Clams Casino

Clams casino, the classic American dish, gets a facelift here. The clams get the casino treatment with big shards of bacon, parsley, and garlic.

Clams casino, covered with slices of bacon and herbed butter, sit in a large pottery dish filled with rock salt.

Clams casino is one of those classic American dishes that inspired me to write this book. I wanted to renew interest in some dishes that were delightful in their original incarnations but then were overdone, often badly, to such an extent that they fell out of favor. –Mark Peel

LC Hurrah For Herb Butter Note

This clams casino recipe starts with a fast and fresh herb butter. The herbs suggested here—chives, parsley, tarragon, and garlic—are perfectly suited to these little clams with their bacon blankets. However, if you happened to have a different compound butter already made up, you could easily exercise a little artistic license and experiment with different combinations. And if you haven’t yet ventured into the world of compound butters, our basic compound butter with parsley, lemon, and pepper is a safe starting point, although if you’re feeling daring there’s the sweet and fiery chili honey butter. Once you have any of these versatile butters in the fridge, you’ll find that they go with more or less everything.

Clams Casino

Clams casino, covered with slices of bacon and herbed butter, sit in a large pottery dish filled with rock salt.
If you make clams casino this way (and this recipe is different from the classic because I don't crumble the bacon), you'll understand why it became so popular. Cut the bacon into small slabs, which protects the clams from overcooking while infusing them with its flavor. The bacon crisps up around the edges, giving you a nice contrast of chewy and crisp.
Mark Peel

Prep 30 mins
Cook 10 mins
Total 40 mins
24 servings
28 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 small garlic clove green shoot removed, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 ounces bacon (2 strips)
  • Rock salt for the baking sheet (optional)
  • 24 cherrystone clams shucked and left on the half shell
  • 1/2 lemon


  • In a mortar and pestle, mash together the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper. Add the butter and mash together.
  • Cook the bacon until just cooked through but not crisp. Remove from the heat and cut in 1-inch pieces.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Cover a baking sheet with a 1/2-inch-thick layer of rock salt, if using. Heat in the oven for 5 minutes. Now preheat the broiler.
  • Place the clams casinos on top of the salt (this is just to keep them steady). Top each with about 2 drops lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of the butter mixture. Lay a piece of bacon over the top. (The clams casino can be prepped ahead of time up to this point.)
  • Place the clams under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, until the butter is sizzling. Serve the clams casino immediately.
Print RecipeBuy the New Classic Family Dinners cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1clamCalories: 28kcal (1%)Carbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1g (2%)Fat: 3g (5%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mg (2%)Sodium: 25mg (1%)Potassium: 19mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 105IU (2%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 6mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Originally published November 02, 2009


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