Easy Cioppino

Easy Cioppino

Like many people I get bored with meal prep. Chicken, rice, vegetables, meal shake, pasta, repeat. It’s great and healthy, but sometimes I just want to come home and make a fancier dish. Treat myself to a nice dinner with a glass of wine. When I’m having one of these days I reach for cioppino.

Cioppino is an Italian-American stew which usually includes a mix of shellfish and fish. It’s savory and warm and matches perfectly with french bread and pinot grigio. You can see why it’s my go to meal. My version, however, is for those of us on a budget. Goodbye clams and mussels. Hello shrimp and frozen cod fillets.

I based this on a recipe from Giada de Laurentiis that my family made for Christmas Eve dinner one year. Hers is lovely, hearty, and can feed many more people. I took what I believe are the best parts of her recipe and created my own easy & budget-friendly version.

I like to buy my shrimp fresh, shell on, uncooked so I can do whatever I want with it. Using the shells to make my own seafood stock cuts out some sugar and sodium that you’ll find in the packaged stuff. I included the how-to with the recipe below. Basically, it’s way to use your food scraps to boost the flavor of your soup/stew.

I did my best to get the liquid measurements right for this cioppino, but it really depends on your taste and how much seafood you use. Don’t be afraid to add a little more wine or water to get the consistency you want in your soup. You can always supplement some salt, pepper, and garlic powder if you accidentally add too much water.


Enjoy this cioppino with a large chunk of french bread, a glass of the wine used to cook, and an old movie.

Easy Cioppino

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Fennel Bulb sliced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lb shrimp shells and tails removed
  • 1 Cod Filet, fresh or frozen (thawed) 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 Cup Pinot Grigio
  • 2 Cups Seafood Stock

Homemade Seafood Stock

  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/2 Onion cut into large pieces with skin
  • 1 Celery Stalk cut into large pieces
  • 1 Garlic Clove smashed
  • Shells and tails of shrimp being used
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp Fresh herbs you may have - parsley, oregano, basil


  1. In a large pot, drizzle in olive oil and heat over medium heat

  2. Add sliced fennel and saute until soft

  3. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Do not allow the garlic to burn!

  4. Add tomatoes and spices. Saute for 1 minute and then add tomato paste, stock, and wine.

  5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.

  6. Add fish and shrimp and cover the pot. Allow to cook for just a few minutes, until the seafood is just cooked through.

  7. Serve with bread and wine

Seafood Stock

  1. Add all ingredients to a small pot and simmer for at least 20 minutes

  2. Strain out ingredients and save stock for use in soup/stews. Due to the use of shrimp shells and lack of preservatives it will not last for long.

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