Mediterranean Seafood Stew

Prep: 40 minutes (plus soaking time for shellfish) Cook: 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings


  • 1 pound mussels
  • 10 large clams optional
  • 1 pound thick white fish fillets such as cod, haddock, snapper or grouper
  • ¾ pound squid including bodies and tentacles
  • 2 medium boiling potatoes
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups whole plum tomatoes in puree half of a 28-ounce can
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups seafood broth* or water
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon mild or hot Spanish or Hungarian paprika
  • ¾ pound medium shrimp peeled (frozen raw is fine)
  • 2 cups white beans 14-ounce can
  • Chopped parsley to garnish


  1. To prepare seafood: Pull beards (if any) off mussels and place in a bowl filled with well-salted cold water; do the same with clams. Allow to sit for 45 minutes to an hour; drain and rinse shellfish (you may need to repeat this step if a lot of sand is expelled). Cut fish in 2-inch pieces. Slice squid bodies crosswise and separate tentacle clumps if large.
  2. To prepare vegetables: Peel potatoes and dice in ½-inch pieces. Cut celery in ½-inch pieces.
  3. Chop onion and garlic. Chop whole tomatoes or whiz briefly in a blender.
  4. Saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil in a large, broad saucepan, stirring, until translucent but not browned. Stir in tomato paste until incorporated. Add potatoes, tomatoes, seafood broth, wine and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Add paprika, starting with the smaller amount; taste before adding more.
  5. Add fish and squid. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, about 10 minutes or until cooked through. Add shrimp and beans, cooking until shrimp turns opaque.
  6. Cover the bottom of a large skillet or deep saucepan with some of sauce. Add mussels and clams.** Cook over medium-high heat until shellfish open (mussels will open first), about 8 minutes. Tilt the skillet to pour cooking juices into stew. Add more broth if needed and taste, adding more salt and paprika if needed,

  7. To serve: Spoon the stew into large, shallow bowls. Garnish with equal quantities of mussels and clams. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe Notes

*You could make seafood broth from scratch if you frequent a vendor who offers white fish frames--mine does not, so lately I've been buying seafood broth in a box.

**I prefer cooking the mussels and clams separately—easier to distribute when serving-- but If you have a large enough saucepan, you could pile the mussels and clams on top of the stew; adjust cooking times in earlier steps to allow for this change.