Whoever first pried open a clam and slurped it raw was a brave soul. But it was a glorious person who first steamed a clam open, someone who understood that the true prize of the clam, even more than its meat, is the liquid trapped inside.

Here are our best clam recipes that make the most of that lovely clam liquor as well as that tender meat, from pastas to soups (including four distinct chowders) to steaming pots of seafood, ripe for mopping with crusty bread.


Linguine with Clam Sauce

The secret to this simple and satisfying pasta dish is boiling the linguine until it’s just al dente, so that it will absorb plenty of the briny, winey sauce when the two are cooked together. Get the recipe for Linguine with Clam Sauce »
Steamed clams in a light white wine-tomato sauce are studded with verdant pieces of broccoli rabe and crunchy bits of prosciutto in this easy skillet supper.

Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams

All clams need is garlic and wine to make a perfect pot of steamers. Serve with plenty of crusty bread. Get the recipe for Garlic-Steamed Manila Clams »
The New England classic: briny with clam liquor, smoky with bacon, more clam than potato, and a slurp of cream for good measure.

Braised Bass and Clams in White Wine and Cream

This classic Portuguese dish of bass and clams cooked in a fragrant broth and finished with a rich glug of cream is adapted from Cimas in Estoril, which has been serving fresh fish to clientele since the ’50s, when the establishment was owned by a Scottish spy. Get the recipe for Braised Bass and Clams in White Wine and Cream »

Manhattan Clam Chowder

The briny, classic Manhattan-style chowder is made with two types of clams and plenty of tomato. Perfect for adding a briny helping to browned butter in lobster rolls. Get the recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder »

Clam, Leek, and King Oyster Mushroom Foil Yaki

Clams, leeks, and king oyster mushrooms get cooked in a foil pouch that resembles a Jiffy Pop. Get the recipe for Clam, Leek, and King Oyster Mushroom Foil Yaki »

Razor Clams Fantasia

Colatura, an Italian fish sauce, brings an umami note to this simple appetizer of meaty razor clams. Get the recipe for Razor Clams Fantasia »

Minorcan Clam Chowder

Don’t call it Manhattan clam chowder. This tomato-based soup is Minorcan, and gets a kick of heat from chiles.

Finnan Haddie Chowder

This Scottish-style chowder adds smoked haddock and a splash of sherry for a rich flavor and smoky bite.

Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams

These stuffed potatoes, which tenderize first in foil packets then crisp up in cast iron atop the coals (or in the oven), are packed with a mix of roasted chestnuts, bacon, and juicy whole clams. “Clams and potatoes are a match made in heaven,” says Joe Beef’s Dave McMillan of the unusual, yet welcome addition of seafood to potatoes. “Just think about clam chowder.” Get the recipe for Potatoes with Chestnuts and Clams »

Clam Risotto with Grilled Shrimp

Clam Risotto with Grilled Shrimp