The Best Cioppino Recipe

Are you looking to add some Italian flair to your next party or family gathering? If so, we invite you to try out this amazing Cioppino recipe by 2022 James Beard Foundation Awards Judge Chef William Dissen. Specializing in American farm-to-table cuisine his version of the storied Cioppino stew infuses freshly caught snapper, with large shrimp, littleneck clams, and fish fumet cooked in a Dutch oven.

The chef works with a variety of savory ingredients, such as red pepper, fennel, diced onions, minced garlic, chopped basil, and San Marzano tomatoes cooked down in Pernod and white wine to make a delicious soup with a tomato base. This version also includes a mouth-watering Saffron Aioli sauce for the quintessential baguette that accompanies the dish.

What is Cioppino

Cioppino, also known as Fishermen’s Stew, is a classic and hearty tomato-based seafood stew made with tomatoes, wine, spices, and herbs. It was originally popularized in San Francisco’s North Beach in the late 1800s. It’s there that wharfs and Italian fishermen were commonplace.

After a long day of fishing at sea, workers used whatever seafood was left over from the day’s catch to make a filling meal and Cioppino was born!

San Fransisco Fisherman Wharf

The great thing about Cioppino is that if you are missing an ingredient you can still make it and it will still be rich, flavorful, and filling!  It’s also great to serve to a crowd, making it a great dish for family gatherings, dinner parties, or after the holidays!

How To Say Cioppino

Cioppino is pronounced chawp-pee-naw. While it may look hard to say, it’s surprisingly easy! This is also one of the most commonly searched phrases when it comes to this dish which is understandable because who wants to serve something they can’t pronounce? I know I don’t!

San Francisco Cioppino Seafood Stew

Using delicious snapper and infusing with Pernod, this delicious Cioppino is easy to make and will delight seafood lovers!
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • Large Dutch Oven
  • Immersion Blender
  • Large Shallow Bowls


  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Fennel Bulb diced
  • 1.5 cups Yellow Onion, diced
  • ½ cup Celery, small dice ½ cup diced
  • 2 tbsp Garlic, minced 2 tbsp. minced
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flake
  • 1 can San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 4 cups Fish Fument Broth
  • ½ cup Pernod
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Snaper Cut Into Large Pieces
  • Large Shrimp Peeled and Deveined
  • 2 dozen Littleneck Clams Steamed
  • 4 tbsp Basil Rough Chopped
  • 4 tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley


  • In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Stir in the fennel, onion, and celery and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, and red pepper flake and cook for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  • Next, stir the Pernod and white wine, bring to a simmer and reduce by half.  Stir in the tomatoes and fish fumet.  Bring to a simmer and allow to cook uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Use an immersion blender, and puree to a rustic consistency.
  • Season the cioppino with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Add the snapper and shrimp and bring to a simmer again.  Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the seafood is cooked through.  Stir in the steamed clams.  Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve immediately.
  • Ladle the cioppino into large, shallow bowls, drizzle with the olive oil and garnish with the chopped basil and parsley.  Serve with toasted sourdough smeared with saffron aioli.
Keyword Cioppino, Fish, Fish Soup, Fish Stew, Seafood

Saffron Aioli                                                                                        

(Yield: 1 qt) 


  • ¼ cup Confit garlic puree
  • 1ea lemon, juice of
  • 1 cup White wine


  1. Add the saffron and white wine to a small sauce pot and simmer ‘till the wine is deeply colored and reduced to 2 oz.  Strain this into a mixing bowl.  Add the mayo, garlic puree, and lemon.  Stir ‘till combined.   

About Chef William Dissan

William Dissen, a North Carolina executive chef and restaurateur, is the founder of The Market Place Restaurant in Asheville, and the upscale farm-to-table, Charlotte eatery: Haymaker. William’s take on Cioppino has become a fan-favorite amongst uptown Charlotte’s banking district and downtown Asheville’s bustling tourism scene!

Easy Cioppino recipe

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