Traditional recipes

Easy Summer Clambake

Easy Summer Clambake

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For herb and garlic butter

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

For vegetables, sausages, and seafood

  • 6 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 2 celery stalks, cut crosswise in half
  • 6 large fresh parsley sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 1 1/2-pound live lobsters
  • 12 small (about 2-inch-diameter) red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 pounds fully cooked smoked sausages (such as kielbasa or andouille sausage), cut into 6 portions

Recipe Preparation

Make herb and garlic butter:

  • Blend all ingredients in bowl. Season butter with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Make vegetables, sausages, and seafood:

  • Place clams and cornmeal (to help purge clams of sand) in very large bowl or pot; fill with enough cold salted water to cover clams. Set aside at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

  • Place 12-inch square of cheesecloth on work surface. Place celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in center. Roll up and tie with string. Place bouquet garni in large (at least 18-quart) pot. Half-fill pot with cold water and bring to boil over high heat. Add 1 lobster headfirst; cover pot. Boil until lobster is almost cooked through and shell turns bright red, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer lobster to bowl. Repeat with remaining lobsters.

  • Add potatoes and onions to pot. Ladle off cooking liquid into large bowl, leaving enough to cover vegetables; reserve liquid in bowl. Bring liquid in pot to boil. Cover; cook potatoes and onions 10 minutes. Layer sausages and corn atop vegetables. Cover; cook until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Rinse clams thoroughly. Arrange clams atop corn and sausages. Place lobsters atop clams. Cover pot tightly with lid or, if necessary, cover tightly with overlapping large sheets of foil. Boil until clams open, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Transfer lobsters to work surface, shell side down. Place tip of large knife in center of 1 lobster. Cut lobster lengthwise in half from center to end of head (knife might not cut through shell), then cut lobster in half from center to end of tail. If necessary, use kitchen shears to cut through shell. Repeat with remaining lobsters. Mound clams (discarding any that did not open), lobsters and sausages on large platter; reserve cooking broth in pot. Surround seafood with corn, potatoes and, if desired, onions. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley; garnish with lemon wedges. Cover with foil to keep warm.

  • Melt seasoned butter in saucepan; divide among 6 ramekins. Discard bouquet garni from pot. Taste broth; season with pepper. Add some of reserved lobster cooking liquid if broth is too salty. Bring broth to boil; divide among 6 soup cups. Serve seasoned butter and broth alongside vegetables, sausages, and seafood.

Reviews Section

Easiest Ever Clambake

You don't need to live on the beautiful shorelines of Maine or in lovely Cape Cod to enjoy this traditional meal. Clambakes can be made on your stovetop and can serve 6-8 people in just one pot (aka: less dishes for you to clean up!). All ingredients can easily be found at your supermarket and if you aren't comfortable cooking a whole lobster, buy them frozen or already cooked. I like to use ale as my cooking liquid for this recipe (nothing screams summer like a cold one on the patio!) but your favorite light beer, water, or fish stock will work just as well. The recipe below has been adapted from Chef Michelle Ragussis who creates recipes in partnership with Sam Adams.

In a large pot on the stovetop layer 3 quartered onions, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 12 small potatoes (such as red potatoes) halved, and red pepper flakes. Add in 3-4 cups of a liquid of your choice.

Slice 1 pound each sausage and hot dogs on the bias and add to the pot. Next, toss in 2-3 pounds of mussels, clams, or a mixture of both, 3 pounds of lobster (already cut up, whole, or frozen tails) 6 ears of corn cut into thirds, 2 lemons, and a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Tightly cover the pot and cook over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are soft and clams and mussels have opened. Serve from a large bowl or line 2-3 large sheet trays with foil or parchment paper and spoon clambake onto them. Don't forget to serve the cooking liquid on the side!

Empress of entertaining Martha Stewart is celebrating the start of summer (soon!) with a classic New England-style clambake. She shows us how to make an easy stove-top clambake, strawberry-biscuit sheet cake and smoky lemon margaritas.

(Created by TODAY with our sponsor Pepsi.)

Martha Stewart's Stove-Top Clambake

Adding the ingredients in the right order is the secret to this recipe's success the ones that take longest to cook go in first. The optional layer of seaweed (available from most fishmongers) imparts a salty ocean essence and keeps the potatoes off the bottom of the pot.

Martha Stewart's Strawberry Biscuit Sheet Cake

In this strawberry shortcake that feeds a crowd, a tender biscuit cushions a cloud of lightly sweetened cream and a tumble of juiced-up berries.

