Best Clam Bake Ever!

clam bake is served

The clam bake, or clambake, is a traditional New England dish for festive occasions. If my family’s reaction is any indication, this truly is the best clam bake ever!

We recently celebrated 2 birthdays on the same day — and no, they are not twins.  My oldest son and my oldest daughter were born on the same day 5 years apart.  On every birthday each child gets to choose their favorite meal and dessert.  At least 4 out of 7 birthdays, we will have our famous clambake. That should give you an idea of how loved this dish is in our house.

The colorful mixture of seafood and vegetables is incredibly beautiful — and it will look as if it took you hours to prepare. In reality, this recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make.

One key to success with this clam bake is to add the ingredients at different stages. That way, all the ingredients turn out perfectly cooked. Not only is this dish tasty and beautiful, but the clean up time is minimal as well!  How great is that?

Want to make it a meal with bread, dessert, and beverage? Click on over to my Clambake Meal Made Easy for the perfect combo.

Clam bake scene featuring seafood and corn on a newspapered table.

Best Ever Clam Bake

Not only is this clam bake tasty and beautiful, but the clean up time is minimal as well!
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Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • 2 pounds kielbasa sliced 1” thick diagonally
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 pounds red potatoes
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ears of corn husked and snapped in half
  • 1 ½ pounds large shrimp deveined and in the shell
  • 1 lobster tail split lengthwise down the flesh
  • 3 dozen little neck clams scrubbed
  • 2 pounds mussels debearded and cleaned
  • 3 cups good white wine
  • 1 cup fish stock
  • 3 tablespoon butter


  • In a 20 quart pot, sauté onions in olive oil for 15 minutes or until onions start to brown.  Put garlic into pot and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Place potatoes, kielbasa, salt, pepper, and thyme on top of the onions and pour in the white wine and fish stock.  Cover with a lid and cook medium high heat for 20 minutes.
  • Place corn, clams, and lobster into pot for 5 minutes.  Covering the pot tightly.
  • Add the shrimp and mussels to the pot for 5 minutes.  Test the potatoes for tenderness.  The lobster and shrimp should be opaque and the clams and mussels should be opened.  If not, cook a few more minutes.
  • With a large slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and seafood to a large bowl.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the broth and bring to a boil.  Season to taste.  Serve over the clambake with crusty bread.


Splitting the lobster lengthwise down the middle of the tails underside keeps the tail from curling during cooking.
Courtesy of Happy Healthy Family Tracking the Outdoors In
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