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Linguine with clam sauce is a quick, easy dinner that’s perfect for busy evenings — and it’s ready in just 20 minutes! With simple ingredients liked chopped canned clams, white wine, olive oil, butter, garlic, and parsley, it’s a flavorful and affordable, restaurant-quality dish.

Overhead shot of hands eating from a bowl of linguine with clam sauce.
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Linguine with Clam Sauce | 1-Minute Video
  2. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  3. Ingredients
  4. Directions
  5. Serving Suggestions
  6. Storage Tips
  7. Helpful Tips
  8. Linguine with Clam Sauce Recipe

If you’re looking for even more pasta recipes, be sure to try this dump-and-bake Tuscan chicken pasta, a French onion pasta bake with spinach and mushrooms, our favorite million dollar baked spaghetti, and a pot of roasted vegetable pasta, too!

How to Make Linguine with Clam Sauce | 1-Minute Video

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Quick and Easy. Linguine with white clam sauce is an easy meal that takes advantage of convenient canned clams, so there’s hardly any prep work necessary. You don’t have to fuss with the shells, and you can keep the ingredients stashed in your pantry. Plus, it’s ready from start to finish in about 20 minutes and only requires 5 minutes of prep time!
  • Affordable. This recipe only requires a handful of simple ingredients, which helps to keep the grocery bill down. The pasta and canned clams are also quite inexpensive, and readily available in almost any store.
  • Kid-Friendly. This pasta dish is also a nice way to introduce children to shellfish and seafood. The chopped clams are very small and almost undetectable amidst the buttery garlic sauce. It’s even easy to serve the noodles without any of the clams on the plate, so your kids really just think they’re eating plain pasta in a flavorful sauce. It doesn’t have a fishy, overpowering clam taste, but instead tastes like grown-up buttered noodles. Top each bowl with some Parmesan cheese, parsley, lemon wedges, or crushed red pepper flakes and everyone will love it!

This is my go-to recipe for a quick hit from my kitchen! Easy to make, tastes delicious. Love, love, love this recipe! My family requested I make this for our Christmas Eve dinner (7 fishes) this year! Think this will be added to our other Italian Feast traditions as well!

– Dolores

Linguine with Clams in White Wine Sauce

As opposed to a tomato-based red clam sauce, this linguine with clam sauce features a white sauce made from white wine, butter, olive oil, clam juice, and plenty of garlic (no tomatoes in the mix!). Serve each bowl of pasta with a loaf of crusty bread and a green salad for the ultimate weeknight meal!

Making white wine sauce in a cast iron skillet for linguine and canned clams recipe.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite linguine with clams recipe. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Linguine: a close relative of fettuccine, this pasta includes long, flat strands, but is thinner and narrower than fettuccine. Linguine, which means “little tongues” in Italian, originated in the Liguria region of Italy. Throughout this area, the air is fragrant with salty ocean breezes and the aroma of delicious food cooking. It’s a natural companion for clam sauce, but you can substitute with another pasta shape of your choice. Good alternatives include spaghetti, fettuccine, or angel hair pasta.
  • Canned clams: use two cans of chopped clams for a quick and easy protein option. Make sure that you reserve the juice that the clams are packed in, since this is the flavorful foundation for your white clam sauce.
  • White wine: pick a dry white wine that’s a good quality for drinking, such as Sauvignon Blanc, pinot grigio, or Chardonnay. For an alcohol-free substitute, use chicken broth or extra clam juice instead.
  • Onion and garlic: for savory flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: adds salty umami flavor.
  • Parsley: fresh is best for a bright touch of flavor and color.
Process shot showing how to make linguine with clam sauce.

Directions

It’s funny where recipe ideas come from. This particular dinner was inspired by my obstetrician, who suggested the dish as a great way to enjoy clams, which happen to be a rich source of iron. I have always liked clams (typically of the fried variety), but they don’t exactly make it onto my weekly grocery list. This dinner turned out to be a winner with the entire family – it’s fast, it requires only a few ingredients, and it’s delicious!

I’ve included detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  1. Cook the linguine.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter.
  3. Add the reserved canned clam juice, white wine, and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cooked linguine, chopped clams, and parsley. Toss to combine.
  6. Season with kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
  7. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
  8. Serve the pasta and garnish with desired toppings.
Square overhead shot of a bowl of linguine with clam sauce garnished with lemons and parsley.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the linguine with white clam sauce alongside garlic bread or no-knead focaccia, a classic green salad with red wine vinaigrette or Caesar salad, and garlic roasted broccoli, sauteed zucchini, or roasted asparagus.

Hands holding a piece of French bread alongside a bowl of linguine with clam sauce.

Storage Tips

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat in a skillet over low heat, just until warmed through. You can also reheat individual servings in the microwave for about 30-60 seconds.

