Clams Casino: The Ultimate Guide to Making this Classic Italian Dish at Home

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Are you a seafood fan looking for a delicious way to spice up your meals? Look no further than clams casino! This classic Italian dish is a favorite of many, and for good reason. With its combination of clams, breadcrumbs, bacon, and various seasonings, clams casino is the perfect addition to any meal. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making this flavorful dish, from selecting the right ingredients to cooking techniques and presentation.

What is Clams Casino?

For those who aren’t familiar with this classic Italian dish, clams casino is a baked seafood dish that typically features clams, bacon, breadcrumbs, and various other seasonings. The dish is named after the casino where it was first served, the original recipe was created in Rhode Island, USA, in the early 20th century, and it has since become a popular appetizer and side dish in Italian-American cuisine around the world.


Before you can start making clams casino, you’ll need to gather the necessary ingredients:

  • 12-16 fresh clams (littlenecks or cherrystones)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Now that you’ve got your ingredients, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these steps to create delicious clams casino:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the clams under cold running water to remove any dirt or sand.
  3. Place the clams on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the shells open.
  4. Once the clams are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cooked bacon, red pepper, onion, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, oregano, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
  6. Once the clams have cooled, remove the top shell and discard it. Leave the clam in the bottom shell.
  7. Spoon a small amount of the breadcrumb mixture onto each clam.
  8. Place the clams back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the breadcrumb mixture is golden brown and crispy.
  9. Remove the clams from the oven and serve immediately. Enjoy!


If you’re looking to mix things up a bit, there are several variations of clams casino that you may want to try:

Baked Stuffed Clams

Baked stuffed clams are similar to clams casino, but they typically feature a mixture of chopped clams, breadcrumbs, and various seasonings that are stuffed back into the clam shells. They’re a great option if you’re looking for a more filling dish.

Grilled Clams Casino

If you’re looking for a way to add some smoky flavor to your clams casino, consider grilling them instead of baking them. Simply place the clams on a hot grill and cook for a few minutes on each side until the shells open. Then add the breadcrumb mixture and grill for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Vegan Clams Casino

If you’re looking for a vegan option, you can substitute the clams with chopped mushrooms or artichokes, and use vegan bacon and cheese. You can also use gluten-free breadcrumbs to make this recipe gluten-free.

Tips for Making the Perfect Clams Casino

While clams casino may seem like a simple dish to make, there are a few tips and tricks that can help ensure that it comes out perfectly every time:

Use Fresh Clams

The key to a great clams casino dish is using fresh clams. Be sure to check the date on the package or ask your fishmonger if the clams are fresh. If the clams have a strong, fishy smell, they’re likely not fresh.

Don’t Overload the Clams

While it may be tempting to add a lot of the breadcrumb mixture to each clam, it’s important not to overload them. If you add too much, it may be difficult for the clams to bake evenly, and the dish might end up being too dry. A small dollop of the mixture on each clam is all you need to add flavor without overpowering the clam.

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Get Creative with Presentation

If you’re serving clams casino to guests, consider experimenting with different ways to plate the dish. You can use a decorative plate or serving dish, or even serve the clams casino on a bed of rock salt to create a beachy feel.


Clams casino is a classic Italian dish that has stood the test of time for a reason – it’s delicious! Whether you’re looking for a new addition to your dinner rotation or want to impress your guests at your next dinner party, clams casino is a great choice. Follow the steps outlined in this guide, and don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and presentation styles. Buon appetito!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of clams should I use for clams casino?

You can use either littleneck or cherrystone clams for this dish. Both are small and tender, and work well with the other ingredients in the recipe.

Can I make clams casino ahead of time?

While the dish is best served fresh out of the oven, you can prepare the clams and breadcrumb mixture ahead of time. Just wait to add the mixture to the clams until just before you’re ready to bake them.

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What can I serve with clams casino?

Clams casino pairs well with a variety of sides, including roasted vegetables, salad, or crusty bread. It’s also a great appetizer to serve before a larger meal.

Can I freeze clams casino?

While clams casino can technically be frozen, the texture may be compromised when you reheat it. It’s best to enjoy this dish fresh out of the oven!

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Are there any health benefits to clams?

Yes! Clams are a great source of protein, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, iron, and selenium. They’re also relatively low in calories, making them a healthy addition to your diet.