Best Mediterranean seafood stew

Mediterranean seafood stew

The best seafood stew I’ve ever made

I don’t generally toot my own horn, but the day I made this Mediterranean seafood stew, I had to give myself a big pat in the back!!!! The flavor was out of this world!

The raisins in this recipe bring a touch of sweetness without overpowering the dish; the red pepper adds a touch of heat and the orange zest to finish the plates adds a citrus fragrance that brightens everything up!

I was inspired by this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: but adapted it to what I had on hand. The result was so beautiful I decided my own version was a definite keeper.

Seafood stews are a staple of Mediterranean cuisine. They are easy and versatile and a great way to eat fish!


Other than onion, garlic, celery, and an orange, everything else in this recipe came out of my pantry or freezer.

I recommend San Marzano canned tomatoes if you can get them without breaking the bank. They are full of flavor and sweetness and low in acidity and produce the best tasting sauces and stews.

Canned baby clams are always good to keep in the pantry. In this recipe, I used the juice from the can as fish stock. If sodium is a concern for you, you may want to substitute a low salt fish stock.

Frozen shrimp and frozen scallops are easy to keep in your freezer at all times and defrost very quickly.

As for the fish, feel free to use any combination you have on hand. I used frozen cod, but any other mild flavored white fish would work great: flounder, tilapia, hake, halibut, monk fish, sea bass, snapper…

You could also add mussels if you’d like. Just try to keep the total amount of seafood to the same proportions than the recipe (about 1.5 lb total).

Cooking steps

This recipe has multiple steps that are required to concentrate all the flavors, but it is really easy to execute. A little mise en place of your ingredients will help you get things into the pan in the right sequence!

It’s almost a one-pan recipe. I usually toast my pine nuts in a separate small frying pan, but if you want, you could start by toasting them in the same Dutch oven you will be using for the stew. Once they’re toasted, remove them from the pan and reserve.

The second step is to sauté onion and celery in olive oil in your Dutch oven.

Next you add aromatics: garlic, thyme and pepper flakes, and you cook them until fragrant.

Next comes the wine, that you should cook until reduced by half to evaporate the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. And no, pouring half of it in your glass to drink is not the same as reducing in the pan…

Next you add the tomato juice and the clam juice you have drained from the can of tomatoes and the can of clams. Again, you reduce that by half to concentrate the flavors.

Next you stir in tomatoes, raisins, and capers, and cook about 15 minutes until they do their thing…

Finally the seafood comes in: shrimp, bay scallops, clams and fish fillets. That only takes about 5 minutes to be cooked. You don’t want to go longer than that or it will get tough.

Voila! Ready to serve, and don’t forget to sprinkle individual bowls with pine nuts and shave some orange zest on top before serving. That little burst of orange flavor makes all the difference in the world!

For other easy seafood recipes, check out our other posts:

Best Mediterranean seafood stew
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5 from 4 votes

Mediterranean seafood stew

The best and easiest seafood stew! Raisins bring a touch of sweetness, red pepper a touch of heat and orange zest brightens everything up!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: clams, fish, scallops, tomato
Servings: 4
Author: Veronique Eichler


  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ea onion, chopped fine (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 ea celery rib, minced (1 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 ea garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 28 oz can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, drained with juice reserved, chopped coarse
  • 10 oz can baby clams, whole, with juice
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 8 oz shrimp
  • 8 oz bay scallops
  • 8 oz white fish fillet (cod, tilapia or similar)
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest


  • Toast pine nuts in a small frying pan and reserve.
  • Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add onions, celery, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in thyme, pepper flakes, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in wine, cook until reduced by half. Add reserved tomato juice and clam juice. Bring to simmer, and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in tomatoes, raisins, and capers, bring to simmer, and cook until flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
  • Add shrimp, bay scallops, clams and fish fillets. Cook until done, about 5 minutes.
  • Serve, sprinkling individual bowls with pine nuts and shave some orange zest on top.


Nutrition Facts
Mediterranean seafood stew
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
Total Sugars
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. 5 stars
    As a person who has to watch his sodium intake, this looked quite doable with a couple of minor tweaks. When I looked at the nutrition list, I saw the sodium number and went back to see where it was coming from. I can’t find the 1300 plus mgs of sodium per serving (5300 for the recipe). I know some of the items have a range, but, by my figuring, even the high end of the range is well below that number. Am I missing something?

    • Veronique Eichler

      Hi Peter. Thanks for pointing this out. The plug-in I use to calculate these values shows that the sodium mostly comes from: canned tomatoes (1135 mg), canned clams (531 mg), capers (443 mg), shrimp (1762 mg), bay scallops (889 mg), white fish (122 mg), and of course salt (581 mg). Some of these numbers look odd to me as well, I need to go back and look at the actual can labels and also verify the data for shrimp, I don’t think it’s correct… Sorry about that. Give me a little time to fix.

    • Veronique Eichler

      After verification, it turns out the data was correct if you use frozen shrimp (which is what I had on hand). If you use raw shrimp, the total sodium drops to about 1000 mg per portion. This made me realize that most frozen shrimp had sodium added to it! You could cut the sodium by: omitting the 1/4 tsp of salt, using low sodium canned tomatoes. You can of course omit capers or the clam juice, but then I do not guarantee it will be as tasty ;-). Seafood always contains a fairy high amount of intrinsic sodium and should be consumed in moderation if you are watching your sodium.

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