Shellfish Cioppino

This Easy Seafood Cioppino Recipe is a nutritious, quick lunch that’s loaded with fresh seafood and floating in a gently spicy tomato broth. It is a healthy alternative to calorie-dense chowder that takes less than half an hour to prepare.


I adore seafood, especially shellfish. If it originates from the sea and has a shell, you can bet I’ll eat it. During the summer months, when shellfish is a mainstay, we almost live on it, and in my opinion, San Francisco is rightfully dubbed “shellfish capital.”


What is Shellfish Cioppino?

Are you unsure what Cioppino is? Cioppino, pronounced “Chu – Pe – No,” is an Italian-American fish stew cooked mostly from the day’s catch. Invented in the 1800s by an Italian fisherman who arrived in San Francisco and tossed in everything they got from the sea, primarily Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid, and fish. This Cioppino has a thick seafood stock that guarantees it is flavorful rather than tasteless and watery. Perfect results, not mushy, overcooked fish, are achieved by carefully sequencing the poaching of each variety of seafood in the broth. The stew is enhanced by a delicious roasted red pepper salsa.


How to make Shellfish Cioppino?


You’ll need the following ingredients to make shellfish Cioppino:


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sliced Vidalia onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoon oregano, dry
  • a third of a cup of tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cup white wine, dry
  • 1 crushed tomato can (28 ounces)
  • 4 cups fish stock (or chicken stock if you’re in a hurry)
  • 3 tablespoons tarragon, finely chopped
  • 12 clams with littlenecks
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
  • a half-pound of big sea scallops
  • giant lump crabmeat, ½ pound
  • ¼ cup basil leaves, chopped



  • Heat the olive oil in a big saucepan.
  • Cook onion until it is softened. Add the garlic and stir to combine. After heating 2 minutes in the microwave, add Red pepper flakes, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste has become a rich crimson hue.
  • Pour in the wine and scrape out any brown pieces from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Cook until the wine has been reduced to half its original volume.
  • Combine the tomatoes and fish stock in a mixing bowl. Bring to a boil, then add the tarragon.
  • Cook the clams in the broth until they open up. Continue to boil the shrimp and scallops until they are opaque. Cook until the crab is well warmed.
  • Finish with parsley and basil. Serve with warm crusty bread as soon as possible.



  • If you’re using clams, make sure they’re clean by soaking them in cold water for one hour. If soaking in water, clams will filter the sand out. I put the clams in a fine-mesh strainer and set them in a basin of water. Lift the strainer with the clams out of the water after each one is removed and rinse.
  • Before adding the other seafood, cook the clams until they open.
  • Because shrimp cooks rapidly, add the shrimp and crab last to the soup.
  • You may create the Cioppino base ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Add the seafood right before serving. Simply bring to a boil, then add the seafood as directed in the recipe card below.
  • If you don’t want to use wine in your Cioppino, you may leave it out or substitute apple juice instead. With the acidity of the tomatoes, the sweetness is delightful.

How To Serve It?

This simple seafood stew is a one-pot meal that I generally serve with a glass of white wine and a crusty loaf of bread. We like to offer a light green salad with a homemade Thousand Island dressing if you want to add some more freshness.

Serve your Cioppino with a delectable Wedge Salad or simple Pear Salad.

Easy Seafood Cioppino is a nutritious stew that takes less than half an hour to prepare and is suitable for a weekday supper that is both simple and elegant.

For How Long Shellfish Cioppino Can Be Stored?

Cooked fish can be kept for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. Leave some airspace in any leftovers and store them in an airtight container. Reheat the Cioppino on the stove over a low flame, stirring constantly, until it is thoroughly warmed. Be careful not to overcook the fish or seafood, since this might result in rubbery results.

Chill your Cioppino in the refrigerator before freezing it, and use it within 5 to 7 months. Allow it to defrost in the refrigerator before gently warming it.

I hope you like and try this recipe. Also, please don’t forget to share your feedback in the comment!


SeaFoodTasty Staff

SeafoodTasty blog is a one-stop source for information about seafood, including recipes, the health benefits of a diet with seafood and commitment to Responsible Choice seafood and sustainability.

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