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Cioppino Seafood Stew Recipe

You don’t need to be a chef to form this recipe for the Barefoot Contessa’s authentic cioppino, a tomato-based seafood stew loaded with shrimp, cod, mussels, and clams for a healthy soup and surprisingly easy dinner that goes from fridge to table in only about an hour.

From breakfast to dinner to dessert, there are plenty of recipes during this cookbook I marked up with my sticky notes like Farro Tabbouleh with Feta, to Chicken Marbella, to Triple Chocolate Loaf Cake.

Cioppino Seafood Stew Recipe
Cioppino Seafood Stew Recipe

But the healthful, chock-full of seafood cioppino is where my cravings landed, and in redemption thereto pauper I spilled upon, is that the recipe I’m sharing today.

The differences between cioppino and bouillabaisse are few. Cioppino is Italian in nature with a purely tomato-based broth where bouillabaisse is French, and has the addition of saffron to it’s fish stock-based broth with chopped tomatoes added in.

Cioppino Seafood Stew Recipe


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 1 dozen mussels scrubbed
  • 1 dozen littleneck clams or other small clam
  • 2 cups fennel bulb white part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cup yellow onion 1 large, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound cod fillets skin removed, cut into 2-inch dice
  • 1 pound large shrimp peeled and deviened
  • 1 pound sea scallops halved crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon anise flavored liqueur such as Pernod or Pastis
  • 3 tablespoons parsley minced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until tender.
  2. Stir in the garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. 
  4. Add the seafood in the following order: first the cod, then the shrimp, scallops, and finally the mussels. Do not stir. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes until the seafood is cooked and the shellfish open.
  5. Stir in the liqueur, being careful not to break up the fish; cover and set aside for 3 minutes for the flavors to blend. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
  6. Ladle into large, shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve with slices of sourdough baguette. 

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