Go Back
+ servings
A serving bowl of bouillabaisse with shrimp, clams and fish.

Bouillabaisse Recipe

This bouillabaisse is French seafood stew with fresh fish, shrimp, clams and mussels, all simmered together in a flavorful broth. An easy and elegant meal that's super impressive and always gets rave reviews.
Course Main
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 558kcal
Author Sara Welch


For the seafood stock

  • 2 pounds shrimp shells, fish heads, fish bones, seafood trimmings, etc.
  • 1/2 onion cut into wedges
  • 1 carrot peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 stalk celery cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 strip orange zest 2-3 inches
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 ounces clam juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf

For the bouillabaisse

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup yellow onion finely diced
  • 3/4 cup leeks light green and white parts, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fennel bulb diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes preferably San Marzano brand
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound mussels scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound clams scrubbed
  • 2 pounds white fish at least two varieties such as halibut, cod, snapper, sole or monkfish
  • 1 pound shrimp medium to large size
  • 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
  • parsley sprigs and lemon wedges for serving optional
  • bread for serving toasted if desired

For the rouille

  • 1 tablespoon seafood stock recipe above
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup soft white breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper jarred is fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise


For the seafood stock

  • Place all of the stock ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a simmer. Cook for 30-45 minutes. Strain and reserve for later use. You will need 8 cups of the stew and 1 tablespoon for the rouille.

For the bouillabaisse

  • Wipe out the pot with a paper towel. Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, leeks and fennel and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, reserved 8 cups of seafood stock, salt and pepper to the pot, then bring to a simmer.
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the mussels and clams to the pot and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Add the fish and shrimp, then cook for another 4 minutes or until seafood is opaque and cooked through, and mussels and clams have opened.
  • Discard any mussels and clams that do not open during the cooking process.
  • Sprinkle with parsley, then serve with toasted bread and rouille. Garnish with parsley and lemon if desired.

For the rouille

  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until a smooth sauce forms.



Calories: 558kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 54g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 856mg | Potassium: 1066mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2475IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 212mg | Iron: 6mg