Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe

As a lover of seafood, there’s nothing quite like the taste of fresh and succulent clams straight from the grill. That’s why I’m excited to share my recipe for Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce with all of you today.

But these aren’t just any ordinary grilled clams. We’ve elevated the flavors by infusing them with garlic butter and a delicious white wine sauce that will tantalize your taste buds. Trust me when I say that every bite of these juicy littleneck clams is like a burst of heavenly oceanic flavors in your mouth.

Not only is this recipe incredibly easy to make, but it’s also perfect for sharing with loved ones on warm summer nights. The sight and scent of sizzling grilled seafood will surely make their mouths water!

So grab some garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, dried basil, olive oil, white wine, diced tomatoes, and most importantly, some fresh Littleneck Clams, and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce
Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce

Attention all seafood lovers! Are you searching for the perfect summer dish to impress your guests? Look no further than this Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce recipe. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, the ingredient list will make your mouth water. Fresh littleneck clams paired with a flavorful wine sauce made with diced tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes provide an explosion of taste in every bite.

Secondly, the recipe is quick and easy to make. With only a few simple steps, you can have delicious grilled clams ready to serve in just 20 minutes. Perfect for a last-minute dinner party or a fun family barbecue.

Finally, this recipe allows for endless customization. If you prefer a spicier kick, add some chorizo into the mix for a seafood and spicy tomato broth flavor. Or switch out olive oil for garlic butter to elevate the dish even further.

In conclusion, prepare to have your taste buds sing with delight after trying this Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce recipe. Trust me when I say that it will quickly become one of your favorite go-to dishes that will leave your guests raving about your culinary skills.

Ingredient List

 Come and try our delicious grilled little neck clams in wine sauce!
Come and try our delicious grilled little neck clams in wine sauce!

Ingredients you will need:

  • 2 pounds little neck clams, scrubbed clean and soaked in cold water for about 20 minutes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup white wine, dry white wine would be ideal
  • ½ cup diced tomatoes, canned or fresh
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided into two parts of 4 tablespoons each
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Lemon Cayenne Butter:
  • 1 stick salted butter, softened
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

The Recipe How-To

 A taste of the sea and a sip of wine, a perfect way to spend your evening.
A taste of the sea and a sip of wine, a perfect way to spend your evening.

Step 1: Soak the Little Neck Clams.

Begin by placing two pounds of littleneck clams in a large bowl of cold water. Let them soak for approximately 20 minutes to remove any sand and grit.

Step 2: Clean and Prep the Clams.

After soaking, remove the clams from the water and place them in a colander. Scrub each clam under running water until they are clean and free of any debris.

Step 3: Make the Garlic Butter Sauce.

In a small saucepan, heat up 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided into pieces. Add 3 large garlic cloves, minced, and ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook for around 2 minutes, stirring frequently until the garlic is fragrant but not browned.

Next, add 1 cup of dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio to the saucepan with the garlic mixture. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

Step 4: Add Finishing Touches to Garlic Butter Sauce

Add 1 stick of salted butter, cut into tablespoons, to the garlic butter sauce. Mix well to combine all ingredients together.

Next, add ½ teaspoon dried basil, and season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well to ensure that all your ingredients mix evenly.

Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to serve your grilled clams.

Step 5: Grill Littleneck Clams.

Preheat a charcoal grill with high heat before placing all your prepared giant clams on top of foil. You can also use a steamer basket if you don’t have foil available to cover your grill.

Grill on each side for approximately 2-3 minutes, until the clams fully open.

Step 6: Serve Littleneck Grilled Clams You Prepared Earlier.

Transfer your grilled littleneck clams, now open, to a large serving dish. Spoon some of the garlic butter sauce on each clam and garnish with fresh lemon wedges or lemon cayenne butter sauce that you can drizzle over your clams just before serving.

Now you are ready to dig in and enjoy these delicious grilled little neck clams with white wine sauce.

Substitutions and Variations

 I can't think of a better way to enjoy the sunset than with these fresh and succulent clams.
I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the sunset than with these fresh and succulent clams.

