Cioppino Recipe


Cioppino is a rich, red, seafood-based soup that was developed in the early 1800s by Portuguese and Italian fishermen that settled along the Northern California coast around San Francisco.  It was first prepared on their fishing vessels from leftover pieces of fish, clams, mussels, and dungeness crabs.  Cioppino, which has many similarities to other mediterranean fish dishes such as bouillabaise, grew in popularity in the Bay Area and has been on the menus of many of San Francisco’s restaurants ever since.  It is a great winter-time dish and is best served with toasted sour dough bread and a Oregon Pinot Noir.  If sour dough bread is unavailable, you can make yourself a loaf of Easy Artisan Bread which will work just as well.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 – 4 flat anchovie fillets
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 cup California Chardonnay
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
32 oz. crushed red tomatoes
1 cup clam juice
1 tbsp thyme
1 tspn oregano
1 tspn basil
1 hand full of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds cod or other white fish, cut into 2 inch chunks
8 large shrimp
16 mussels or clams
1 can of lump crab meat or fresh crabs (if you can get them) – Dungeness crabs are the best with this but they are usually only available on the US west coast.  Blue crabs would also work with this recipe for cioppino.

+ sour dough bread or Easy Artisan Bread.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, anchovies, garlic, and the bay leaf.
  2. As  the anchovies begin to disintegrate, add the diced yellow onion and cook the onion for a few minutes until it becomes translucent in color.
  3. Add 1 cup of chardonnay and continue to cook for a few minutes to allow the wine to reduce.
  4. Add the chicken stock, crushed red tomatoes, clam juice, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Let the soup simmer for an hour.
  5. Season the white fish on both sides with salt and pepper.  Set aside while the soup simmers.
  6. After an hour has passed, add the shrimp, mussels or clams, crab meat, and pieces of white fish to the cioppino.  Do not stir the mixture so that the pieces of white fish do not break apart.  Let the cioppino simmer for another hour to allow all of the flavors to meld.
  7. Serve cioppino hot with slices of toasted bread and red wine (Oregon Pinot Noir or this Pinot Noir one from Chile if you can find it).

USA Flag United States  [ print this recipe for Cioppino ]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *