Baked Clams Oreganata

Baked Clams Oreganata is a classic seafood dish that delights with its savory flavors and simple preparation. This recipe transforms fresh clams into a delectable appetizer or main course, perfect for seafood enthusiasts and those looking to impress with a taste of the sea. With a blend of breadcrumbs, garlic, cheese, and aromatic herbs like oregano and parsley, each bite offers a burst of Mediterranean-inspired flavors.

Whether served as an elegant starter at a dinner party or enjoyed as a casual treat with family, Baked Clams Oreganata promises to elevate any occasion with its briny goodness and zesty finish.

Baked Clams Oreganata


3 dozen cherry-stone or littleneck clams – removed from shells and chopped

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

3 large garlic cloves – minced

5 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 Tbsp. butter – melted

optional: 1/4 cup white wine

lemon wedges, for serving


Step 1:

Preheat oven to Bake at 375 degrees F (190C).

Step 2:

First, rinse the clam shells in a bowl with running water to remove any sand.

Do this a few times, until you no longer see any sand at the bottom of the bowl.


Step 3:

Use a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Place the clean shells inside your baking dish.

You will only need about 36 to 40 shells.

The rest set them aside (in case you need any additional).

Step 4:

Now chop the clams into smaller pieces and stuff the empty clamshells, one at a time with pieces of chopped clams.

Stuff as many as you can.

NOTE: Here is where you can discard the extra clamshells not used.

Step 5:

Next, make the breadcrumb mixture.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, grated cheese, crushed garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Pour in the 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil and stir to moisten the breadcrumb mixture.

Step 6:

Using a teaspoon, press about 1 teaspoon of the breadcrumb mixture and top each clam shell.

Continue until all the clams have been stuffed. (Here is where you can cover the stuffed clams with aluminum foil, and refrigerate them until you are ready to bake them.)

Step 7:

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Using a teaspoon, drizzle some melted butter over each stuffed clam.

Step 8:

Slowly pour in some water, or chicken broth, about 1/4-inch on the bottom of the baking dish.

This will keep the clams moist while baking.

Optional: Instead of water, you can use white wine, or chicken broth on the bottom of the pan.

Step 9:

Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven. BAKE for 10 to 15 minutes.

Next, change the oven to “Broil” and broil the clams for 2 to 3 minutes to brown the tops.

Step 10:

Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Best served with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice over them.

Yields: 36 to 40 baked clams oreganata


I started with 28 clean clamshells, but when I started filling them with chopped clams, it yielded 40 clams shells stuffed with chopped clams.

Keep in mind, that all ovens will vary, so keep an eye on the clams.

Do not overbake them, or they will turn out dry,

If you prefer, you can squeeze some fresh lemon juice over them before serving.

Ingredient Selection: Opt for fresh cherry-stone or littleneck clams for best results. These smaller clams are easier to handle and cook quickly, ensuring a tender bite.

Preparation: Thoroughly rinse the clam shells to remove any sand, ensuring a clean base for stuffing. This step is crucial to prevent grittiness in the final dish.

Stuffing: Chop the clams finely and evenly distribute them among the cleaned shells. This ensures each bite has a balanced amount of clam meat, enhancing the flavor and texture.

Breadcrumb Mixture: The breadcrumb mixture adds texture and flavor. The combination of breadcrumbs, grated cheese, garlic, parsley, oregano, and red pepper flakes creates a savory topping that complements the sweetness of the clams.

Moisture and Flavor: Drizzling melted butter over the stuffed clams adds richness and helps to brown the tops during baking. The optional addition of white wine or chicken broth at the base of the baking dish enhances moisture and imparts a subtle depth of flavor.

Baking Technique: Bake the stuffed clams initially to cook them through, then briefly broil to achieve a golden-brown crust on top. This dual cooking method ensures the clams are cooked perfectly while achieving a crispy texture on top.

Serving: Serve the Baked Clams Oreganata hot, garnished with lemon wedges for a fresh citrusy finish. The lemon juice complements the seafood flavors and adds a refreshing touch.

Make-Ahead Option: If preparing ahead, cover the stuffed clams with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake. This allows for convenient preparation ahead of time, ideal for entertaining.

Variations: Experiment with different herbs or adjust the spice level to suit personal taste preferences. Some variations include adding a squeeze of lemon juice to the breadcrumb mixture or incorporating finely chopped bacon for added richness.

Presentation: Arrange the baked clams on a serving platter and garnish with additional parsley or a drizzle of olive oil for a finishing touch. Serve promptly to enjoy them at their best.

Nutrition Information:

YIELD: 7 servings | SERVING SIZE: 1 serving (5 to 6 clams)

Amount Per Serving:

CALORIES: 224 | TOTAL FAT: 18.6g | CARBOHYDRATES: 12.1g | FIBER: 1g | SUGAR: 1.2g | PROTEIN: 3.9g

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use canned or pre-cooked clams for this recipe?

While fresh clams are recommended for the best flavor and texture, you can use canned or pre-cooked clams as a convenient alternative.

Just be sure to drain them well before chopping and stuffing them into the shells.

Can I prepare these baked clams in advance and bake them later?

Yes, you can assemble the stuffed clams ahead of time and refrigerate them until you’re ready to bake.

Simply cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator.

When ready to bake, proceed with the instructions, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time if needed.

What can I use instead of cherry-stone or littleneck clams?

If you can’t find cherry-stone or littleneck clams, you can use other types of hard-shell clams such as Manila clams or quahogs.

However, adjust the baking time accordingly as the size of the clams may vary.

Can I omit the white wine in the recipe?

Yes, you can omit the white wine and use water or chicken broth instead to maintain moisture in the baking dish.

However, using white wine adds a depth of flavor to the dish, so it’s recommended if available.

How should I store leftovers, and can they be reheated?

Store any leftover baked clams in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Alternatively, you can microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes until hot.

What type of clams are best for this recipe?

Cherry-stone or littleneck clams are ideal for baked clams oreganata due to their size and flavor.

However, you can use other varieties of hard-shell clams as well.

Can I prepare this dish without clam shells?

If you don’t have clam shells, you can use small oven-safe dishes or muffin tins to bake the clam mixture.

Alternatively, you can serve the mixture as a topping for toast points or crackers.

Is it necessary to use white wine in the recipe?

While white wine adds depth of flavor to the dish, it’s optional.

You can omit it or substitute it with chicken broth or water if desired.

Can I freeze baked clams for later consumption?

Yes, you can freeze baked clams oreganata.

Place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, separating the layers with parchment paper, and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How do I know when the clams are cooked through?

The clams are cooked through when they are opaque and firm.

Avoid overcooking them, as they can become rubbery and tough.

Can I adjust the level of spiciness in this dish?

Yes, you can adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to control the spiciness of the dish. Add more or less according to your taste preference.

What can I serve with baked clams oreganata?

Baked clams oreganata pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as garlic bread, steamed vegetables, or a crisp green salad.

Can I use store-bought bread crumbs instead of making them from scratch?

Yes, you can use store-bought bread crumbs if you prefer.

However, homemade bread crumbs tend to have a fresher flavor and texture.

Are there any alternatives to pecorino cheese?

If you don’t have pecorino cheese, you can substitute it with Parmesan cheese or any other hard cheese with a similar flavor profile.

How should I store leftover baked clams?

Store any leftover baked clams in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

Reheat them in the oven or microwave before serving.

Leave A Reply