Chio what? Pronounced as “chioppino”, this is a word that I was first introduced to back in late middle school, and early high school. I do not recall eating the cioppino, but I do remember the expressions on my parents faces when they were about to prepare this extremely delicious dish.

Cioppino Soup Recipe

After getting back from vacation, an extremely busy week back at work, and time away from my kitchen, I actually missed having dinner with everyone, and I really needed to relief a bit of stress. This is where I was reminded about the excitement of the word ‘cioppino’. A hearty, and extremely amazing dish of mixed seafood, and probably one of the best broths you could probably ever have.  I kid you not, this is a home run when it comes to soup, plus it is interactive where you can get a bit messy with your hands if you so desire, and that is my type of food.

After I confirmed the dinner party, I asked my daughter if she wanted to go to the local fishmonger, in my case, Empire Fish. I wanted great quality seafood, and Empire Fish is my only option. My daughter and I were both excited. After our adventure, we were ready for the rest of the day, and definitely prepared for the party.

I took about 5 hours to cook the broth, but that is not to say you have to take it that long. I am a believer, much like making a great Italian red sauce, that the longer, the better.

This serves about 10 adults, keeping in mind that the cooked shellfish can be removed and sauce reserved and frozen for later usage.


  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded, ribs removed, diced
  • 2 medium sized onions, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 head of garlic (yes, one head), minced
  • 1 head of garlic, top trimmed
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and ribbed, diced
  • 3 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I like Tabasco on this one)
  • generous pinch of red chili flakes
  • large handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 5 15 oz cans of organic tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups of good dry white wine
  • 8 oz clam stock
  • 64 oz seafood stock
  • 1 lb of octopus, cleaned, and cut into bit sized chunks
  • 1/4 lb of baby scallops
  • 3/4 lb of cod fillets, cut into small chunks
  • 1 1/4 lb of halibut fillets, cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 lb of halibut cheeks
  • 1 1/2 lb of 31-35 shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • 6 blue crabs, cleaned (lungs, head, stomach removed), halved
  • 24 mussels, lightly scrubbed (live)
  • 24 clams  (live)
  • Good sourdough baguette, cut into 6 inch length, cut in half (1-2 per person)
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic powder
  • fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Good bottle of red or white wine for drinking

So picture all of that. It is true love. Trust me when I tell you this. It really is true love, everything about this dish. It is romantic, it is comforting, and it is well worth every bit of money that goes into it, and the flavors are out of this world!


After preparing all of your vegetables (yes it takes a bit of time to break it all down into a small dice), most of the work is over for you. So get your largest soup pot out, and warm the butter and olive oil on medium heat. Once heated, add in the diced vegetables including the onion, celery, bell pepper, minced garlic, and jalapenos. Sweat this in the pot for about 7 minutes, stirring often.

Next, add in your Tabasco sauce, chili flakes, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce, paste, basil, oregano, bay leaves, and white wine. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Add in your stocks, mix well, return to a boil again, then cover, and simmer until you are ready to begin cooking the seafood. As previously stated, I cooked mine for about five hours to let all of the flavors merry, and I believe it is well worth it.

About a hour before you are ready to serve, place the other head of whole garlic in the pot, and put in the bite sized octopus and cook for about one hour and thirty minutes. Prior to throwing in the clams and mussels, make sure they are all closed. Often times the mussels, in particular, will open up. Tap the shell on the counter, and you will see it begin to close. If it does not close, toss it in the garbage. Also note, that if they do not open up when you cook them, toss them in the garbage.

The clams will cook for about 8-10 minutes. After they are done cooking, remove with a slotted spoon, and set aside.  The fish, shrimp, scallops, blue crabs, and cheeks will take about 6 minutes to cook. Return the mussels and clams back to the pot, give a good stir, and turn off the heat.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Melt about 5 tablespoons butter, along with garlic powder, and chopped parsley, either on the stove, or in a microwave. Generously brush each sliced baguette with the butter mixture, and place on a baking sheet in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

Now, yes, now you are ready to serve. Ladle in plenty of broth, and place shrimp, fish, a couple of clams and mussels, as well as a blue crab into each bowl, making sure you get plenty other goodies such as the scallops and octopus in each bowl.  Place one of the garlic butter baguettes into each bowl, and eat with the baguette, spoon, and your hands.

I left the king crab legs out of this one, but highly recommend breaking them down, and cooking along with the shrimp, however my father-in-law brought over some huge crab legs that I cooked separately with corn and potatoes.

I shouldn’t have to tell you any more. The smells you have been waiting for are here. Every spoonful is packed with flavor. Amazing flavor at that. The conversation was quiet at the table for the first ten minutes. That is always a good sign. I think I heard words such as “wow”, “oh my”, “oh holy wow”, or some blend of that during those ten minutes.

So if you are looking for a really amazing dish, and one that is going to impress, this is the one. Cioppino is something wonderful, and there is no doubt about it.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

One thought to “Cioppino”

  1. Dax,

    Looks like a great recipe and well worth the effort. We’re proud to be your only option for real, fresh seafood. Please ask for Kevin our store manager or myself next time you’re in. We’d love to work with you on your blog. Regards,

    Dan Ryan — General Manager, Empire Fish Company

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