Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth, by

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth are easily steamed in minutes to create this amazing dish.  If you love seafood dishes then you’ll love this recipe for little neck clams steamed in white wine and garlic broth. Tender little neck clams cooked in a delicious broth can be served alone or with your favorite linguine or spaghetti makes a fabulous dish!


We enjoy making little neck clams in wine and garlic broth often, especially during Lent, the warmer months, and of course, on Christmas Eve when we make our seven different seafood dishes, known as the Feast of Seven Fishes.

Our recipe for seafood salad, along with our perfect mussels provencale are some of the most popular recipes and they’re always served as a seafood appetizer.

Then, at times it’s usually followed by spaghetti with clams, or our easy shrimp dinner as the main course when serving a seafood dinner.


A white dish with spaghetti and Little Neck Clams on top. by

Little Neck Clams made in wine and garlic broth are literally SO easy to make.  

It only takes 10 minutes to cook and only 6 ingredients are needed for this recipe, littleneck clams, olive oil, garlic, white wine, crushed red pepper, and fresh parsley.

While the clams are simmering in the garlic and wine broth, they will begin to open, releasing their natural juices.

The broth from this recipe is SO flavorful, you may even want to place a spoon next to each plate and some bread to soak up that amazing broth!

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth over spaghetti

In our house, this dish is called “Spaghetti Alle Vongole,” dating back to when my mother hosted our family’s Christmas Eve celebration for years.  Now the tradition continues at our home, and we continue to serve them every year as the first course.

Littleneck clams are not expensive to buy these days. They cost around $3.00 to $4.00 per dozen.

I found these clams at Whole Foods.

They will need to stay on the ice and in an open bag to allow them to breathe; until you are ready to cook them.

Fresh raw clams sitting on ice in a bag by

Little Neck Clams are very budget-friendly.

It’s cheaper to make little neck clams with garlic and wine broth at home rather than ordering at the restaurant.

Spaghetti with clams in a restaurant normally charges anywhere from $22.00 to $32.00 dollars per dish. (Yikes!)   

It’s…definitely cost-effective to make them at home.

Best of all, this recipe will cost anywhere from $12.00 to $15.00 dollars to make at home, and it will serve 4 to 5 people.

As always, prices will vary, depending on where you live and the season.  And usually, their cost goes up during the holidays (but of course!).

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth by

Little Neck Clams in wine and garlic broth is a popular staple dish and it’s enjoyed throughout the year.


  • Like many traditional Italian seafood dishes, clams alone (or served with spaghetti) became a very popular dish throughout Southern Italy simply because clams were found to be in abundance along the Italian coast.

  • And therefore, “vongole” (aka: means “clams” in Italian) became a staple dish in Italy throughout the year, and not just limited to the Christmas holiday.

Once you make this delicious seafood dish, you’ll be amazed at how easy it was, and  I’m certain, that the next time you make it, you won’t even have to refer to the recipe.


Cook’s Notes and Tips for Success…

  • As soon as you get home, open the bag of clams and allow the clams to “breathe”…. or they will die. Clams need to breathe and they need to stay on the ice keep them chilled in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.

  • If the clams start to open, run them under cold water and they will close up immediately.  If you encounter any clams that do not close, discard those.

  • If you are planning to make these littleneck clams for a large crowd, you will need to buy more. Plus, it’s a good idea to add in some clam juice (about 4 to 8-ounce bottles) to make more broth, especially for medium-size or large-size clams.

  • How Many Clams to Purchase?  We like to buy at least 1 dozen per person, which is about 1 pound for 12 clams.  If they are the smaller ones, known as New Zealand Clams, then you can get 2 dozen per person, which is 24 little clams per person.

  • Also, you can purchase a small bottle of clam juice from your local seafood market, where you get the clams. 

  • I used Bumble Bee All Natural Clam Juice.  It’s good to have the clam juice on hand, in case you need more broth – you can add in 1/4 cup or more.

  • Keep in mind, while cooking the clams, if you encounter any ones not opening, fish those out and discard them.

photo of clams steaming and cooking inside a pot. by

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth are gently steamed in a delicious broth. It is made with garlic, white wine, crushed red pepper, and fresh parsley.

Altogether, the flavors of wine, garlic, and natural clam juices make this dish so sensational! 

Don’t forget the crushed red pepper.  The smallest ingredient will always give any dish a pop!

Also remember, for those who prefer no spaghetti? Then serve these clams along with a leafy green salad on the side and a basket of crusty bread to dip into the broth – the Italian way!

This recipe for Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth is truly an all-star seafood dish for dinner. You’ll have to try it!

Buon Appetite!

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Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth , by


Finally, enjoy these seafood dishes too!  

