Seafood stew with fish, clams, shrimp, and more in a tomato based broth in a white bowl.


Contributor: Jill Silverman Hough

Cioppino is a true celebration of seafood—a tomato-based stew jam-packed with fish and shellfish. Make it using all your favorites, then serve it with crusty bread to sop up every delicious drop!
If you’d rather not make the Cioppino all at once, just make the stew base (through step 4), then refrigerate or freeze it. When you’re ready to serve, bring the base back to a simmer, and continue at step 5.

  • Author: Jill Hough
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 bulbs fennel, diced, plus 1/4 cup chopped feathery fennel fronds, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 cups seafood broth, fish broth, or bottled clam juice
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 lb. firm white fish fillets, such as halibut, sturgeon, or swordfish, or a combination, cut into 1 and 1/2-in. pieces
  • 12 oz. sea scallops (see notes)
  • 12 oz. large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 12 small clams, scrubbed
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 8 oz. cooked lump crabmeat (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the fennel and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring almost constantly, until mixed in and fragrant, about 60 seconds.
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes, wine, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Arrange the fish, scallops, and shrimp on top of the broth. Arrange the clams and mussels on top. Increase the heat to medium-high and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook undisturbed until the clams and mussels are open and the fish, scallops, and shrimp are cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes (discard any clams or mussels that don’t open).
  6. Add more salt to taste, gently stirring to avoid breaking up the fish pieces.
  7. Add the crab, gently pressing it into the broth to warm it.
  8. Sprinkle with the parsley and fennel fronds.


Sea scallops are 1 and ½ to 2 inches large, as opposed to bay scallops, which are about ½ inch.

You can substitute cooked crab legs or smaller claws for the lump crabmeat, but getting the meat out of the shell at the table can make for slightly messy eating.