Best Ways to Cook Clams

What’s better than seafood in the summer? If you’re a fan of seafood, then clams may be your new favorite food. Like oysters, clams can be served raw, but we’ve curated the best ways to cook clams, with recipes from stuffed clams to grilled.


This method is as easy as boiling a pot of water and throwing the clams right on in! Yep, it’s that easy. But that doesn’t mean this dish isn’t delicious or can’t be spruced up with a few ingredients. You can simply serve with melted butter or throw some sauteed garlic with it. You can swap the simmering water for white wine for an even tastier dish and put on as many fresh herbs as you want. A lot of times, steamed clams are tossed over pasta with a simple white wine sauce to make a dish called pasta con vongole, which just means “pasta with clams.”


This is a great way to serve clams to pickier eaters. After first steaming the clams, stuff the shells with stuffing like the one you would serve at Thanksgiving and bake until crisp. The flavorful breadcrumb mixture will be able to soak up a lot of the clam flavor. You can either leave the clam whole and add stuffing on top or if the clam is more significant than you can chop it up and add it right to the stuffing and back into the shell.


Is there anything better than traditional New England style clam chowder? The rich soup seems like it would be hard to make, let alone make the right way, but it can be reasonably simple. With a handful of ingredients, you can make a delicious chowder. First and foremost, you’ll need fresh clams that you’ll steam before putting them in the chowder. Then you’ll need onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, seafood stock, heavy cream, butter, flour,  and seasonings. A lot of these ingredients are already in your pantry or fridge, which makes this an easy recipe. Sautee the veggies, then throw everything in the pot and let it simmer until it’s ready to serve!


Now, this dish has two variations: pan-fried or deep-fried. Both of which are equally as delicious. Pan-fried clams are thrown shell-in and cooked until the shell pops open. From there you can add garlic, white wine, butter, maybe a little lemon juice for a fresh-tasting clam dish. Deep-fried clams are a whole new world of flavor. First, you shuck the clams to get the flesh out of the shell. Then the clams are breaded in panko breadcrumbs, and submerged into hot oil and fried until golden and crispy.


Grilling clams gives a deeper, smokier flavor to the otherwise sweet clam. Throw the clams directly on the grill, shell and all, until they pop open. What you lose in juiciness, you gain in smoky flavor, plus there’s no pots or pans to wash!