San Francisco-Style Cioppino Recipe

San Francisco-style cioppino is a hearty seafood stew that is traditionally made with a variety of different fish, shellfish, and vegetables. While there are many different ways to prepare cioppino, the most common method is to simmer the ingredients in a tomato-based broth. This recipe calls for the use of cabernet sauvignon, which is a type of red wine that is known for its full-bodied flavor. When choosing a cabernet sauvignon for this recipe, it is best to select a wine that has good acidity levels. This will help to balance out the richness of the stew. Some of the best cabernet sauvignon wines come from the Napa Valley region of California.

If you are not a fan of red wine, you can also use white wine or even chicken broth in this recipe. When it comes to the type of seafood that you use in your cioppino, the sky’s the limit. This dish is traditionally made with a mix of different fish, such as halibut, cod, salmon, and snapper. You can also add in shrimp, crab, or scallops. If you are having trouble finding fresh seafood, you can also use frozen seafood. Just be sure to thaw it out before adding it to the stew.

This San Francisco-style cioppino recipe is relatively simple to make and only requires a few hours of preparation time. We have the full recipe below, but feel free to use whatever ingredients you have on hand. 


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound halibut, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound cod, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound salmon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2pound snapper, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound crab meat
  • 1/2 pound scallops
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Crusty bread, for serving
  • Green salad, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and tomato paste, and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in diced tomatoes, red wine, chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer.
  3. Add halibut, cod, salmon, snapper, shrimp, crabmeat and scallops. Simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Stir in parsley and basil. Discard bay leaves.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and a green salad.

This San Francisco-style cioppino recipe is hearty and full of flavor. It is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold winter evening. The use of fresh seafood makes this stew even more special. If you are looking for a way to impress your guests, this is the recipe for you! Serve this cioppino with a crusty loaf of bread and a green salad. Enjoy!