Steamed Clams with Chorizo Oil

Steamed clams with chorizo oil, served over spaghetti, is a delicious weeknight meal that’s perfect for these last days of summer. If you’ve never made clams at home before, don’t worry – it’s easy! Clams-with-Chorizo-Oil

When I came across a recipe for chorizo oil in an old issue of Food + Wine, I’m pretty sure I squealed out lout. I adore chorizo, and infusing it in oil seemed like an awesome way to stretch its flavor and really make the most of a small amount of sausage.

The magazine paired the oil with scallops and yogurt, but I decided to use it over steamed clams and spaghetti.  The chorizo oil flavors every last bite of pasta and it all comes together quickly on a weeknight. Paired with a green salad and a cold beer, it’s perfect for a late summer dinner.


If you’ve never made clams before, don’t worry. It really couldn’t be easier! First things first, you really want to make sure they’re fresh – cook them the same day you buy them, and buy them from a reputable seafood monger.

Next, make sure you clean them really well. The last thing you want is to end up with a mouth full of grit (ew). Tap on any shells that are open. If they don’t close, or if they have chipped shells, discard them. I usually end up with a few duds, but if you’re clams are fresh you shouldn’t have to toss more than two or three. Put the clams into a large bowl filled with cold water and let them sit for 20 minutes; they’ll spit out any sand that’s trapped inside their shells (you’ll see it in the bottom of the bowl). Lift the clams out of the water and scrub off any sand or grit from the outside of the shells.

One the clams are clean, you can grill them or steam them. I love steaming them in a little beer – it gives them a great flavor – but you can also use white wine or water.


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Steamed Clams with Chorizo Oil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 3 ounces dry chorizo, cut into a small dice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 48 littleneck clams, scrubbed well
  • 12 ounces lager-style beer (or water)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 box (13.25 ounces) high fiber spaghetti
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
  2. Combine the chorizo and oil in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the chorizo is crisp and the oil is deep red, about 8 minutes.
  3. Arrange the clams in a single layer in a large, deep skillet. Pour the beer over them. Cover and steam until the shells open, about 5 minutes. Add the open clams to the chorizo oil (discard any unopened clams.)
  4. Add the spaghetti to the pot of boiling water and cook to al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of cooking liquid.
  5. Stir the reserved cooking liquid into the clams and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve over the spaghetti.



  1. Lauren, oh my gosh! You make clams look so delicious!

  2. I love making seafood dishes like this. Yours looks SO good!!

  3. This looks amazing. I love clams, and that chorizo oil, wow!

  4. Oh my goodness … I love chorizo with seafood, and this recipe sounds positively amazing!

    I love simple recipes that pack a huge punch of flavor … putting this on my “to make” list ASAP!

  5. It’s been far too long since I’ve had fresh clams. What a perfect recipe to inspire me to seek out some for the coming weekend.

  6. This meal makes me want to hold onto summer with a tight kung fu grip. Love the chorizo flavor here!

  7. I do love fresh clams. But, I’m the only one at my house that does…so I guess I’d get to eat the whole dish! Yay! Chroizo oil sounds very enticing!

  8. Oh my goodness! In all my years of making clams, I have never soaked them — I have to try that! This looks incredible.

  9. Ginny McMeans says:

    Excellent idea. Your photos look so inviting!

  10. What an elegant— as in I am expensive—looking dish. Perfect for the area I live in the Pacific NW.

  11. I love clams and they’re so easy to make! And that chorizo oil….drool.

  12. I love clams and they are even better with spaghetti!!! Great recipe!

  13. I suddenly feel the urge to grab my fork and twirl!

  14. Yum! This looks amazing! I have a friend who would just love me if I surprised her with this meal! :)

  15. What a terrific meal! This is when I wish the hubby would eat more shellfish…but I would be happy to eat it all myself!

  16. This is brilliant! I always add aromatics like garlic and herbs and sometimes chili oil when steaming clam but chorizo sounds fantastic!

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