Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
30 min
1 hr

6 servings

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 5 cups fish stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

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    170 Reviews
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    Top notch recipe - no changes to suggest. Just two of us tonight, so I made the full amount of broth (removed half to freeze for another time) but used only half the amount of seafood. Easy and restaurant quality. I look forward to adding seafood to the saved broth in future for an instant gourmet dinner.
    Better than when I've had it at a restaurant, very flavorful and very healthy!!!
    Guests were impressed, and it was quite easy to make.
    Oh dear me! How can this be so unbelievably easy, yet taste so complex? I am amazed! My dearest friend (of 32 years) and I have run away to the south coast of Sydney, Australia for a few days. It's been a seafood (and eat it!) kind of holiday. Shopped at the co-op then cooked up a storm! There's something about this top restaurant-quality dish that makes me feel guilty .... so much incredible flavour for such a lazy effort. I will never slave over bouillabaisse again. Never! Thanks, Giarda. You are my new food hero!
    This was delicious, easy to make, and even my kids loved it. The most time consuming part was cleaning the mussels and clams. I would highly recommend adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of fresh parsley to each bowl as you serve it. It made a huge pot and was amazing with crusty bread toasted and rubbed with fresh garlic. Will be making again soon!
    Delish. My modifications included adding fresh scallops, and crabmeat. I used littlenecks, cod which was a great texture, salmon, and shrimp. Did not use fennel or shallots as I had none on hand, however added two diced cherry peppers (from the jar which were delish and added extra spice. Fresh herbs parsley, thyme, oregano, and basil. Can't wait to try it with the shallots and fennel! Great recipe.
    I made this for Christmas Eve dinner and it was a HUGE hit - even with the kids. Should have reviewed it then but coming back to it now to make this weekend. Using the foundation as a broth for mussels. Delicious!!!
    I followed this recipe to a "T". It was absolutely perfect!!! Huge hit, even with my 10yr. old.
    I want to serve this for dinner for six people with sour dough bread. Is it necessary to serve something else with it and if so what do you recomend? I thought I would serve three appetizers before dinner. Any suggestions?
    I don't believe in reviewing a recipe that I've changed significantly, but I wanted people to know that I made this WITHOUT shellfish, because one of my guests had a shellfish allergy. yes, you can make this without shellfish! I used cubes of tilapia, cod, and mahi mahi.  
    Also: I would normally make seafood stock with shrimp shells, but i obviously couldn't do that. So I bought vegetable stock and simmered it for about an hour with a chunk of cod, a handful of fresh parsley, and the dark green ends of a leek. (And then strained it. This created a very pleasant-fish-flavored stock.
    It's simple, easy and extremely delicious. Whole Foods was out of mussels, so I substituted with more little necks, scallops and a half dozen oysters. I added a little more Penzeys very hot red pepper flakes. I also subbed in a pound of haddock. I like a lighter white fish in cioppino. It will stay together if you put it in at the very last minute, before you salt to taste and stir. Shut the heat off quickly.
    I highly recommend this recipe..Would definitely make it again..I made my own shrimp stock from the shells I've been saving for the last 4 months. I stored the shells in the freezer. The recipe didn't state the size of the onion so I used a small yellow onion. I pretty much had all the veggies and seasoning ingredients except it was hard to find clams and firm textured fish. So I compromised and used mostly shrimp, shark fillet and canned chopped clams. It still came out great, better on the 2nd day.
    Made this for Hogmanay and it turned out great. I couldn't get fish stock so subbed 2 1/2 cups clam juice plus 2 1/2 cups veg stock.
    I have made this twice. The first time, it was amazing. The second time, ehhh. I think it has so much to do with the fish stock you use and of course the freshness of your seafood. I thought this would be my go to holiday recipe but I may try another one. It is a very expensive dish to make, if you are using quality seafood. The stock I used was a frozen one from Whole Foods and I don't remember the brand.
    Made this for friends a few days before Christmas and it was outstanding. Followed the recipe exactly, used halibut for the fish. It was so easy and turned out great. Will do again and again.
    I made this for 12 on Christmas Eve and it was a HIT! (I doubled the recipe This was absolutely wonderful! I have no suggestions or changes. It was fantastic and I would make it again!
    Cooked in my Cuisinart Soup machine and was wonderful. Had to make in smaller portion and with what I had at the moment. Did not use fennel (did not have and used different amounts of everything else and still came out fabulous. 1st time in a LONG time husband and 2 middle school age boys complimented dinner tonight. It's a keeper and will definitely make again. Thx Giada...
    Never made this before and it was terrific. Took a little bit of other ideas and changed it up a bit. Hope I can repeat because I want to share this at my next party.
    This recipe was SO GOOD. Cioppino is my husband's favorite thing but i was always to intimidated to try it. I followed this recipe almost exactly and it was flavorful and amazing. i only had one box of stock so used 1 cup water to make 5 cups. i added some dried oregano and thyme which only made it better, and used clams, scallops, squid and cod which were ALL amazing, with some crusty bread for dipping. We had extra so put it in the fridge, it was even better after a quick simmer the next night! Thanks Giada! you took the fear out of cioppino.