As much as I love this Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce recipe, it’s always fun to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. Here are a few substitutions and variations you can try:

– Chorizo: If you want to add more depth and spice to the dish, you can add chorizo to the tomato sauce. Cook it in a separate pan until crispy, then stir it into the sauce before adding the clams.

– Seafood: This recipe is perfect for experimenting with different types of seafood. You can substitute the clams with shrimp, mussels, or even chunks of fish. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

– Spicy Tomato Broth: For an extra kick of spice, you can replace the diced tomatoes with a spicy tomato sauce. Add red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste.

– Foil Packets: If you’re not up for grilling, you can steam the clams in foil packets instead. Simply place the cleaned and scrubbed clams on a large piece of foil, pour the sauce over them, and fold up the edges tightly to create a packet. Steam for 8-10 minutes until fully opened.

– Garlic-Lemon Butter: If you’re looking for a simpler recipe and don’t want to make the wine sauce, you can grill the littleneck clams with a garlic-lemon butter instead. Mix together softened salted butter with minced garlic, lemon zest, and cayenne pepper. Brush over each clam before grilling.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose, always make sure your clams are fresh and well-cleaned before cooking!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't be a stranger to seafood, let our grilled little neck clams in wine sauce become your new favorite dish!
Don’t be a stranger to seafood, let our grilled little neck clams in wine sauce become your new favorite dish!

The Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe is best served as an appetizer or main course. It pairs excellently with crusty French bread or sliced Italian bread, which can be used to soak up the delicious wine sauce infused with garlic and spices. A lightly dressed green salad or grilled vegetables like asparagus or zucchini would also accompany the dish well.

For wine pairing, a crisp and dry white wine is recommended such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio preferably from Italy or New Zealand. The wine’s acidity and minerality cut through the richness of the clams while complementing the garlic and subtle heat from the red pepper flakes.

Those who love a hint of spice can pair this dish with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir or Grenache, which will add depth to the flavors of the clams and the spicy tomato broth.

Finally, for those that prefer non-alcoholic beverages, sparking water with a touch of lemon makes for a refreshing and complementary pairing.

The Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe offers an excellent balance of flavors which requires a wine that enhances its taste profile without overpowering it.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These clams are so delicious, you'll want to order them every time you visit!
These clams are so delicious, you’ll want to order them every time you visit!

If you’re planning to make the Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce recipe ahead of time, it’s important to take note of some things to ensure its freshness and quality. Firstly, it’s best to cook the clams only when you’re ready to serve them. This will ensure that they’ll be at their freshest and most flavorful. However, you can prepare the garlic butter sauce ahead of time, then simply reheat it and pour it over the grilled clams just before serving.

If you happen to have leftovers after your meal, store them properly in an airtight container inside the refrigerator. However, keep in mind that reheating the clams may affect their texture and flavor. It’s important not to overcook them or leave them too long on high heat as this may cause them to become rubbery and dry.

To reheat your leftover Grilled Little Neck Clams, use a microwave or gently steam them again using a steamer basket over simmering water. Be sure to only warm them through until they’re heated enough without cooking them any further. Drizzled with some lemon butter sauce or spicy tomato broth (if you prefer), they can still make for an enjoyable snack or appetizer even when reheated.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready for a flavor explosion with our grilled little neck clams in wine sauce!
Get ready for a flavor explosion with our grilled little neck clams in wine sauce!

To achieve the perfect grilled littleneck clams in wine sauce, you need to pay attention to some important details. Here are some tips to help you get the best results from your recipe.

Firstly, make sure you soak the clams in cold water for at least 20 minutes to remove any grit or sand that could spoil the texture of the final dish. Afterward, scrub them clean and steam open until fully cooked.

When cooking the clams, ensure that the lid is tightly sealed on your steamer or pot to trap all the flavors inside. You may also add sliced chorizo to infuse more flavor into your spicy tomato broth.

When preparing your garlic butter recipe, make sure you use unsalted butter and cut it into tablespoon-sized pieces for even melting. Do not overcook the garlic cloves as they might impart a bitter flavor into your sauce.