I do not recommend freezing this dish. The pasta will have a mushy, gummy texture when thawed.

Linguine with clams in white wine sauce with a side salad and a glass of wine on a wooden table.

Helpful Tips

  • Double all of the ingredients if you’re serving a larger family.
  • Don’t forget to reserve the clam juice from the canned clams — don’t pour it down the drain! This is a critical ingredient for the white clam sauce.
  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water. This is your opportunity to season the linguine itself.
  • Cook the pasta just until it’s barely al dente — tender, but with a firm bite. The linguine will continue to cook in the sauce for a few more minutes, so you don’t want it to be overdone, mushy, or gummy.
  • Use a dry white wine (not a sweet wine) that’s a good quality for drinking, such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chardonnay.
  • With just a few simple ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality options. I prefer fresh parsley and fresh garlic cloves, rather than dried parsley flakes or garlic powder.
  • Garnish each serving with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh lemon wedges or lemon juice, or spicy red-pepper flakes for extra flavor.
Close overhead shot of a bowl of linguine with clam sauce.

What a great recipe! Made it last night and while it was fast and easy for a relatively novice “chef” like myself, above all it was delicious. It’s going into the dinner rotation!

– Daisy

More Easy Pasta Recipes to Try

For more inspiration, check out all of our other pasta recipes!

Square overhead shot of a bowl of linguine with clam sauce garnished with lemons and parsley.

Linguine with Clam Sauce

5 from 20 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 709 kcal
An easy dinner that's full of flavor — and it's ready in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces dry linguine (or other pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans chopped clams, drained and juice reserved
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: grated Parmesan cheese; lemon wedges; crushed red pepper flakes; extra parsley

Instructions

  • Cook linguine just until barely al dente, according to package directions. Drain.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat. When the butter melts, add the onion and garlic. Sauté garlic and onions until starting to soften, about 2-3 minutes.
    Sauteing onion and garlic in a skillet with olive oil and butter.
  • Add ¾ cup of the reserved clam juice, wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently simmer on low for about 10 minutes (so that the flavors come together and the sauce reduces slightly).
    Making white wine sauce in a cast iron skillet for linguine and canned clams recipe.
  • Add cooked linguine, clams, and parsley to the skillet. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, until the sauce is mostly absorbed.
    Process shot showing how to make linguine with clam sauce.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, extra parsley, or fresh lemon wedges.
    Overhead shot of hands eating from a bowl of linguine with clam sauce.

Video

Notes

  • Don’t forget to reserve the clam juice from the canned clams — don’t pour it down the drain! This is a critical ingredient for the white clam sauce.
  • Boil the pasta in a large pot of well-salted water. This is your opportunity to season the linguine itself.
  • Cook the pasta just until it’s barely al dente — tender, but with a firm bite. The linguine will continue to cook in the sauce for a few more minutes, so you don’t want it to be overdone, mushy, or gummy.
  • Use a dry white wine (not a sweet wine) that’s a good quality for drinking, such as sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chardonnay.
  • With just a few simple ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality options. I prefer fresh parsley and fresh garlic cloves, rather than dried parsley flakes or garlic powder.
  • Garnish each serving with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh lemon wedges or lemon juice, or spicy red-pepper flakes for extra flavor.
  • Recipe slightly adapted from DisneyFamily.com.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 of the recipeCalories: 709kcalCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 19gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 155mgPotassium: 360mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 436IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: clam sauce, linguine with canned clams, linguine with clam sauce, linguine with clams, linguine with clams in white wine sauce, linguine with white clam sauce
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in September, 2013. The photos were updated in April, 2024.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Phyllis says:

    Not only are your recipes great but the photos are beautiful!
    Thank you

    1. Blair says:

      Thank you so much for saying that, Phyllis! 🙂

  2. Kristy from Southern In Law says:

    This looks amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten clams before – but I know my Dad loves them so I might have to try this out!

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Kristy! This is definitely the way to try them, since they’re very subtle in this dish. They’re great! 🙂

  3. Carla Patterson says:

    Wow, this meal looks realy tasty <3 Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe with us – I'm sure both me and my family will love it once I prepare it! And it's pretty quick to do as well.

    Cheers

    1. Blair says:

      Thanks, Carla!!! I hope that you enjoy it!

  4. Carla Patterson says:

    Wow, this meal looks realy tasty <3 Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe with us – I'm sure both me and my family will love it once I prepare it! And it's pretty quick to do as well.

    Cheers

  5. Emily says:

    5 stars
    I had no idea clams were full of iron. This sounds delicious, can’t wait t try it!

    1. Blair says:

      It’s so good! 🙂

  6. Christine says:

    5 stars
    Delicious and simple recipe! 4 out of 5 family members loved it

    1. Riki Juster says:

      Did you double the recipe?

