Cioppino – San Francisco Italian Fisherman’s Stew Recipe

Cioppino – San Francisco Italian Fisherman’s Stew is filled with fish and shellfish in a tasty Italian tomato broth. Serve with warm bread.

Cioppino is a hearty stew traditionally made from the catch of the day.  Authentic San Francisco Cioppino would include Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish.  Use your favorite combination of fresh fish and shellfish and buy what is available fresh from your local fish market.


Cioppino - San Francisco Italian Fisherman's Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 475kcal
Author: Kelly DiMascio
A hearty stew made with fresh fish and shellfish in a tomato and wine broth.  Delicious and hearty this makes a great dish for a party or family get together.
Print Recipe


  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 onion - chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 T red pepper flakes - adjust for spiciness
  • 1/4 t dried basil
  • 1/4 t dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes - 1 can or 4 or five fresh Roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine - chardonnay, pinot grigio, etc
  • 50 live clams - washed
  • 2 lbs live mussels
  • 2 lb raw wild shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 2 lb Dungeness or snow crab legs - cut at each joint (optional)
  • 6 small lobster tails
  • 1 1/2 lb firm white fish - halibut, snapper, mahi-mahi, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley to garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent, stirring occasionally about 4 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, thyme, and bay leaves; sauté until the garlic is aromatic and golden, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add tomatoes and clam juice; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med/low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. 
  • Add white wine and cook another 10 minutes. Add the clams and mussels. Simmer and covered, until the clams and mussels have started to open, about 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and crab legs. Carefully add fish pieces, do not stir, cover cook until the shrimp and fish are opaque and the clams mussels are fully opened, about 4 -5 minutes Taste for salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley.
  • Add the clams and mussels. Simmer and covered, until the clams and mussels have started to open, about 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the shrimp and crab legs. 
  • Carefully add fish pieces, do not stir, cover cook until the shrimp and fish are opaque and the clams mussels are fully opened, about 4 -5 minutes 
  • Taste and add salt and pepper as need, and garnish with parsley.


Note about the crab meat:  If you can't find good crab, feel free to substitute canned jumbo lump crab meat and add it when you add the fish pieces.
Remove fish pieces from stew and refrigerate separately.
To reheat, strain broth into a saucepan and heat broth until very hot.  Add Seafood and heat until just warmed through.


Calories: 475kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 456mg | Sodium: 2609mg | Potassium: 1232mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 29.6mg | Calcium: 331mg | Iron: 7.7mg
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