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What To Serve With A Clambake [17 Side Dishes]

This article was updated on 01/02/2024 for clarity and to improve readability.

A clambake is a traditional New England feast that involves cooking seafood, often clams, with vegetables and meats over hot stones and seaweed. It’s known for its smoky flavor and is often served at special occasions.

Here are my 17 tried-and-tested ideas for side dishes that pair wonderfully with a clambake.

In a rush? Here’s the short answer.

Clambake is best served with garlic bread, bruschetta, farfalle pasta, summer slaw, and deviled eggs. Soups like clam chowder and tomato bisque are great, too. Healthy sides such as roast and steamed vegetables, creamed spinach, and boiled potatoes are also great additions to a clambake.

Finger food

Clambakes are often eaten by hand, so it’s a no-brainer to serve it with finger food. You can never go wrong with classic deviled eggs, but why not try veggie skewers for a healthier twist?

Classic deviled eggs

We usually serve deviled eggs as appetizers at dinner parties, but they’re also a great side dish for clambake.

Even with the plethora of deviled egg recipes nowadays, you can never go wrong with the classic version. It features a rich, creamy filling with a bit of a zesty kick – the perfect complement to all the sweet, briny flavors of the shellfish in your clambake.

Psst…don’t forget to sprinkle each egg with a dash of paprika for a peppery boost.

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Vegetable skewers

Getting bored of the usual roasted veg? Fire up your grill and make these colorful veggie skewers.

These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill grilled veg. The recipe calls for brushing these beauties with a garlic herb sauce, making them extra delectable.

Wondering what veggies you could grill? I stuck with the classics like bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. But you can also try mushrooms, corn, and eggplants.

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Garlic bread

Want more carbs to serve with your clambake? Look no further than this cheesy garlic bread.

The Recipe Critic uses fresh garlic cloves and powder to give you that intense garlicky taste. And the cherry on top (literally) is the mixture of mozzarella and Colby jack cheese, making each bite delicious.

Psst… want an extra crisp top? Broil the garlic bread for an extra minute or two after baking.

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Pumpkin bruschetta

Bruschetta is usually topped with tomatoes, but this recipe uses a mixture of diced pumpkin, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and balsamic vinegar.

This combination is sweeter than the usual tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, but with cheesy, nutty notes that make it oh-so-addictive.

Enjoy your clam bake with a side of this dainty pumpkin bruschetta and a glass of your favorite red wine.

Pro-tip: start making these little gems just as you get your clambake cooking in the oven or stove top to keep the bread and toppings fresh.

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Mini Crab Cakes

Who says finger foods can’t be a little fancy? These mini crab cakes are a real crowd-pleaser and fit right into your clambake theme.

Crafted with succulent lump crab meat and just the right blend of seasoning, these little delights are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. A dollop of tangy remoulade sauce on top, and you’ve got a bite-sized marvel that’s hard to resist.

Psst…for an extra burst of flavor, I like adding extra fresh chili to the mix.

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Comfort food

Clambake feasts usually signal the beginning of fall for me, and that means it’s time for those cozy dishes.

You can keep it in the seafood realm with a generous serving of clam chowder or go all out with a creamy pasta bake. Potato casseroles and gratins are also a good option if you’re looking to indulge. Trust me, you won’t regret picking up your forks and spoons.

Tomato basil bisque

What’s more comforting than a bowl of tomato bisque?

This recipe cheats a little bit by using Campbell’s Everyday Gourmet Tomato Basil Bisque, but that’s why I included it in the list. After all, you probably won’t have time to chop all those tomatoes when you’re making a clambake.

But don’t worry, you still get to jazz this up with bacon and a healthy dose of sour cream for an even creamier, smoky sip.

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Clam chowder

Keep the seafood theme going with a piping hot bowl of this New England clam chowder.

Dinner Then Desserts use canned clams for this recipe, but you can also go with the fresh ones you’ll be using for your clam bake.

It does take a bit longer because you’ll have to clean and cook the clams first, so I usually just stick with the canned version. It’s quick, easy, and the juice that comes with it brings an extra briny flavor you won’t get with the real deal.

Pro-tip: got leftovers? Store them in the fridge for up to two days, never the freezer.

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Farfalle pasta

Think your clambake alone won’t be able to fill you up? Serve it with a generous side of farfalle pasta.

This may look fancy, but it features a simple creamy sauce made with a base of parmesan cheese and half-and-half. The folds and ridges of the farfalle pasta perfectly holds this luscious sauce, so I highly recommend going out of your way to buy it.

But you can also use other pasta varieties like penne, rigatoni, or fusilli.

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Parsley boiled potatoes

Most clambake recipes already have potatoes, but why not try making them separately to add a different flavor profile?

