Fish Stew

Fish stew on a spoon

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Hearty, rich, and super nourishing; there is a reason fish stew recipes are so prolific along the coast. This fish stew should leave you feeling like you just got back from a day at the seaside.

Why not make your very own Best Beer Batter Recipe? Or maybe make a New England Clam Chowder instead?

Fish stew in white bowl

Fish Stew

A fish stew is an ancient recipe that has been around for as long as mankind has lived near the sea.

A way to use up slightly older pieces of fish that don't quite pass muster, fish stews usually are packed full of vegetables, spices, and flavorings to help mask any unpleasant fishiness.

However, now that we live in more enlightened times, there is nothing stopping us from making a fish stew from perfectly delicious fish and enjoying all of those additional flavors and spices alongside the taste of fresh fish.      

Fish stew ingredients on cutting board

Fish Stew Ingredients

Make sure you look at the recipe card at the very bottom for the exact amounts so that you know exactly what to buy for this recipe.

• Oil

• Onion

• Garlic

• Tomato paste

• Salt & pepper

• Cumin

• Red pepper flakes

• Shrimp stock (or seafood stock, or chicken stock as you prefer)

• Russet potatoes

• Carrots

• Zucchini

• Cod fillets

• Chopped fresh parsley

Fish stew in pot with fish

How To Make Fish Stew

• Heat the oil over moderately low heat in a large pot

• Add the onions and garlic and occasionally stir, until the onion is translucent about 5 minutes

• Add in the cumin, red pepper flakes, pepper, and salt

• Stir the pot for about 2 minutes, and then add the shrimp stock to the pot and bring up to a simmer

• Add the potatoes and carrots and bring back to a simmer again for 10 minutes

• Add in the zucchini and then bring to a simmer again for about 10 minutes

• Check the veggies are just about getting soft and can be pierced with a fork

• Add the sliced cod, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes, just until the fish is done, and then top the stew with parsley

Fish stew on a spoon

Do You Need To Use Cod Fillets In This Recipe?

This recipe calls for using some cod fillets as the fish in this stew, providing both the protein and the main flavoring for the whole dish.

However, don't feel completely obligated to use cod fillets. Cod is just one of the cheapest, most easily available types of fish out there, and its low price and huge availability make it perfect for filling out a fish stew.

The true origins of a fish stew, or any stew for that matter, are focused around using up leftovers, so feel free to make use of any type of fish parts and leftovers that you’ve got hanging around.

If you really wanted to be invested in your fish stew game, you could save the remains of any fish you eat in the freezer and then throw them into the stew once you have amassed a decent collection of fish parts.

While pretty gnarly, fish heads and skeletons contain absolutely tons of flavor, as well as plenty of bits of bit still clinging to the remains, making for the perfect addition into a stew.

You can also sometimes find fish runoff cuts sold as fishmongers or your local supermarkets. This is usually cheaper cuts of fish that are approaching their best-by date or are just mistakenly cut and can't be sold the way they are.

While not as attractive as a perfectly butchered fillet of fish, these are a great, cheap, and easy way to fill out and flavor your fish stew.

Fish stew in a bowl

What To Do If You Don’t Have Any Potatoes

Potatoes are commonly paired with fish and are also super common in any soup recipe because they help to thicken the soup while also contributing most of the calories and satisfaction of a stew.

However, having the right kind of potatoes isn’t always a given in all situations, so what should you do if you don’t have russet potatoes?

Well, other than just using a different kind of potato, one great potato replacement you could consider is using rice.

Commonly used in seaside communities, rice contributes a lot of the same thickening power and calories that potatoes do while also having a lot less noticeable impact on the texture of the soup.

To really help improve the flavor, texture, and consistency, you could actually blend the rice as well. After letting the rice cook in the broth, you could blend it with a stick blender, being careful to leave as much of the veggies to help keep the consistency in the stew, as well as making sure to not blend the fish as well!

Done right, the soup should take on a nice, slightly thicker consistency and taste just that little bit more nourishing and thick.

This would actually make the fish stew a fish bisque, but it's all the same, really, so long as it is tasty!

Looking for more delicious Soup recipes? Try these out:

Seafood Chowder

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

The Best Seafood Stock

Happy Cooking



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Hearty, rich, and super nourishing; there is a reason fish stew recipes are so prolific along the coast. This fish stew should leave you feeling like you just got back from a day at the seaside.

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Fish Stew

Hearty, rich, and super nourishing, this fish stew should leave you feeling like you just got back from a day at the seaside.
5 from 8 votes
Fish stew in a bowl
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Dinner, stew
Karlynn Johnston


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (Optional)
  • 4 cups shrimp stock (or seafood stock, or chicken stock)
  • 2 russet potatoes (peeled, medium size, small cubed)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (cut into thin slices)
  • 1 cup zucchini (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 1/2 pounds cod fillets cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • Heat the oil over moderately low heat in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and stir occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the cumin, red-pepper flakes, pepper, and ½ tsp salt. Stirring in the pot for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the Shrimp Stock to the pot and bring up to a simmer.
  • Add the potatoes and carrots and bring back to a simmer again for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the zucchini. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes more. Check that the vegetables are just starting to get soft and can be pierced with a fork.
  • Add the sliced cod, bring back to a simmer, and cook for about 3-5 minutes, just until the fish is done.
  • Serve the stew topped with parsley.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 246kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 49mg, Sodium: 852mg, Potassium: 1139mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2197IU, Vitamin C: 16mg, Calcium: 101mg, Iron: 2mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Genia says

    Just forgot to mention when to put in the tomato paste but I added it with the spices. So easy to do I used wild perch, delicious thanks so much5 stars

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