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 (4 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
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71 comments on “Seafood Cioppino Recipe

  1. georgeposted December 12, 2018 at 4:27 pm Reply

    Great recipe. I added diced potatoes to make it more hearty. Also added more spices.

    Rating: 5
  2. 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.

  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. Mindyposted April 25, 2016 at 1:01 am Reply

    Nice blog and great pics. Looks delicious, thanks

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

    Here, we usually put the bread in the soup!

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

    Hi Lisa! Thanks, that would be great!

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

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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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  20. 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!

  21. Dmarieposted August 10, 2011 at 9:35 am Reply

    oh, how I wish fresh seafood were available in western Kentucky…this looks divine!!

  22. Cristinaposted August 10, 2011 at 7:10 am Reply

    I enjoyed the explanation of the origin of the word Cioppino…thanks for sharing it. :) I’m in need of trying cioppino from a good place and then to try it on my own. You’ve inspired me to make this a priority with your well written post and gorgeous photography. What a lovely dish with complex flavors…now this is true cooking.

    Have a great week and congrats on the Top 9 today!

  23. alyceposted August 10, 2011 at 7:58 am Reply

    love cioppino.

    Rating: 5
  24. Lynne @ CookandBeMerryposted August 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm Reply

    I love the tomato-y seafood-infused broth of this dish. So succulent. The shrimps are my favorite part, I have to admit. And your photos are so beautiful.

  25. elle marieposted August 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm Reply

    You are luring me in with all this food greatness, for some reason, seafood and summer go hand-in-hand. I’m dreaming of “old bay” seasoning now. = )

  26. Ilkeposted August 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm Reply

    Hmmm.. I feel like I can smell it from Charlotte! :)

  27. Kitaposted August 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm Reply

    I’d never heard of this soup before but my mouth is watering now… Seriously. I need a napkin.

    :) I can’t wait to try a spoonful of this!

  28. Steve @ HPDposted August 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm Reply

    good looking fennel. very frondy.

    (spellcheck doesn’t think “frondy” is a word, but what do they know??)

  29. Celiaposted August 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm Reply

    So happy you got on the cioppino train! Seafood and fennel are pretty much my favorite things ever, so I’ve been a huge proponent for a while. Your recipe looks really delicious – I don’t think I’ve put tarragon in before, but I think I now have to try. I also love the “serve with sourdough” – classic SF.

  30. [email protected]posted August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Fabulous recipe, Sommer! I’m actually kinda drooling… wish I could cook up such a wonderful seafood meal!

  31. 5 Star Foodieposted August 9, 2011 at 11:50 am Reply

    This cioppinno sounds absolutely wonderful! Excellent flavors here!

  32. Georgia Pellegriniposted August 9, 2011 at 8:32 am Reply

    I have always loved cioppino but have never made it myself. This is beautiful and inspiring!

  33. Chef Dennisposted August 9, 2011 at 6:12 am Reply

    what a beautiful cioppino, I never knew that story, how cute! This would be the perfect meal to celebrate any occasion with , especially with that bread to dip into the juices…..yummm

    See you soon!

  34. pamposted August 9, 2011 at 5:03 am Reply

    Just look at that rich broth!!

  35. Shirleyposted August 8, 2011 at 8:52 pm Reply

    I agree with your less-is-more philosophy. The stew, like everything else you make, is gorgeous. The plating, the hue of that broth, the toasty bread.

  36. kankanaposted August 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm Reply

    And now I have to make this .. the mussels , shrimp and that gorgeous color broth!

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  38. Annposted August 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm Reply

    This looks absolutely stunning. I’m allergic to seafood, but I just love the stuff. What a beautiful dish.

  39. Kellyposted August 8, 2011 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Wow this looks like the perfect summer dish! Lovely photos! :)

  40. Maris (In Good Taste)posted August 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm Reply

    This looks very gourmet and very delicious!

  41. The Culinary Lensposted August 8, 2011 at 5:42 pm Reply

    I have some canned diced tomatoes an Organic Tomato company sent me to try and they have been searching for a dish and they may have found it or at least a version there of thank. Thank you this looks delicious. Bookmarked and Buzzed

  42. Magic of Spiceposted August 8, 2011 at 5:24 pm Reply

    Sommer your cioppino is perfectly delightful! A gorgeous classic that invites Al Fresco dining :)

  43. Emily @ Life on Foodposted August 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm Reply

    The cioppino was the one thing I didn’t get to sample in San Fran. This looks amazing but I am drooling over that garlic toast as well. Everything looks delicious; I wish I could have this for dinner.

  44. Carolinaheartstringsposted August 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm Reply

    Wow. What a fantastic post. Great pictures. This recipe looks so delicious. Come over and check out our Southern recipes this week.

  45. Atriaposted August 8, 2011 at 2:11 pm Reply

    I love this one. I’m very into seafood but my partner seems to hate it so unfortunately I’m not making it quite often. This version of yours makes me hungry! Greetings from Poland:)

  46. Kathleenposted August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm Reply

    I’ve been dying to make cioppinno! Yours looks yummy! Love the fennel

  47. Angie's Recipesposted August 8, 2011 at 1:17 pm Reply

    Your cioppino looks amazing! I really love those clicks…esp. the 2nd one with garlic bread aside. Mouthwatering!

