Spicy White Wine Steamed Clams Recipe

Spicy steamed clams

The Spruce

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
437 Calories
11g Fat
15g Carbs
59g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 437
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 152mg 51%
Sodium 2735mg 119%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 59g
Vitamin C 59mg 293%
Calcium 225mg 17%
Iron 7mg 39%
Potassium 1546mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For people who grow up with them, nothing quite says summer like a bucket of steamed clams. I'll suggest, however, that these spicy steamed clams are even more of a treat. A bit of white wine, a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, some garlic, and red pepper flakes transform simple clams into a spectacular dish.

Tomato conserva is a wonderful additive to this dish, but regular tomato paste works just dandy, too.


  • 3 pounds fresh clams

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste, or tomato conserva

  • 1 cup dry white wine, or clam juice

  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for spicy steamed clams
    The Spruce
  2. Pick over the clams and rinse them free of grit. Set them aside.

    Pick over the clams
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  3. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it just starts to turn barely golden.

    Heat the olive oil
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  4. Add the pepper flakes and stir to combine with the garlic.

    Add the pepper flakes
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  5. Then add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring to work the tomato paste into the oil, for a minute or two.

    Then add the tomato paste
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  6. Add the wine and bring to a boil.

    Add the wine
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  7. Reduce to a simmer until the wine is reduced by a third and stops smelling quite so boozy. This will take about 10 minutes. This is an important step because while you want the acidity and flavor from the wine, you don't want the alcohol or alcohol taste in it. Cooking the wine and reducing it before adding the clams makes sure the focus is on the delicious clams, not a hot boozy flavor.

    Reduce to a simmer
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  8. Add the clams, cover, and cook until the clams open and are cooked through—about 3 to 5 minutes.

    Clams in pan
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  9. Add parsley and stir to combine.

    Add parsley
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  10. Serve hot, with crusty bread alongside to sop up the delicious spicy broth. (If you have any clams that don't open up, just toss those out.)


  • Always look for fresh clams—they should close right up the second you touch them. If you need to store the clams, put them in a colander over a large bowl and cover with a damp towel to keep them both moist and out of standing water. If you have wild-harvested clams, you'll need to purge them: put them in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit 20 minutes; they'll spit out the sand they contain. Some people add cornmeal to the water to encourage the clams to take that in and purge out the sand. Note that if you buy farm-raised clams, they will come already purged so that you can skip the purging.