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Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe

Everyone loves a taste of the sea, and what better way to bring it to your kitchen than with this Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil recipe? It's a quick, simple, and delicious seafood dish that is sure to impress your guests. The combination of fresh clams, aromatic basil, and luscious white wine creates a harmonious blend of flavors that will transport you straight to the coast.

Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe

Photos of Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe

The key ingredient for this dish, little neck clams, may not be commonly found in your local supermarket. These small clams are known for their sweet and briny flavor. You might need to visit a seafood or specialty store to find them. Also, don't forget to get fresh basil, which adds a unique aromatic touch to the dish.

Ingredients for Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil

Little neck clams: These are small hard-shell clams that have a sweet and briny flavor, perfect for creating a rich and flavorful broth.

Olive oil: A pantry staple that adds a smooth, subtly fruity flavor to the dish.

Garlic: Provides a robust and aromatic flavor which perfectly compliments the sweetness of the clams.

Unsalted butter: Adds a creamy and rich taste to the clams.

Basil: Fresh basil leaves offer a sweet, peppery flavor that enhances the overall taste of the dish.

White wine: Deglazes the pot and balances the flavor of the clams with its fruitiness.

Water: Helps in creating the perfect steaming environment for the clams.

One reader, Lacey Boucher says:

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This steamed clams with fresh basil recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so fresh and vibrant, and the clams are perfectly tender. The combination of garlic, basil, and white wine creates a delightful aroma that will make your taste buds dance. It's a must-try for any seafood lover!

Lacey Boucher

Cooking Techniques for Steamed Clams With Fresh Basil

How to steam clams: This technique involves cooking clams in a covered pot with a small amount of liquid, allowing the steam to cook the clams until they open.

How to sauté garlic: Sautéing garlic involves cooking it in hot oil or butter until it becomes golden and fragrant, adding flavor to the dish.

How to strain liquid: Straining liquid involves pouring it through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solid particles, resulting in a clear, smooth liquid.

How To Make Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil

These steamed clams are easy to make and very elegant. The butter, white wine, and fresh herbs give this seafood dish a more enhanced flavor profile.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • 12little neck clams
  • 2tspolive oil
  • 3clovesgarlic,cut in large chunks
  • 1tspunsalted butter
  • 2tbspbasil,or parsley, fresh
  • ½cupWhite Wine
  • ¼cupwater


  1. Heat a large pot on high heat.

  2. Add oil.

  3. When hot, add garlic and cook until golden.

  4. Add butter, wine, water and clams and cover tightly, reduce to medium-low heat.

  5. Cook 5 to 10 minutes, or until the shells open.

  6. Transfer clams with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and pour the liquid through a strainer over the clams.

  7. Top with fresh herbs and enjoy with a good crusty bread.


  • Calories: 187.08kcal
  • Fat: 7.29g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.00g
  • Trans Fat: 0.09g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.89g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.73g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.19g
  • Fiber: 0.14g
  • Sugar: 0.62g
  • Protein: 13.19g
  • Cholesterol: 31.18mg
  • Sodium: 528.22mg
  • Calcium: 53.56mg
  • Potassium: 108.24mg
  • Iron: 1.75mg
  • Vitamin A: 101.47µg
  • Vitamin C: 1.88mg

Pro Tip for Perfecting Steamed Clams With Basil

When steaming clams, it's crucial to discard any that do not open after cooking. This is a sign that they were not alive before the cooking process and may not be safe to eat. Also, using a slotted spoon to transfer the clams helps to drain any excess liquid and prevents the clams from becoming too soggy. Lastly, remember to strain the liquid before pouring it over the clams to remove any sand or grit that may have been released during the cooking process. This ensures a clean, grit-free broth to accompany your clams.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Steamed Clams With Basil

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, measure ingredients, and prepare what you can in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonders: Opt for recipes that allow you to cook everything in a single pot or pan to minimize cleanup time.

Organized workspace: Keep your kitchen tidy and organized to easily find ingredients and utensils, saving time and reducing stress during cooking.

Efficient tools: Use kitchen tools like food processors, mandolines, and sharp knives to speed up prep work and cooking.

Substitute Ingredients For Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe

  • little neck clams - Substitute with mussels: Mussels have a similar texture and flavor to clams, making them a great substitute for this recipe.

