Italian, Seafood


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Ok…I’ll admit it, this is an easy way to almost fulfill all the requirements of the Feast of the Seven Fishes with one dish.  But OMG, what great way to do it!! 

Originating in San Francisco, this tomato-based seafood stew is traditionally filled with whatever seafood is fresh at the market. Since plenty of seafood is available year-round, we went with four of our favorites: shrimp, clams, mussels, and halibut. Feel free to leave any of them out, or swap out halibut for a less expensive firm white fish. (Cod or tilapia are great replacements!)

The soup base is made from crushed tomatoes and clam juice that results in a punchy, seafood forward broth. Can’t find clam juice? Fish stock would work here too, but you could even resort to chicken or vegetable if you’re in a pinch.

The perfect accompaniment to cioppino has got to be crusty bread to sop up any remaining soup. A crispy French loaf would be great, but we also love to really highlight the flavors of San Francisco with a bit of sourdough. Not into bread? You could serve it alongside some cheesy polenta and pour over a bit of the soup.

Enjoy this dish with a good red blend wine, my personal favorite for this….



Cuisine: SeafoodDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Originating in San Francisco, this tomato-based seafood stew is traditionally filled with whatever seafood is fresh at the market. 


  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 bulb fennel, chopped, fronds reserved

  • 2 shallots, minced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 c. dry white wine

  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (8-oz.) bottle clam juice

  • 2 c. water

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 1 2"-thick strip orange zest (optional)

  • 1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed

  • 1 dozen mussels, scrubbed

  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 lb. halibut, skin removed and cut into 1" pieces

  • 1/4 c. freshly chopped parsley, for serving

  • Baguette, for serving

  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add fennel and shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  • Add wine and let boil until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add tomatoes, clam juice, water, bay leaves, and orange zest (if using). Stir to combine, bring to a low simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaves and orange zest. Add clams to simmering broth, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, add mussels in an even layer, then shrimp, then halibut. Do not stir. Cover again and cook for 5 more minutes, or until all clams and mussels are opened and shrimp and fish is cooked through and opaque. Discard any unopened mussels and clams. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with fennel fronds and chopped parsley. Serve with baguette and lemon wedges on the side.

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