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Steamed Clams or Mussels in Seasoned Broth

James Carrier
Yield Makes 2 servings
Simmer your choice of shellfish in one of our homemade seasoned broths for an easy and healthy seafood supper.


  • Seasoned broth (choices follow)
  • 3 dozen clams in shells, suitable for steaming (about 2 1/2 lb.), or mussels in shells (1 1/4 lb.)
  • Chopped parsley, green onions, or fresh cilantro
  • Lemon wedges

How to Make It

  1. In a covered 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer while cleaning shellfish.

  2. Meanwhile, scrub clams or mussels well; pull any beards off mussels. Discard open shellfish that don't close when tapped.

  3. Return broth to a boil over high heat. Add shellfish, cover, and cook until shells pop open, 3 to 6 minutes. Spoon shellfish and broth into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

  4. Creamy tarragon-shallot broth. In pan, combine 1 cup water (for clams) or clam juice (for mussels), 1 cup dry white wine, 1/2 cup chopped shallots, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon.

  5. Per serving with clams: 265 cal., 34% (90 cal.) from fat; 13 g protein; 10 g fat (8 g sat.); 11 g carbo (3 g fiber); 328 mg sodium; 62 mg chol.

  6. Garlic-ginger broth. In pan, combine 1 cup water (for clams) or fat-skimmed reduced-sodium chicken broth (for mussels), 1 cup sake or dry white wine, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon crushed hot chili flakes.

  7. Per serving with clams: 154 cal., 5% (1 cal.) from fat; 12 g protein; 9 g fat (1 g sat.); 4 g carbo (2 g fiber); 56 mg sodium; 29 mg chol.

  8. Tomato-basil broth. In pan, combine 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes (including liquid), 1/2 cup water (for clams) or fat-skimmed reduced-sodium chicken broth (for mussels), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons dried basil.

  9. Per serving of clams: 131 cal., 11% (14 cal.) from fat; 14 g protein; 5 g fat (2 g sat.); 17 g carbo (4 g fiber); 386 mg sodium; 29 mg chol. z

Cook's Notes

As the shellfish cook, they release their briny juices into the broth. Clams tend to be saltier than mussels; when cooking them, use water for the broth.