San Francisco Style Seafood Cioppino

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This San Francisco-style seafood cioppino is loaded with fresh mussels, shrimp and scallops simmered in a savory red wine tomato broth for the ultimate one-pot meal!

Seafood Cioppino in a bowl

As a native of the San Franciso Bay Area, there was always an abundance of fresh seafood and produce. It was amazing growing up in such a melting pot of food! Some of my fondest memories are heading to Pier 39 with my family to check out the sea lions and grab a bowl of creamy corn chowder in a sourdough bowl.

After a recent visit over the holidays to Northern California, I was craving some hometown flavors. I decided to create a big pot filled with tender aromatic vegetables, shrimp, mussels, and scallops. I’m so excited to share this healthy seafood cioppino recipe with you. There wasn’t a drop left in our bowls! If you are a seafood lover, this one is for you my friend.

How to Make A Seafood Cioppino

A stunning seafood stew in a savory tomato wine broth, just waiting to be devoured!

Spoon mixing chopped vegetables in a large pan

It’s all about the base!

I’m talking about adding just the right combination of vegetables to build the fish stew flavor potential to it’s maximum. Garlic, onions, leeks, celery, bell pepper, carrots, serrano chili peppers for heat, thyme and bay leaf add aromatics and earthy flavors to the broth. Some red wine and lemon juice add acidity to brighten the flavors of the stew.


You can use any fresh catch of the day you like! I chose a mussel, shrimp and scallops trio because they all have unique tastes and textures. Each cook fairly quickly so keep an eye on the time to prevent overcooking is crucial.

Shrimp and mussels stewing in a large pot


Moist heat cooking, specifically steam in addition to the hot broth temperatures help to cook each piece of seafood. When you cover the pot, the water reaches it’s boiling point and eventually builds up enough energy to create steam to cook the ingredients quickly. Make sure to discard any unopened mussels. It indicates the mussel was not fresh.

Shrimp cooking in a seafood stew

I like to add some extra chopped fresh herbs like thyme, parsley, and freshly cracked pepper for extra seasoning right before serving.

If you like an extra crunch, you can make homemade croutons. I found a nice crusty sourdough baguette from the market. Little did it know that I would soon be transformed into toasted edible spoons to soak up all of the broth!

Bowl of seafood stew with slices of bread

When a dish is made with love, it shows! You’ll be delighted and surprised to see how easy it is to prepare an elegant gourmet meal made right at home. If you’re having family and friends over for a wholesome supper or want a special romantic meal made for two, this San Franciso style seafood cioppino needs to be on the menu. Cheers!

More seafood recipes

How do you properly store fresh mussels?

After you purchase live mussels from the market, you want to keep them fresh until ready to serve. When you get home, immediately remove mussels from the plastic bag. Store them loose in a bowl or unsealed container. Cover the bowl of mussels with a damp paper towel or cloth. They can be kept for a few days and still smell like saltwater from the ocean. When you’re ready to cook, make sure to drain any water that collects at the bottom of the bowl. If the mussels do not open after cooking, discard because it indicates they are not fresh. (Source:

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San Francisco Seafood Cioppino

This San Francisco-style seafood cioppino is loaded with fresh mussels, shrimp and scallops simmered in a savory red wine tomato broth for the ultimate one pot meal!
Pin Print Review
3.76 from 124 votes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings 4 Servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


  • 1 loaf french baguette, ½-inch thick sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing on baguette
  • 1 cup yellow onion, ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, about 8 cloves
  • ½ cup leeks, cut into ⅛-inch slices
  • ½ cup celery, ¼-inch dice
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, ¼-inch dice
  • ½ cup carrots, ¼-inch dice
  • 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced, about 2 teaspoons
  • ½ cup tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine, Merlot recommended
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, dried
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ pound raw scallops, 16/20 count size
  • ½ pound shrimp, 16/20 count size, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


  • Prepare croutons. Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice the baguette on a ½-inch thick bias cut. Lightly brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Flip over and cook another 2 to 5 minutes until golden brown on each side. Cool and reserve.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the leeks, celery, bell pepper, carrots, and minced serrano chili peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, wine, water, lemon juice, thyme, bay leaf, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer on medium-low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf.
  • Clean and remove the beard of the mussels. Discard any mussels that have broken shells or do not close when tapped.
  • Heat the cioppino soup over medium heat. Add shrimp and scallops to the soup, cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Open the lid and flip over the shrimp. Insert the mussels evenly spread across the pan. Turn heat to medium-high, cover and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the shrimp is cooked and mussels are open. Discard any mussels that do not open.
  • Taste soup and season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Recipe Video


  • To Serve: Ladle soup into serving bowls, add seafood, and garnish with chopped parsley and more thyme. Serve with homemade crouton.
  • If you do not want a slight spiciness to the stew, omit the serrano peppers.

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Nutrition Facts
San Francisco Seafood Cioppino
Amount Per Serving
Calories 502 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 121mg40%
Sodium 1320mg55%
Potassium 654mg19%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 43g86%
Vitamin A 5350IU107%
Vitamin C 81.7mg99%
Calcium 90mg9%
Iron 7.2mg40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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28 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Sarah Nixon says

    Hi Jessica. This looks fabulous but living in southeastern B.C. I only have access to frozen scallops, shrimp and mussels. Will they work????? How could I adapt?
    Thanks so much

    • Sarah Nixon says

      Jessica, I did go ahead and use frozen seafood. I put the mussels in first and let them steam for about 8 minutes then added the shrimp and scallops. I also used malbec and substituted some left over beef broth for some of the water. Great meal! Thanks

  2. Brenda Holiski says

    I made this and it was very good but unless you have purchased veggies already cut up and cleaned seafood, the prep time is so far off it is crazy. Please prepare for much more time if you have not bought pre dice and cleaned seafood. Otherwise it is a delicious dish!

  3. Alejandra says

    Just finished making this dish and my house smells amazing…I didn’t have scallops, peppers or red wine so I substituted with another bag of mussels and white wine…I also added fish sauce and red onions and cilantro (bc it’s what I had)

  4. Sue taylor says

    My husband likes to order this week when we go out to eat. Now we eat at home so I made it for dinner and it was fabulous. Easy recipe to follow and my family gobbled it up and ask when I will be making it again. The only modification I made was adding sriracha since I did not have any peppers.

  5. Patricia B. says

    Yes to all of this recipe EXCEPT bell pepper — I find that it makes seafood taste metallic (really!). Red pepper flakes add better spicy flavor, I feel. Keep cookin’!!

  6. Amanda says

    I used all frozen seafood and it worked out great. I didn’t have enough tomato paste so I used tomato sauce and a little less water plus I didn’t have celery. Great flavor!

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