Quick Easy Fish Stew

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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 164 Comments

  • Michael W Richards

    Elise, can I add more clam juice to turn this into a soup? I was searching the internet for a fish soup and found this. I really would like to try it but would prefer a soup rather than a stew. …Mike

  • Bianca

    This is delicious and so easy. I have made with chicken stock or the clam juice, both turned out great. I have added some chopped red pepper with the onions/garlic. I also add shrimps and scallops with the fIsh. Great recipe.

  • Cris

    My husband and I had this last night. Very very good. I can be a bit intolerant to the tomato acid so I did not add the paste and added 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth and let simmer uncovered to reduce. We then brought to the boil, added some little neck clams and cod., then reduced heat and cooked for 5-6 minutes. Perfect.

  • Brian Tuel

    Made this today using Northern Pike…OMG!

  • M Fuller

    What can I use to replace the clam juice if we have a shellfish allergy in the house?

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