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This restaurant-quality Italian fish stew is quick and easy to make but bursting with deliciously authentic Italian flavors. Inspired by one of my favorite dishes in Italy, this surprisingly flavorful fish stew is packed with tender white fish, clams, herbs, and a delicious tomato broth.

Two bowls of red Italian fish stew on a table surrounded by pieces of bread

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • This stew is so good – like “almost impossible to believe it’s this good” good. The flavors of the garlicky crushed tomatoes, the briny clam juice, and bright lemon meld together beautifully for a restaurant-quality meal made right at home.
  • It’s incredibly filling without being heavy. Thanks to all the seafood in this stew, one serving has 38 grams of delicious protein.
  • This recipe makes approximately 4 servings, which means dinner for two plus leftovers! Store any leftover Italian fish stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat it on the stovetop over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the stew is just warmed through.

Key Ingredients

White Fish – White fish refers to any type of fish that has a dry and flaky flesh when cooked. Any white fish will work for this recipe, so just choose your favorite! I like to use halibut, orange roughy, sea bass, or cod.

Clams – The larger the clams, the tougher and chewier they can be once they’re cooked. Keep that in mind when picking them out! If you can’t find clams, you can skip them, but they add a really great flavor to this Italian fish stew so I highly recommend them!

Lemon Juice – Fish and clams may be the star of this show, but lemon juice is the magic-maker. Lemon takes this Italian fish stew from “mmm, that’s a good stew” to “FREAKIN’ WOW THAT’S A GOOD STEW” and I don’t know about you, buuuutttttt… I definitely want a bowl of that second one.

Chef’s Tips

  • Avoid using sweet, fruity-flavored white wines in this recipe. Instead choose a dry white wine – like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
  • You don’t want the fish to be overcooked and dry, which is why we add it in at the end. Be careful not to let the Italian fish stew cook too long after you add in the fish.
  • How do you know your fish is ready? It’ll flake! Insert a fork into the fish at a 45° angle. Aim for the thickest part of the piece of fish. Twist the fork and pull up a little. If the fish flakes easily, and the flakes are opaque, then your fish is ready! If the fish resists and is still a little translucent, keep cooking – but keep an eye on it, it’ll cook fast!
  • I can’t recommend enough that you serve this stew with warm pieces of a thick, crusty bread – like sourdough, Italian, or French bread. Use it to sop up the leftover liquid at the bottom of your bowl, or dunk it in your Italian fish stew right from the start.
Italian fish stew in a large soup pot

Other Delicious Stews & Soups

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 3 votes

Italian Fish Stew

Prep 10 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 40 minutes
This restaurant-quality Italian fish stew is quick and easy to make but bursting with deliciously authentic Italian flavors. Inspired by one of my favorite dishes in Italy, this surprisingly flavorful fish stew is packed with tender white fish, clams, herbs, and a delicious tomato broth.
4 servings


  • Large pot with lid


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup green onions sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 anchovy fillet or ½ teaspoon anchovy paste
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • cup white wine
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds white fish cut into large bite-size pieces, see Notes
  • 1 pound clams optional
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon zested, halved


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add green onions, garlic, anchovy, and red pepper flakes. Cook until green onions begin to wilt, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
    Oil and spices in a large pot
  • Pour in white wine. Increase heat to high. Let boil 2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by approximately ⅓.
  • Add in crushed tomatoes, clam juice, oregano, and water. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until color deepens slightly, approximately 10 minutes.
    Clam juice, tomatoes, white wine, and water in a large pot
  • Add salt, then add fish and clams. Turn heat to high. Cover pot and cook until clams open and fish flakes easily with fork, approximately 5 minutes.
  • Stir in parsley, basil, pepper, and juice of one lemon half.
    Fish stew in a large pot
  • Ladle stew into serving bowls. Drizzle additional olive oil on top and serve with a pinch of lemon zest (optional) and crusty bread.
  • Orange roughy, halibut, sea bass, or cod will all work for this recipe!
  • To substitute for the white wine, try fish, chicken, or vegetable broth, or white wine vinegar.
  • No clam juice? Try fish stock instead. You can also use water, but it won’t have as much flavor.
  • For a make-ahead option, follow steps 1-3 and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 days. When you’re ready to eat, bring the stew to a simmer then continue with the recipe starting at step 4.
Recipe yields approximately 4 servings. Nutritional values shown reflect information for 1 serving. Macros may vary slightly depending on the specific brands of ingredients used.
To determine the size of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed, then weigh the entire finished recipe. Divide the total weight of the recipe (not including the weight of the bowl, pot, or plate the food is in) by 4. Result will be the weight of one serving.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1servingCalories: 333calProtein: 38gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 850mgPotassium: 672mgTotal Carbs: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gNet Carbs: 11gVitamin A: 361IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. Avatar Kathleen Williamson says:

    We tried the Italian Fish Stew for our Family Dinner. My husband who owned an Italian restaurant and son-in-law who graduated from culinary academy thought it was a keeper. Thanks for sharing. Quick and easy to prepare. The broth was delicious. I also added one pound of mussels.5 stars

  2. Avatar Blessings says:

    Made this tonight..dinner was whole family loves it.5 stars

  3. Avatar Daymond Green says:

    Thanks for posting this. I was looking for something new to do with my black cod.
    Though I have made a few mistakes, I’d say it turned out pretty darn good!

    My sauce doesn’t have that deep red. I don’t think I let it cook down enough. The lemon kind of overpowers the dish just a hint though. Again, rookie mistake lol. Then there’s the clams, the store didn’t have first clams they only had canned baby clamps of which I added to the pot. Now I know how to make a clam soup lol.

    Overall, delicious!!! Thanks again.5 stars

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