22 Sensational Seafood Soups and Stews

From the sea to your table

Easy Oyster Stew

The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

Want to get more seafood into your diet? Fish and shellfish are not only delicious — they are also generally low in cholesterol, and packed with healthy protein and minerals that can be hard to get from other foods (think zinc-rich oysters). Whether you are looking for new weekday lunch ideas on a budget, want an elegant starter to kick off dinner parties, or looking to learn more about global flavors, we've rounded up our favorite seafood soups and stews you can make any time of year, for practically every occasion.

  • 01 of 22

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder

    Instant Pot Clam Chowder

    Kristina Vanni

    You won't need to travel to New England for a rich, thick white clam chowder. This tasty version uses the Instant Pot to cook up a classic Atlantic coast chowder with both clams and clam juice, tender diced potatoes, crispy crumbled bacon, onion, and celery. Serve it with saltines or oyster crackers for an instantly warming lunch or dinner.

  • 02 of 22

    Jjampong (Spicy Korean-Chinese Seafood Soup)

    Spicy Korean-Chinese Seafood Soup (Jjampong)

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Visit any Koreatown in cities across the world and you are likely to find jjampong, a spicy and aromatic seafood soup thought to have been created by Chinese immigrants living in Nagasaki, Japan. It is a soothing, filling mixture of noodles (egg or udon), assorted seafood, pork, and vegetables in a bright and perky red soup base spiked with dried red chilies.

  • 03 of 22

    Flemish Waterzooi (Flemmish Seafood Stew)

    Traditional Flemish Waterzooi

    The Spruce/Daniel Patriasz

    Waterzooi is a uniquely hearty and creamy Flemish stew that is a popular winter dish in Belgium. While some modern versions use chicken, or even wild game, we stick to seafood, potatoes, and root vegetables for a more traditional recipe. Feel free to vary the mixed seafood as needed, based on what is available at the market. A glug of malty Belgian beer would also be a nice addition to the broth.

  • 04 of 22

    Tom Yum Talay (Thai Seafood Soup)

    Tom Yum Talay Soup

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    Tom Yum Talay is a spicy and sour seafood soup from Thailand. This recipe is authentic and incredible tasting with its delicious combination of seafood, lemongrass, coconut milk, and lime. The soup soothes and uplifts the spirit as well as the body.

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  • 05 of 22

    Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse

    The Spruce/Ali Redmond

    Put on some French jazz, break out the baguette, and dig into a Marseilles-style feast with bowls of classic bouillabaisse. It takes some time to prepare the rich seafood broth for this iconic French seafood stew, but the results are well worth it. The final dish brimming with chunks of fish, crab, squid, mussels, and lobster is a true seafood lover's delight.

  • 06 of 22

    Sizzling Rice Soup

    Sizzling Rice Soup

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

    A restaurant specialty, sizzling rice soup makes crackling sounds when crisp rice is added to the hot broth. But why enjoy this meal at a restaurant only? Bring this delicious sizzling rice recipe to your friends and family at home.

  • 07 of 22

    Cullen Skink

    Scottish Cullen Skink

    The Spruce

    Cullen skink is a smoked haddock chowder that is one of Scotland's most beloved comfort food dishes. Our version of this famous recipe uses mashed potatoes, instead of the more common potato chunks, to add thickness and creaminess to the creamy, milk-based broth, for a rib-sticking fish chowder that is suitable for gluten-free diets.

  • 08 of 22

    Easy Oyster Stew

    Easy Oyster Stew

    The Spruce/Maxwell Cozzi

    If you think of oysters as a fancy restaurant indulgence, you may be surprised by this homey, one-pot oyster stew that needs almost no prep, and always hits the spot on colder days. Really a creamy seafood soup, it is a holiday classic starter, especially for Italian families celebrating the Feast of Seven Fishes. You need just 20 minutes, and fewer than 10 ingredients, to cook up a big pot to enjoy with crackers or crusty bread.

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  • 09 of 22

    Tom Yum Soup

    Thai Tom Yum Soup

    The Spruce

    Tom yum soup is one of the culinary triumphs of Thai cuisine. Light, lean, and intensely flavorful, topped with plump, juicy shrimp, it is easy to prepare with chicken stock, lemongrass, garlic, lime, coconut milk, fresh veggies, and a pop of spicy heat from optional chili oil. Enjoy it for a special starter at dinner, or a soothing meal in one bowl when you are fighting a cold.

  • 10 of 22

    Moqueca de Peixe (Brazilian Fish Stew)

    Brazilian Fish Stew (Moqueca de Peixe)

    The Spruce/Ahlam Raffii

    From Bahia, Brazil comes this colorful and tropical fish stew. Flavored with coconut milk and palm oil, and studded with meaty morsels of fish, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and cilantro, it makes a filling meal in one bowl. Ladle it over steamed white rice, or fried plantains, for a true South American dining experience.

