Quick Easy Fish Stew

Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious fish stew! Fresh fish fillets cooked in a stew with onions, garlic, parsley, tomato, clam juice and white wine.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

One of our favorite family recipes of all time is this simple and easy fish stew. It takes less than 30 minutes, start to finish, and is absolutely delicious!

The key ingredient to this stew is clam juice, which they sell in shelf stable 8-ounce jars, so we usually keep a couple in our pantry. I have prepared the soup for people with shellfish allergies; the thing to do is to substitute the clam juice with white wine, fish stock, or water. It works, it’s just not quite as tasty.

Quick and Easy Fish Stew

The stew works best with a firm white fish, such as halibut or cod. You could also use red snapper or even tilapia. Just stay away from delicate fish such as sole for this stew, or oily fish such as tuna.

If you want, you can add some shrimp, clams and/or scallops to the stew as well.

One of our favorite recipes for Lent, updated from the recipe archive

Quick Easy Fish Stew Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

For a variation, add 1/2 pound of shrimp, mussels, clams, and/or scallops to the stew. If adding shellfish, add them a couple minutes before the fish; they need more time to cook and open.

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh chopped tomato (about 1 medium sized tomato) OR 1 14-ounce can of whole or crushed tomatoes with their juices
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 8 oz of clam juice (or shellfish stock)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 1/2 lb fish fillets (use a firm white fish such as halibut, cod, red snapper, or sea bass), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Pinch of dry oregano
  • Pinch of dry thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (or more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste

Method

1 Heat olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 4 minutes, add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add parsley and stir 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, and gently cook for 10 minutes or so.

2 Add clam juice, dry white wine, and fish. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the fish is cooked through and easily flakes apart, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add seasoning. Salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Great served with crusty bread for dipping in the fish stew broth.

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Showing 4 of 191 Comments

  • Phyllis

    I added green onions, old bay seasoning, 8 oz more of cod,cubed potatoes, doubled clam juice and slightly thicken broth with flour and water. It was very good. I will be making this again.

  • KC

    Does anyone know if this would work well with Northern Pike or Bass? That’s pretty much all we catch in Minnesota and it looks so good!!!

  • Judi

    Can you use frozen cod?

  • Darrell Dotson

    I added baby clams and oysters with some sundried tomatoes and some Old Bay Seasoning and juice from 1/2 a lemon the flavor was amazing. Definitely adding this to my pescatarian regime.

  • Deborah Chase

    Glad this was easy. For the wine I used Shaohsing Cooking Wine and I substitute clams for a small can of oysters. I also used dill instead of oregano. I had a few leftover baked potatoes that I chopped into big squares that I added. To do this, double the fish stock. It was wonderful.

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