A clam lover’s dream, these Baked Clams Stuffed Oreganata are juicy, delicious tasting, and easy to prepare. Baked clams are a crowd-pleasing appetizer and a favorite for the holidays. These baked clams are easily stuffed with a flavorful bread crumb mixture and baked in minutes before your guests arrive. Perfect!
How to Make these Baked Clams Stuffed Oreganata?
Baked clams are stuffed with a very flavorful bread crumb mixture made with plain bread crumbs, grated cheese, oregano, parsley, fresh garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Then they are drizzled with some melted butter before they are baked. YUM!
This recipe is simple, easy, and the clams turn out delightfully tasty! (not fishing tasting either!) Making these baked clams, definitely worth making.
How to Open Clams?
First, you should know there are two ways you can open these clams for stuffing:
- STEAM TO OPEN: Rinse and steam them in a pot with about 2 inches of water, to open the clams.
- OR SHUCK TO OPEN: Ask the fishmonger at your local fish store to shuck the clams open for you. Then ask him to give you the shells too. You can keep the clams and it’s juice in a sealed container for up to 1 day, before preparing them.
What Kind of Clams are best to Stuff and Bake?
There are two types in the clam family that are perfect for stuffing and baking, and these are:
- Cherry-Stone clams: these clams are larger than the little neck clams. They have tender meats with a mildly sweet flavor and briny accent.
- Little Neck clams: are smaller in size, but most flavorful and are salty and slightly chewy.
QUICK NOTE: The New Zealand Clams are too small to stuff and are better to use to make other seafood recipes like our Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth or our Mixed Seafood Stew, just to name a few.
Next, there are two ways to Stuff the Clams…
- STUFF with the WHOLE CLAM: you can stuff each half shell with the whole clam. Keep in mind, this will yield you only 6 clams per dozen to stuff.
- STUFF with MINCED CLAMS: you can easily chop, or mince the clams before stuffing. This will yield you more clams shells to stuff, giving you more per serving, as an appetizer.
Today, I decided to have our clams shucked at the seafood store, and then I chopped them into pieces. It took me about 15 minutes to chop them, but worth it.
The Best Part? It gave me more clams to stuff and bake, yielding 40 clams to stuff, instead of getting only 18 half-shell clams from 3 dozen. Not bad, right? 😉
First, Let’s Prepare the Shells for Stuffing…
- Keep in mind, the “shells” of the clams will contain sand. So it’s best to rinse the shells in a bowl and under running water. Then drain in a colander. Rinse a few times, until you no longer see any visible sand. Then allow them to drain well.
- Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of your 9 x 13-inch pyrex baking dish. Then lay the “clean” empty clam shells on the bottom of the baking dish and in one single layer.
- You can lay half of them, and then as you begin to fill each clam shell with pieces of chopped clams, you will yield more clams. Just keep adding them to the batch in the baking dish as you fill them.
Make the Bread Crumb Stuffing, then Stuff the Clams… (*full recipe card below!)
- In a mixing bowl, stir together bread crumbs, grated cheese, crushed garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, and crushed red pepper. Pour in the olive oil and mix until well combined.
- The bread crumb mixture will be very moist.
- Then stuff each clamshell, one at a time.
Here is where you can prepare the stuffed clams, cover them with a lid or with foil wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them. You can prepare them up to one day before, then bake them the following day.
Before these Stuffed Clams are Baked…
- First, using a teaspoon, spoon a little melted butter over each stuffed clam.
- Next, carefully and slowly pour some water on the bottom of the baking dish. This will keep the clams moist while baking.
- Optional: here is where you can drizzle over the stuffed clams with 1/4 cup of white wine.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F (190C) for 15 to 20 minutes. Then change the oven to “broil” and broil the clams for 2 to 3 minutes to crisp and brown the tops. Do not over broil, or they will turn out dry.
- Then transfer to a serving platter, and serve with some lemon wedges. Allow family and friends to squeeze fresh lemon juice over their stuffed clams.
… and ENJOY!!
- 3 dozen cherry-stone or littleneck clams - removed from shells and chopped
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 3 large garlic cloves - minced
- 5 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Tbsp. butter - melted
- optional: 1/4 cup white wine
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat oven to Bake at 375 degrees F (190C).
- First, rinse the clams shells in a bowl with running water to remove any sand. Do this a few times, until you no longer see any sand at the bottom of the bowl. Drain.
- Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of your 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the clean shells inside your baking dish. You will only need about 36 to 40 shells. The rest set them aside (in case you need any additional).
- Now stuff the shells, using your fingers, and one at a time to stuff each clamshell with pieces of chopped clams. Stuff as many as you can, and set them back in your baking dish. Set aside. (Here is where you can discard the extra clamshells not used.)
- Next, make the Bread Crumb Stuffing: In a mixing bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, crushed garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes. Pour in the 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and stir to moisten the bread crumb mixture.
- Using a teaspoon, begin to stuff each clam with some bread crumb mixture. Continue until all the clams have been stuffed. (Here is where you can cover the clams and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them.)
- Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (either in the microwave or on the stove top. Using a teaspoon, and drizzle some melted butter over each stuffed clam.
- Slowly pour in some water, about 1/4-inch on the bottom of the baking dish. This will keep the clams moist while baking.
- Optional: Here is where you can drizzle some white wine over the clams before baking.
- Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven. BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Next, change the oven to "Broil" and broil the clams for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the tops.
- Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- Yields: 36 to 40 baked clams stuffed oreganata
I started with 28 clean clamshells, but when I started filling them with chopped clams It yield 40 clams shells stuffed with chopped clams.
All ovens will vary, so keep an eye on the clams. Do not over bake them, or they will turn out dry,
If you prefer, you can squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them before serving.
Additional Seafood Recipes…
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Happy Baking! 🙂
xo Anna and Liz