This cozy and smokey cioppino is brimming with tomatoes, mussels, clams, shrimp, and smoked kipper snacks.

This recipe is sponsored by King Oscar | Thanks for supporting the brands I love and trust.

Close up of bowl of cioppino.

Large pot of cioppino being stirred.

Bowl of fresh clams.

Package of King Oscar Kipper Snacks next to other ingredients.

These crisp fall weekends have me craving anything I can dunk a lump of fresh bread into. And though I love a rich beefy stew with red wine, the seafood lover in me has been pining for cioppino. If you’re pescatarian, this stew is a total dream.

Cioppino is an Italian-American fish stew originating in San Francisco, which surprised me. Crowded with tomatoes, wine, seafood stock, and a variety of freshly-caught seafood, I imagined this recipe rising from the Mediterranean coast. (And being devoured al fresco with a crisp glass of white and one heck of a view.) But nope! It’s native to our very own West coast. But even if you aren’t living on the coast, you can can make this beauty at home with seafood your fishmonger has kickin’ around. Most recipes include mussels, clams, shrimp, and a chopped fillet of fish. But you’ll also find variations with crab, scallops, and squid. I love them all!

Smokey Cioppino with King Oscar’s Kipper Snacks.

In this recipe, I’ve swapped the usual fish fillet for King Oscar’s Kipper Snacks. (You might recognize them from my clam chowder recipe). These fillets of wild-caught herring offer up a nice smokey flavor, making this dish particularly fitting for the chillier months. I also used mussels, shrimp, and mahogany clams. You can use any clams—like manila or littleneck—but my fishmonger had some big, juicy mahogany clams on hand and I just couldn’t say no :)

If you’ve never worked with fresh mussels or clams before, please note that any shells that remain unopened after being cooked are dead and need to be discarded. Eating dead mussels or clams is a recipe for gastrointestinal hell.

Hands holding bowl of cioppino.

If you try this recipe or create your own variation, let me know in the comments! I love connecting with you. Then snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme to be featured in our newsletter.

Hands holding bowl of cioppino.
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5 from 6 votes

Smokey Cioppino

This cozy and smokey cioppino is brimming with tomatoes, mussels, clams, shrimp, and smoked kipper snacks.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Comfort Food, Fish, Pescatarian, Pescetarian, Seafood
Keyword clams, kippers, mussels, Pescatarian, pescetarian, seafood, shrimp, soup, stew
Servings 6 servings
Author Dana Sandonato


  • 3 TBSP olive oil Or, use the oil from the can of kipper snacks.
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly shaved (preferably with a mandolin)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (preferably with a mandolin)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, smashed and sliced
  • 1 3.25 oz tin of King Oscar Kipper Snacks, drained and chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1.5 cups dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio; serve the rest with dinner!)
  • 5 cups seafood stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb fresh smaller clams (littleneck or manila) or 2 lbs large clams (mahogany); washed and scrubbed
  • 1 lb fresh mussels, washed, scrubbed, and debearded
  • 1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • Chopped fennel fronds, for garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, fennel, and salt. Sauté until the onions are fragrant and sweating, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, chopped kipper snacks, and chili flakes, and sauté for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, coating the ingredients. Then add the tomatoes (including the juice), white wine, seafood stock, and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, still covered, for about 30 minutes.
  • Add the clams and mussels to the soup. Cover and simmer until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp. Simmer on low, stirring gently, until the shrimp are just cooked through and the clams and mussels are completely open, about 5 minutes. (Discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Taste and season the soup with more salt and red pepper flakes to taste, if necessary.
  • Scoop into bowls, sprinkle chopped fennel fronds on top, and serve with fresh bread.


  • Donna
    November 11, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    5 stars
    I haven’t had a good cioppino since leaving the states!! This filled the void perfectly, and I absolutely loved the smokey flavours in there, so good and so much flavour!

  • Debra
    November 7, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    5 stars
    Smokey flavor caught my eye…..and so smart to suggest using the oil from the tin. Thank you for this flavorful recipe. Easy and super tasty.

  • Trish Bozeman
    November 6, 2019 at 11:00 am

    Dana, you are QUEEN of pescetarian recipes. Cioppino isn’t something we make very often (only once ever, in fact), but I know that if we do your recipe will be amazing. Love the fennel and shallot in that broth! And those smoky kipper snacks sound so good.

  • Jenni LeBaron
    November 4, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    5 stars
    I love Cioppino! It’s one of our favorite dishes to make on a weekend night when we can enjoy a relaxing meal with a bottle of wine. I’ve never added kippers to mine, but I really really want to try your recipe now because this sounds like an awesome blend of flavors! All I need is a crusty loaf of bread and a bowl of this and I’m a happy girl!

  • Sean@Diversivore
    November 3, 2019 at 12:39 am

    5 stars
    I knew that cioppino was Italian-American, but I didn’t know it was from San Francisco. When I hear Italian-American, I generally think of the big US cities in the Northeast and Midwest. In any case, this is all kinds of good! Some of my favourite seafood dishes are built around using multiple varieties of fish and shellfish. This is a fantastic recipe, and perfect as we get into cooler weather around here. I particularly like the fennel fronds – they add a nice visual and culinary punch, and they’re very California-appropriate, given that the plant is literally a weed across much of the state!

  • Tina
    November 2, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    5 stars
    My dad first introduced me to Kipper Snacks when I was in high school. Believe it or not I LOVED them. We ate them on crackers or crusty bread. I never thought to use them in soup before. This is pretty genius and I’m really excited to try this. I’ve made seafood soup many times so this recipe looks really enticing. Thanks for sharing this and I’m going to pin this one.

  • Gloria
    November 1, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    5 stars
    OMG my husband loves kippers. This is the perfect recipe for him. It is his birthday next week. What a great dinner this would be. He will love it.


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