Ina Garten’s Cioppino Seafood Stew (2024)

You don’t have to be a chef to make 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 just about an hour.

Ina Garten’s Cioppino Seafood Stew (1)

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When I first tried cioppino while visiting San Francisco several years ago, I fell in love with the classic Italian fish stew. But it wasn’t until trying Ina Garten’s recipe for cioppino that I’ve experienced one as delicious as that first bite many moons back. Ina’s cioppino is actually quick and easy to make, so don’t save it just for special occasions. Bookmark it for any night of the week. This cioppino recipe comes from (who I am sure is America’s most loved cookbook author), Ina Garten, and her newest cookbookCook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cookswhere she proves that home cooks like me can be pros in their own kitchens thanks to her easy, delicious recipes. But the healthful, chock-full of seafood cioppino is where my cravings landed, and in redemption to that poor man I spilled upon, is the recipe I’m sharing today.

Ina Garten’s Cioppino Seafood Stew (2)

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What is Cioppino?

Like my dad who was born there (go Niners!), San Francisco is where cioppino was created way back in the 1800s when Italian immigrant fishermen would share the day’s catch with other fishermen who came home empty handed. The Italian seafood stew is a grab bag of ingredients and can easily be adapted to what’s available. The word “cioppino” comes from the word “ciuppin,” which means chopped in Italian.

Other cultures have a version of cioppino, including Italy’s neighbor, France, where their fisherman’s stew is known as bouillabaisse.

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.

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What’s in This Cioppino Recipe?

The most beloved ingredients incioppinoare obviously the seafood. As to which seafood, that’s totally your choice and can include any combination of:

  • shrimp
  • clams
  • mussels
  • meaty white fish such as cod or halibut
  • scallops
  • crab
  • lobster
  • calamari or squid
  • shucked oysters

Ina keeps this cioppino recipe simple by calling form shrimp, cod, scallops and mussels. I added clams too because we love them so.

Ina Garten’s Cioppino Seafood Stew (4)

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In addition to your choice of seafood, here’s what else you’ll need to make this authentic cioppino recipe:

  • Olive oil
  • Fennel
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Fennel seeds
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Seafood stock
  • White wine
  • Anise flavored liqueur
  • Fresh parsley

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How to Make Cioppino

The broth for this fisherman’s stew is incredibly easy to make, with canned crushed tomatoes, white wine, and seafood stock. I’ve found just one grocery store brandthat makes seafood stock, so you could use clam juice, ormake homemade seafood stock.

Sauté the onion and fennel. Heat the olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the onion and fennel for 10 minutes, until tender.

Stir in your flavor builders—the garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Bring to a boil and simmer. 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.

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Stir in the seafood. 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.

Stir in the liqueur. Take care not to break up the fish; cover and set aside for 3 minutes for the flavors to blend. Toss any unopened clams or mussels.

And there you have it! Dinner is served. Don’t forget the crusty sourdough for dipping!

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What Type of Liqueur Should I Use?

Ina calls for Pernod, an anise-flavored liqueur, to be added before serving. Pastis, ouzo, or sambuca may be substituted.

What’s the Best White Wine for Cioppino?

Any dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio, will work in this cioppino recipe. Use a white wine you’d happily drink, not one labeled as “cooking wine.”

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Tips for Making Cioppino Seafood Stew

This cioppino is easy to make, especially with these helpful tips:

  • Scrub the shells then soak the mussels in a bowl of water with a few tablespoons of flour for 30 minutes, or so the mussels spew any sand that may be lurking in the shells. Nobody likes a mouthful of sand, except live mussels. Rinse them before adding to the stew.
  • I prefer a cioppino that’s easy to eat so I shell and remove the tails from my shrimp before cooking.
  • And while I LOVE crab, I don’t usually include it because it’s a mess to crack the shells after they’ve been soaked in that lush tomato broth. If you decide to use crab, I suggest you cut the legs in half lengthwise for your guests so the meat is easy to strip straight from the shell.
  • To make this cioppino even faster to cook on weeknights or for an easy get together, prepare the soup base up to 2 days before, refrigerate, then reheat and add the seafood before serving.

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Cioppino Seafood Stew Recipe

You don’t have to be a chef to make this recipe for the Barefoot Contessa’s authentic cioppino recipe, a tomato-based seafood stew loaded with shrimp, cod, mussels, and clams.

CourseMain Course

CuisineItalian

Keywordcioppino

Prep Time30minutesminutes

Cook Time40minutesminutes

Total Time1hourhour10minutesminutes

Servings

Calories373kcal

Ingredients

  • ¼cupolive oil
  • 2cupsfennel bulb, white part only, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 ½cupyellow onion, 1 large, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 3garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1teaspoonwhole fennel seeds
  • ½teaspoonred pepper flakes
  • 128-ounce cancrushed tomatoes
  • 4cupsseafood stock
  • 1 ½cupsdry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1poundcod fillets, skin removed, cut into 2-inch dice
  • 1poundlarge shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • 1poundsea scallops, halved crosswise
  • 1dozenmussels, scrubbed
  • 1dozenlittleneck clams, or other small clam
  • 1tablespoonanise flavored liqueur, such as Pernod or Pastis
  • 3tablespoonsparsley, minced

Instructions

  • 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.

  • Stir in the garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ladle into large, shallow bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve with slices of sourdough baguette.

Notes

  • To make this cioppino even faster to cook on weeknights or for an easy get together, prepare the soup base up to 2 days before, refrigerate, then reheat and add the seafood before serving.
  • Recipe by Ina Garten,Cook Like a Pro. Reprinted by permission Clarkson Potter/Publishers.

Nutrition

Calories:373kcal|Carbohydrates:11g|Protein:42g|Fat:12g|Saturated Fat:1g|Cholesterol:241mg|Sodium:1467mg|Potassium:905mg|Fiber:1g|Sugar:2g|Vitamin A:285IU|Vitamin C:13.4mg|Calcium:209mg|Iron:3.2mg

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