Martha Stewart's Smoky Lemon Margarita

Mix up a pitcher of this make-ahead margarita for a cookout. Mezcal, tequila's smoky cousin, gives the drink its signature flavor.

If you like those summery entertaining recipes, you should also try these:


This feeds 4-6 people, 6 being a light meal that I’ve also served appetizers with. If we have more guests or a super hungry crowd of 6, we use the leftover liquid in the pot and add another round of the non-liquid ingredients to make another batch. Since the Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker makes meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking, I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family eating. It gets meals to the table so fast that the second batch is finished cooking before the first one has been fully eaten! When we are done, cleaning up is a breeze because the six-quart non-stick cooking pot is dishwasher safe so I just toss it in with the rest of the serving ware from the meal.


Save $15 on Crock-Pot® Express 6-Quart Pressure Cooker at Target until 7/29/19

You can prep all of your ingredients before guests arrive or if you want to get them in on the fun, here is how I approach it. Start by soaking 20 littleneck clams in water that’s been salted. It needs to sit for at least 20 minutes, do everything else in that time frame.

Add the cooking pot insert into the Crock-Pot® Express, press the “Keep Warm” button, and have your helpers dump everything into the Crock-Pot® Express in the following order.

  • 1 cup of Chicken or Seafood Broth
  • 1/2 cup of White Wine
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of Hot Sauce
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon of Seafood Seasoning, stir it all together.
  • 1 pound of Small Red Potatoes
  • 3 ears of Corn ends removed and cut in half
  • 1 Onion quartered
  • 1 Small Lemon Halved
  • 1/4 cup of Salted Butter cubbed
  • 12 ounces Andouille sausage cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 pound of Mussels scrubbed, sorted, and debearded

Remove the clams from the salt water bath and scrub them. Sort for bad shells and ones that won’t close that need to be discarded. Add them on top of the mussels followed by 1/2 pound of shells on and deveined large or jumbo shrimp.

Close and lock the lid to the Crock-Pot® Express. Make sure the pressure release valve is set to close. Press the “Steam” button and bring the time down to 4 minutes. Press the “Start” button and the machine will begin to come to pressure. This varies between 6-10 minutes and then the Crock-Pot® Express will cook for 4 minutes. When done the machine will beep letting you know it’s finished, so go hand out with your guests in the meantime! When it’s ready carefully quick release the pressure from the pressure release valve. When the float valve in the handle drops, open the pot. Transfer the clambake with a slotted spoon to a serving tray.

We serve our clambakes with additional seafood seasoning and melted butter on the side for dipping. We also serve it family-style for people to have fun hanging around the table grabbing food as they want it!


This meal is easy to cook but if you’ve never worked with shellfish before, these things have been helpful to know! For this clambake, you’ll be getting fresh littleneck clams, mussels, and shrimp. It’s best to purchase the clams and mussels the day you plan to cook them as they are alive.

Some tips about clams and mussels. Remove them from their packaging and clean them as soon as you get home. For clams, you want to soak them in a salt and water mix for 20 minutes to an hour. This helps them release any sand or grit that is inside their shell. Once they soak remove them from the mixture and scrub them. If any have cracked shells or ones that won’t close, toss them. To get a clam to close it’s shell tap it on the side of the kitchen sink. It should shut, if not, it’s probably dead and you don’t want to eat it. So throw it out.

For mussels scrub them clean when you get home, no need to soak, but do remove any beards. Beards are the stringy seaweed looking things hanging outside of the mussel shell. Taking a towel, grab the beard and pull it hard towards the hinge. Toss the removed beard away. Remove any mussels with broken shells or that won’t close. You can test if a mussel will close the same way as the clams. If you are not cooking the clams and mussels right away store them in a bowl in the fridge with a wet towel sitting on top of the seafood for up to an hour.

As for shrimp, you want to cook these with the shell on so you’ll want to buy large to jumbo shrimp with the shells, no heads, and deveined. If all you can find is fully intact shrimp when you get home chop off the heads, but leave the shell on. Carefully run a knife down the back of the shrimp. Remove the black vein and discard it. Rinse the shrimp and store in a covered bowl in the fridge until ready to use, no more than 24 hours after buying.

Old-Fashioned Southern Spoon Bread

Warm Kentucky-style spoonbread is like a soft, custardy cornbread you scoop straight from the pan. Bake it in the oven, adding bacon crumbles or chopped green onions if you like, until it puffs up and turns golden-brown. It's a wonderfully comforting side dish that goes great with barbecue chicken.

