Steam Up Some Rhode Island-Style Clam Stuffies

Rhode Island-Style Clam Stuffies


Chowder clams, also known as Quahogs, are a serious staple in New England cuisine. The East has beautiful colors in the fall, and wonderful food all year long. These giant clams can be found in countless dishes, but an extremely popular way to prepare them in Rhode Island is in these “stuffies”. As big as a fist, the clam meat is full of briny flavor but can be a bit tough when cooked. The solution? Steam and chop the clam meat before folding it into a stuffing with good company: Portuguese linguiça, red bell pepper, garlic, and fresh herbs. Packed back into their shells and roasted, “stuffies” are a hearty way to enjoy quahogs and a staple of summer meals in Rhode Island. This recipe is from


Ingredients for 8 servings | Multiply by degree of hunger and divide by number of girlfriends!

12 quahog clams (about 7 1/2 pounds), scrubbed

1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces)

1/2 link linguiça sausage (about 2 1/2 ounces), finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1/4 cup finely chopped celery

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

9 ounces stale baguette, processed into coarse breadcrumbs (about 6 cups)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish

Lemon wedge for garnish


Step 1

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place clams in a single layer in a very large pot, and add enough cold water to come up to the back hinge of clams (5 to 6 cups). Cover and bring to a simmer over high. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a low simmer; cook until clams open, about 5 minutes. 

Step 2

Remove pot from heat, and uncover. Let stand until clams are cool enough to handle. Remove clams from pot, reserving broth. Discard any unopened clams. Remove clam meat from shells; finely chop meat, and set aside.

Step 3

Using poultry shears, cut through shell hinges. Arrange half shells on an aluminum foil–lined rimmed baking sheet. Pour twp cups of clam broth into a liquid measuring cup, leaving any sand or residue in the bottom of pot. Set clam broth aside. Reserve any remaining broth for another use, or discard.

Step 4

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sausage has plumped and released its red oil, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. 

Step 5

Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to skillet; stir to coat in fat. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Step 6

Add chopped clam meat, sausage, breadcrumbs, thyme, and one cup reserved clam broth to skillet, and return to medium heat. Fold to combine; cook just until heated through, about pne minute. (If mixture is too dry, add remaining 1 cup broth, 1/4 cup at a time, as needed. Mixture should be moist but not wet.) Stir in parsley, salt, and black pepper.

Step 7

Divide stuffing among clam shells on prepared baking sheet (about 1/4 loosely packed cup each). Bake until tops are sizzling and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Divide stuffies among 8 plates. Garnish with parsley sprigs and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Your girlfriends will love getting together for this taste of New England as you sip some Rhode Island Red cocktails and plan your next girls weekend in Newport using our pointers!

Recipe and photo source:
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