Stuffed Clams Recipe

Baked Stuffed Clams Recipe: Health Benefits, Preparation Tips, and Dietary Notes

Baked stuffed clams originated along the coastal regions where clamming has been a staple activity. This dish became popular in New England, particularly in Rhode Island, where the unique method of baking clams with stuffing can be traced back to Italian immigrants. Baked stuffed clams have since spread nationwide, becoming a beloved seafood delicacy. Both restaurants and home kitchens favor this dish due to its flavorful simplicity and appealing presentation.

Key Ingredients

To make baked stuffed clams, you’ll need several essential ingredients. Fresh clams form the base, providing a rich, briny taste. Breadcrumbs create the stuffing’s texture, while garlic and onions add depth to the flavor profile. Parsley contributes a fresh, herbal note. Lemon juice, usually from one lemon, offers acidity to balance the richness. Parmesan cheese adds a salty, umami quality, and butter or olive oil helps bind everything together. Optionally, white wine can be included for complexity.

Preparation Techniques

Choosing the Right Clams

Choose the best clams for baked stuffed clams to ensure a flavorful dish. Hard-shell clams, such as littlenecks or cherrystones, are ideal. Littlenecks, smaller clams, are perfect for appetizers, while cherrystones, larger clams, offer more meat. Fresh clams should have shells tightly closed, indicating they are still alive. Discard any clams with cracked or open shells, as they are likely dead and unsafe to eat.

Preparing the Filling

Create a delicious filling for baked stuffed clams using high-quality ingredients. Start by finely chopping garlic and onions, then sauté them in butter or olive oil until softened. In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Add the sautéed garlic and onions to the mixture. For added flavor depth, incorporate white wine, but this is optional. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

Baking Tips

Follow these baking tips for perfect baked stuffed clams. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the clams on a baking sheet, and spoon the prepared filling onto each clam. Bake the clams for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is golden brown and the clams are just cooked through. Avoid overcooking, as clams can become tough. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges for an added citrusy touch.

Serving Suggestions

Accompanying Dishes

Pair baked stuffed clams with other seafood dishes to enhance the dining experience. Consider serving clam chowder, shrimp cocktail, or seared scallops. Add a fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast. A side of garlic bread or crusty baguette complements the rich flavors and provides a satisfying crunch. For a heartier meal, include pasta with a light lemon basil sauce or risotto with peas and Parmesan. Ensure each accompaniment complements the flavors without overpowering the stuffed clams.

Presentation Tips

Serve baked stuffed clams on a decorative platter for visual appeal. Arrange the clams in a circular pattern, ensuring each one is evenly spaced. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives to add color and freshness. Place lemon wedges at the edges for a touch of citrus. Use small serving tongs or seafood forks to make it easy for guests to help themselves. Keep napkins and extra plates available for an organized and tidy presentation.

Health Benefits

Nutritional Profile of Clams

Clams offer a rich nutritional profile beneficial for a balanced diet. They are low in fat and provide high-quality protein. A 3-ounce serving of clams contains around 22 grams of protein, ideal for muscle repair and growth. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, iron, and selenium. Vitamin B12 supports brain health and energy production, while iron is crucial for oxygen transport in the body. Selenium acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

Dietary Considerations

Baked stuffed clams cater to various dietary needs when managed properly. They are naturally low in carbs, making them suitable for ketogenic and low-carb diets. If reducing sodium intake, consider using less salty ingredients in the stuffing. For those with gluten intolerance, substitute regular breadcrumbs with gluten-free options. It’s essential to source fresh, high-quality clams to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. Always check for any shellfish allergies before serving, as they can lead to severe reactions.


Baked stuffed clams offer a delightful mix of flavors and nutrients that can elevate any meal. Whether you’re a seafood aficionado or a novice in the kitchen, this dish brings a taste of coastal tradition right to your table. With its rich history and versatile preparation methods, it caters to various dietary needs without compromising on taste. Remember to source fresh clams and adjust ingredients to suit your health requirements. Enjoy the savory goodness and nutritional benefits that baked stuffed clams provide, making it a worthy addition to your culinary repertoire.

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