Making the perfect Cioppino

Cioppino - WikimediaThis wonderful fish stew originated in San Francisco, California, and is considered an Italian-American recipe. It is traditionally made with the catch of the day, such as shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams, crab, and fish, but the fun thing about this recipe is you can throw in any fish or seafood you have, and use a different combination every time if you want to.

You can even use thawed fish and seafood to make a tasty Cioppino. The seafood combines with a tomato and wine-based sauce, and it is great served with French bread or sourdough bread.

What Kind of Seafood to Use

Because this is a recipe traditionally made with the catch of the day, the main ingredients do vary, depending on what was caught. You can use any fish or seafood you want – perhaps squid or salmon, or even a package of mixed frozen seafood if that is all you have.

Keep some fish and seafood in the freezer, and you will be able to rustle up this fantastic soup any time you like! If you are using frozen seafood, it is best to thaw it overnight, then make sure you pat it dry on paper towels. A lot of liquid will come out of it while it thaws.

This recipe is high in protein and nutrients, but low in fat and carbs, so not only can you expect a bowl of yummy seafood stew, but you also know you will be eating something healthy. Cioppino really is a winning dish!

Our Easy Cioppino Recipe



  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 8 oz peeled, deveined medium shrimp
  • 8 oz sea scallops or chopped whitefish filets
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)

How to Make It:

Heat the oil in a big pot over a moderately high heat. Add the garlic, onion and red pepper. Sauté for a couple of minutes, then add the scallops or fish, mussels and shrimp, and sauté for 1 minute.

Next, stir in the clam juice, parsley and the tomatoes with their juice. You can add some white wine at this point too, if you like, but it is optional.

Bring the soup to a boil, then cover the pan, turn the heat down, and simmer gently until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan occasionally. It should take about 10 minutes for everything to cook through.

Discard any mussels which did not open, then divide the cioppino between 4 serving bowls. Serve it right away with some crusty bread.

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