Steamed Clams or Mussels in Seasoned Broth

James Carrier

Simmer your choice of shellfish in one of our homemade seasoned broths for an easy and healthy seafood supper.

Yield: Makes 2 servings
Recipe from Sunset

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  • 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


  1. 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. 2. Meanwhile, scrub clams or mussels well; pull any beards off mussels. Discard open shellfish that don't close when tapped.
  3. 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 (5.8 g sat.); 11 g carbo (0.3 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% (8.1 cal.) from fat; 12 g protein; 0.9 g fat (0.1 g sat.); 5.4 g carbo (0.2 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; 1.5 g fat (0.2 g sat.); 17 g carbo (2.4 g fiber); 386 mg sodium; 29 mg chol. z

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.

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