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Bouillabaisse in a soup bowl, with a spoon and slice of toasted baguette.


Katerina | Diethood
Bouillabaisse is easy to make at home, prepared with fennel, saffron, white wine, garlic, and plenty of delicious seafood.
Servings : 8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups clam juice, seafood stock can also be used
  • 14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound halibut filets, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound sea scallops, tendons removed
  • 8 to 10 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • red pepper flakes, for garnish, optional
  • baguette slices, toasted, optional


  • Heat the olive oil and melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped fennel and onion and cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  • Stir in the garlic, thyme, paprika, saffron, and cayenne pepper; cook for 20 seconds.
  • Stir in the wine, scraping up all the browned pieces from the bottom of the pot, and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add in the clam juice (or seafood stock), tomatoes with the tomato juices, and the bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Season the halibut pieces with salt and pepper.
  • Add the halibut to the pot; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Next, nestle in the mussels and scallops, cover the pot, and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Remove cover; add in the shrimp, cover, and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until shrimp is opaque, halibut is cooked through, mussels have opened, and scallops are firm.
  • Remove from heat and discard bay leaves and any unopened mussels.
  • Stir in the basil and parsley.
  • Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly.
  • Ladle into wide bowls, garnish with red pepper flakes, if using, and serve with baguette slices.


  • Choosing Seafood: Mix firm fish, shrimp, mussels, and scallops for variety and a more authentic and delicious Bouillabaisse.
  • Seasoning: Traditionally, Bouillabaisse is flavored with various herbs and spices, including saffron, garlic, and fennel. Don't skimp on these - they make a significant difference to the end result.
  • Don't Rush: The flavors of a good Bouillabaisse come from slow cooking, which allows the flavors of the different types of fish and the herbs to meld together beautifully.
  • If skipping the wine, use chicken broth with a dash of Dijon mustard or water with a bit of vinegar instead.
  • Boost flavor: Tomato paste in sauteed veggies or citrus zest can enhance the taste, especially without wine. 


Calories: 278 kcal | Carbohydrates: 23 g | Protein: 22 g | Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0.1 g | Cholesterol: 51 mg | Sodium: 852 mg | Potassium: 813 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 7 g | Vitamin A: 507 IU | Vitamin C: 19 mg | Calcium: 67 mg | Iron: 2 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: French
Keyword: fish recipes, fish soup, seafood bouillabaisse