  • olive oil - Substitute with grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil has a neutral flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots provide a mild, sweet flavor similar to garlic and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with ghee: Ghee has a rich, nutty flavor and can be used as a substitute for unsalted butter in this recipe.

  • basil - Substitute with parsley: Parsley can provide a fresh, herbaceous flavor similar to basil and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • white wine - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can add depth of flavor and moisture to the dish, similar to white wine.

  • water - Substitute with seafood stock: Seafood stock can enhance the seafood flavor in the dish and provide a richer base than water.

Plating Ideas for Steamed Clams With Basil

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the steamed clams in a beautiful and visually appealing manner on a large, elegant platter. Ensure that each clam is showcased prominently, and the overall presentation exudes sophistication and elegance.

  2. Incorporate fresh herbs: Garnish the dish with a generous sprinkle of freshly chopped basil to add a pop of vibrant green color and a burst of aromatic freshness. The fragrant basil will not only enhance the visual appeal but also provide a delightful flavor contrast to the savory clams.

  3. Utilize elegant serving vessels: Consider serving the steamed clams in individual ceramic ramekins or small, polished stainless steel bowls to add a touch of refinement. This will elevate the dining experience and create a sense of luxury for the esteemed guests.

  4. Enhance with edible flowers: Introduce a subtle touch of elegance by delicately placing a few edible flowers around the platter. The addition of edible flowers will introduce a visually stunning element and elevate the overall aesthetic appeal of the dish.

  5. Incorporate artistic drizzling: Before serving, delicately drizzle a small amount of high-quality olive oil over the steamed clams. This artistic touch will not only enhance the flavors but also add a glossy sheen to the dish, creating a visually captivating presentation.

Essential Kitchen Tools for Making Steamed Clams

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for steaming the clams and allowing enough space for them to open up and cook evenly.
  • Slotted spoon: A slotted spoon is useful for removing the cooked clams from the pot while leaving the cooking liquid behind.
  • Strainer: A strainer is needed to strain the cooking liquid and remove any impurities before pouring it over the clams.
  • Knife: A knife is necessary for mincing the garlic and chopping the fresh basil.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the garlic and basil.
  • Large bowl: A large bowl is used to transfer the cooked clams and to pour the strained cooking liquid over them before serving.
  • Pot lid: A pot lid is essential for covering the pot while steaming the clams, allowing them to cook in their own steam.

How To Reheat Leftover Steamed Clams With Basil

  • Reheat the clams in their original broth or liquid. Pour the clams and broth into a saucepan and heat gently over medium-low heat until the clams are heated through, about 5-7 minutes. This method helps to retain the original flavor and moisture of the clams.

  • If you don't have the original broth, create a simple white wine and garlic broth. Sauté minced garlic in a little olive oil until fragrant, then add white wine and bring to a simmer. Add the clams and heat until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, place the clams in a microwave-safe bowl with a splash of water or broth. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 30-second intervals until the clams are heated through. Be careful not to overcook, as this can make the clams tough and rubbery.

  • Transform leftover steamed clams into a delicious pasta dish. Sauté minced garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, then add the clams and a splash of white wine. Toss with cooked spaghetti or linguine and finish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Create a flavorful clam chowder by removing the clams from their shells and chopping them into bite-sized pieces. In a pot, sauté diced onion, celery, and potatoes until softened. Add clam juice, heavy cream, and the chopped clams. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and the clams are heated through. Season with salt, pepper, and fresh thyme.

Interesting Trivia About Steamed Clams With Fresh Basil

Steamed clams with fresh basil is a classic dish that is not only delicious but also a good source of protein and essential nutrients. Clams are high in iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, making them a nutritious addition to your diet. Additionally, the combination of garlic, basil, and white wine creates a flavorful broth that perfectly complements the tender clams. This dish is not only easy to prepare but also a great way to impress your guests with a taste of the sea. So, next time you're looking for a simple and elegant seafood dish, consider making steamed clams with fresh basil.

Is Making Steamed Clams at Home Cost-Effective?

This steamed clams with fresh basil recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as clams, garlic, and basil, are relatively affordable and easy to find. The addition of white wine and butter may slightly increase the cost, but these ingredients are often used in various recipes and can be utilized for multiple dishes. The overall verdict for this recipe would be an 8 out of 10 for its simplicity, flavor, and affordability. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $20-$25, making it a budget-friendly and delicious option.

