Brodetto di Pesce (Italian seafood soup/stew) is just like cioppino. A delicious selection of fish and shellfish cooked in a tomato broth flavored with wine and garlic. 

A large cast iron pan cooking the brodetto di pesce seafood

San Francisco has their cioppino, but did you know Italy has their own versions? Depending on what region they are from, they are all called different names.

Italian fish stew origin

This Brodetto di Pesce recipe is from the the region of Emilia Romagna (and one of my favorite places to visit). Not quite soup or a stew, it’s more like something in between.

A close showing a juicy mussel, clams, fish and scallops

Christmas Eve feast of the seven fishes

This dish is is most popular in my house for Christmas Eve. We celebrate the feast of the seven fishes to honor my husbands Italian heritage. For Christmas Eve, Italian-Americans practice a partial fast serving seafood instead of meat.

The seven fishes are usually spread over many courses and this brodetto di pesce would be one of the courses using five of the fishes.

Does Brodetto di Pesce reheat well?

The fish yes, the shellfish no. Because  shellfish can overcook very quickly, once it is reheated you can guarantee it will be overcooked and rubbery.

What kind of wine works with fish?

When cooking seafood, I prefer to cook with white and any dry white wine that is good enough to drink.

Fish and shellfish in an oval serving dish with a glass of wine and crusty bread

My favorite aspect of this dish (besides eating it) is how quickly it comes together. After you have gathered the ingredients, there’s only 10 minutes of cooking time because seafood cooks quickly so this is perfect for entertaining.

I made this dish in a large cast iron pan that I bring to the table to the pan so everyone can help themselves. Don’t forget lots of bread to soak up the delicious tomato sauce.

What kind of tomatoes should I use for fish stew?

You can use any of your favorite canned/tinned tomatoes. Just make sure there are no added ingredients. You can use whole peeled tomatoes (break up using your hands), crusted tomatoes, chopped or diced tomatoes, tomato puree (not tomato paste) or passata.

Brodetto di Pesce Serving Suggestion

When enjoying a meal in Italy, meat or seafood is served as the secondi part of the meal, which comes after the pasta course. If you want to serve it all together, a simple risotto or crispy gnocchi with peas and asparagus and lemon is the perfect accompaniment to this seafood feast.

I also have a Mussel Soup (pictured below) that is fast and easy to make which was inspired by my favorite Belgian dish, moules frites.

Mussel Soup in a white bowl served with grilled bread
Yield: 4

Brodetto di Pesce

An oval baking dish filled with seafood and shellfish in a tomato broth

Brodetto di pesce (seafood in broth) is an authentic, Italian seafood dish. A delicious selection of seafood cooked in a tomato broth flavored with wine and garlic.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup (177 ml) dry white wine
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) crushed or diced tomatoes or passata
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds assorted seafood , I used seabass, mussels, shrimp, scallops and firm fish . Scrub the shellfish well.
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Crusty bread for serving


  1. To a large, heavy dutch oven or saucepan, add the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 1 minute without browning. Pour in the wine, stir and allow the wine to reduce slightly. Stir in the tomatoes, salt and pepper (taste for seasoning). Turn up the heat to medium and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the clams and mussels and stir, cover the pan and steam for 5 minutes until all the shellfish are open.
  3. Season the shrimp, scallops and seabass evenly with salt and pepper, then add to the pan. Stir to coat in the sauce and cook, covered for an additional 5 minutes. If any of the shellfish do not open, discard them.
  4. Serve warm garnished with parsley and bread.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 220Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 92mgSodium 586mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 2gProtein 26g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.