One Pot Clambake

It’s officially summer guys. I mean, the calendar might not say so, but the 95 degree heat and sticky humidity sure does. I love summer, but I don’t necessarily love it HERE. You see, where I live was built over swampland, so the summers tend to get a wee bit humid. And by wee bit, I mean I walk outside, my hair triples in size (but not the size you want), my face starts to sweat and I melt into a puddle of despair.

You see, my body wasn’t meant for humidity. Which is funny being I spent 3 summers in southeast Georgia and have lived in the DC area for almost 4 years now. You’d think I’d get used to 80%+ humidity. But no. Every summer it’s the same. I walk outside, sweat my face off, retreat into the air conditioning and threaten to shave my head. Every single year. It’s actually a surprise I still have hair on my head, folks.

The best part about this summer, though, is the pool. There’s a pool 4 minutes from our little condo and I’m already daydreaming of spending my afternoons there working on my suntan. We haven’t had access to a pool in 2 years and I’ve completely forgotten how amazing it is to have one. I’ve told E about 15,000 times, when we buy a house (here or in SC), we’re going to have a pool. I don’t care if I have to spend hours cleaning it myself. I don’t care if I’m the only person using it. I’ll use it in the middle of winter. I just need one.

The humidity and heat aside, I’m actually looking forward to this summer. We’re finally buying an outdoor grill, we have a beautiful patio and my husband just found out he’s no longer allergic to seafood. That means this incredibly delicious one pot clambakes in our favorite Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart stock pot will be happening on a weekly basis. There’s really nothing like eating fresh seafood from a pot overlooking some trees, drinking a cold beer. Am I right or am I right?

One Pot Clambake

Serves about 3 – 4. Inspired by Martha Stewart.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 – 40 minutes


  • 3/4 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine (I used a dry Pinot Gris)
  • 1/3 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 4 small mini ears of corn (I used the steamfresh microwavable bags)
  • 2 1/2 dozen fresh littleneck clams
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 pound shrimp, peeled and cooked (about 12 – 14 small pieces, 6 – 8 large)
  • 1/3 pound fresh lobster claw meat
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 -2 tablespoons crushed red pepper*

*Optional for a little heat.


  1. In a large Le Creuset Dutch oven (Mine was 5 1/2 quart), heat the 1 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until just starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Increase heat to high and add in wine and water. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and add in the potatoes. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Cover and let boil for about 5 minutes, or until potatoes start to soften. Add in the clams and lemon juice. Cover and cook another 10 minutes, or until the clams open. Discard any unopened clams.
  2. Meanwhile microwave your corn until done.
  3. Add in the shrimp, lobster meat, parsley, corn and dill to the clam pot and reduce heat to medium low. *** Cook another 5 – 6 minutes, or until the shrimp and lobster meat turns opaque. Remove from heat.
  4. Now, there’s two ways to eat this. You can either eat the fish, corn and potatoes directly from the broth (which is what we did) or you can remove the fish, potatoes, corn and onion from the bowl and set on a large serving platter. If you do this, pour the broth into a large bowl and whisk in remaining butter, salt, pepper, more crushed red pepper, parsley and additional dill. Dip the fish into the broth and eat!

***If you pan on eating directly from the dutch oven, melt the two remaining tablespoons of butter and add to the broth when you add in the shrimp.

Nutritional information per serving (at least one ear of corn, a few shrimp, 1/2 pound clams, less than 1/4 pound potatoes, a spoonful of lobster meat and about 1/4 cup broth)

Calories: 379.25
Fat: 10 grams
Carbohydrates: 31.25 grams
Fiber: 5.3 grams
Protein: 20.25 grams
Weight Watchers Points: 6

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

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Easy Summer Clambake - Recipes

With clam bakes, the possibilities are endless.

At a classic New England clambake that’s steamed over hot stones at the shore, the seafood and its traditional accompaniments are infused with briny, smoky flavor from the hardwood coals and seaweed that is all too irresistible. It’s a great way to entertain, but not all of us have easy access to the beach. Luckily, you can recreate the experience at home, no matter where you live. Whether you cook up a stovetop clam boil inside or fire up your grill, you can enjoy all the traditional clambake components, like clams, lobsters, new potatoes, corn and sausages, in a land-locked state or on a rainy day. With so much seaside-inspired flavor, you’ll barely miss the salty breezes (but probably not the crunch of sand in your meal).

• For easy cleanup, cover tables with paper table covers, and have plenty of recycled paper plates and napkins on hand — things are going to get messy. Make it easy on your guests by creating flatware bundles wrapped in napkins. (Inexpensive new dishtowels also work well as napkins.)

