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

Close up of bowl of cioppino.

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

About My Smoky Cioppino

Seafood lovers will be all over this stew. It’s aromatic, tasty, nourishing, and packed with your favorite shellfish like shrimp, mussels, and clams. What sets this recipe apart from the rest is the addition of smoked kippers which are what give this stew it’s smoky flavor.

What Is Cioppino?

This Italian-American dish was born in San Francisco. It’s typically made up of a combination of fresh shellfish like clams, shrimp, mussels, crab, etc. which are simmered in a tomato and wine stock resulting in a beautifully rich and tangy stew.

One you can sop up with a nice hunk of fresh bread!

Package of King Oscar Kipper Snacks next to other ingredients.


  • Olive oil
  • Large fresh fennel, bulb and fronds
  • Yellow onion
  • Shallot
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Garlic
  • King Oscar Kipper Snacks
  • Chili flakes
  • Can of diced tomatoes with juice
  • Dry white wine
  • Seafood stock
  • Bay leaf
  • Large clams, like mahogany—or small clams, like littleneck or manilla
  • Mussels
  • Shrimp
  • Lemon
Bowl of fresh clams.

How to Make Cioppino

  • Drizzle olive oil in a large stock pot and heat it up over medium heat.
  • Pop in the onion, shallots, fennel bulb, and salt. Let everything sauté until the onions until everything has softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chopped kippers, and chili flakes. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir to coat the ingredients, then dump in the tomatoes as well as the juice, the wine, and the seafood stock. Pop the bay leaf in there, too.
  • Bring the heat down to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, add the clams and the mussels to the pot. Partially cover and simmer until the clams and mussels begin to open. This should take about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the shrimp and simmer on low until the shrimp are cooked through and the clams and mussels are fully opened. (Get rid of any clams or mussels that didn’t open. This means they were dead prior to cooking and shouldn’t be consumed.)
  • Give the stew a taste and season with more salt if necessary. You can also add more chili flakes if you’d like more heat.
  • Serve, garnished with chopped fennel fronds and a side of fresh bread.
Large pot of cioppino being stirred.

About 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).

In addition to being incredibly tender, these fillets of wild-caught herring bring a nice smoky flavor to this dish which makes it particularly fitting for the chillier months.

Useful Kitchen Tools

  1. Sharp knife
  2. Cutting board
  3. Stock pot or Dutch oven
  4. Paring knife (to devein shrimp)
  5. Stirring spoon or spatula
  6. Measuring cups + spoons
  7. Vegetable or Mussel scrubber, for cleaning mussels and clams
Hands holding bowl of cioppino.

Recipe Tips

  1. The shellfish in this recipe can easily be swapped for other varieties of seafood, like crab, scallops, and even calamari.
  2. If you prefer to cook without wine, simply add an extra 1.5 cups of seafood stock to make up for the liquid.
  3. If you can’t find seafood stock, vegetable broth is a great substitute.
  4. You don’t have to use the larger mahogany clams; you can use any clams—like manila or littleneck!
  5. Also, note that any shells that don’t open after being cooked are dead. Discard them. Eating dead mussels or clams is a recipe for gastrointestinal hell!

Have You Made This Recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

More Delicious Seafood Recipes You’ll Love

Hands holding bowl of cioppino.

Smokey Cioppino

This cozy and smokey cioppino is brimming with tomatoes, mussels, clams, shrimp, and smoked kipper snacks.
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings


  • Large stock pot or Dutch oven


  • 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.