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Linguine with Clams

4.5 from 2 votes
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posted: 05/21/20

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Linguine with Clams is an easy dinner than comes together in under 30 minutes. It is fancy enough for guests, but easy enough for a weeknight meal.

overhead photo of linguine with clams in a large skillet, garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

For YEARS I have been craving this recipe.

My mom used to make me Linguine with Clams for my birthday. Giving me the option to request anything my heart desired, I always always picked her Clam Linguine.

But, I never had the foresight to write the recipe down. So it was lost when I lost her . . . or so I thought!

Recently, my dad sent me a few recipes from my childhood (including this Broccoli Pasta), and a recipe for linguine and clams was in there. My wonderful husband made it for me for my birthday.

It was close, but it wasn’t quite the recipe. But with a few tweaks, we have it. Just as delicious as I always remembered it, and I think you are going to love it too.

HOW TO MAKE LINGUINE WITH CLAMS

This recipe comes together so simply. I opted to use canned clams, because they are so easy to keep on hand. Additionally, they are just easier to eat. But, you could certainly use fresh baby clams and clam juice.

  1. Cook your linguine according to package instructions.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil prep everything else. This is important to keeping this a quick meal.
  3. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil.
  4. Add in white wine, lemon juice, and 1 cup of reserved liquid from the canned clams. Simmer down for 10 minutes.
  5. Toss the cooked linguine and clams with the sauce, and enjoy!

Linguine with clam sauce is such a delightfully simple but comforting dish!

side view close up look at a large metal skillet filled with linguine with clam sauce recipe garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

MAKING THE CLAM SAUCE

A big part of what makes this recipe special is the clam sauce. There are three parts to it: white wine, lemon juice, and clam juice.

We can get the clam juice right from the canned clams. Drain the juice from the cans, until you get 1 cup.

We add the lemon juice, white wine, and clam juice to the sautéed onions and garlic and let it simmer for 10 minutes. It will reduce and become rich, and delicious.

MAKING THIS WTHOUT WINE

If you don’t cook with alcohol or are cooking for someone who can’t have wine, you can replace the white wine with additional clam juice. You should have enough with the two cans of clams you have.

The taste will be slightly different than the recipe I have here, but it will still be delicious and worth making.

overhead view of a small plate of clam linguine recipe twisted up in a fork, garnished with fresh parsley and with two lemon wedges

THE IMPORTANCE OF MULTI TASKING

The way we keep this recipe quick is by multi tasking. Resist the urge to prepare all your ingredients as the first step.

Instead, start your water for your linguine right away. While the water is coming to a boil, chop your onion, mince your garlic, and measure out your other ingredients.

Your linguine will likely be done before it is time to toss it with the sauce. If it sits for too long, it might start to stick together. You can give it a quick rinse with warm water, draining it well, and then add it to the sauce for easy tossing.

pulled back overhead view of a skillet filled with linguine with clam sauce, garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CLAM LINGUINE

I’m going to be real honest. A quiet house, a fork, and that entire skillet sounds pretty good to me right now.

But if I have to be civilized, then we can make some side dishes that will pair well with this.

The recipes below were chosen specifically because of how well their flavors will pair with the fresh taste of this dish, but also because they are gorgeous and great for entertaining.

This Arugula Salad is so simple, but the subtle lemon flavor in this will be perfect with the linguine and clam sauce.

My Bacon Wrapped Asparagus is an easy recipe to throw together, but it will present so well for guests. Or your could go even simpler with Oven Roasted Asparagus.

This Pea Soup Recipe, is ridiculously simple but would impress guests. It’s also light, so perfect for pairing with a pasta dish.

If you make my Clam Linguine Recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up overhead view of a skillet with linguine and clams with a spoon and fork in in the pan, garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges
overhead photo of linguine with clams in a large skillet, garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges
4.5 from 2 votes

Clam Linguine

Serves: 4 servings
(tap # to scale)
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Linguine with Clams is an easy dinner than comes together in under 30 minutes. It is fancy enough for guests, but easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound linguine cooked according to package instructions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepepr
  • 1/3 cup white wine I used Pinot Grigio, but any non sweet wine will do
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 13 ounces minced clams (2 6.5 ounce cans) – reserve the juice from the cans
  • fresh parsley minced (for serving)

Instructions

  • Cook the linguine according to package instructions.
  • While the water for the linguine is coming to a boil, chop the onion and garlic, and measure out the other ingredients.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, lemon juice, and 1 cup of the juice from the clams (not the clams themselves) to the skillet. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the clams and the cooked linguine to the skillet. Toss to combine and serve with fresh parsley.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
overhead photo of linguine with clams in a large skillet, garnished with fresh parsley and two lemon wedges

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Clam Linguine

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Shaban Prela says

    Very good thank you

    • Lisa Longley says

      You’re welcome, Shaban!

  2. Carl Pirro says

    Great recipe Lisa, I make this dish same way, except lemon juice. Will try juice next time. Thank you again for a great recipe.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You’ll have to tell me what you think, Carl!

  3. Linn says

    5 stars
    This Is GREAT Lisa! THANKS…Better than the (Awesome) Progresso I’ve been eating All My Life- Or Order @ Restaurants!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope it becomes a family favorite Linn!

  4. KATHY WILLIAMS says

    Sounds wonderful!!! I am making this tonight using clams my grandson caught.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you loved it Kathy, let me know!

  5. Christy says

    4 stars
    Our family loves clams and this recipe. In the Pacific Northwest however, the only change we made was using fresh clams in the shell and buy a bottle of clam nectar fornthe sauce. Sometimes, add crispy bacon bits when serving. And of course some crunchy french bread for soaking up the sauce!

    • Lisa Longley says

      The crunchy bread is perfect for this!

  6. Mary Wegner says

    I saw your recipe for Linguine and Clams. Reminded me that I haven’t made this in a very long time and how much I love it. Made this last night for dinner. My husband made yummy 😋 sounds all thru the meal!!!!Thanks for posting this.

    • Lisa Longley says

      That’s so great to hear! Thank you for coming back to tell me, Mary!

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