Italian Seafood Soup {Cioppino} Recipe

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Italian Seafood Soup or Cioppino is an elegant, one-pot dream come true. It’s chock full of seafood and flavor, low calorie, low-carb and easier to make than you could possibly imagine!

Italian Seafood Soup in bowl with spoon

We had this delicious Italian Seafood Soup last Christmas Eve. It was divine and I could hardly wait to share it. But, I did. I waited. I wanted to save it for the “perfect” night.

Am I the only one who ends up having splurge dishes, like Broiled Scallops with a Parmesan Crust, Shrimp Couscous Paella or Crock-Pot Beef Bourguignon once or twice a year? 

Upon further reflection, I decided this recipe should not follow the path of fine china or holiday dishes…the ones you only pull out for special occasions and guests. I’m all about celebrating every day and savoring life’s moments big and small. 

So, I promptly prepared another pot of seafood cioppino soup, for lunch no less, and took some pictures. It really wasn’t much of an ordeal. It takes about an hour to make this one-pot soup and a good part of that time is hands-off simmering.

We thoroughly enjoyed it for lunch on Saturday. 🙂 It was sort of my own personal declaration that any day is a good day to enjoy a delicious meal you love with family and friends.

Seafood Cioppino Stew in bowl with spoon

Tips to Make the Best Italian Seafood Soup

There are several keys to making this seafood cioppino stew spectacular (and conversely, not the creation it should be.)

  • Allow the vegetables and spices to simmer and meld together for a full 30 minutes. I’ve shortened this step when making Homemade Vegetable Soup…and I am always disappointed. Since pricey seafood is involved, don’t make that mistake.
  • Don’t be scared to use live mussels and clams. They are a fun addition to this stew and very easy to work with.

Tips for working with Clams and Mussels: Buy them alive and store in the refrigerator in a bag that is open just a bit so that they get some air. When you are ready to cook them, if they are “closed” then they are good. If they are open a bit, then they might not be. Tap them on the counter and if they close up, then they are still good. The ones that don’t open need to be tossed. Ours were already cleaned when I purchased them. Check with the store where you buy them for special instructions.

All that being said, you can easily substitute a can of clams.

  • Don’t overcook the seafood and allow it to become tough and rubbery. It’s added at the end to achieve perfection. The shrimp should just turn pink, the scallops no longer opaque and the shells of the mollusks should be open. Resist the temptation to go a bit longer “just to be sure.”

Easy Italian Seafood Stew in bowl with spoon and bread on the side

What to serve with Italian Seafood Soup

Here are some serving suggestions to round out a dinner where seafood soup is the main attraction:

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Seafood Cioppino Stew
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5 from 3 votes

Italian Seafood Soup

Italian Seafood Soup or Cioppino is an easy, elegant, one-pot dream come true. It's low-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free and delicious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 255kcal


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 celery stalk sliced
  • 29 ounces diced tomatoes 2 14.5 ounce cans, petite diced
  • 32 ounces broth low-salt chicken or vegetable
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined, tail off (I used medium-sized shrimp)
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1 pound cod cubed or other firm white fish, such as mahi mahi
  • 10 clams cleaned
  • 10 mussels cleaned and debearded


  • Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery to pot and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add tomatoes, broth, wine, basil, thyme and oregano to the pot and stir to combine.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the seafood and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until seafood is cooked through and clams and mussels have opened.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1088mg | Potassium: 922mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4145IU | Vitamin C: 17.8mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3.4mg
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We'd love for you to share!


  1. Ahhh! I LOVE cioppino, and I’ve been craving it for so long! I made it for New Year’s Day about four years ago, as eating seafood on that day is said to bring good luck, so cioppino should be LOTS of good luck. I vowed to make it every year on New Year’s Day, but then we started taking vacations for that holiday, and it just didn’t work out that way. I guess I’ll have to find some other occasion for it 🙂

  2. I love seafood and this soup is perfect, I’m sure my family will love this one. Thank you for sharing a great recipe and it really looks delicious, I’ve bookmarked it.

  3. Oh my goodness! I haven’t had Cioppino in so long. That needs to change right now! Your recipe for this traditional Italian dish is excellent. Yum. Yum!

  4. Nellie Tracy says

    I’ve never had Cioppino but this looks incredible and I am definitely going to have to try it now!

  5. I love your encouragement to think of this as an any day meal and not just for special occasions! Wonderful post and recipe.

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