Quick Easy Fish Stew

VideoSoup and StewGluten-FreeLow CarbFish and Seafood

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

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.

How to Make Quick and Easy Fish Stew

Quick Easy Fish Stew Recipe

  • 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.


  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin 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


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 (oregano, thyme, Tabasco). Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve.

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

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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357 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Elaine

    This looks amazing but what can I use instead of clam or shrimp juice cant find anything like that near me

    Show Replies (1)
  2. ellen

    Great recipe on which to build. For fish, I used fresh walleye, frozen shrimp, canned clams (in addition to the clam juice), and a bit of cooked crab including whole claws. (Maryland girl here!) I also realized that the recipe could use a bit of something smoky, so added added about three strips of finely chopped cooked turkey bacon. Celery was added along with onions in the saute. I added spices after the tomato step, including oregano–as directed in recipe, herbs de Provence, white pepper, and some red chili flakes. When it seemed that the stew still needed something, a threw in a a bit more than a pinch of fennel seed, and it took the recipe over the top. This recipe is flexible and a keeper.


    Show Replies (1)
  3. Cori

    it was fast and delicious. I used seafood stock and prawns, fresh tuna and cod! because I had it in my freezer . Fresh tomato. crusty french bread. Wow! just WOW! so impressed with the flavour of this.


  4. Marjorie

    Had it once. Fabulous! Impressed my son and daughter in law, and pretty much shocked me. Gonna try it again. Hope it works!


  5. Nicola.carrol

    I love this recipe I ordered the clam sauce of the internet tweaked it a bit with the fish as I mainly made it for the kids, so used baby scallops, cod, sea bass , I put extra large beheaded prawns shell on in as well , I knew my boys wouldnt eat them I love them tho was going to put mussels in but if the kids found one it would be game over. The kids really liked it, served it with crusty homemade garlic bread. Definitely going to make this again I’ve even passed the recipe on to my sister .


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