Clams Casino is a classic throw-back recipe that is deliciously addictive. This make ahead appetizer is easy to make and is so good your friends will be begging for the recipe!
Easiest Ever Clams Casino
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In some parts of the country these are called stuffies, baked stuffed clams or simply stuffed clams. Whatever you call them, they're amazing! This recipe is from my Uncle Richard. He was a fantastic cook and one thing that brought him great joy was cooking foods especially for the ones he loves. If he knew you liked seafood, he would prepare some of the best seafood dishes and bring them to you.
All the Italian restaurants around here have their own variation of a baked clams recipe. Uncle Richard always said this one was from one of the most popular places, but I have to imagine he added is own amazing spin to it. Either way, it's beyond easy to make. Are the healthy? Not really, but celebratory foods often aren't. These are decadent and delicious and the perfect way to wow your friends and family on a special occasion.
Tips for making this Clams Casino Recipe
- Don't worry about chopping your onions and celery to be perfectly uniform, they're being thrown in the food processor.
- Make sure you're using seasoned bread crumbs, they add great flavor!
- For the cans of clams, I use a mix of minced and chopped. I encourage you to use at least some chopped so you get some nice chunks of clam in there.
- These are typically served in the half shells of littleneck clams.
- For freezing these, I like to place them in a freezer on a lined baking sheet. Once frozen, I transfer them to a freezer zipper bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Frozen clams casino can go right into the oven under the broiler.
- As the clams broil, keep a very close eye on them- you want them to get a nice brown color without actually burning. You may need to move the clams around on the sheet pan during broiling, depending on your ovens hot spots.
What kind of clams to make clams casino?
This recipe calls for canned clams - each 6.5 ounce can has ½ cup chopped clams once drained. If you are using fresh clams for the shells, I'd encourage you to buy around 30 and supplement the remaining clams with canned.
Where do you get the clam shells?
You can purchase littleneck clams from your local seafood counter. Some stores will sell you the shells on their own. I always save the shells for future clams casino.
Do I have to clean whole clams?
Yes- even if a store tells you they're clean, it';s still a good idea to clean them on your own to avoid any unwanted grit. I do this by soaking them in a bowl of cold water for a 10-15 minutes and then giving each clam a quick scrub where the shells meet and discard any with broken shells or exposed clam- those are bad and you don't want to eat them.
What's the best way to cook whole clams?
Canned clams come already cooked. But you're using fresh clams, I prefer steaming for cooking the clams. Place an inch of water at the bottom of a pot, cover and heat it over medium heat. Add the cleaned clams and cover. It'll only take a couple minutes for the clams to be cooked and you'll know they're done because the shells will open. Be sure to discard any clams that don't open or have broken shells- these are bad and you do not want to eat them.
What if I can't get clam shells?
No problem, just spread the filling in a large enough casserole dish so that it's a thin layer (around 1 inch). If necessary, split between two casserole dishes.
Do I have to freeze stuffed clams?
The original recipe is meant to be made ahead and frozen, but you can totally pop these directly under the broiler- just watch them so they don't burn.
How do you serve clams casino?
I serve them on the half shell directly rom the sheet pan because they're best served piping hot. I like to enjoy these little guys with a generous squeeze of lemon.
How do I clean the half shells after eating my clams casino?
I always save my shells since I make these each year at the holidays. When I serve them, I put a big bowl in the middle of the table to discard the shells. Then I fill the bowl with hot soapy water and soak them for a bit to loosen anything stuck on them. Once they've sat for a good 10 minutes, I wash them in hot soapy water, giving each shell a scrub to remove anything that didn't come off during soaking. Then I rinse them and place them open side down on a paper towel lined sheet pan to dry. I store them in a zipper bag when I'm not using them and give them a quick rinse before cooking next time.
Ingredients for baked clams
- Jarred pimentos
- Seasoned bread crumbs
- Canned chopped clams
- Romano or Parmesan cheese
Uncle Richard's Clams Casino
- 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks
- 1 6.5 ounce jar pimentos, drained
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 ½ cups seasoned bread crumbs
- 5 6.5 ounce cans a combination off chopped and minced clams, drained
- ½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Melt butter over medium heat on stove or in microwave.
- While butter melts, add pimentos, onions and celery to food processor until they are well combined (they should make a wet mixture and be very finely chopped).
- Add you melted butter, vegetable mixture clams, bread crumbs and cheese to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into clam shells so that they slightly heap, and pat to smooth the tops.
- Place clams on a sheet pan and freeze. Once solid transfer to zipper freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to cook, place on a lined sheet pan, filled side up. Broil on the middle rack (not the top) for around 20 minutes watching them closely so they don't burn.
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