Garlic Butter Clams

Updated: Nov 19, 2019



Quick, easy, and nutritious: Clams are great for a quick lunch or dinner. Clams are a superior source of nutrients, especially iron, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. My son and I especially love to eat clams, and our go-to recipe is clams with garlic butter.


This simple recipe for clams allows the pungent, briny flavor of the clams to shine through. I use precooked, frozen clams in this recipe. If you live near the sea, feel free to substitute fresh clams and increase the cooking time accordingly.


This recipe can be kept very simple by making it with just clams, butter, garlic, and green onions. Alternatively, parsley, cream, and/or vermouth can be added for additional flavor. Either way, crusty bread makes a nice accompaniment, and tastes great when soaked in the butter garlic sauce.


If your kids are like mine, they will love to play with the empty clam shells after the meal. We wash the shells in soapy water, making sure to remove the small cylindrical muscle that is attached to the inside of each shell. Then the shells are ready for play or crafts.



Garlic Butter Clams

Serves 2

Prep Time: 3-5 minutes

Cook Time: 18-20 minutes

Total Time: 21-25 minutes


  • 3 Tb butter, preferably nutrient-dense butter

  • 2 green onions, diced

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 pound of precooked frozen hardshell clams

  • salt, to taste

  • lemon wedges

  • OPTIONAL: 1&1/2 Tb fresh parsley (minced) OR 1&1/2 tsp dried parsley

  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup vermouth or dry white wine

  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup of heavy cream

  • OPTIONAL: crusty toasted bread, buttered

  1. Dice the green onions. Mince the garlic and (optional) fresh parsley.

  2. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the green onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the garlic and optional parsley. Cook for about a minute, just until fragrant.

  4. If desired, add 1/2 cup of vermouth or dry white wine to the pot. Simmer for a few minutes, until the alcohol has cooked down. Stir in the (optional) heavy cream.

  5. Add the frozen clams to the pot. Season with salt.

  6. Allow the clams to cook for ~8-10 minutes, until they have opened and are hot. Stir occasionally.

  7. In the meantime, prepare the optional toast and apply plenty of healthy butter.

  8. Spoon the clams and juices into bowls. Squeeze lemon juice over each bowl. Serve alongside the crusty toast and an extra bowl for the empty clam shells.




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