This recipe for Cioppino Seafood Stew makes a hearty meal for seafood lovers. This version of the traditional stew can be part of a low-carb, keto, diabetic, gluten-free, grain-free, Atkins, or Banting diet.

Cioppino Seafood Stew being spooned into a bowl.

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I’ve been promising you more seafood, and here it is! I developed this recipe because one of my readers requested a recipe for low-carb cioppino. I loved the idea and decided to take on the challenge.

In this recipe for Cioppino Seafood Stew, I tried to capture all of the flavors of this Italian/San Francisco classic, while keeping the carb count to a level that would still work for my followers. This was a bit of a challenge because of the tomato-based broth. 

While tomatoes can be part of a low-carb diet, when the flavors are concentrated, the natural sugars are also concentrated, so it’s easy to get more carbs than we want. In the first version of this stew, I used some tomato paste–okay, a lot of tomato paste. The carbs just didn’t work out.

In subsequent versions, I found that tomato sauce worked just as well, but kept the nutritional values to a level most of my followers can tolerate Be sure to use the plain tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce) that doesn’t contain any added sugars. 

Cioppino Seafood Stew in a serving bowl.

In addition to using the tomato sauce, a homemade stock brings loads of flavor to this stew. While it’s an extra step, it doesn’t really take much time to get it simmering. Besides, I love the idea of using the shrimp shells to make a stock instead of just discarding them. To save time when I make this dish, I get the stock simmering, then chop the rest of the vegetables and start making the soup while the stock simmers. 

When I first started working on this recipe, I based the tomato broth loosely off of my recipe for  Low-Carb Italian Sausage Soup-Instant Pot Recipe. The Italian herbed broth in this recipe reminds me a lot of cioppino. Seafood stock and the addition of  shrimp, clams, and white fish created the recipe I was hoping for.

I like to serve this soup with a salad to make a complete meal. My Low-Carb Onion Dill Savory Scones or Low-Carb Sour Cream Biscuits would also be amazing with it. Enjoy!


Cioppino Seafood Stew in a wooden spoon
4.88 from 8 votes

Cioppino Seafood Stew

This recipe for Cioppino Seafood Stew makes a hearty meal for seafood lovers. This version of the traditional stew can be part of a low-carb, keto, diabetic, gluten-free, grain-free, Atkins, or Banting diet.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian, low-carb
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6
Author Annissa Slusher


For the stock:

  • 1 pound large shrimp raw, defrosted, and unpeeled
  • 1 clove garlic whole
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

For the stew:

  • 1 tablespoon butter (or oil of choice)
  • 4 ounces onion chopped
  • 2 ribs celery sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pinch fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 12 ounces white fish (such as cod or haddock)
  • 12 clams or mussels cleaned, but in the shell
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed


For the stock:

  1. Rinse the shrimp well. Peel, placing shells in a large saucepan that has a tightly fitting lid. Devein shrimp, cover, and refrigerate for later.

  2. Add the garlic, onion, celery, peppercorns and bay leaf to the saucepan. Cover with 4 cups of water. Bring stock to a simmer over medium high heat, When it reaches a simmer, turn heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain.

For the stew:

  1. Heat a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add butter. When butter has melted and stopped foaming, add the onion, celery, and red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until edges of onion begin to brown. Turn heat to medium-low, then continue cooking until vegetables are tender.

  2. Stir the garlic into the vegetables. Cook until garlic is fragrant--about 30 seconds. Stir in the red wine vinegar. Cook until vinegar has almost completely evaporated.  Add the wine and turn heat to medium-high.

  3. Simmer for a few minutes to allow the wine to reduce by about half. Stir in the tomato sauce, basil, oregano, fennel seeds (if using), red chili pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper.

  4. Slowly stir in the reserved stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the white fish. Cook white fish for 2-3 minutes, then add the shrimp. When the shrimp and the white fish are almost tender, add the clams or mussels. Cover and steam for a few minutes, or until shells have opened. 

  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. If any clams or mussels remain closed, discard them.

Recipe Notes

Note: Calculations do not include the vegetables that were filtered out of the broth as they are not in the final product.

Serving size: 1/6th of recipe

Per serving:

Calories: 188

Fat (g): 3

Carbs (g): 8

Fiber (g): 2

Protein (g): 32

Net Carbs (g): 6