Cioppino - Mediterranean Seafood Stew

Cioppino - Mediterranean Seafood Stew

If you love seafood and the flavors of the Mediterranean then you have to make cioppino.  It’s a flavorful tomato based seafood stew that’s so good you might want to lick the plate.  I’m pretty sure it has its origins in San Francisco with fishermen of Italian descent .   I could be wrong.  It doesn't really matter.  My recipe probably isn't done the way they   originally made it either. 

For me this dish originated in my childhood when my mom declared, “I’m making cioppino for dinner”. 


I wasn't sure what it was but I loved seafood so I loved her stew.  I think mine has some ingredients that she didn't include.  I’m pretty sure hers didn't contain olives, bell pepper or saffron.  It’s hard to say for sure without checking.  It doesn't really matter how she made it.  This stew has evolved to suit my tastes and isn't that what good cooking is all about.

My cioppino beats the stew I remember hands down so authenticity can take a backseat.  The sauce is so delicious you just have to have some good bread to mop it all up.  Today I used grilled slices of Canyon Bakehouse’s rosemary thyme focaccia.  Let just say I wasn't disappointed.

Cioppino (Seafood Stew)
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 15 - 20 min
Servings: 2

  • 1 lb seafood ( I used a mixture of cod, shrimp, and calamari rings)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove sliced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 anchovies fillets (or 1-2 inches of anchovy paste)
  • ½ onion diced
  • ½ red pepper cut into small strips
  • 1 carrot cut small pieces
  • 12 green olives or kalamata olives, halved
  • pinch of saffron
  • ¾  cup wine
  • 1 cup of tomato puree
  • ¾  cup water
  • pinch of dried thyme
  • grilled bread (I used canyon bakehouse rosemary thyme focaccia)
  • chili oil and lemon (to finish the dish)

Video Tutorial: 

  1. Add the olive oil to a medium pan and saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and anchovy paste together for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic just begins to toast. 
  2. Add the carrot, onion, peppers, and olives and saute until the veggies just start to wilt and the onions begin to get translucent.
  3. Add a pinch of saffron and stir, then add the wine, tomato puree, water and thyme then stir to combine.
  4. Bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes then begin to add the seafood.
  5. Simmer the cod for 3 minutes on the first side then gently flip it over, add the rest of the seafood, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and fully cooked. 
  6. To finish the dish, serve you can snip over some fresh herbs I used parsley and basil then squeeze over some fresh lemon, and drizzle with chili oil.  Serve with grilled bread.

  1. I left the cod whole so I added it a few minutes before the other seafood since it would take a few more minutes to cook but if you cut it into bite sized pieces everything could be added together.
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