New England Clambake

Here's how to make a New England clambake in the comfort of your own kitchen. No sand or surf required.

New England Clambake Recipe

The problem with New England clambakes is that they’re exclusively available to those in New England. Until now. This spectacularly land-loving approach to a clambake works its magic in the oven instead of over a campfire yet it still gets you pretty far in terms of pretending you’ve got sand between your toes. You’re on your own for the actual sand and bonfire. This recipe has been updated. Originally updated August 26, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

New England Clambake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4


  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 pounds new potatoes, halved
  • 2 (1 1/2 to 2 pounds each) lobsters
  • 2 dozen Manila clams
  • 4 ears fresh corn, cut into quarters
  • Small bunch tarragon or flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • Crusty bread
  • 6 lemons, cut into wedges


  • 1. In a ginormous stock pot, bring the water, wine, Old Bay, salt, and garlic to a boil.
  • 2. Toss the onion and potatoes into the pot, cover, and cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Nestle the lobsters on top of the onion and potatoes, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the clams and corn and continue to cook, still covered, for 8 to 10 minutes more. Check to see if the clamshells have opened; if not, continue to cook until they have.
  • 3. Carefully remove the pot from the heat and drain the cooking liquid. Tip the contents of the pot onto a table lined with newspaper or butcher paper or transfer to a large platter. (If you can’t trust your guests to be amicable about splitting the lobsters, you may wish to cut each one in half prior to serving.) Sprinkle everything with the herbs and serve with small bowls of melted butter along with the crusty bread and lemon wedges. Instruct guests to discard any clams that haven’t opened. (You may wish to set out some small buckets or dishes so folks know where to toss the spent lobster and clamshells.)
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