Classic Cioppino


Indulge in the irresistible flavors of the sea with our classic Cioppino recipe, a beloved Italian-American dish that celebrates the bounty of the ocean. This hearty and aromatic seafood stew is brimming with a variety of succulent seafood, simmered to perfection in a rich and flavorful tomato-based broth. Bursting with the vibrant colors and bold flavors of the Mediterranean, Cioppino is sure to transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Italy with every spoonful.


  • Assorted seafood of your choice (such as shrimp, squid, clams, mussels, and haddock)
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • Garlic cloves, chopped (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups lobster stock
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Preparation: Begin by preparing your seafood. Remove the shells from the shrimp and devein if desired. Soak the clams in cold water for at least 15 minutes to purge any sand. Cut the squid into tentacles and slice the haddock into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, shallots, chopped garlic, and sliced fennel. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add Spices and Wine: Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and tomato paste, allowing them to toast slightly in the oil for about 30 seconds. Pour in the white wine, stirring to deglaze the pot and infuse the vegetables with the wine’s flavors.
  4. Simmer the Broth: Add the diced tomatoes, lobster stock, clam juice, bay leaves, dried oregano, and dried basil to the pot. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, allowing the flavors to meld together for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Cook the Seafood: Once the broth is simmering, add the raw clams to the pot, allowing them to cook until they begin to open. Then, add the remaining seafood to the pot, including the shrimp, squid, mussels, and haddock. Simmer gently until all the seafood is cooked through, which should only take a few minutes.
  6. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the fragrant Cioppino into serving bowls, making sure to distribute the seafood evenly. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or garlic toast on the side to soak up the delicious broth.

Savor the Sea’s Bounty:

Embrace the flavors of the ocean with our classic Cioppino recipe, a sumptuous seafood stew that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight meal or served as the star attraction at a special gathering, Cioppino is sure to delight seafood lovers with its robust flavors and irresistible charm. So gather your ingredients, prepare your pot, and let the tantalizing aromas of this Italian-inspired dish transport you to culinary paradise. Buon appetito!

Tips for Perfect Cioppino:

  1. Choose Fresh Seafood: Opt for the freshest seafood available to ensure the best flavor and texture in your Cioppino. Visit a reputable fishmonger or seafood market to select high-quality ingredients.
  2. Prep Seafood Properly: Take the time to properly prepare your seafood before adding it to the stew. Remove shells, devein shrimp, and soak clams to ensure they are clean and ready to cook.
  3. Layer Flavors: Build layers of flavor in your Cioppino by sautéing aromatics like onion, garlic, and fennel before adding the broth and seafood. This step enhances the complexity of the dish.
  4. Don’t Overcook Seafood: Be mindful not to overcook the seafood, as it can become tough and rubbery. Add the seafood to the simmering broth just until it is cooked through, which should only take a few minutes.
  5. Adjust Seasonings: Taste the broth as you go and adjust the seasonings to suit your preferences. Add more salt, pepper, or herbs as needed to balance the flavors.
  6. Serve with Bread: Cioppino pairs perfectly with crusty bread or garlic toast, which can be used to soak up the flavorful broth. Provide plenty of bread on the side for dipping and savoring every last drop of the stew.
  7. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or basil over the finished Cioppino for a pop of color and freshness. These herbs add a bright, herbal note to the dish.
  8. Make Ahead: Cioppino tastes even better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld together. Consider making it ahead of time and reheating it gently before serving for an easy and delicious meal.
  9. Serve as a Main Course: While Cioppino is often served as a starter or appetizer, it can also be enjoyed as a main course. Serve generous portions with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.
  10. Share and Enjoy: Cioppino is best enjoyed with family and friends, so gather your loved ones around the table and savor this delectable seafood stew together. Enjoy the meal and the company!