Special Diet - Created Date : 29.8.2019

Fancy Bouillabaisse: Special Occasion Meals

Fancy Bouillabaisse: Special Occasion Meals

Fancy Bouillabaisse: Special Occasion Meals

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Fancy Bouillabaisse is full of shrimp, lobster, crab in a light flavorful healthy broth perfect for a great meal to serve company! A fish stew ready in less than 45 minutes!

Todays recipe is for what I call Fancy Bouillabaisse. The biggest question I get when I talk about it is “what is bouillabaisse?”

When researching this recipe I had to laugh at all the spellings that popped up. From “bouillabaise”. “boullabaise” which are pretty close, to the ones that really made me smile “boule base” to my personal favorites….. “booya base” and “booyabase.” No matter what you want to call it, it is delicious!

Its a simple dish made of perfectly cooked succulent pieces of fish and shellfish that is served in a subtle flavorful broth thickened with healthy vegetables.

The recipe is most credited is originated from Marseille, France. A classic French recipe for provincial fish stew. Its also popular in the Mediterranean where they serve something similar called a fishermans stew.

The one thing both places have in common is that its made with the freshest, shellfish and seafood that is available and not limited to specific kinds of fish. It makes it ideal for entertaining because you can use the fish that is readily available and thus its usually pretty economical.

This seafood bouillabaisse is a go to for entertaining in our home because you can make it quickly and can customize it to whatever fish you like or are able to find that is fresh and available.

What fish/shellfish is in Bouillabaisse?


Lobster Tails

Crab legs


Little Neck Clams

Steamer Clams

Razor Clams




White Fish



Red Snapper


The list for fish to use as you can see is endless. You can use pretty much anything as long as you are selecting things that you love and enjoy. We tend to stick to shellfish because its something we love. But on occasion I’ll add some fresh caught white fish cut into pieces.

How do you make the fish stock for Seafood Bouillabaisse?

You’ll start by making a very flavorful base. To start the broth I take the shells from the shrimp and make a simple fish stock. By adding onions, carrots and celery cut to small pieces then adding water along with the shrimp shells and bring it to a boil. It takes no more than 10 minutes to get all of the deep flavor from the shells into the broth and you are done.

I highly suggest you don’t use salt or pepper into the broth at this point. It gives you the ability to taste and add the right amount of those seasonings once you have cooked the vegetables and fish. I like the control it gives by adding it at the last minute. Its easy to add more, but next to impossible to get rid of a salty taste if you over season it.

Strain everything out and use the plain fish stock for the base of the fish stew.

Can you use store-bought fish stock? Absolutely, but since it takes such little time to make it homemade and the fact I have the shrimp shells anyway I almost always make my own. If you aren’t using shrimp in your recipe you can make a vegetable broth as the base using the same ingredients and add a couple of garlic cloves.

Once you have this fish stock you’ll layer on even more flavors with the additions of leeks, onions, tomatoes, carrots, tomatoes, tiny bite sized potatoes and the two ingredients that make bouillabaisse have such a full bodied depth. Fennel and pernot.

Fennel is one of the foods I find that people either love or hate. It kind of has a licorice flavor when its raw but when its cooked it just adds a nice subtle sweet flavor and when pureed in this recipe provides a nice basis for the slightly thickened broth. The Pernod is alcohol adds to the flavor when you are using it to deglaze the pan. (The alcohol does burn away when you cook it after adding it.)

One other flavor that is prominent in this fish stew recipe is saffron. It adds a beautiful color and works really well with the colors of the fish. Saffron is the most expensive spice available but a little goes a long way so it wont break the bank when you find it. (trader joe’s carries it around the holidays)

Its up to you after the broth is made if you want to puree it or leave it thinner. I do it both ways. I tend to prefer a slightly thicker broth for the stew, but sometimes taking the time to puree it is time I don’t want to spend.

Once the base is done all thats left to do is cook the shellfish and fish.

How long to cook the shellfish and fish?

Lobster: cut in half 5-8 mins, whole 8-12

Crab: (most crab is already cooked so you are just warming it) 4-10 mins depending on size

Shrimp: 2-4 mins depending on size

Mussels: 5-7 minutes

Clams: 8-10 mins depending on size (Jumbo will take even a few mins more)

Fish Filets: cut to 2 inch pieces then cook 4-7 minutes

These are just guidelines because the sizes you purchase will cause the time to vary. Over time Ive come to know how long to cook the fish. If I see something is done cooking I will pull it out of the boiling broth right away then finish cooking the other fishes. If you aren’t comfortable cook each fish in batches then remove from the pot. The steaming hot broth will rewarm the fish/shellfish very easily.