  • 11 of 22

    Tom Kha (Thai Tom Yum Soup With Coconut Milk)

    Tom Yum Soup with Coconut Milk

    The Spruce Eats / Maxwell Cozzi

    Tom Kha is similar to Tom Yum in many ways, but the critical difference is Tom Kha's broth depends on coconut milk. It's hot, spicy, and oh-so creamy. This warming soup is full of vegetables, aromatics, chiles, and umami flavor.

  • 12 of 22

    Frogmore Stew (Low Country Boil)

    Frogmore Stew (Low Country Boil)

    The Spruce

    No, there are no frogs in this classic seafood stew named after a South Carolina Low Country fishing community — just shrimp, corn on the cob, sausages, new potatoes, and the essential seafood boil seasoning. Boil it up nice in 30 minutes for tailgating events or backyard cookouts, with a splash of optional hot sauce, and maybe a nice cold beer to go alongside.

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  • 13 of 22

    Slow Cooker Fish Chowder

    Slow Cooker Fish Chowder

    The Spruce

    Fry up some bacon, chop some thawed frozen fish, potatoes, and onion, and set your slow cooker to do the rest. Kids and adults alike will love our home-style slow cooker fish chowder that gets a rich, creamy finish from evaporated milk added near the end of the cooking time. Serve it with rolls or crackers for a warming lunch or dinner.

  • 14 of 22

    Okra Stew With Prawns and Lobster Tails

    Okra Stew With Prawns and Lobster Tails

    The Spruce/Cara Cormack

    With a unique, traditional flavor from Ghanian-style ingredients including okra, palm oil, ginger, and scotch bonnet pepper, this spicy West African stew featuring shrimp and lobster is a feast for all of the senses. It looks and tastes special, but is surprisingly easy to make in under an hour.

  • 15 of 22

    Fresh Salmon Chowder

    Fresh Salmon Chowder

    The Spruce

    Fresh salmon is an excellent choice for this creamy lunchtime chowder, but you could also use economical canned salmon from the pantry. Either way, it makes a satisfying meal in one bowl, with nuggets of protein-rich fish, hearty potatoes, peas, celery, a chicken stock base, and plenty of meltingly creamy cheddar cheese.

  • 16 of 22

    Tadich Grill Cioppino for Two

    Tadich Grill Cioppino for Two

    The Spruce/Ali Redmond

    Cioppino is a San Francisco Italian specialty. What started as a humble, tomato-based soup including seafood scraps has become much more spectacular over time. Our version, inspired by the famous menu item at San Francisco's famous Tadich Grill, includes mussels, white fish, shrimp or crab, fennel, white wine, and a splash of licorice liqueur, for a company-worthy starter.

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  • 17 of 22

    Shrimp, Barley and Lemon Stew

    Shrimp, Barley and Lemon Stew

    Laurel Randolph

    If you're watching your calories, or trying to get more fiber in your diet, you'll want to know about this delicious shrimp, barley, and lemon stew. It's lighter than the typical beef and barley soup, but still has a satisfying, rib-sticking texture from pearl barley and sweet potatoes, and a sweet, bright flavor from simmered pink shrimp, and fresh lemon juice and zest.

  • 18 of 22

    Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

    Crab and Shrimp Seafood Bisque

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

    Brimming with luscious lumps of crabmeat, and dotted with plump, sweet shrimp, this restaurant-style seafood bisque is an easy gourmet dish you can cook at home. All you need is 30 minutes, and a single pot, to prepare this stove-top wonder on busy weeknights. The secret to its thick and creamy base is a flour-based roux, which transforms heavy cream and tomato paste into something special-tasting.

  • 19 of 22

    Laksa Noodle Soup

    laksa with shrimp and chicken
    Diana Rattray

    Laksa noodle soup is a super-flavorful Malaysian dish. The soup is thought to be a blending of Chinese and Malaysian or Javanese cuisines, either through the merging of cultures or intermarriage. There are two significant kinds of laksa, each with several variants, depending on the region. This recipe is for a basic curry laksa. 

  • 20 of 22

    Basque Seafood Stew

    Basque Seafood Stew

    Sarka Babicka/Moment Open/Getty Images

    This is a rich and satisfying seafood stew that originates in the Basque country -- in the Pyrenees and on the Atlantic coast at the border of Spain and France. What makes this stew special is a combination of seafood, both hot and sweet paprika and a combination of herbs.

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  • 21 of 22

    Tuna Corn Chowder

    Tuna Corn Chowder

    Diana Rattray

    Use fresh or frozen corn kernels for this budget-conscious tuna chowder that makes a great weekday lunch idea for kids. Some of the corn is pureed, giving an extra-thick texture to the already-creamy, chowder-like soup base. With a colorful topping of chopped fresh parsley, this easy pantry soup is bright enough for spring holiday luncheons, too.

  • 22 of 22

    Lobster Stew

    Lobster Stew

    Diana Rattray

    You don't need many ingredients to make an absolutely fabulous lobster stew. Just a few subtle seasonings are all that's needed to highlight delicate lobster meat. With an indulgent, buttery broth made with milk, heavy cream, and an optional splash of cooking sherry, this soup makes a delicious and elegant starter for anniversary dinners, and other romantic meals at home.