Cioppino (Seafood Stew)


Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew hailing from San Francisco. Our version—with crab, clams, white fish, and shrimp—is elegant enough for a dinner party. Prep it ahead and finish it just prior to serving. You can adjust the recipe to suit what you find at the fish market: If there are no crab legs, for example, substitute an additional 8 ounces of white fish.


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes with juice, crushed

  • 1 ¼ cups dry white wine

  • 1 ¼ cups water

  • 1 cup bottled clam juice

  • 2 pounds shell-on king crab legs (or Dungeness crab legs), cut into 2-inch pieces (optional)

  • 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed well

  • 1 pound firm, skinless white fish fillets (such as red snapper, sea bass, or halibut), cut into bite-size pieces

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ¼ pounds large shrimp (about 30), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired

  • ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in thyme, oregano, red-pepper flakes, and bay leaf.

  2. Add crushed tomatoes and their juice, white wine, water, and clam juice; bring to a simmer.

  3. Add crab and clams. Simmer, covered, until crab shells turn bright pink and clam shells open, about 10 minutes. Season fish with salt and pepper. Add fish and shrimp to stockpot. Simmer, covered, until fish is opaque and shrimp are pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf and any unopened clams.

  4. Remove pot from heat. Stir in parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

    cioppino seafood stew
    Dana Gallagher

Cook's Notes

Broth can be made through step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days; bring to a simmer before finishing stew.

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