Points of Interest of the Fancy Bouillabaisse:

Easy/Hard: The hardest part of this is cleaning the fish you use. The rest is super easy. If you puree the veggies after cooking them you can roughly chop all of them which makes prep super quick.

Make Ahead: You can make the broth up to 3 days ahead, and even clean the fish and have them ready to just drop in the broth to cook early in the day. It makes it a great recipe for entertaining because you can just do the cooking of the fish at the last minute.

Store the fish on ice under a dampened towel in the fridge until you are ready to use.

Serve With: This goes great with a nice garlic bread and a garlic aioli spread. You use the bread to sop up all of the broth once you’ve finished the shellfish.

Pairs with: a crisp white wine such as Riesling or a pinot gris. It also goes nicely with a sparkling wine, and on occasion Ive found a light rose that pairs well.

Into a stock pot, add olive oil and heat to medium high. Once hot, add leeks, onions, garlic, fennel and carrots. Saute until onions and fennel are translucent.

Add tomatoes and saffron and stir for 5 minutes. Then add Pernod to deglaze the pan. (Scrape up bits from bottom of pan.) This will happen very quickly.

Add stock(or water) bay leaves and potatoes to pot. Bring pot to simmer. Continue to cook until small potatoes and carrots are cooked and tender. Remove from heat.

While the pot of veggies/broth is simmering, clean all shell fish and have on a plate ready to cook once broth is pureed.

Remove 1/2 of the potatoes and set aside. Remove Bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup taking care blend all ingredients to smooth. Season with salt (especially if you used water versus fish stock.)

Put stock post of pureed broth back onto burner and heat to hot and bubbling temperature. Add potatoes back into pot. Once broth is hot, add clams first, and cook for 3-5 minutes. Then add mussels and cook for 3 more minutes. At this time add shrimp, lobster and crab and cook until shrimp and lobster halves are completely opaque.

Place a little of each kind of shellfish in each serving bowl then ladle broth over the top and serve. (optional: Use leftover fennel fronds by mincing them and sprinkle over the top as garnish!)

Serve with thick bread to use to sop up last of broth.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

You can make this broth ahead and then just reheat to hot and cook the shellfish at the time you wish to serve it. The broth can be made up to 3 days ahead.

This recipe's calorie information was made using the exact ingredients/brands I purchased and calculated in My Fitness Pal. Please be aware that if you make it using different ingredients or substitute different brands the information will vary and plan accordingly if you are following strict dietary information.


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It is rare for me to click through from a pinterest link I just happen to come across… However this is the most enticing plate of food I have seen in a long old time! Ok I live in landlocked Hungary and this is a gorgeuous bowl of everything I love and cannot get my hands on!

So I’ll not be making this in the near future but genuinely wish I could, wonderful sounding food!

How amazing are you to leave such a nice comment…. Id say Id make it in your honor, but somehow that seems mean~~~ I hope someday you are able to get ahold of some fresh shellfish.. it really is a treat! ~m

I’ve had it at a French restaurant with salmon and halibut and it was very good all shellfish sounds marvelous. I will definitely try this. Thank you. Can the lobster shells be used in the fish broth along with the shrimp shells?

They sure can June! You’ll just want to add the lobster meat towards the end because without the shells they will cook a little faster. Just ahead of the shrimp (like maybe 2 minutes….). I hope you enjoy it! ~michele

Katie, Its super easy to make your own. Take 1/2 an onion cut into pieces, a carrot or two cut in a couple of pieces, a couple of stalks of celery and add it to a 4 cups of water in a stock pot. Peel the shrimp and dump the shells in to the pot with the vegetables. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer 15-20 minutes. Strain out the shells and veggies and you have a simple fish stock. I often throw shells in a zip lock back from peeling shrimp for other recipes and freeze them until I need them. You can freeze the stock in plastic containers for 4-6 weeks for use at a later date. ~m ps…. I don’t put salt and pepper the stock, because I season the recipe to taste.

Carmen~. Pernod is an anise flavored (think licorice) alcohol. It acts to add some depth to the fennel in the recipe. You can sub gin instead or the recipe would be fine without it. Let me know how it turns out for you! ~m

I studied in Marseille France where Bouillabaisse originated and was never a fan because of the kids of types of fish they added. This looks fantastic with so much shellfish and I will definitely be trying this recipe out!

I’m one of those people who tends to lean toward the “hate” relationship with fennel, but I find if I get it at just the right time in the season, it has a sweetness to it that makes me want to put it in everything…for about 1 day. ?? I tend to enjoy meals like this though that have it puréed in! It adds such a layered flavor!

