An overhead shot of a bowl of cod fish stew garnished with fennel fronds.
5 from 16 votes

Easy Fish Stew Recipe {with tomato and fennel}

With a rich tomato and seafood stock based broth, flavourful fennel, tender cod and a little hit of chili flakes, this easy fish stew recipe will hit the spot every time!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword cod fish stew, fish stew with potatoes, fish stew with tomatoes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Calories 242kcal
Author Dawn - Girl Heart Food


  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion -diced
  • 3 cloves garlic -minced
  • 1 bulb fennel -core remove and thinly sliced (reserve fronds for garnish) (small-ish bulb of fennel)
  • 2 stalks celery -sliced on the thinner side, about 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tsp dried thyme -or 1 tbsp fresh
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp chili flakes -or to taste (plus more for garnish, if you wish)
  • 1/4 tsp salt -optional
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water -or white wine
  • 398 ml can tomatoes -I used 'whole' tomatoes in sauce and broke up with my hands before adding to stew.
  • 4 cups fish stock/broth
  • 1/2 lb baby potatoes -cut into bite-sized chunks (roughly an overflowing cup)
  • 1 lb cod -cut into bite-sized pieces or other similar white fish
  • lemon oil -garnish/finisher (optional, but highly recommended)


  • In a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat add olive oil.
  • When shimmering add onion and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes, until onion has softened a little.
  • Add fennel, celery, thyme, chili flakes (use according to taste), salt (if using) and black pepper. Stir to combine. Add water (or wine). Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally ensuring nothing is sticking.
  • Stir in canned tomatoes and stock. Bring to a low simmer and cook, cover ajar, for 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook  12-15 minutes (with cover still ajar) or until they are fork tender.
  • Gently place cod on top and cook 5-8 minutes, cover ajar or until cod is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Adjust seasoning to taste. If you want a looser consistency, stir in a little water or more fish stock.
  • Portion and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. a drizzle of regular or lemon olive oil and sprinkle of chili flakes (optional). Enjoy!


  • Use a quality canned tomato.  I opted for 'whole' and squished the tomatoes with my hands (or use a potato masher), breaking them up, before adding to the pot. I used a 398 ml can, but if you can only find a larger sized can, use a little more than 1.5 cups and save the rest for another use.
  • Speaking of fish stock and canned tomatoes, all brands vary in salt content.  Taste before adding any additional salt.
  • Like a little more heat? Add more chili flakes. Enjoy a little less? Reduce or omit.
  • I enjoy my celery to have a tiny bit of bite, but if you don't cook a little longer before adding the cod.  
  • You can use haddock or halibut instead of cod if you prefer.  Because halibut it a little bit denser, it may take a tad longer to cook.
  • A few sprinkles of lemon olive oil as a finisher is totally optional, but highly recommended. Don't have lemon olive oil? Try a little sprinkle of freshly grated lemon zest.
  • When portioning the stew, be careful not to mush the cod pieces. It's quite tender and delicate.
Tried this recipe? That's awesome!Mention @dawn.girlheartfood or tag #girlheartfood

Nutrition (estimate only)

Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 972mg | Potassium: 1065mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 755IU | Vitamin C: 25.3mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Nutrition Facts
Easy Fish Stew Recipe {with tomato and fennel}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 242 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 49mg16%
Sodium 972mg42%
Potassium 1065mg30%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 755IU15%
Vitamin C 25.3mg31%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Nutrition estimate only. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.