These butter boiled potatoes are ideal for this purpose and are super easy to make. After boiling the spuds, you simply have to toss them in a saucepan with butter, herbs, and then give them a vigorous stir until they break up a bit.

I also like adding a dash of garlic and onion powder for extra flavor, but you can also try red pepper flakes for a bit of kick.

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Creamed spinach

You may argue that creamed spinach falls under the next category, “Vegetables,” but one bite of this will change your mind.

The spinach leaves are smothered with a luscious sauce made with heavy cream, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. If that doesn’t scream comfort food, I don’t know what will.

The Novice Chef Blog keeps this quick and easy by using frozen spinach, but you can also uses fresh if you have an abundance of it. Remember to steam it first before folding in the cream sauce.

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Vegetables and salads

Make your clambake feast healthier with these veggie sides and salads.

A simple tossed green salad is always on our clambake menu, but you can also go with roasted veggies if you want a warm side dish. A side of steamed broccoli or cauliflower florets with a spritz of lemon juice also work wonders.

Crack carrots

Bid plain-old carrots goodbye with this easy recipe. Instead of the typical honey, Swanky Recipe uses a combination of ranch powder and garlic to season these gems.

The results? Tender, charred carrots that’ll have you hooked and craving for second helpings.

I stuck with using baby carrots for this dish to make prep work a breeze, but you can also use regular-sized carrots. Just make sure you all chop them uniformly so they roast evenly.

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Greek-style stuffed tomatoes

Big, juicy tomatoes aren’t just for salads – they’re for stuffing too!

I’m used to stuffing these vibrant red veggies with just mozzarella cheese, but Forks Over Knives’ recipe is a game-changer. They use a mixture of brown rice, onion, garlic, basil, and mozzarella cheese to create a nourishing side dish that’s good enough to eat on its own.

Enjoy these stuffed tomatoes alongside your clambake for a satisfying meal that’ll leave you in need of a nap.

Psst… check out some more ideas on what to eat with stuffed tomatoes here.

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Asian summer slaw

This Asian slaw is super refreshing and pairs well with almost any main dish – clambake being no exception.

Aside from the crisp veggies, what really makes this slaw tasty is the dressing. It’s made with a base of sesame oil, a neutral cooking oil, peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and ginger.

This dressing is zesty and zippy, with a touch of warmth from the ginger. It’s just what you need to contrast the savory, salty flavors in your clambake.

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Lemony green beans

If you’re all about easy side dishes, these green beans are the way to go.

There’s no fancy cooking technique involved with these. The green beans are simply sautéed then seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. This gives them a satisfying crisp-tender bite and a refreshing flavor that pairs well with your salty, savory clam bake.

Cooking On The Front Burners also garnishes these vibrant green beans with toasted almonds, but I usually skip them.

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Roasted Greek vegetables

You can’t go wrong with serving roasted vegetables alongside your clambake. They require minimal hands-on cooking and are a great source of vitamins and minerals to complete the meal.

Rachel from Eazy Peazy Mealz uses a medley of zucchini, onions, squash, and bell peppers, but I like adding mushrooms to make this side dish more filling. You can also use other veggies, although you’ll have to adjust the cooking time.

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Green salad

This green salad is my go-to accompaniment for clambake.

It may not be traditional, but it only takes a few minutes to make and the freshness of the veg pairs excellently with the juicy shellfish.

This salad is pretty simple, so I like adding sliced pepperoncini. They add an extra sweet-tangy note to the salad and a mildly spicy kick to keep things interesting.

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Caprese Skewers

Tired of the same old salads? These Caprese skewers are a game changer, offering a twist on the classic Italian salad in a fun and easy-to-eat format.

Just thread some juicy cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella balls, and vibrant basil leaves onto skewers, and you’ve got a portable salad that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. A drizzle of balsamic reduction just before serving adds a sweet and tangy finish.

Psst…for an extra touch of elegance, use a mix of yellow and red cherry tomatoes. And for extra sweetness, I like to roast the tomatoes before skewering them.

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What To Serve With A Clambake [17 Side Dishes]

In this short recipe, I show exactly what to serve with your clambake.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: clambake side dishes, what to serve with clambake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 92kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion garlic bread
  • 1 portion crack carrots
  • 1 portion tossed greek salad
  • 1 portion classic deviled eggs
  • 1 portion lemony green beans
  • 1 portion creamed spinach
  • 1 portion … and more

Instructions

  • Prepare your clambake according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: tomato bisque, crack carrots, pumpkin bruschetta, stuffed tomatoes, clam chowder, vegetable skewers, Asian summer slaw, garlic bread, classic deviled eggs, green salad, roasted greek vegetables, creamed spinach, farfalle pasta, steamed green beans, and parsley boiled potatoes.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 92kcal

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