Oh my gosh, you are speaking to me with this Bouillabaisse! Fresh fennel and saffron are such beautiful, fragrant flavors. They must bring such a wonderful aroma to the broth and complement that gorgeous seafood perfectly. If this dish doesn’t say true love, I don’t know what does; though, I might not be inclined to share! Haha.

That meal looks impressive and fancy! I have never cooked lobster or mussels before but you make it sound easy. I love your suggestions for wine pairings. We love to have a glass of wine with our meal so this will be perfect. I will have to save this recipe for later to try.

This looks divine! I have to admit – I’ve had bouillabaisse in Marseille, the birthplace of bouillabaisse, it cost about a billion dollars and I didn’t like it at all ?? It was super sad! The broth was muddy and the seafood got lost. But this looks much more refined, an opportunity for the seafood to really shine.

The Best Healthy Fast Food Options

Fast-food stores are plentiful and fast food has the reputation of being unhealthy, while an increasing number of large chains are adding more nutritious options to their menus.

Sockets that allow more customization of orders tend to have lower calorie or more feeder selections. However, there are currently healthy options on the menu of the largest fast-food chains.

In this article, we'll look at the overall calorie, fat and saturated fat content to find some of the healthiest options that seven big fast-food chains have to offer.

Note, however, that calories and fat are only two aspects of how healthy a meal is fed. If a person eats only fast food, it is not possible to get the necessary nutrients such as vitamins and fiber.

1. Subway

Sandwich with cheese and vegetables

One person can customize Subway sandwiches to choose healthy fillings.

Metro specialize in deli style sandwiches or "sub". As a person can customize every "sub", Subway can be one of the healthiest healthy fast-food chains.

Some of the best sandwich options are on the Subway's Fresh Fit menu. The 6-inch Turkey Breast sandwich with nine wheat bread contains 250 calories and 3 grams of fat, including 0.5 g of saturated fat.

A healthy vegetarian option, Veggie Delite in nine wheat bread. This "bottom" contains only 2 g calories, does not contain 2 g total fat and saturated fat. It also has one of the lowest sodium levels (salt) compared to other sandwiches.

Subway also offers salads that can be a low-calorie alternative to a sandwich. All salads include lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, onions, cucumbers, green peppers and olives.

Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options

Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options

Are you having trouble finding a fast-food option for living with diabetes and occasional treatment? We can help you.

2. Taco Bell

Taco Bell is another great fast-food chain with a variety of healthy options. The ability to personalize each order allows people to choose more vegetable-like nutrients.

According to Taco Bell's website, three-quarters of its menus are under 500 calories. Some of the lowest calorie options are the Fresco menu, which uses regular sauce and cheese instead of vegetable based salsa.

One of the healthiest options is Chicken Soft Taco. Each taco contains about 170 calories, 8 g fat, containing only 3 g of saturated fat.

Bean Burrito is a vegetarian option containing 11 g fat, 380 calories, including 4 g of saturated fat.

3. Chipotle

Vegetable burritos

Vegetarian options are lower in fat than meat options.

Chipotle is a Mexican-style chain that specializes in tacos and burritos. Similar to Subway and Taco Bell, Chipotle allows people to customize their meals to include healthy choices.

Healthy options are burritos or white rice instead of white rice. In a chicken bowl bowl containing fresh tomato salsa and brown rice, there are 415 calories, 13 g fat and 4 g saturated fat.

For a lower calorie, vegetarian option, people can choose a plate of bean curd, brown rice and a sofritas patty with lettuce. It contains 365 calories, 10 g fat and 1.5 g saturated fat. Adding sauce will increase the number of calories.

4. McDonald's

McDonald's had the reputation of being unhealthy, but they recently reaffirmed themselves to offer a variety of fresh and nutritious ingredients. Some of these changes may be cosmetics, while McDonald's has better options.

Fillet-O-Fish contains 390 calories and 4 g of saturated fat from 19 g of total fat. Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad contains only 320 calories and 6 g of saturated fat from a total of 14 g.

5. Burger King

Burger King is one of the largest burger chains in the United States, but has a limited number of healthy options. But some choices are a little healthier than others.

It contains a normal, simple hamburger, 10 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, and 240 calories. Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains 470 calories, 3.5 g saturated fat and 19 g fat.

BK Veggie Burger can be a healthier option among these examples. Contains 2,5 g of saturated fat, 390 calories and 17 g of fat.

6. Wendy

Baked potato with knife, sour cream and cheese filling on plate

Baked potatoes can be a healthy fast-food option.

Wendy is another common fast-food chain that allows people to personalize their orders to make their choices healthier.

The menu of the chain is not abundant in healthy options, but some meals are able to customize to lower the calorie content.

Salads are also available, and if a person chooses some of the half-size salad choices, they can stay below 500 calories.

With a few vegetarian options at Wendy's, Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potatoes

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