Baked Clams Oreganata

I could never get enough of  baked clams. They are the perfect starter to an Italian meal or part of a hot antipasti platter. Garnished with just a lemon wedge, baked clams are an all time favorite.

Whenever I’m out having dinner at a good Italian restaurant I usually order the baked clams as a starter. When made right these are the original finger food that’s finger licking good. I never bother using the little forks that come with the clams. For the entire baked clams eating experience you have to suck them right out of the shell. Fancy restaurant? No matter. That’s the way these baby’s should be eaten. Even with a little slurp to aerate the flavors going down. Sweet, briny, flavorful.

If I were at a catered affair and the cocktail hour offered baked clams, I was in heaven. All you can fit on that tiny little plate they gave you. The baked clams were always the first to go so you got all you can while you can.

I could remember vacationing on the north shore of Long Island one summer and right in the bay in front of us were a seabed of clams, ripe for the picking. We spent the morning digging for the clams and by late afternoon we were eating baked clams by the dozen. Add some wine or a few beers and the meal was complete.

They are really easy to make, and if you follow my instructions for a non-shucking method of opening up the little gems, you might make these tasty little morsels more often.

Baked Clams Oreganata Cooking Italian Comfort Food

Baked Clams Oreganata

  • 18 little neck clams with reserved clam juice
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil plus more to drizzle over clams
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • lemon wedges

Unless you have worked at a clam bar, shucking clams is not an easy task. Here is an easy way to get the clams opened and save your fingers from shucking. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. After you washed and scrubbed the clams, place in a single layer on a Focus Foodservice Commercial Bakeware 13 by 18 Inch 18 Gauge Aluminum Half Sheet Pan
Place in the oven for only 2-3 minutes. This will be enough to loosen the clams up so they will be easy to open.

Take the clams out of the oven and with a butter knife or other thin knife without teeth, pry open the clams. I open the clams over a bowl to make sure I catch all the juice that comes out, you will use it in the stuffing. Open up the clam, get rid of the top shell, and loosen the clam in its shell by sliding the knife under the clam.

In a medium bowl mix together the bread crumbs, oregano, parsley, garlic, grated cheese ,  2 tablespoons of reserved strained clam juice, olive oil, and black pepper.

Take the clam and hold it over the bowl with the stuffing. Top the clams with this mixture, but don’t pack down the bread crumbs. Drizzle with some olive oil.

Baked Clams Oreganata 1 Cooking Italain Comfort Food

Place them under the broiler until the clams are done and the bread crumb is crispy and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Serve with the lemon wedges.

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About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. Now that Peter is retired, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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33 Responses to Baked Clams Oreganata




    • Barbara,
      For baked clams you can put them in the oven. I would not open them that way if you were going to eat them fresh bacause they cook a little with the oven method. Putting them in the freezer for 10 minutes is another way of relaxing the clam so they are easier to open. Both methods work well. Thanks for your comments and I hope you try my recipe!

  2. Anthony says:

    OMG~! This brings back memories! wow! I completely forgot about these tasty treats! Wow!

  3. Karen says:

    Hello Peter, after reading your recipes and stories I am now an official fan ! I’ve been cooking since I was a young girl and learned by the best…Italians ! I will be making your “zuppa mussels and baked clams this Christmas eve. I am so glad I found your site !!! Manga !

    • Karen, those are two of my favorites! I hope you enjoy them. Merry Christmas!

      • Karen says:

        Thank you for your reply.I see your sister is from Staten Island.So am I ! I just moved to New Jersey this past summer. I have been going back to Staten Island just for the pizza alone ! I love to cook and spoil my family and friends. Now with your help, I can do even a better job.Merry Christmas and I will be crediting you for your wonderful recipes on Christmas Eve. This Irish girl is an adopted “Italian” who can cook !

  4. Dick says:

    Are the bread crumbs packaged or fresh? If packaged can I use seasoned crumbs.

  5. MADELINE says:


  6. Barb garville says:

    Ton open the clams in the oven, what temperature?

  7. Alex says:

    How do you loosen the clam in the half shell? Does that mean separate the clam from the shell like an oyster?

  8. Johnny biscotti says:

    Pete, you can not forget to mention Gino’s baked clams……they are the best!

  9. AnneMarie says:

    i’ve been searching for a recipe for these – how can i get bacon into this? just add on top and broil?

    • AnneMarie, I would cook the bacon first till crisp then crumble it and mix it into the bread crumbs. That’s a little more like clams casino. You can also add some chopped red bell peppers to the crumbs as well.

  10. Pingback: Cook And Enjoy This Delicious Baked Clams Recipe!

  11. karen says:

    Hi and Merry Christmas to you and your family. I reside on Staten Island. I’m hosting 25 for Christmas and I have been looking for a little extra appetizer and this is it, thanks. We do a buffet with everyone bringing a dish. This will be a surprise!

  12. Alice says:

    I made this Christmas Eve and it was delicious! The tip to put them under the broiler to help them open worked great. Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  13. Frances. says:

    I’m from NY and I love and miss baked clams. No one serves them on the west coast can’t wait to make them.
    Thanks Pete

  14. Krys Rich says:

    Do clams need to be cleaned in the same way that shrimp need to be deveined? I’m assuming that the brown stuff is their waste products.

    • Clams are really self cleaning. It’s what’s on the outside that can contaminate the clam. It’s always a good idea to scrub the outside of the clam well with a stiff brush under running water. Clams naturally keep the inside of their home clean and sand free, so not to worry. Everything on the inside is edible.

  15. Karen says:

    Hi Peter, I too live on Staten Island and host Christmas Day with as many as 40 guests, I was brought up as an Italian so yes I cook like that. thanks for this recipe I will make clams as well, lasagna, chicken masala , sweet potato casserole and whatever my guests bring along . The deserts are many and all delicious . hope your family has a wonderful holiday! thank you once again .

  16. Jo Munkirs says:

    I live in Colorado now, but once lived on Long Island. Used to go “claming” and have forgotten just how good Italian baked stuffed class are. Our local market has them advertised & I plan to make some soon. My husband is not well & is on hospice care. I hope this will spark an interest in his appetite. How long can clams be safely kept in the fridge? Merry Christmas. God bless.moo

  17. Helen L. says:

    whenever I’ve ordered baked clams from Garguilio’s restaurant in Brooklyn they have always had a liquid/juice that was in the plate that you would dunk your bread in…. how do I achieve that when making baked clams at home.

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