Easy Cioppino Seafood Soup

This Easy Cioppino Seafood Soup is quite a showstopper and it really is easy to make. Make this classic dish for a special occasion, dinner party, or just a wonderful meal at home. This soup is made with scallops, mussels, clams, cod, and shrimp, this soup is a seafood lover’s dream!

a large dutch oven filled with cioppino seafood soup
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You are in for quite a treat when you make this Easy Cioppino Seafood Soup! Once you get all of your ingredients prepped and ready, all you have to do is wait for the flavors to cook together and you will have a delicious and hearty meal. Serve with fresh garlic bread and it will feel like you are dining in your favorite fancy restaurant.

a bowl of seafood cioppino with mussels, clams, shrimp, fish, and scallops served with bread

What is Cioppino?

Cioppino is said to have been first created in San Francisco by an Italian fisherman (cioppino is also a common Italian dish) and is made from a tomato-based broth with wine combined with a variety of seafood. It is usually served with bread to soak up the delicious broth (Wikipedia).

Ingredients to Make Tomato Seafood Soup

From the pantry you will need some good olive oil, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, canned crushed tomatoes, seafood stock, white wine, salt, and pepper. Fresh vegetables and herbs include fennel, onion, garlic, and fresh parsley.

And, of course, you need some seafood! For this recipe, I used cod, shrimp, scallops, mussels, and clams. The great thing about making your own seafood soup is that you get to decide what seafood to use and how much of each one you want to put in.

seafood cioppino in a large dutch oven pot

How to Make Cioppino

  1. Heat the olive oil, add the diced fennel and onion and cook for about 10 minutes. Put in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, seafood stock, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the seafood. Start with the cod, shrimp, and scallops. Finally, add the mussels and clams. Increase the heat until the soup is simmering and then lower the heat, cover and cook the seafood for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow the soup to rest for a few minutes before serving. Remove any mussels or clams that didn’t open up and discard them.

Serve Cioppino With Garlic Bread

Classic Cioppino is always served with bread, usually toasted garlic bread. It’s easy to make your own garlic butter that you can add to any bread. You can also purchase pre-made garlic bread.

And then if you want to go all out, you can make my No-Knead Rosemary Bread for one more homemade touch. You can easily omit the rosemary if you want to. Just remember you need to plan in advance and make the dough the day before you make the soup.

a bowl of cioppino with fresh bread

How to Make Garlic Bread

This is the perfect task while the cioppino is cooking. Preheat the oven to 400° and prepare a baking sheet with a rack if you have one or you can place the bread directly on the oven rack. Slice the bread into even slices, about ½” thick.

Add 1/2 stick of butter, 2 cloves garlic (minced), and salt (if using unsalted butter) to a small bowl and mix everything with a spoon. Spread the butter on each piece of bread (depending on the size of your bread loaf, you may need more or less butter). Lay the slices on the prepared baking sheet (or carefully on the oven rack) and bake for 15 minutes, until brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you finish the soup.

Tips On Making Seafood Soup

  • Gather and prep all of your ingredients before you start making this soup. I promise you will be a much happier camper and the process will be seamless.
  • Most seafood is frozen or partially frozen when purchased at the store so make sure it is fully thawed before adding to the soup otherwise you will have rubbery seafood. Eeek!
  • Add the seafood in the right order and then don’t stir it! They will cook in the broth but stay nice and firm and put together.
  • Don’t forget to add an empty bowl to your table for the discarded shells!!
  • Seafood stock can be found at high-end grocery stores, online or you can make your own if you are really feeling sassy.
  • Remove any mussels or clams that did not open when cooking in the broth. They need to be discarded because they are not good for eating.

More Soup Recipes to Check Out

a bowl of seafood cioppino

Easy Cioppino Seafood Soup

This Easy Cioppino Seafood Soup is quite a showstopper and it really is easy to make.
5 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Bread: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 424kcal
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • large dutch oven or heavy pot

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cups fennel bulb, diced
  • cups onion, diced (yellow or sweet)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced (about 3 cloves)
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (San Marzano is best)
  • 4 cups seafood stock (or vegetable/chicken if you can't find seafood)
  • cups dry white wine
  • salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 lb cod fillet, cubed (no skin)
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ lb sea scallops, cut in half
  • 1 lb mussels (gently scrub the outside)
  • ½ lb clams
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • crusty baguette or bread, sliced (see post for garlic bread recipe)

Instructions

  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil and then add the diced fennel and onion and cook for about 10 minutes. Put in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
    fennel, onion and seasoning in a pot
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, wine, seafood stock, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
    cioppino soup before adding seafood
  • Now it's time to add the seafood! This order is best and be sure not to disturb the seafood once it's in the broth! Start with the cod, shrimp, and scallops. Finally, add the mussels and clams (carefully make sure they are covered in broth). Increase the heat until the soup is simmering and then lower the heat, cover and cook the seafood for 8-10 minutes (the mussels and clams will open up).
    cioppino in a pot with seafood added
  • Remove from the heat and allow the soup to rest for a few minutes before serving. Remove any mussels or clams that didn't open up and discard (they are no good). Serve in a large bowl and sprinkles with fresh parsley.
    a bowl of cioppino with fresh bread

Notes

  • Nutrition facts are estimates for the soup only, it does not include the bread. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 424kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.4g | Protein: 60.4g | Fat: 4.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 244mg | Sodium: 1091mg | Potassium: 1030mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9.2g | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 19mg

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

a bowl of fresh cioppino with shrimp, mussels, clams, fish and scallops
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