  48. Lindaposted August 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm Reply

    You’re right, this is not a weeknight dinner, but a labor of love for a relaxing weekend! You added an interesting ingredient with the fennel and your photos just make we want to prepare of pot this weekend!

  49. Barbara | Creative Culinaryposted August 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm Reply

    I could live with the less is more approach…I think it’s often seemed overwhelming when I’ve read the more is more recipes! Beautiful photos; beautiful dish.

  50. Jeanetteposted August 8, 2011 at 11:47 am Reply

    This cioppino looks fantastic! I haven’t made it in a while, but my kids love it. The last time I made this, we were vacationing on Virginia Beach and I visited the local seafood market and picked up a variety of fish and shellfish. I looked at different recipes and took the best of each to come up with a pot of cioppino. Served with some crusty bread, we had a memorable dinner.

  51. Bev Weidnerposted August 8, 2011 at 11:46 am Reply

    I’m DYING. I love seafood. Dear heavens why can’t we be friends?

  52. The Cilantropistposted August 8, 2011 at 11:31 am Reply

    Sommer I love love love cioppino and I adore your story about how the name came about! Too cute! I would love a bowl of this on a summer evening.

  53. Eugeniaposted August 8, 2011 at 11:26 am Reply

    Splendid recipe! And I loved the story about the name. In Italy this type of fish soup is really popular.

  54. Hester Casey @ Alchemy in the Kitchenposted August 8, 2011 at 11:14 am Reply

    Sommer, this looks FANTASTIC and I love the theory behind the name.

    My family divides into those who are alergic to seafood, and those who absolutely love it. I’m making this for those lucky few who can happily eat all the ingredients in this feast from the sea!

  55. Chrissyposted August 8, 2011 at 11:13 am Reply

    mmmm I LOVE fennel! Also, I love a good Cioppino, so this is such a great recipe!

  56. A Brown Tableposted August 8, 2011 at 10:42 am Reply

    I like the detailed and step by step instructions on how to prepare your recipes. Great pictures too! What kind of camera do you use ?

  57. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted August 8, 2011 at 10:08 am Reply

    I had dinner with one of my husband’s co-workers last night and being the foodie that she is, she actually described this very same dish to me! She said it was fantastic and looking at your creation, I would say so! I think she got her version from the Food TV show. Love the photos, love the step by step, and love your blog!!! Have a great week Sommer.

  58. Laura @ Family Spiceposted August 8, 2011 at 9:57 am Reply

    We love cioppino, but don’t care for fennel. When we were visiting San Fran my husband tried cioppino at several restaurants and they were all different! Beautiful pictures!

  59. Cajun Chef Ryanposted August 8, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

    Amazing indeed, this is a bountiful seafood dish!

  60. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heatherposted August 8, 2011 at 9:34 am Reply

    Oh that looks amazing! Fresh summer seafood dish… Always good :)

  61. Barefeet In The Kitchenposted August 8, 2011 at 8:25 am Reply

    Yours looks gorgeous! Several people have mentioned this as something to try, but I just haven’t yet. I don’t normally cook with this much seafood, but it sounds divine!

  62. Curtposted August 8, 2011 at 7:42 am Reply

    Shrimp, fish and mussels. Plenty of great seafood flavors in this one. Not to mention some great spices.

    Sounds great!

  63. Kateposted August 8, 2011 at 7:40 am Reply

    I cannot wait to try this recipe. I LOVE cioppino, but have yet to find a recipe that matches the memory of my first, delicious taste of this dish. This one looks good!

  64. Hester aka The Chef Docposted August 8, 2011 at 7:38 am Reply

    I have to admit that when I saw “San Franciscan” I thought I saw “San Francisco” and started singing “San Francisco… the Rice-A-Roni treat!” Haha. Comedic lameness aside, I’m a huge lover of cioppino. The flavors, textures, slight spiciness… mmm! As it’s actually cloudy right now in So Cal (but it’s only 6:38am) it makes me wish for a hot bowl!

  65. marlaposted August 8, 2011 at 7:27 am Reply

    I will always pronounce the name of this dish wrong, but I will always know I love it. All that seafood is my friend :)

  66. carly {carlyklock}posted August 8, 2011 at 7:18 am Reply

    Gorgeous! ‘Peasant’ food always seems to be so tasty and comforting – this dish looks no different.

  67. Lana @ Never enough Thymeposted August 8, 2011 at 7:18 am Reply

    We love cioppino! It’s light and hearty all at the same time. An incredible combination of flavors, colors and textures all in one bowl. Pretty darned near perfect, I’d say.

  68. NANA Scrivposted February 5, 2010 at 1:25 am Reply

    It looks wonderful. And it does require care and time. Think I can get fresh seafood in the middle of Oklahoma? I might have to drive to Asheville to get the real thing.

  69. lauraposted February 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm Reply

    Sommer, this looks amazing! I love the story of how cioppino got its name. This reminds me of a French bouillabaisse – I am sure it is delicious!

  70. CattyCooksposted February 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm Reply

    Hi Sommer! This looks great! Kelly directed me to ! Spicy Perspective –– I will add you to my collection of food blogs! I look forward to following along and getting inspired! (typo in previous post…)