Saffron and seafood stew

Saffron and seafood stew
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Ready in 35 minutes

This rustic yet sophisticated seafood stew recipe will be a winner with family and dinner party guests.


  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 medium-hot red chillies, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • Good pinch of saffron strands
  • 2 strips pared orange zest
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • Leaves from 2 large sprigs fresh lemon thyme
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml dry white wine
  • 50ml well-flavoured chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 600g cleaned mussels in the shell, fresh or frozen, and thawed if frozen
  • 225g cooked and peeled tiger prawns, thawed if frozen
  • 400g mixed seafood such as prawns, mussels, squid, scallops, thawed if frozen

For the garlic bread

  • 2 plain part-baked
  • ciabattas
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large casserole or wide shallow saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned. Add the crushed garlic and chillies and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the paprika, saffron, orange zest, bay leaves and lemon thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute more.
  2. Add the tomatoes, wine, stock and salt, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the garlic bread. Bake the ciabattas in the oven according to the packet instructions. Remove the bread but leave the oven on. Mix the butter with the garlic, thyme leaves, parsley and a little salt. Cut the ciabattas into 2cm slices but don’t cut all the way through to the base. Spread each slice with the garlic butter. Wrap up securely in 2 pieces of foil and bake for a further 8-10 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes, uncover the stew and stir in the mussels, prawns and mixed seafood. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the seafood is heated through – but don’t cook it for too long or the seafood will become tough.
  5. Ladle the stew into deep bowls and serve with the garlic bread.


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