20 Clam Recipes That Make Quick Weeknight Dinners

Photo: Kate Mathis

Whether you're in the mood for a soup or an Italian classic, there are so many ways to enjoy clams during the week.

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Marcus Nilsson

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about creating a meal with clams might be a traditional clam bake. And while that's definitely an option, we're sharing a collection of unique inspired clam recipes that are sure to please. Our dishes include tried-and-true classics, like Italian standards and a mix of steamed and grilled clam dishes. The best part? They all come together in under an hour, which means you and your family can enjoy clams for dinner any day of the week.

Before you start cooking, learn how to identify the different clams at the seafood market. There are seven most common types: chowder, steamer, cherrystone, littleneck, New Zealand, cockle, razor, and Manila. The recipes we're sharing make use of a number of these varieties, and you'll want to be sure you're picking up the right kind at the market or seafood store for best results.

Nothing beats a warm, steaming bowl of creamy clam chowder. We're sharing three iterations—two classics and one lesser-known version—for hearty dishes that are delicious as a starter or for lunch. Another clam soup that's sure to please is our Spanish Clam Soup. With smoked paprika and serrano ham, littleneck clams make this one filling, satisfying bowl of soup. And we love that it comes together in just 45 minutes.

If you're in the mood for an Italian favorite with a briny twist, make our mouthwatering Green Gnocchi with Cockles. Fluffy spinach gnocchi pairs perfectly with soft, sautéed cockle clams—and it's on the table in only 20 minutes. For something a little more fiery, try our Spicy Clams with Spaghetti—it only takes 25 minutes to make, and the result is another quick and easy Italian-inspired clam dish. It's a fun iteration of classic spaghetti alle vongole that's sure to be a new family favorite. Finally, for something truly unique, make our Grilled Pizzas with Clams and Bacon. Your pie features all of the favorite ingredients from clam chowder, but on a doughy pizza.

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Clam Chowder Two Ways

clam chowder two ways served with oyster crackers
Con Poulos

Two recipes with slight variations yield unique results, but both are guaranteed winners. Using our recipe, you can make creamy New England or tomato-filled Manhattan—the hardest part is deciding which one you like best.

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Green Gnocchi with Cockles


Team store-bought spinach gnocchi with briny cockles for a simple supper that's easy to make but elegant enough to serve to company.

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Steamed Clams and Corn Recipe

Hans Gissinger

Slice ears of corn into half-inch "coins" so they cook at the same speedy pace as littleneck clams. Shallots, jalapeños, and cilantro flavor the white wine broth.

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Grilled Clams


All you need are five dozen littleneck clams and a hot grill to prepare this fun, casual dish. Put the clams directly on the grill and cook them for about five minutes, just until they open.

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Spanish Clam Soup

Kate Mathis

Smoked paprika and serrano ham are the perfect match for littlenecks in this flavorful, Mediterranean-inspired soup. Serve with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the addictive broth.

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Spicy Clams with Spaghetti

Linda Pugliese

Turn up the volume on classic spaghetti alle vongole by adding a generous dose of fiery red-pepper flakes.

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Grilled Pizzas with Clam and Bacon


We take everything we love about clam chowder—littlenecks, bacon, fresh parsley, onion, garlic, white wine, and cream—and put it on a pizza.

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Linguine with Clams and Lime


Give linguine with clams a spicy-tangy kick by throwing in some jalapeño and the zest and juice of three limes.

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Rhode Island Clam Chowder

Katherine Wolkoff

The less famous Rhode Island soup is no less delicious than its New England or Manhattan counterparts. The clear broth lets the flavor of the clams shine.

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Linguine with Clams in Pepper Broth


Cracked black pepper and red-pepper flakes give bite to a fragrant, briny clam broth. Pancetta and lemon zest balance out the heat in this hearty linguine supper.

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One-Pot Clam Bake


Party in a pot! Fresh seafood and summer corn are bathed in a garlicky, lemony white-wine broth that will have your guests clamoring for more.

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Linguine with Cockles and Squid


Take linguine with clams to the next level by adding crisp guanciale (cured pork jowl) and tender squid.

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Mixed Seafood Chowder

Sharon Radisch

Give clam chowder a Scottish twist by adding your favorite hot-smoked fish. We used salmon, but trout or haddock would also be delicious.

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Steamed Clams with Tomatoes

Bryan Gardner

Steam clams in a quick-cooked sauce of cherry tomatoes, garlic, red-pepper flakes, and oregano, then serve with rustic bread to soak up every last drop of precious broth.

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Shrimp and Clams a la Plancha

shrimp and clams a la plancha
Dana Gallagher

Sherry-steamed clams pair perfectly with shrimp cooked with their shells on in this flavorful meal that also features garlicky beans. And it'll be on the table in only 30 minutes.

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Steamed Littleneck Clams


Combine four pounds of clams, a little butter and thyme, and a pint of beer or water to make enough for a party. Once the clams are scrubbed, it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare this casual family-style dish.

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Clams & Oysters Casino

Meredith Jenks

Serve up these delicious clams and oysters for your next dinner party. The trick to getting these just right is the broiler.

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Spiked Clams and Oysters


The clams and oysters are steamed in tequila for a boozy take on classic steamed shellfish.

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Baked Stuffed Clams

Bryan Gardner

This delicious, rich recipe is a classic for a reason. Herbed breadcrumb stuffing mixes with littleneck or cherrystone clams in this tasty dish.

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Baked Clams with Chorizo and Rice

Johnny Miller

Littleneck clams, dried chorizo, and Arborio rice come together in one satisfying dish that requires only 25 minutes of prep and is ready to eat in just one hour.

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