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 tablespoons 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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381 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rosalina

    Super easy to make and delicious! Cooking this again tonight!


  2. Jennifer

    I saw a comment that this came out bland. Even though I hate it when people make a bajillion changes to a recipe before they even try it, I didn’t want to risk wasting ingredients so I changed HOW I used them and WHEN I introduced them, to extract as much flavor as possible. Again, before anyone jumps on me, I used the same exact ingredients and only tweaked the method!

    My method variation: Salted as I sent along, rather than at the end. Just a few shakes of sea salt every time I added something to the pot. Added the dried herbs then tomato paste to the saute before any liquids, to give them a chance to bloom a little. Deglazed with the wine and let that cook down a bit then added the canned tomatoes and clam juice and let that simmer for a few minutes before adding the fish.

    With these few adjustments and no change to the ingredients, I ended up with an insanely delicious broth. Less volume because I cooked it down more before adding the fish, but so, so good.

    I made it a second time and doubled the broth, it was that good! This is a great base recipe that I plan to use over and over again, with fish, shrimp, and/or shellfish.


  3. Jan

    This is really good soup/stew. It’s also easy to make. I will make a double batch next time so there is more for leftovers. Thanks you!


  4. James

    I made the stew it was great added small amount of old bay seasoning and waited until stew was served for Tabasco, but I was surprised by the flavor , it was a very good stew


  5. April

    I just made this and it was delicious! I used Riesling because that’s what I wanted to drink, and cod because that’s what I had in the fridge. I used a pinch of Penzey’s smoked paprika, and some fire roasted canned diced tomatoes. Fabulous and easy dish!


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