How to Do a New England Clambake at Home

To serve larger crowds, just scale up all the ingredients. You'll need a large pot, or you can split it among several smaller pots.

For the clams, look for small quahogs (littlenecks) or steamers (long-neck clams)

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 pounds total steamer clams and mussels (you can use all clams if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 linguica, chorizo, or other fresh sausages of your choice
  • 4 hot dogs (optional, but so good)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds small red potatoes
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • Small handful of fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 ears corn on the cob, husked
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted, for dipping


1 Scrub the clams and remove beards from the mussels: Rinse the clams under cold running water, using a scrub brush to clean off excess sand if necessary. Pull the beards off the mussels if there are any (this is the bristly material that protrudes from the shell).

Discard clams or mussels with cracked shells or that don't close tightly when tapped lightly against the counter.

2 Brown the sausages: In a large soup pot, stockpot, or lobster pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Prick the sausages in several places with the tip of knife, then add them to the pot with the hot oil. Cook, turning occasionally for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.

Clam bake recipe brown the sausages

3 Heat the wine and water: In the same pot, add the wine and water and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Add the salt and adjust the heat to a simmer.

4 Cook the potatoes and shallots: Add the potatoes, shallots, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cover the pot and cook for 6 minutes.

Cape Cod Clambake cook the potatoes and shallots

5 Add the remaining ingredients in layers: Working in layers, add the sausages, hot dogs, clams, mussels, and finally, the corn to the pot. Cover and cook for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the clams and mussels open.

New England clambake add the remaining ingredients

6 To serve the clambake: With a large slotted spoon, remove the corn, mussels, clams, sausages and potatoes from the pot and transfer to a large serving platter. Discard any clams or mussels that have not opened.

Pour the broth into cups for dipping, being careful to leave behind any sand at the bottom of the pot. Pour the melted butter into 4 small ramekins and let diners help themselves to everything.

Clambake recipe