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overhead shot of cioppino in a white bowl
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4.74 from 103 votes

San Francisco Cioppino

Cioppino is a  classic San Francisco seafood dish that will make you look like a superstar in the kitchen.  The rich red sauce is a perfect compliment to the seafood and although it takes a little while to cook, it's a delicious restaurant-style dish that you can serve in your own home.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian - American
Servings: 3
Calories: 744kcal


  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb thinly sliced (core removed)
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 3 large shallots chopped
  • 4 cloves large garlic sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 26 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 2 cups dry white or red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 dozen small clams scrubbed
  • 1 dozen mussels scrubbed
  • 9 16-20 count shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 9 large sea scallops
  • 3 crabs- dungeness preferred (snow crab, blue claw, or Stone Crab Claws)
  • ½ pound of firm fish cut into 3 pieces optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more if you like it spicy


  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a deep skillet or ductch oven over medium heat.
  • Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt. Saute until the onion becomes translucent about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and continue to saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, plum tomatoes and all juices, wine, chicken stock, and bay leaf.
  • Bring the sauce to a light boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and allow to cook for one hour, stirring occasionally
  • While the sauce is simmering using another saute pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sear the shrimp, scallops (and fish pieces if used) on both sides, making sure not to fully cook them (about half way is fine)
  • Remove the seafood from the pan and place it on a plate until needed. If you did use the fish pieces you can add them to the sauce now.
    *do not add the shrimp or scallops at this time
  • In the same pan add a little more oil, the clams and mussels. Cover and steam them until they open.
    *If any of the mussels or clams are open before cooking discard them, they're dead and aren't safe for consumption.
  • At about the 45-minute mark of simmering the sauce, add in the crabs, mussels and clams with all the pan juices. Continue to simmer.
  • If you are serving your Choppino over pasta you may begin getting the water ready at this time.
  • With five minutes of cooking time remaining, add in the shrimp and scallops.
  • Taste the sauce and re-season as needed.
  • If you cooked pasta serve over pasta. If not, enjoy this delicious stew with a loaf of crusty bread.


Calories: 744kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 59g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 3213mg | Potassium: 2589mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1115IU | Vitamin C: 52.5mg | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 7.1mg