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth

Little Neck Clams in Wine and Garlic Broth

Little Neck Clams made with a wine and garlic broth are literally SO easy to make. It only takes 10 minutes to cook and only 6 ingredients are needed for this recipe for a quick meal that makes a big impression!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves- diced
  • 3 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup of white wine
  • optional: 1/4 cup of clam juice, or more (I used Bumble Bee all natural)
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 pound linguine or spaghetti pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, rinse the clams under cold running water and gently rub them together with your hands to allow any sand to rinse off their shells. Rinse and drain a few times. Leave them in cold water until ready to cook them.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over low heat and add the garlic. Saute the garlic for only 1 minute to be fragrant (no need to brown the garlic). Toss in about 1/2 of the chopped parsley, and reserve the other half for later.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the clams into a colander and quickly transfer them directly to the pot with garlic and olive oil. Add in the crushed red pepper and salt. Cover. Stir the clams after a minute.
  4. Allow the clams to steam and simmer with the garlic for about 2 minutes. Pour in white wine and clam juice and cover again, continue to steam the clams, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Their shells will open gradually. Once all clams are fully opened, turn off the heat. No need to overcook them.
  5. Toss in the remaining chopped parsley. If serving alone, transfer clams along with broth to a large serving bowl and serve.
  6. Also, if you are planning to serve clams with spaghetti or linguine, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt (about 1 tsp.) and toss in the pasta. Cook the pasta to al-dente. Using a ladle spoon, grab some of the salted water (about 1/4 cup) from the pasta, and add it to the clams.
  7. Drain pasta, and transfer pasta to the pot with all the clams and broth.
  8. Stir and serve into individual serving bowls. Garnish on top with more clams in shells and sprinkle on top with freshly chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
  9. Serves 4 to 5


Cooks Notes: If you are planning to make these littleneck clams for a large crowd, you will need to buy more clams, and may want to add in some clam juice (about 4 to 8-ounce bottle) to make more broth, especially for medium-size or large size clams. While cooking, if you encounter any clams not opening, fish them out and discard them.

Nutrition Information:


4 to 5 servings

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 3.1gProtein: 28g


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Happy Cooking!  πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

xo Anna and Liz


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  1. I made this last night for myself, my husband, and my son with a big loaf of crusty bread, extra butter and of course the broth. I even used your Chardonnay suggestions! Everyone loved it! Absolutely delicious! We moved to Florida from RI almost 3 years ago and there are just some things I really miss. Thank you for making our whole night! I’ll be making these again and again!

  2. I am soooo impressed! I made this tonight as a surprise for my husband as we both miss seafood in Sarasota. It really rivalled a linguine clam dish I get from a fancy restaurant from over there. This was quarter of that price.

    It was so so easy and it looked so romantic, and tasted so so delicious.

    Thank you so so much for this recipe! It’s now on his top 3 foods I’ve made ever! πŸ™‚

    1. I’m so happy you had a great outcome and enjoyed our recipe Aziza! And welcome to our recipe blog, it’s so nice to meet you! Thank you so much! We hope you will keep trying our recipes, especially seafood, and come back to leave us a comment. Have a great night. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Louise, I have never tried it with canned clams. But do you have a Whole Foods market in your area? because that is where I get them, at Whole Foods fish market.
      If you don’t have WF market, then you can try it – and let me know if the canned clams work with this recipe. If they do, please come back to leave another comment, it helps those who may have the same question. I hope this helps.
      Thanks so much! πŸ™‚

    2. I’m in Amarillo as well and the United Supermarket on Soncy has little neck clams in the display case 🀍

      1. That sounds good Crystal! Hope you enjoy this recipe, as much as we do. Have a great weekend, and happy cooking! πŸ™‚

  3. Lol thank you for your sweet comment Karen! My husbands favorite as well and I make it often. Have a great weekend! xo

  4. Linguine alle Vongole is one of my husband’s favorite Italian dishes. When I suggest making it, he gets a big smile on his face. Your photos make me wish I could stick my fork into that dish and have a bite.

  5. I made this a few weeks ago and my husband and I loved it so much I’m making it again tonight and probably twice a month from now on lol! Thank you for a great recipe, I wouldn’t change one thing πŸ™‚

  6. Beautiful! My kids love clams, but I never think of preparing them at home. It is always something we order when vacationing near an ocean. We will have to give this a try at our house. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. You’re welcome Cali! We make them all summer long and once you make them for the first time, you’ll always enjoy them at home! Have a great weekend and thanks for taking the time out to leave a comment!

  7. It's funny Sandra, I wasn't fond of clams years ago either, especially the large ones- couldn't eat them.
    But I love the little ones, they are so tender – not chewy at all.
    And the flavor of them in this recipe is so amazing – it's difficult to pass up a dish of these little clams. I hope you' ll try them. Have a great day!