Seafood Stew with White Wine, Garlic and Fennel

How to make homemade seafood stew using our simple homemade fish stock, fish, mussels, shrimp and clams. Jump to the Seafood Stew Recipe with White Wine, Garlic and Fennel or read on to see our tips for making it.

Seafood Stew with White Wine, Garlic and Fennel

How to Make Steam Mussels in White Wine BrothYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to make perfect steamed mussels in a broth made with white wine, garlic, and shallots. Jump to the Steamed Mussels Recipe with White Wine.

How to Make Stew with Fish and Shellfish

Making your own homemade fish stock might sound daunting, but trust me it pretty easy. In fact, it’s faster and cheaper than homemade chicken stock. It is also much tastier than anything you can buy at the store.

How to Make Seafood Stew

To make fish stock from scratch, you will need fish bones. To buy them, walk up to the fish department and ask for some. The bones used for this recipe cost about $1.00 per pound.

Aromatics for Fish Stock

In addition to the bones, we add bacon, onion, carrots, celery, lots of thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. The stock takes about 45 minutes from start to finish and it can be made ahead of time.


For the stew, we use the stock as a base then add lightly seared cod, onions, fennel, garlic and shellfish. It all cooks very quickly. Just before serving we wilt in some greens and swirl in a little cream. It’s luxurious.

Grilled Swordfish Recipe with Coriander and LimeYOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to cook swordfish on the grill with coriander and lime. Jump to the Grilled Swordfish with Coriander and Lime Recipe.

Recipe updated, originally posted June 2010. Since posting this in 2010, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Seafood Stew with White Wine, Garlic and Fennel

  • PREP
  • COOK

The homemade fish stock recipe below will make approximately 10 cups of fish stock. You will need 4 to 5 cups for the stew. The stock can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen for several months.

Make 4 to 6 servings

You Will Need

Fish Stock

2 pounds white fish bones

Shells and tails from 1/2 pound of shrimp

2 slices thick cut bacon

2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 crushed garlic cloves

3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

10 black peppercorns

1 cup dry white wine

Seafood Stew

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, sliced

1 fennel bulb, sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 pound small clams, cleaned

1 pound cod or halibut, cut into 4 portions

1 pound mussels, cleaned

1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled (shells can be used for fish stock)

5 cups fish stock

1 pound greens such as spinach, kale or chard

1/4 cup cream

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Baguette, sliced and toasted for serving

Lemon wedges for serving


  • Make Fish Stock
  • 1In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until fat has render and the bacon is crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate, but leave the fat. (Use bacon in another recipe or as a cook’s snack).

    2Add the chopped onion, carrots and celery to the bacon fat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften; 6 to 8 minutes. Add fish bones, shrimp shells and tails, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine and 10 cups of water.

    3Bring to a simmer. Cook, at a low simmer for 30 minutes, removing any scum that rises to the top. Strain then use immediately or refrigerate in a tightly covered container up to 2 days or in the freezer for several months.

  • Make Stew
  • 1In a wide pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion, fennel and celery. Add a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often until softened and sweet, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute then stir in 5 cups of fish stock.

    2Bring the stock to a simmer then add the clams cover, and cook for 3 minutes.

    3Meanwhile, season the shrimp and fish with salt and pepper.

    4Stir in the shrimp and mussels. Arrange the fish on top of the stew, cover, and simmer until shellfish opens and the fish and shrimp are firm and opaque, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.

    5Remove the pot from the heat then swirl in the cream. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper. Serve divided between bowls with bread for dipping and lemon wedges on the side.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
Inspired Taste Newsletter Signup
4 comments… Leave a Review
  • Stephen Hydon February 15, 2021, 8:59 pm

    Good recipe. I always sear my shrimp first before adding to the broth. I also add seared scallops. Always sear your shellfish before adding to any stew, or cioppino or bouillbaisse. It’s a texture thing…

  • Serena March 10, 2017, 2:08 am

    Looks absolutely delicious!

  • JoAnn Denmark March 25, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Greetings, I have just discovered your website. How neat and beautiful it is. I love the way you “show and tell” Can’t wait to try the seafood stew. I’m even thinking about making my own stock—-maybe. Or, I’ll just use the canned stuff and jazz it up with your ingredients in the stock.. Thank you, JoAnn

    • Joanne March 26, 2012, 11:08 am

      Jazzing up pre-made stock would be great 🙂 Let us know how it turns out!


Leave a Reply

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe!


All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our comment guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

Previous Post: Next Post: