This article was updated on the 14th of August 2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your clams, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 39 of the most popular side dishes for clams.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best side dishes to serve with clams include linguine pasta, lemon and garlic broccoli, Caprese salad, green beans almondine, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Add some texture by serving cheesy baked garlic baguette, sourdough bread, crispy kale and quinoa, or oyster crackers.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
You can never go wrong with serving a starchy side like pasta or bread alongside clams. These dishes are great at soaking up your clams’ delicious broth, ensuring you enjoy every last drop.
Cheesy baked garlic baguette
Add some crunch to your clam dinner by serving a cheesy garlic baguette on the side. This dish is baked under high heat, transforming the bread into a crunchy treat that contrasts perfectly with the tender clams.
And it doesn’t skimp on flavor. The Recipe Critic uses fresh garlic cloves and powder in the butter spread, making each bite extra garlicky. And true to its name, the bread is topped off with lots of cheese for maximum gooeyness before baking. Delish!
Steamed clams are often served with plain pasta, but why not take things up a notch with this linguine dish?
It features a spinach and sun-dried tomato cream sauce that has a tangy flavor which helps balance your clam’s brininess. And the combination of parmesan and half-and-half gives you a delicate creaminess that adds a bit of indulgence to your meal.
Psst… not a fan of parmesan cheese? Swap it out for mozzarella, Pecorino, Romano, or Asiago cheese.
Linguine with spinach and sun-dried tomato cream sauce
Make it from scratch
Another Italian classic
Sourdough is a naturally fermented bread that boasts a crackly crunchy crust and a fluffy interior perfect for soaking up a broth without turning mushy.
You can easily buy a loaf of this bread in bakeries, but you can also try making it from scratch if you’re up for the challenge.
It’s much trickier than regular dinner rolls because you’ll be dealing with a sourdough starter, although it’s well worth the effort! Amanda from Heartbeet Kitchen provides an in-depth guide to the process, complete with videos to help you create your very own sourdough loaf.
Mashed potatoes elevate any meal into something extra special.
Its smooth, buttery consistency absorbs all the clam juices, increasing the yum factor.
And the best part is you won’t need to put in a lot of time and ingredients to make a delicious side. Plus, the only step that requires full effort is mashing the spuds. Once you’ve got that done, you simply need to stir in your butter and milk mixture, grated Parmesan, sour cream, and chives.
Finish everything with a dash of fresh herbs and you’re ready to serve.
Psst… choose Russet potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes to achieve a perfectly creamy, fluffy mash.
You’ll often see oyster crackers served with clam chowder, but they also work really well with steamed or grilled clams too.
Damn Delicious seasons these crackers with ranch dressing and parmesan cheese, giving them a tangy, herby kick. Plus, they also have a nice crunch that pairs well with the clams’ tender texture.
Just a heads up, though — these oyster crackers are so addictive, that you’ll struggle not to eat them all at once.
Warm veggie sides
Warm vegetable sides are the ideal accompaniment to elevate the natural flavors of clams. You can go with mildly sweet vegetables like bell peppers and corn or earthy veggies like broccoli to help offset the fresh, salty notes of steamed clams.
Roasted Brussels sprouts
Contrary to popular belief, Brussels sprouts are not bitter when cooked properly. They’re delightfully sweet and nutty, making them highly addictive.
But EatWell 101 takes them up a notch further by tossing the sprouts in a parmesan and Italian seasoning mixture before roasting. Under high heat, this mixture crisps up, giving the sprouts a light crunch that makes each bite satisfying.
Serve these crispy roasted parmesan sprouts with a generous helping of steamed clams for a decadent but well-balanced meal.
Green beans almondine
This classic French dish is also known as Amandine, but regardless of what you call it, it’s still a fabulous side dish to serve with steamed clams.
Aside from the blanched green beans, the most important element of this dish is the butter. It’s used to toast the almonds and sautee the shallots and garlic, so it eventually browns in the pan and develops a nutty taste that’ll have you coming back for more.
This flavor, combined with the satisfying crunch of green beans and almonds, makes this simple dish a solid side to serve with your steamed clams.
Lemon and garlic broccoli
Bring some color and nutrition to your clam dish by adding some steamed broccoli on the side. And no, this side dish isn’t boring — it’s all about how you dress these crisp-tender broccoli florets!
Katie from Healthy Seasonal Kitchen tosses the steamed florets in a basic blend of lemon juice and sauteed garlic, giving them a bright flavor that pairs well with your salty clams. But you can add more spices or herbs like red pepper flakes for heat or smoked paprika for a savory smokiness.
Pro-tip: for the best texture, use fresh broccoli florets. Frozen ones may turn out too limp.
Grilled corn ribs
You’ll likely be eating clams with your hands, so why not enjoy them alongside these tasty corn ribs?
These are ears of corn that are cut into quarters before grilling. It’s a simple twist that makes corn more fun to eat! Plus, grilling infuses the sweet corn kernels with a delectable smokiness that goes nicely with the saltiness of your steamed clams.
Psst… if you have difficulties cutting the cobs, you can boil them for five minutes to soften them up a bit.
Salads are an excellent way to add a fresh bite to your clams. The combination of crisp and juicy veggies and the zesty dressing also helps tone down the clams’ prominent briny notes. A pile of leafy greens and your favorite vinaigrette does the trick well, but I’ve found more interesting options you can try.
The vibrant combination of tomatoes, cheese, and basil looks beautiful on a platter alongside a neutral-colored clam dish.
Plus, Caprese salad is one of the easiest salads you can make. You’ll only need a few fresh items, most of which you likely already have in the fridge. Recipe creator Natasha adds a tangy-sweet balsamic glaze as a finishing touch, but you can skip this if you don’t have it.
Tossed green salad
This tossed green salad is another easy side dish that comes together in less than five minutes. It’s a light, refreshing accompaniment that pairs well with many dishes, including steamed clams.
The basic recipe includes mixed greens, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and bacon bits. But the beauty of this salad is it’s endlessly customizable. You can swap the sunflower seeds for walnuts or add other veggies like carrots, bell peppers, or tomatoes to brighten things up.
Serve it with your steamed clams so you’ll have an eye-catching plate that looks like it could belong in a restaurant.
Crispy kale and quinoa salad
Looking for a more hearty salad to serve with your steamed clams? Try this crispy kale and quinoa salad, which provides a crunch with every bite.
The only catch with this salad is you’ll have to dig in as soon as you combine the baked kale chips and quinoa because the leafy chips will soften over time. That’s why I prefer serving the kale chips and quinoa in separate bowls, letting my guests have the freedom to mix this salad on their own.
Lemon spinach orzo salad
Not a fan of quinoa? Give this orzo salad a shot!
Instead of leafy kale, this salad is chock-full of veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach leaves, upping its nutritional value even more. Chew Out Loud also recommends adding crumbled bacon or toasted nuts for some crunch.
But what really makes this salad special is its homemade dressing. It infuses the pasta and veg with a vibrant flavor that offsets your steamed clams’ brininess.
Related: substitutes for clam juice
What To Serve With Clams [39 Ideas]
- 1 portion cheesy baked garlic baguette
- 1 portion green beans almondine
- 1 portion caprese salad
- 1 portion mashed potatoes
- 1 portion lemon spinach orzo salad
- 1 portion lemon and garlic broccoli … and more
- Prepare your clams according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: cheesy baked garlic baguette, linguine pasta, sourdough bread, Caprese salad, tossed green salad, mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, green beans amandine, crispy kale and quinoa, lemon and garlic broccoli, and oyster crackers.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!