Is This Seafood Dish Healthy or Not So Much?

The steamed clams with fresh basil recipe is a relatively healthy dish, offering several nutritional benefits:

  • Clams are a lean protein source, low in calories and fat, while providing essential nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12
  • Olive oil and unsalted butter are used in moderation, providing healthy fats
  • Garlic offers potential health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation
  • Fresh basil is a good source of vitamins A and K, and adds flavor without additional calories

However, there are a few aspects that could be improved to make the dish even healthier:

  • The recipe includes white wine, which adds extra calories and alcohol content. Consider reducing the amount of wine or replacing it with more water or a low-sodium vegetable broth
  • To increase the nutritional value, you could add more vegetables to the dish, such as:
    • Diced tomatoes, which provide lycopene and vitamin C
    • Sliced red bell peppers, offering vitamin C and antioxidants
    • Roughly chopped spinach, adding fiber, iron, and vitamins A and K
  • Instead of serving the clams with crusty bread, opt for whole grain bread or a side salad to increase fiber intake and add more nutrients

By incorporating these changes, you can enhance the overall nutritional profile of the dish while still maintaining its delicious flavor. The addition of colorful vegetables not only boosts the health benefits but also makes the plate more visually appealing and satisfying.

Editor's Opinion on This Steamed Clam Recipe

This steamed clams with fresh basil recipe is a delightful combination of flavors. The use of garlic, butter, and white wine creates a rich and aromatic broth that perfectly complements the briny sweetness of the clams. The addition of fresh basil adds a pop of freshness and herbaceousness to the dish. The cooking method ensures that the clams are tender and juicy. This dish is perfect for a special occasion or a cozy dinner at home. It's a simple yet elegant dish that will impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

Enhance Your Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and a hint of parmesan cheese
Grilled Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and drizzled with a balsamic glaze
Mixed Green Salad: A refreshing mix of baby greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber tossed in a tangy vinaigrette
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Crispy Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon and drizzled with a maple balsamic glaze

Similar Recipes to Try If You Like Steamed Clams

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a zesty herb dressing before grilling for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Braised Beef Short Ribs: Slow cook the beef short ribs in a rich red wine sauce until tender and falling off the bone for a hearty and comforting meal.
Mango Coconut Sorbet: Blend together ripe mangoes and creamy coconut milk for a refreshing and dairy-free dessert that's perfect for hot summer days.

Ideal Main Courses and Desserts to Serve With Steamed Clams

Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon: For a delicious and healthy main course, try grilling salmon with a tangy citrus marinade. The combination of the smoky char from the grill and the bright flavors of the marinade will leave your taste buds dancing.
Beef Stroganoff: Indulge in a comforting and hearty beef stroganoff, featuring tender strips of beef in a rich and creamy mushroom sauce. Serve it over a bed of buttery egg noodles for a satisfying meal that's perfect for any occasion.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and intense chocolate flavor will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Delight in a creamy and luscious strawberry cheesecake, featuring a buttery graham cracker crust and a vibrant strawberry topping. Each bite is a perfect balance of tangy and sweet flavors.

Why trust this Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe:

This recipe uses fresh basil to infuse the clams with a delightful aroma and flavor. The combination of white wine and butter creates a rich and savory broth that perfectly complements the sweetness of the clams. The use of garlic adds depth and complexity to the dish, while the olive oil enhances the overall texture. The careful steaming process ensures that the clams are cooked to perfection, resulting in a dish that is both delicious and satisfying.

Share your thoughts and experiences with &&Steamed Clams with Fresh Basil Recipe&& in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
What type of wine should I use for this recipe?
I recommend using a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for this recipe. It adds a nice depth of flavor to the steamed clams.
Can I substitute the fresh basil with dried basil?
While fresh basil provides the best flavor, you can substitute with dried basil if that's what you have on hand. Just use a smaller amount of dried basil, as it is more concentrated in flavor.
How do I know if the clams are safe to eat?
Discard any clams that do not open after cooking, as they may not be safe to eat. Additionally, make sure to purchase clams from a reputable source to ensure they are fresh and safe to consume.
Can I use something other than white wine?
If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute with low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth. It will still provide a flavorful base for steaming the clams.
What can I serve with steamed clams?
Steamed clams are delicious on their own, but they also pair well with crusty bread for soaking up the flavorful broth. You can also serve them with a side of pasta or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.

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