Cioppino: San Francisco's Famous Seafood Stew

A plate of Cioppino.

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 75 mins
Total: 95 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
950 Calories
30g Fat
32g Carbs
120g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 950
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 30g 39%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 376mg 125%
Sodium 2107mg 92%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 120g
Vitamin C 55mg 276%
Calcium 262mg 20%
Iron 16mg 88%
Potassium 2503mg 53%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This great cioppino recipe is a version of the City by the Bay's signature dish. Cioppino is a delicious stew featuring an array of fresh seafood in a flavorful tomato and wine sauce, just waiting for a large hunk of sourdough bread to be dunked into it. This cioppino recipe is San Francisco's famous Fisherman's Wharf in a bowl.

Italian fishermen developed this ciopinno recipe during the mid-1800s. There are two stories about where the name "ciopinno" came from. Most believe it's based on an Italian soup called "​ciuppin." A more colorful version is that the fisherman used to gather after the day's work was done and all tossed different pieces of fish and seafood into a communal pot for supper. They would call out to each other in broken English "chip in," "hey you, chip in," and this was the root of the word ciopinno. While it's not a likely story, it is certainly more interesting.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 stalk celery, chopped

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 cups clam juice, or fish stock

  • 2 cups white wine

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoons dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 (2-pound) Dungeness crab, cracked and cleaned, or 1 pound frozen crabmeat thawed

  • 2 pounds halibut fillet, cut into 1-inch slices

  • 24 large prawns, peeled and deveined

  • 12 mussels

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large pot, on medium-low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil and saute the celery and onions until soft, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients except the seafood and fresh parsley.

  3. Simmer on low, uncovered, for 1 hour.

  4. Add a splash of water if the sauce gets too thick. Taste for salt and adjust if needed.

  5. Add the crab, shrimp, and halibut, and simmer covered another 5 minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pot and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mussels open. Turn off the heat and stir in the Italian parsley.

  6. Ladle the ciopinno into large bowls and serve with lots of sourdough bread and red wine.

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