Clam Stew

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 20 min.


8 servings (4 quarts)

Updated: Sep. 12, 2023
Every summer my family digs clams on the shores of Block Island, Rhode Island. This dish highlights the fresh sweet and salty flavor of the clams, and the chorizo adds a little kick. Fresh Swiss chard greens from our garden, corn and cannellini beans round out the flavor profile. The best part, though, is dipping bread into the delicious broth! This is quick and easy to put together and is a perfect appetizer or dinner on a summer night! —Pamela Gelsomini, Wrentham, Massachusetts


  • 3 pounds fresh littleneck clams
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 pound fully cooked Spanish chorizo links, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Grilled French bread baguette slices


  1. Place clams in a stockpot; top with the next 8 ingredients. Add beer and oil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Stir; cook, covered, until clams open, 5-7 minutes longer. Discard any unopened clams. Ladle into bowls; serve with grilled bread.

Clam Stew Tips

What's the best way to clean fresh clams?

As clams live their lives burrowed in sand, you need to clean them to remove any sand and grit. Clean your clams as soon as you bring them home from the market. First, check for any clams that are broken, chipped or open, and discard (opened clams are not fresh). Fill a bowl with cold water and submerge the clams for 20 minutes to 1 hour to allow the sand to filter out of the shells. Lift each clam individually out of the water and scrub them to rid the shells of any excess grit.

Can you use canned or frozen clams instead of fresh clams in clam stew?

Clams that have been frozen in their shell can certainly be used in place of fresh. Thaw completely, then clean as suggested above. Canned clams may also be used, but keep in mind that canned clams are typically sold without their shells as whole, chopped, or minced, so choose accordingly. Canned clams also do not need to be cooked as long, so all you really need to do is heat them through.

Why did my clams get rubbery?

Like with most clam recipes, if your clams are rubbery that's a sure sign they were overcooked. Be sure to follow the recipe instructions and timing carefully to avoid overcooking the clams.

What else can you use in this clam stew recipe?

Other cooked sausage, such as Kielbasa, can be used in place of chorizo in your clam stew. Spinach can be used in place of kale and other beans, such as black beans or butter beans, can be substituted. For a different version of this dish, serve the clam stew over pasta. Here are more seafood recipes we love.

How should you reheat clam stew?

If you have leftovers, clam stew can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 1-2 days. When reheating, remove the clams and put them in another bowl. Heat the stew (without clams) in a microwave or on the stovetop in a saucepan until warm. Add the clams back into the stew and stir gently to let the residual heat warm the clams back up. This will keep them from overcooking and turning rubbery.

Mark Neufang, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

2 cups: 265 calories, 17g fat (4g saturated fat), 28mg cholesterol, 729mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 4g fiber), 12g protein.