• Small and medium-sized galvanized sand pail centerpieces can serve double-duty as tabletop trash receptacles for discarding empty shells.

• Candles in hurricane vases and strings of white lights are all the lighting your deck or backyard will need.

• Don’t forget to set out lots of lemon wedges and melted butter in small serving dishes.

• Keep beverages simple: Place a large galvanized bucket filled with ice, bottled water, wine, and beer on the ground near the dining area.

Tip: To be authentic, your bake or boil should involve steam-cooking all the food together over seaweed for that unmistakable ocean aroma ask your lobster supplier if he/she can supply you with a variety of North Atlantic seaweed called rockweed.

What to Serve

Here’s the perfect menu for an authentic New England clambake or boil:

• If you’re lucky enough to be able to build a fire pit on a beach, check out this guide to a Nantucket Clambake.

• This Easy Summer Clambake recipe is actually for a layered clam boil. Alternatively, you can make individual servings by laying an ear of peeled corn, partly-cooked (but still firm) whole new potatoes (they’ll finish steaming in the pot), small onions, a handful of clams, a lobster, and fully-cooked Andouille or kielbasa sausage in a mesh bag repeat for each guest. And don’t worry about packing your pot too tightly — more steam will generate this way and the food will cook faster.

• Finally, for a boiled/grilled combo clambake, try chef Todd English's Backyard New England Clambake, complete with grilled chicken.

• For a classic side dish, serve up New England Clam Chowder.

• Don’t forget dessert! Wow your guests with old-fashioned Strawberry Shortcake, or simply pass a platter filled with big slices of watermelon.

Tip: For a stovetop clam boil, use "chicken lobsters" weighing in at just over one pound. Flavorful, quick-cooking soft-shell steamers are your best bet when it comes to clams, but littlenecks and cherrystones work great too.

Employ This Ina Garten Clambake Hack for Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day is finally upon us which means this is the perfect weekend to get your clambake on before the summer comes to a close. Of course, you can take the traditional route for this classic New England seafood spread (which, despite its name, is prepared through steaming, not baking) but that has its drawbacks.

For one, you need to be in the vicinity of a beach—a real deal clambake involves the use of a giant, makeshift oven in the sand. Needless to say, this requires plenty of digging, plus the effort spent preparing a fire, gathering and then setting down layers of seaweed, and completing the build-out of the oven, not to mention the several hours required for cooking. It’s quite the undertaking, especially for a holiday where you’re supposed to be rewarded for your labor, not engage in a whole lot of it.

But if the thought of serving up a steamed shellfish feast sounds too tempting to pass up this weekend (and you’re also not about to make grilled paella), there is another option that offers plenty of flavor with minimal work and, best of all, it can be prepared in the comfort of your own kitchen in only 30 minutes. No surprise, this quick and easy clambake hack comes from the woman, the myth, the legend herself, the pride of East Hampton, Ina Garten.

All you need is a large stockpot, a bounty of clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobster, plus a few extras like potatoes, kielbasa, and dry white wine—take Ina’s advice and only use a bottle (or can or box) of vino that you’d want to drink. In about the time it takes to watch an episode of “Barefoot Contessa” your ultimate Labor Day meal will be ready to share with your friends and family.

Le Creuset 8-Quart Enameled Stockpot, $94.95 at Sur la Table

A plain stainless steel stockpot will do the job, but an enameled one will do it in style.

Visit the Barefoot Contessa website to get Ina’s Kitchen Clambake recipe in full.

For more laid-back Labor Day ideas, check out our make-ahead Labor Day recipes, easy side dishes to bring to a BBQ, more hot dog alternatives, and no-bake desserts for a sweet, stress-free finish. How easy is that, indeed.

Related Video: How to Get Your Clams Squeaky Clean

Clam Boil FAQ.

How do I store Clams before use?

Store fresh clams in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They will be sold cold and alive.

How do I store leftover steamed clams?

Leftover cooked clams can be stored in a 40 degree F refrigerator for up to 2 days. Store them in some reserved cooking liquid for best results.

Can I freeze whole clams?

Yes. Whole fresh clams can be frozen in their shells by simply freezing them in water. We do this by placing them in a zip-top bag on a baking tray and then adding water. Zip the top and then lay the bag flat. Clams can be frozen this way for up to 6 months.

How Do I reheat leftover clams?

Leftover clams are best reheated by first heating some reserved cooking stock and then quickly adding the clams for just a few seconds to reheat them. Overheating them will cause them to turn rubbery.

Watch the video: Home Clambake (July 2022).


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