Classic Cioppino (San Francisco-Style Seafood Stew)

Classic Cioppino (San Francisco-Style Seafood Stew)

Recipe by Sandra MyersCourse: Main, DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • 1 lb. firm white fish fillets cod, halibut, haddock are all good choices

  • 1 lb. extra-large shrimp peeled and deveined

  • 12 small hard-shell clams in shell

  • 12 mussels in shell

  • 2 lbs. fresh steamed crab legs

  • 1 lb. bay scallops

  • 1/2 red bell pepper cored, seeded, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1/2 cup celery chopped

  • 1/4 flat-leaf parsley chopped

  • 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes San Marzano are excellent, with juice

  • 2 8 oz bottles clam juice

  • 1 cup dry white wine Sauvignon blanc is good

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 2 medium yellow onions chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic minced

  • 1 tbsp. dried basil

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake

  • 1/2 tsp salt more to taste

  • Juice of 1 lemon about 2 teaspoons


  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add butter and let melt. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, celery and parsley. Stir and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, breaking up with hands and add juice from can.
  • Stir in lam juice, wine, bay leaf, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to just a boil, reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 1 hour.
  • Scrub clams and mussels with a small stiff brush under cold running water; remove beards from mussels. Discard any open clams or mussels. Let cold water run over shells for 5 minutes.
  • Add clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and fish fillets to sauce. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 7 – 8 minutes, until the clams and mussels open. Discard any shells that have not opened.
  • Add crab legs and steam until heated through, another 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove bay leaves. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Ladle sauce and seafood into large bowls and serve with toasted bread.
  • Enjoy!


  • If you do not use up stock, cover and store it in refrigerator for up to 2 days. When serving, bring it back to a boil for 20 minutes, lower heat, and progress with the recipe.
Classic Cioppino
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