The Washington Post

Caribbean-Style Seafood Stew

Caribbean-Style Seafood Stew 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Washington Post

Nourish Mar 4, 2021

Bright with lime, fragrant with thyme, and spicy with Scotch bonnet pepper, this colorful, healthful stew, which comes together fast enough to make it weeknight-friendly, is brimming with Caribbean flavor. The amount of chile gives the stew a medium-spicy heat that’s prominent but not overwhelming – feel free to use more or less to taste (a little goes a long way), or substitute a milder chile, such as jalapeño.

Active time: 25 mins; Total time: 40 mins

Make Ahead: The stew may be made up to the point of adding seafood, then refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Storage Notes: Leftover stew can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; each serving is about 1 1/4 cups stew

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola, grapeseed or avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces), diced
  • 1 medium yellow or orange bell pepper (about 8 ounces), diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juices, or 1 cup fresh diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 cup seafood stock or water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on or skinless red snapper, or skinless mahi mahi or other white fish fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces large shrimp (about 12 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Cooked rice, for serving (optional)


In a large Dutch oven or a large, deep skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, Scotch bonnet or habanero and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat but have not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, seafood stock or water and the lime juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the sauce thickens a bit and the flavors are melded, about 10 minutes. (If not planning to eat right away, you can let the stew cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until needed.)

Gently stir in the fish and shrimp, raise the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring gently occasionally, until the seafood is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and lime juice, if desired. Divide the stew among bowls, garnish with cilantro, and serve with rice, if desired.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 354

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 1g 5%

Cholesterol: 134mg 45%

Sodium: 597mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 19g 6%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 8g

Protein: 45g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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