Mouthwatering Zuppa De Clams Recipe for Seafood Lovers

Listen up, folks! Today, I’m bringing you a recipe that’s going to knock your socks off. I’m talking about my famous Zuppa de Clams (or Mussels) recipe – a classic Italian seafood stew that’s been in my family for generations.

Now, before you start shaking your head and thinking, “I’ve had clam chowder before, what’s so special about this?” let me tell you – this is not your ordinary seafood stew. It’s packed full of sweet plum tomatoes, fragrant sweet basil, fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, and garlic cloves that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Not to mention the star of the show – the baby clams or mussels – that give this dish its depth and richness. The broth is infused with olive oil and white wine for an extra kick. And trust me when I say that every spoonful is loaded with flavor.

So if you’re looking for a meal that’s both hearty and elegant, this zuppa di pesce recipe is just what you need. It’s perfect for a cozy night at home or an impressive dinner party with friends.

So put on your apron and get ready to wow your taste buds. Let’s jump right into the ingredient list and see what you’ll be needing for this unforgettable seafood stew.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels)
Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels)

Listen up, fellow food enthusiasts. I’m here to tell you why this Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels) recipe is a must-try for seafood lovers.

First of all, let’s talk about the freshness of the ingredients required. This recipe calls for baby clams or mussels that are fresh and plump from the sea, and paired with ripe plum tomatoes, fragrant sweet basil, and aromatic flat-leaf Italian parsley. All of these come together to create a flavor explosion that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

But that’s not all. This recipe only takes 20 minutes to make, making it the perfect dish for those who are always on the go but still want to enjoy a hearty meal. Plus, it’s versatile enough that you can choose between using clams or mussels – both work just as well.

For wine lovers, hear me out: adding just a splash of white wine into your Zuppa De Clams (or Mussels) gives it an extra depth of flavor that will pair perfectly with a light bodied, crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

And finally, let’s talk about how easy it is to make variations or substitutions to fit one’s preferences, whether it’s adding in some spicy sausage or substituting the baby clams for larger versions – this recipe can take on any twist and turn you desire.

So go ahead and give Zuppa De Clams (or Mussels) a try – with its simplicity and versatility, it’ll have you hooked in no time.

Ingredient List

 The savory aroma of garlic and herbs will have your taste buds tingling in anticipation
The savory aroma of garlic and herbs will have your taste buds tingling in anticipation

Before jumping into making this dish, we first have to prepare the required ingredients to ensure that our Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels) Recipe will come out perfectly. Here are the items you will need:


  • 2 lbs. of littleneck clams or mussels (fresh water)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 10 oz. plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup seafood broth or clam juice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sweet basil

As you can see, all of these ingredients are readily available at the local market, which makes it easy for us to prepare this dish in the comfort of our own homes. It’s important to use fresh seafood to get that authentic taste and texture that we’re looking for in our Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels) Recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 The clams soak up the rich broth, adding a delightful pop of flavor to every bite
The clams soak up the rich broth, adding a delightful pop of flavor to every bite

Prep Work

Before diving into the recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients ready to go. Scrub the littleneck clams and the mussels with a brush under running cold water. Discard any with cracked shells or any that don’t close when lightly tapped shut.

Next up, chop four plum tomatoes into small chunks and set those aside. Then, finely chop 2 tablespoons of sweet basil and 2 tablespoons of flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Lastly, have 3 to 4 garlic cloves minced, 1 minced shallot, and 1 clove garlic crushed and ready.

Cooking Time

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the minced shallots and minced garlic until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, sweet basil, half of the flat-leaf Italian parsley, and a pinch of salt & pepper stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until they release their juices.

Now add in the littleneck clams and the mussels with 1 cup of white wine (which will provide extra depth of flavor). Cover your pot with a lid and let them steam for about 5-7 minutes making sure all the clams and mussels are fully opened -discard any that stay closed or partially open-.

(make sure you get some crusty bread to mop up all that delicious broth)

To finish off this delicious zuppa di pesce recipe, drizzle it with some olive oil, sprinkle it with fresh herbs such as parsley and allow it to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

As an optional step, serve this seafood stew with some linguine or spaghetti on the side.

Enjoy your meal!

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't forget to pair with crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the broth
Don’t forget to pair with crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the broth

Listen up, folks! I know sometimes you want to switch things up in the kitchen, so don’t be afraid to experiment with this recipe. Here are a few substitutions and variations that will have your taste buds hopping.

First off, if clams aren’t your jam or they’re not available, try swapping them out for some fresh mussels. They’re just as tasty and pack a similar punch of flavor. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try mixing both clams and mussels together for an epic seafood medley.

If you’re looking for a lighter version of this classic Italian seafood stew, opt for steamed mussels in fresh water instead of using olive oil. It’s a healthier alternative without sacrificing any big flavors.

