Home » Recipes » Seafood » Zuppa Di Pesce (Italian Seafood)

Zuppa Di Pesce (Italian Seafood)

Zuppa di Pesce is an Italian seafood stew that includes many of your favorite shellfish varieties in a fragrant, herbed tomato broth, with just a small kick of red pepper. The broth is just perfect to sop up with crusty bread or ladling over your favorite spaghetti. This dish is one of my favorites and will have you feeling the essence of coastal Italian cuisine with each spoonful.


Mixed seafood is flavored with herbs, both fresh (basil and parsley) and dry (bay leaves, oregano), aromatics (onion, garlic), seasonings (salt, peppers) and, of course, tomato and wine.

The choice of seafood is up to you – I like to include mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, and calamari but you can mix it up. Seafood stock or broth is sometimes hard to find but bottled clam juice is just fine to use. And if you want to be super indulgent, a homemade seafood stock would be delicious!

I use crushed tomatoes for convenience but fresh would also work well.

Ingredients for the zuppa di pesce

Step by Step

To make Zuppa di Pesce, prepare the shellfish by rinsing it all well.

Aromatics in olive oil in pot.
Aromatics and tomatoes in pot with oil.

In a large pot, warm some olive oil over medium heat, then sauté chopped onions until they’re translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cooking for another 1-2 minutes until aromatic and then add the tomatoes.

Pouring broth into tomato mixture.
Sauce for fish in pot with spoon.

Stir in the white wine, fish or seafood broth, bay leaf, dried oregano, salt, and black pepper. Bring this to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes to blend the flavors.

Zuppa di pesce in white pot with wooden spoon.

Start adding the seafood to the pot, beginning with those that need longer to cook like mussels and clams. After a few minutes, add the more delicate seafood such as shrimp and calamari, simmering until all the seafood is just cooked through and tender. Before finishing, remove the bay leaf, adjust seasoning to taste, and mix in fresh basil and parsley for a burst of freshness.

Top Tips

  • Select Fresh Seafood: The success of Zuppa di Pesce hinges on the freshness of the seafood. Choose a variety of seafood like clams, mussels, shrimp, squid, and scallops or firm-fleshed fish.
  • Prepare Ingredients Properly: Clean and prepare your seafood. For shellfish, rinse under cold water and beard the mussels. The squid should be cleaned and cut into rings or pieces. I also like to soak my calamari for about 15 minutes in water with a spoonful of baking soda.
  • Use a Good Quality Broth: A flavorful broth is essential. While seafood stock is ideal, you can also use vegetable or chicken broth as a base.
  • Layer Your Seafood: Add your seafood in stages, starting with those that take longer to cook, like firm fish, followed by shellfish, and then more delicate items like shrimp and squid. This ensures everything is perfectly cooked without becoming tough or rubbery.

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below! SUBSCRIBE for more recipes.

📖 Recipe

Zuppa di pesce in white pot with herbs and bread.

Zuppa di Pesce

Zuppa di Pesce, a beloved Italian seafood stew, combines a variety of your favorite shellfish in a fragrant, herbed tomato broth with a hint of red pepper, perfect for sopping up with crusty bread or ladling over spaghetti, offering a taste of coastal Italian cuisine with every spoonful!
No ratings yet
Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 477 kcal


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes adjust to taste
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups fish or seafood broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 pounds mixed seafood shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, and scallops, cleaned and prepared
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves torn
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • Crusty bread or pasta for serving (optional)
  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)


  • Prepare the Seafood: Rinse all seafood thoroughly.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the chopped onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add Tomatoes and Seasonings: Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir well. Add the white wine, fish/seafood broth, bay leaf, dried oregano, and more salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Add Seafood: Add the seafood that requires the longest cooking time, such as clams and mussels. Simmer for a few minutes, then add the more delicate seafood like shrimp, scallops, and squid. Cook until the seafood is cooked through. The seafood should be tender and opaque but not overcooked.
  • Finish the Soup: Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed (salt, pepper, or red pepper flakes). Stir in the torn basil leaves and chopped parsley.
  • Serve: Ladle the Zuppa di Pesce into bowls and serve with slices of crusty bread on the side and lemon wedges. The bread is perfect for dipping into the flavorful broth.


The nutrition estimate based on using 2 pounds of mixed seafood (for 4 servings) does not include bread or pasta and does not include additional salt, although I recommend salting it to taste. 
Storage (Leftovers): 
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours, consume within 2-3 days, and store in a tightly sealed container.
Freezing: Cool quickly and freeze promptly in airtight containers, leaving space for expansion. For optimal quality, use within 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat gently on the stove. Expect slight changes in texture, especially in seafood.


Calories: 477kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 43gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 3091mgPotassium: 934mgFiber: 6gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 918IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 176mgIron: 4mg
Want More Recipes? Subscribe Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating