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Dungeness Crab Cioppino

June 11, 2016

Dungeness crab

Best Dungeness Crab Recipe

If you have never had recipe crab Cioppino before, you're missing out on a wonderful treat. Cioppino is a hot seafood stew that originates from San Francisco and was inspired by Italian cuisine. White fish, shrimp, clams, and scallops all combine with the richness of succulent crab meat to overwhelm your senses. Thanks to the inclusion of jalapeños and bell peppers, this stew can be a bit spicy, which means it is great for cold and dreary days and to help clear up stuffy noses during cold season.


The large quantity of seafood protein in this stew helps pack a flavorful nutrition punch, too. We think this is undoubtedly the best Crab recipe out there, and certainly an easy cioppino recipe to follow. It's a great addition to any seafood feast, and it's great all on its own, too.

Easy to adjust, impossible to resist

dungeness crab clusters

One of the reasons we love this particular cioppino recipe is that it's very easy to adjust to your taste. In addition to the limitless flavor options available, you can also choose to use leftover or frozen seafood instead of fresh, which makes this a great addition to your steamed Dungeness Crab recipes collection! If you've been wondering how to eat healthier and add more lean and high protein seafoods to your diet, this is an awesome choice. With the variety of ingredients boiling together in your pot, it'll be hard to resist diving in too soon, but we promise it's worth the wait. 

Read on and we'll teach you how to cook this spicy, wonderful crabs cioppino.


  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves—6 finely chopped, 2 whole
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped1 large onion, finely chopped1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • One 28-ounce can peeled tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved
  • Four 8-ounce bottles clam broth1 1/2 cups water
dungeness crab clusters
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 4 steamed Dungeness crab legs, about 2 pounds each (see Note)
  • 2 pounds firm, white-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut, skinned and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  • 1 pound sea scallops, halved vertically if largeCrusty bread, for serving


1. In a very large soup pot, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped garlic, jalapeños, bell peppers, onion and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, over moderately high heat until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute longer. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices and cook over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the clam broth and water, season lightly with salt and generously with pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broth is reduced to about 8 cups, about 20 minutes.

dungeness crab clusters

2. Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine the basil leaves with the whole garlic and process until the garlic is finely chopped. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and the crushed red pepper and process the basil puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Working over the sink, pull off the flap on the undersides of the crabs. Remove the top shells and discard. Pry out the brownish insides and pull off the feathery lungs and discard. Rinse the Dungeness crabs bodies in cold water and quarter them so that each piece has body and leg.

4. Add the Cooked crab clusters and clams to the pot. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the clams begin to open, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the crabs to a large platter. Add the fish, shrimp, mussels and scallops to the pot, pushing them into the broth. Return the crab legs to the pot, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams and mussels are fully open and the fish, shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. 

5. Ladle the Cioppino into deep bowls and drizzle each serving with some of the basil puree. Serve with crusty bread and pass the remaining basil puree separately. This recipe is brought to you by Food & Wine Magazine


Right now is a great time to stock up on all the crab you'll need for this great recipe. Our best Dungeness crab price is hard to beat for the quality we offer, and we back up your purchase with a money-back guarantee.


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