nice blog and great pics. Looks delicious, thanks

  5. Nadiaposted April 24, 2016 at 11:46 am Reply

    Here, we usually put the bread in the soup!

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  7. Mikeposted December 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm Reply

    Looks excellent! However, it’s not a true SanFranciscan Cioppino without fresh Dungeness crab.

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  12. Sommerposted January 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Hi Lisa! Thanks, that would be great!

  13. Christinaposted February 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm Reply

    My goodness. This looks so delish!
    Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  14. Capabilityposted September 21, 2011 at 8:41 am Reply

    I can’t wait to make this – Love Ciopinno! Great site and so glad I came over from SITS – Hope your day is fun!

  15. RisaGposted September 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm Reply

    I’ve made Cioppino before. It is excellent. A few pieces of bread and the broth from a bowl are just made for each other. You are making me hungry and I just ate 2 hours ago.

  16. Stevieposted August 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm Reply

    I’ve never heard the idea that the name comes from “chip-in-o.” That said, this is the best fish soup. It is really popular here in San Francisco. Once we had it at home with a dark syrah added. It created a breathtakingly dark broth that was stunning. I’ve heard, too, that you can use white wine for a very light visual effect.

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  19. Feast on the Cheapposted August 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm Reply

    Looks fabulous…you’re invited to dinner any night, as long as you’re cooking!