Steamed Clams in Creamy Beer Sauce Recipe

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 16 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x



  • 23 pounds little neck clams
  • 2 cups ale or pale ale
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, juice squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Serve with toasted french bread


  1. Rinse the clams under cool water, scrubbing any sand or dirt off the shells. Discard any that are open and won’t close when tapped on a firm surface (these are dead). Set aside.
  2. In a large lidded saucepan, add the beer, onion, butter, lemon juice, garlic, basil, and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Carefully add the clams to the simmering sauce, then cover and steam until fully opened, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the clams are steaming, toast slices of french bread for dipping.
  4. After the 5 minutes is up, add the cream to the saucepan, stir once, and let simmer for one additional minute.
  5. Serve in bowls with creamy ale sauce so the clams stay warm. Serve with toasted french bread.