    Quick, easy, and tasty! Few changes: I had a lot of celery in my fridge so I used that instead of fennel and added a teaspoon of tarragon to add a hint of that anise flavor. I bought a package of fresh "seafood medley" (mussels, prawns, scallops, and calamari rings at Costco and dumped them all in at once. I don't agree with her directions to do the shellfish first - I think they would end up rubbery. I also used a dry sherry - wanted to use vermouth but my local store didn't have it (had heard Rachael Ray say that vermouth works really well with seafood and saw that a few cioppino recipes online used it. I found that boxed seafood stock and that makes all the difference. My husband loves seafood soups and this was a winner. Not giving it 5 because it's still not quite as good as the cioppino I had in Newport, Oregon (top rated by Sunset Magazine but for my version still quite good.
    Really ? celery instead of fennel? that's a huge change- celery is powerful flavour wise- you changed the flavour- yuck. Don't review for less than the quality of the original recipe - you distort the quantitative value of the reviews.
    Do the fennel. Trust me.
    This recipe was excellent. I'm not giving it 5 stars only because I save that rating for recipes that change my life. ; Nonetheless, it was great and I'll definitely be making it again. Everyone had two bowls for dinner. 
    Instead of the prescribed seafood, I used a seafood medley mix which is carried by our local Costco. It contained mussels, squid, and scallops. As an added bonus, the package also has a lot of seafood juice to help with the broth. The package is a total of 2.5 lbs. Just right. 
    I did add three sprigs of fresh, diced oregano right at the end to add a nice twist. If I had some fresh basil, I probably would have garnished with that also. 
    With all of the ingredients, this is a pricey dinner but well worth the cost.
    This is a great base recipe for cioppino. I made this 3 times and the last time, I skipped the fennel and actually preferred the flavor of the sauce without the fennel. In my last rendition, I also used lobster, clams and shrimp only. If you decide on lobster, I recommend you steam the lobster most of the way (1 1/2 lb lobsters for 9 or 10 minutes and immediately plunged into ice water. I did everything as the recipe calls for but for the lobster, I cut it in serving pieces and quickly sauteed in a bit of butter to finish cooking and then topped each bowl with an equal share of the lobster. For the record, the recipe calls for 5 cups fish stock. I was annoyed at buying a 2nd carton just for 1 cup and made the recipe with 4 cups. And stupid me threw out the lobster steaming liquid from earlier in the day (duh 
    And, don't forget that fresh bread for dipping
    Wonderful...easy to follow .... I heard ciopinno was good and finally tred it at Allesio's in Northridge. Liked it ...Of course, I have to learn to make this dish. I followed Giada's recipe only substituting the salmon for more shellfish because the fish guy didn't ave any ...wonderful wonderful wonderful....much better than the restaurant's, not chea, but worth it!!!! Thanks for easy delicious recipes?...oh. Left out the many people telling at my table don't like anything I add fennel to!
    Today is Easter and this was on the menu. It was really delicious. Used cod, mussels, lump crab meat and haddock. I warmed the lump crab meat in clarified butter and put it on top of the served bowls as a garnish. Didn't have tomato paste so I used sun dried tomato pesto. Everything else was as the recipe called for. I did make my own fish stock from bones I saved when I filleted my own fish, including the heads. It was so delicious. Served with grilled Italian bread brushed with salt and peppered olive oil before toasting it on both sides on the charcoal grill. You could cut them up for croutons, but dipping was just fine. A very impressive and filling dish. Thanks Giada!
    Excellent recipe. So simple to make. I got a lot of compliments on this dish. Thank you!
    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I didn't have fish stock, so I subbed the fish broth from the Fresh & Easy Seafood Mix (since I used the package for the seafood, anyway plus chicken stock for the remaining liquid. The broth came together very quickly, and I was able to make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until I was ready to put in the seafood. Great flavor, easy to make, if there's a downside, it's that I want to keep eating it even after I'm full. With the Lenten season in full swing, this will definitely be made again soon!
    Very good stew (it needs crab to be cioppino, but great flavors. We had to leave out the fish due to allergy but replaced it with some fresh dungeoness and used a good vegetable stock for the same reason-- delicious. The fennel really gives it a nice, oceany flavor. A very good bread for dipping is a necessity.
    This turned out fantastic. I threw some chopped up kale in at the end to get some extra nutrients and it didn't alter the flavor at all! Will be making this again soon.
    Made this for Valentine's dinner - absolutely fabulous. The broth is fragrant, flavorful and delicious! I made garlic crostini and placed on the bottom of the bowl to soak up all the bothy goodness. The only change I made was substituting clam juice and chicken stock for the fish stock as suggested by others. Will definitely make again and again!
    Another good recipe from Giada! I've made this twice, with different variations. The soup base is great, fennel adds amazing flavor. Don't be don't be afraid of the red pepper. The first time through I thought the soup base was WAY too spicy...until I added the fish, which dissapates the heat. You want just a little bit of zing. I think you can add just about any fish or shellfish. For a special holiday (Xmas I used dungenous crab (which imparts an amazing flavor and lobster tails (split shrimp, mahi mahi, scallops, mussels. I say, leave the shells on the shrimp. Served in bowls over linguini. Huge hit.
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