How to Make Cioppino At Home

This tomato-based seafood stew is loaded with shrimp, mussels, clams and cod for a deliciously authentic cioppino recipe perfect for date night at home.

cioppino dinner recipe Italian seafood stew made with red sauce clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp

What is Cioppino?

Cioppino is a tomato based fish stew that originated in San Franscisco, California. Soon, this Italian-American dish made its way around the world, and while it’s debatable which version is the most authentic the best part of this fish stew is you can make it out of any seafood you have on hand.

how to make a fish stew

Ready to Make Cioppino at Home? Here is everything you need to pick up to make this seafood stew:

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • ½ lb manila clams, scrubbed
  • ½- 1 lb mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded
  • 1 lb scallops
  • 1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined, I like to leave the tails on
  • ½-1 lb fish of your choice, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine ( red is totally fine as well)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dry basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh baguette (for dipping into the delicious tomato sauce)

*You can also add crab legs, crab meat, and or squid.


How to Make Cioppino At Home

There are dishes you cook at home, and then there are dishes you order at Restaurants because making them at home is too complicated or time-consuming. And if you’ve never made cioppino before you may think this is one of those meals you should leave to the professionals. But you would be wrong.

Making cioppino is incredibly easy. In fact, it’s really a one-pot fish stew you can serve to a party of 10 or 2. And it’s the kind of dish that definitely hits the spot on a cool fall night.

My local seafood market actually sells chunks of fish specifically for stews, so it’s easy to have variety. It’s best to buy firm white fish, such as cod, halibut, cod, or whatever is fresh and local. Then shrimp, crab, clams, scallops, and squid—or anything else you desire and like the most.

how to make a seafood stew

How to Properly Prepare Shellfish and Seafood for Cooking

If you’ve never purchased clams or mussels before see this post on how to buy and properly clean them for cooking. It’s important to toss any clams or mussels that have opened (those are dead and not safe to consume) and to really scrub the shells and get rid of the beards you sometimes see on the mussels.

This time around, I was cooking for just the two of us so I only purchased enough seafood for two. But the recipe below serves 4. If you are cooking for fewer people, I suggest adjusting the amount of seafood you buy, but still making the broth as instructed below.

Other Seafood Recipes You May Like

Seafood Paella Spanish Seafood Stew Recipe

Shrimp & Crab Fra Diavolo Recipe

Shrimp and Crab Pasta in White Wine Sauce

make cioppino

authentic cioppino seafood stew recipe

Spicy Cioppino Recipe

A tomato based seafood stew with shrimp, scallops, cod, mussels and clams


  • 1/2 -1 lb manila clams, scrubbed
  • 1/2- 1 lb mussels, scrubbed, de-bearded
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2-1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
  • 1/2- 1 lb fish of your choice, cut into 2-inch chunks, cod or halibut works best
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz.can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine ( ed is totally fine as well)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/4 tsp 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh Baguette


  • In a large stockpot, combine olive oil, onion and garlic. Salt and pepper the mixture and cook until the onions are translucent. Then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and water. Season with herbs, bay leaf and add the red pepper flakes. Cover and cook on high, lowering once the tomatoes have broken down. The sauce tastes better the longer you let the it simmer on the stove.
  • Clean and prepare all of your seafood. I also like to make garlic bread or heat up a baguette with this meal.
  • Once all of the seafood is cleaned and patted dry, stir all of it into the pot, then cover and continue cooking until shrimp have cooked through and clams and the mussels have opened, about 20 minutes.
  • Discard the bay leaf and any clams and mussels that do not open.
  • Season the broth to taste with more salt and red pepper flakes if desired. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with pieces of garlic bread.


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