Uncle Richard’s Clams Casino

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!

A close up image of clams casino on a white plate.

Try some other great appetizer recipes like Hot Artichoke Dip, Apple Bacon Brie Bites and Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp with Pesto.

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.

An overhead image of a white plate of stuffed clams with a striped towel next to it as well as a lemon and a pan with more clams casino on it.

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.

A plate of baked clams casino with lemons and parsley behind it and a pan with more clams behind it.

What kind of clams to make clams casino?

This recipe calls for canned clams – each 6.5 ounce can has 1/2 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.

A close up overhead image of this clams recipe on a pan with all the clams close together.

Ingredients for baked clams

  • Butter
  • Jarred pimentos
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Seasoned bread crumbs
  • Canned chopped clams
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese

Helpful tools:

  1. Sheet pan
  2. Chef’s knife
  3. Cutting board
  4. Measuring spoons
  5. Measuring cups
  6. Food processor

A close up image of clams casino on a white plate with a lemon wedge on the plate.

Uncle Richard's Clams Casino
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

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!

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: clams casino
Servings: 50 half shells
Author: Richard Scuteri
  • 1 cup salted butter, 2 sticks
  • 1 6.5 ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
  • 5 6.5 ounce cans a combination off chopped and minced clams, drained
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  1. Melt butter over medium heat on stove or in microwave.

  2. 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).

  3. Add you melted butter, vegetable mixture clams, bread crumbs and cheese to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

  4. Spoon the mixture into clam shells so that they slightly heap, and pat to smooth the tops.

  5. Place clams on a sheet pan and freeze. Once solid transfer to zipper freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

  6. When ready to cook, place on a lined sheet pan, filled side up. Broil for around 10 minutes watching them closely so they don't burn.

Recipe Notes

If broiling right away place them under the broiler for a good 10 minutes or until well browned on top and cooked through- watch them carefully so they don't burn.

Baked clams on a white plate with a lemon wedge and a pan of clams behind it.

If you tried this recipe please comment and rate it 🙂 I love hearing your feedback and answering your questions!

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  • Reply
    Alissia Haggard
    December 28, 2015 at 3:23 pm Your picture of the clams is gorgeous :) and makes me want to try this even though I don't like clams :) And I totally agree- might as well enjoy 2015 some more before all the "resolutions" kick in during 2016 :)
    • Reply
      December 29, 2015 at 2:15 pm Thank you- they are pretty tasty, although I'm one of those crazy people who lives for seafood, J won't touch them (more clams for me!!). Happy New Year!
  • Reply
    Shann Eva
    December 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm Wow. These sounds amazing! Perfect for NYE. We're not going out, but making a nice meal at home, so these would be the perfect addition. Thank you for the idea and recipe.
    • Reply
      December 31, 2015 at 10:44 am Thank you- we are also having a night in and I cannot wait to relax and eat good food!!
  • Reply
    Patty Haxton Anderson
    January 8, 2016 at 3:40 pm These look amazing. I love stuffed clams. Thank you for linking up at the LET'S GET REAL WEEKLY LINK PARTY #123. Pinning and tweeting.
    • Reply
      January 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm Thank you- me too!
  • Reply
    January 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop
    • Reply
      January 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm Thank you!
  • Reply
    January 11, 2016 at 2:01 pm Where in the recipe do I add the clams?
    • Reply
      January 11, 2016 at 3:56 pm Hi Leona, it's when you add the vegetable mixture to the butter and breadcrumbs. I'm sorry for the confusion. Something happened to the post where the second half of the of the recipe disappeared one day and it looks like I had some typos when I reentered it- so than you for alerting me to that. It should be updated now. :)
  • Reply
    Debra @ Bowl Me Over
    January 14, 2016 at 6:59 pm Oh my these look delicious, I don't care if they are healthy or not - I just want one! What an amazing recipes to share, yum! Stopping by from Let's Get Real Link Party - congrats on your feature!
    • Reply
      January 15, 2016 at 10:46 am Thank you :)

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