Speaking of flavors, why not add some extra veggies to the mix? Spinach, arugula and even chopped artichokes can provide a nice twist to the dish. You can also add some jalapenos if you like a little kick in your seafood soup.

And lastly, if you’re serving guests who don’t consume alcohol or prefer non-alcoholic options, replace the white wine with clam juice. It brings out the clam’s saltiness in the stew recipe and provides another level of depth to it.

Remember whatever substitution or variation you choose from these options (or come up with your own!), is sure to elevate your cooking game and add something special to your meal plan. Bon appetit!

Serving and Pairing

 A perfect dish for a cozy night in or a fancy dinner party with friends
A perfect dish for a cozy night in or a fancy dinner party with friends

This soul-soothing seafood stew, rich in flavor and texture, is a perfect meal when served on a cozy and chilly evening. For those of you who find yourselves spending hours in the kitchen preparing meals for an entire party, look no further than Zuppa de Clams (or Mussels) recipe. This recipe will satisfy every taste bud with its plump baby clams or mussels and tangy sweet tomato sauce that offers a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness.

Zuppa di pesce is best-served family-style in the center of your dining table. It’s great for any laid-back dinner party with friends and family. Whenever I’m serving this dish, I make sure to include plenty of crusty bread to sop up all the delicious broth.

The wine selection depends on the type of seafood you choose to serve in your Zuppa di Clams or Mussels. If you chose mussels or littleneck clams, pair it with a crisp white wine like Riesling or Pinot Grigio. If you opt for bigger clams, go for a bold red like Chianti or Sangiovese. But if you aren’t the biggest fan of wine, steaming hot tea would work just as well.

If you’re hosting during colder months, consider pairing Zuppa de Clams (or Mussels) with garlic bread, Caesar salad, or roasted vegetables.

On warmer months, try pairing it with a chilled white Burgundy and enjoy it with a side of grilled asparagus, shrimp cocktail, or mixed green salads. You could also serve it over linguini to make it thick enough for guests looking for something more substantial.

You could take things up a notch by adding another classic Italian favorite – clam sauce – for guests who prefer sauce-drenched pasta dishes. The flavors will mix perfectly! Pairing Zuppa de Clams (or Mussels) recipe with traditional Italian restaurant favorites like zuppa toscana soup or clam soup at Villa Napoletana in Brooklyn only adds to its allure.

Whether you prefer your clam/mussels chowder bubbly hot served before dinner or at night surrounded by friends and family members, this seafood stew with its luxurious flavor does not disappoint!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The mussels make for an equally delicious alternative to clams in this recipe
The mussels make for an equally delicious alternative to clams in this recipe

Listen carefully, this is an important part. If you want to impress your guests, make sure you’re willing to go the extra mile. Zuppa de clams are not something to be taken lightly. If you want to get ahead of yourself, you can prep this dish ahead of time by cooking it and then letting it cool in room temperature. Once it has cooled off a bit, you can transfer it into a resealable container and place it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to serve, reheat the stew over medium heat on the stovetop until it reaches a low simmer. Add some clam juice or even a splash of white wine if you feel like being fancy. Remember not to boil it because the seafood will become rubbery if it’s overcooked.

If you have leftovers, let me tell you, they’re even better the next day. You can store them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months, but I wouldn’t recommend that because the seafood loses its texture when frozen.

But let’s face it, who has any leftovers when zuppa de clams are on the menu? This recipe is so good, people will be fighting over the last drop. So make sure you have enough ingredients on hand because this dish always leaves your guests wanting more!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Seafood lovers rejoice! Zuppa De Clams
Seafood lovers rejoice! Zuppa De Clams

Any home chef wants to serve a dish that will be the talk of the party. Here are some tips to ensure your Zuppa De Clams or Mussels recipe comes out perfectly every time:

1. Quality and Freshness: Start by using high-quality, fresh ingredients. Choose mussels or baby clams that are closed tightly and smell like the ocean. For the tomatoes, make sure they are nice and ripe.

2. Garlic and Herbs: The garlic cloves should be fresh and crushed, bringing bold flavor to your stew. Chop the sweet basil and flat-leaf Italian parsley just before adding them to enhance their aroma, color and flavor.

3. Olive Oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil for a delicious finish in your soup. It is especially recommended when making Mediterranean-inspired dishes because of its exquisite flavor.

4. Timing: Do not overcook the mussels or baby clams! They should only be cooked 5–6 minutes so they don’t become tough or rubbery.

5. Wine Enhances The Flavor: Use a dry white wine when making the broth to add fresh flavors to your stew.

6. Salt and Pepper for Taste: Seasoning is crucial when making stew. Add salt and black pepper according to taste, but remember that the seafood will release salt into the soup, so don’t oversalt it!