To achieve perfectly grilled clams, preheat a charcoal grill before brushing it with olive oil. Place them directly on the grate and cook over high heat until fully opened. You can also try using giant clam shells as a serving platter to create a stunning presentation.

For those who like it hot, spice up your cayenne butter with red pepper flakes or add more chili powder to your garlic white wine sauce recipe.

Finally, to achieve mouth-watering results, do not overcook your clams. As soon as they fully open up, remove them from heat to avoid toughening. And always serve them with a side of crusty bread for soaking up all that delicious white wine sauce.


Before we conclude this recipe article, let me address some commonly asked questions about making Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe. If you have any concerns regarding the ingredients, process, and results of cooking this dish, keep on reading as I answer some FAQs to set your mind at ease.

What wine is best for cooking clams?

When it comes to pairing clams with white wine, I suggest opting for a dry variety. Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or Sancerre are all excellent options. As for the clams themselves, they’re most delicious when cooked with butter or olive oil for a dairy-free version. To give them a little zing, a squeeze of fresh lemon adds just the right amount of acidity to balance out the saltiness of the dish.

Do you need to soak clams before cooking?

To ensure a delightful seafood meal, it is crucial to cleanse any soiled clam shells thoroughly. These shells are frequently exposed to the sauce or chowder, which can cause undesirable results. A recommended method for cleansing clams is to let them soak in cold water, which should taste like ocean water due to adding extra salt, for about twenty minutes. This way, the clams can naturally filter out any sand or grit that may have found its way inside.

How long do you soak clams before cooking?

Before cooking, let your clams rest in fresh water for 20 minutes. This is important as they continuously filter water while they breathe, which enables them to push out sand and saltwater that collected within their shells. The resting period in the fresh water allows the clams to filter out much of the debris that they accumulated inside their shells, which makes for a cleaner and tastier dish.

Bottom Line

this article with a persuasive text urging readers to try the recipe and suggesting that it’s an impressive dish for entertaining:

In conclusion, this Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe is sure to impress any seafood lover at your next dinner party. The combination of fresh, plump littleneck clams with a fragrant garlic and white wine sauce is simply irresistible. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for a weekday dinner or weekend gathering.

With its juicy and bold flavors, this dish pairs beautifully with dry white wine, crusty bread, or a light salad. Plus, you can easily tweak the recipe with different variations of chorizo or seafood to suit your taste buds and dietary preferences.

Don’t let the grill intimidate you! With simple prep work and quick cooking time, these grilled clams are sure to become a summer staple in your kitchen. Impress your family and friends by serving up this exquisite dish as an appetizer or main course. Trust me; your guests will thank you for it! So go on and give this recipe a try; I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce

Grilled Little Neck Clams in Wine Sauce Recipe

This is a quick summer meal that is low fat but big on flavor. Eat these clams alone with crusty bread or make linguini and top it with the clams and sauce! All you need are some simple kitchen pantry items, a cooking tin, foil and a grill to make a very impressive meal in just minutes.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Seafood
Calories 348 kcal


  • 50 littleneck clams
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced


  • This requires a disposable tin that is large enough to hold all the clams.
  • Scrub and rinse the clams well to remove all dirt prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the grill to 500 degrees.
  • Add all ingredients to the tin and stir to mix all ingredients together.
  • Cover the tin tightly with foil.
  • Place in covered grill for approximately 15 minutes to allow the steam to open the clams.
  • TIP: cooking time may vary due to differences in grills. Rather than open the foil to see if the clams are open, touch the top of the foil. Once the clams are open, they will push up on the top and there will not be as much loose space as there was before they opened. Removing the foil to check will release the steam and will prolong the cooking process which could result in tough, dry, overcooked clams.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 356gCalories: 348kcalCarbohydrates: 13.2gProtein: 27.9gFat: 15.6gSaturated Fat: 2.3gCholesterol: 54.4mgSodium: 1098.5mgFiber: 1.6gSugar: 3.3g
Keyword < 30 Mins, Beginner Cook, Easy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, One-Dish Meal, Spicy, Weeknight
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