7. Simmer Don’t Boil: Make sure you only simmer the stew until all ingredients are heated through and slightly reduced.

With these tips, your guests will have no other options but to ask what’s your secret ingredient in this fabulous zuppa di clams? And you can proudly answer that there is none; it’s just paying attention to quality ingredients, herbs, timing and seasoning!


Before serving up this heavenly zuppa de clams (or mussels) on your table, I want you to be fully prepared with all the necessary information about the recipe. In this section, I have included a list of common questions that may arise while preparing or storing the dish. So, let’s take a deep dive into this FAQ section and address all your queries with my expert tips and tricks.

What is better mussels or clams?

When it comes to the taste of seafood, clams and mussels are two distinct options. While clams boast a potent, fishy taste, mussels are comparatively mild and lackluster in flavor. Consequently, mussels are regarded as the more flexible choice in the kitchen, as their subtler taste profiles can assimilate to various flavor combinations. This makes mussels a go-to ingredient for many chefs, including myself.

Do mussels and clams cook the same?

When it comes to cooking seafood, steaming is the go-to method for mussels. On the other hand, clams are often used in chowders, but can also be eaten raw. However, mussels must be cooked before consumption. It’s also worth noting that although clams can stay fresh out of the water for longer, they require more time to cook compared to mussels.

Should I soak clams and mussels before cooking?

To ensure clean and tasty mussels in your dish, it is important to soak them in fresh water prior to cooking. By submerging the mussels in water, they will expel any sand or residue they may have inside their shells. This process also helps to reduce the salt content, guaranteeing a perfect balance of flavors. So, before you start cooking, make sure to put your mussels in a bowl of fresh water and let them soak for about 20 minutes.

Can I substitute mussels for clams in clam chowder?

When it comes to this recipe, I prefer using mussels rather than clams due to their availability and affordability. Don’t be intimidated by the number of steps listed, as they are fairly simple and some can be done simultaneously.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you’re hosting a party, looking to impress your family and friends or simply craving some delicious seafood stew, Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels) recipe is the perfect dish for you. With its mouth-watering flavors and aromatic components, this seafood stew will leave you wanting more.

This simple yet elegant dish can easily be customized to your liking with various substitutions and variations. You can enjoy it as a standalone dish or over linguini or even as a clam sauce with Villa Napoletana. This versatile recipe can be served on any occasion and will undoubtedly be the talk of the table.

Don’t hesitate to give this recipe a try, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. So take some time out of your day, gather up the ingredients, grab a glass of white wine and cook yourself a hearty bowl of Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels). You’ll thank me later.

And remember – this recipe isn’t just about creating a delicious meal. It’s about bringing people together to enjoy good food, good company, and good times. So let’s raise our bowls and toast to our love for Italian cuisine!

Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels)

Zuppa De Clams (Or Mussels) Recipe

This is a delicious Italian first course soup, as good with mussels as it is with clams. The servings are large, so adjust accordingly if desired. Time does not include preparing the clams. This is pretty much the soup I would get when I’d order it in New York family Italian restaurants. You can add a bit of clam broth if you like, but steaming the claims in the broth as is gives it a nice flavor. And in this version, the tomatoes, not paste, would be used.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Calories 358.1 kcal


  • 48 baby clams (mahogany clams or little necks are fine too, approximately) or 48 mussels
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves (to taste)
  • 4 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley, rinsed dried and coarsely chopped
  • 1 -2 tablespoon finely minced fresh sweet basil (to taste) (optional)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can italian peeled plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (reserve liquid)
  • sliced fresh crusty rustic Italian bread or French bread


  • Wash and dry the clams and soak them in a large bowl in cold, salted water for about 30 minutes.
  • Any remaining sand should fall to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Drain the clams and rinse them well in a colander under running water.
  • Crush one clove of garlic, and slice the remaining cloves very thin.
  • In a large, heavy pan, sauté the crushed garlic until it begins to brown, then remove from the pan and discard.
  • Add the remaining sliced garlic and the parsley.
  • Cook over very low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes and enough liquid to just make a slightly soupy dish.
  • You don’t want too much liquid in this, but judge the amount to your taste.
  • Season with the salt and pepper, then raise the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
  • (Add more liquid if necessary).
  • Add the clams, lower the heat again, cover pan, and let steam for about 10 minutes, or until the shells have opened and the clams are ready.
  • Discard any unopened clams.
  • Sprinkle with more freshly ground pepper and the basil, if desired.
  • (You can substitute a teaspoon of dried if you wish).
  • Serve in shallow bowls with slices of bread for dunking.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 278gCalories: 358.1kcalCarbohydrates: 8.5gProtein: 2gFat: 36.5gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 13.2mgFiber: 2.6gSugar: 5.3g
Keyword < 60 Mins, European
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