      1. Blair says:

        Hey, Riki! I always double the recipe for my family of 5. 🙂

  7. Grammyprepper says:

    If I omit the wine, should I replace it with, say, chicken or vegetable stock?

    1. Blair says:

      Yes! I would substitute with chicken, vegetable, or seafood stock — or even some extra clam juice. 🙂

      1. Mike says:

        I advise to use the wine, it really gives the dish a distinct beautiful taste.

        1. Blair says:

          Thanks, Mike! I agree! 🙂

          1. Beverly Blackwelder says:

            5 stars
            I would add that there are some grocery stores that sell wine without alcohol, for those who prefer not to drink or use alcohol in their cooking. I wonder if those wines would make a nice sub for wine with alcohol??!!! Thanks! Love your recipes and blog. Yours is one of the first I turn to when checking cooking blogs for good recipes!!! Your photography is lovely!

          2. The Seasoned Mom says:

            That’s a good point, Beverly! Thank you so much for your kind words. We truly appreciate your support and are happy to have you here!

  8. Deborah Shryne says:

    5 stars
    Yum yum it was delicious! I goofed and added all the clam juice, about 1 cup, and it was so tasty… hubby and I cleaned our plate. Thanks for the recipe it’s a keeper!

    1. Blair says:

      So glad that you enjoyed it. A little extra clam juice won’t hurt! 🙂 We just enjoyed this again a few days ago. Definitely a favorite in our house, too. Thanks, Deborah!

  9. Louise Forman says:

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday. I used dry vermouth because I didn’t have any open white wine (saw that hint in some other recipe somewhere) and only used 1/3 pound of pasta for the two of us. I also added a pinch of dried thyme and some hot pepper flakes. It’s a keeper.

    1. Blair says:

      Great! So glad that you enjoyed it, Louise!

  10. Victoria says:

    5 stars
    our entire family loves this and I have some picky eaters!

    1. Blair says:

      That’s awesome! Thanks, Victoria!

  11. Gail says:

    5 stars
    When I make this dish I add a can of quartered artichoke hearts and it takes this dish to another level! Yummy

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      That sounds delicious, Gail!

  12. Dolores Williams says:

    5 stars
    This is my go-to recipe for a quick hit from my kitchen! Easy to make, tastes delicious. Love, love, love this recipe! My family requested I make this for our Christmas Eve dinner (7 fishes) this year! Think this will be added to our other Italian Feast traditions as well!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Yay! That’s such high praise, Dolores. Thank you! Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season — linguine included! 🙂

  13. JimmyB says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious! This was one of the few recipes that I have ever seen that came in somewhere close to the preparation time listed. Even my picky eater liked it. His only suggestion was that a bit of lemon juice would have added a bit of brightness to the dish. I followed the recipe almost exactly except for using dried parsley and lately I have been using Maggi Amore instead of Worcestershire sauce. This made 3 nice sized servings. Very EZ to fix and I will be making this again. Thank you Blair!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      That’s great to hear, Jimmy! The lemon juice is a great addition! 🙂

  14. DaisyH says:

    5 stars
    What a great recipe! Made it last night and while it was fast and easy for a relatively novice “chef” like myself, above all it was delicious. It’s going into the dinner rotation!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      That’s great, Daisy. Thank you!

  15. Elizabeth H says:

    5 stars
    ABSOLUTELY KILLER! LOVE this! I have to start eating clams to get my b12 up… so glad I started my first clam dinner I’ve ever made with this recipe!!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Awesome! So glad that you loved it, Elizabeth! 🙂

  16. Sandy says:

    5 stars
    While searching for a clam sauce recipe without heavy cream, I found your recipe. Made it for dinner tonight and loved it! I did add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to the onion & garlic. Sorry to say I didn’t have parsley, but didn’t miss it. Served steamed broccoli on the side. Thank you.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Sounds perfect, Sandy! Thank you!

  17. John says:

    5 stars
    I love linguine with clams. I’ve tried to replicate sone of the best dishes I had in restaraunt, but never seemed to come close…until now. Even my wife agreed this is the best she’s ever had. I used one can chopped AND one can minced clams..It gave it just enough larger chunks, while not overwhelming the dish. But the minced added more flavor more evenly and subtly. Also put the pasta in EXTREMELY aldenti. The stiffer the better. Finish the pasta by mixing it thoroughly and completely thru your concoction. If it’s still too stiff add a skosh more clam juice or wine and let it all soak
    Into the pasta.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thank you, John! So glad that it was a hit!

  18. Debra says:

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. It’s not only simple and quick, but it’s absolutely delicious. We always make a side salad and some crusty bread.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Yum! Thank you so much, Debra!

  19. Barb says:

    5 stars
    Perfect. This is the one!

  20. Vicki says:

    5 stars
    Quick easy to make. One of my go to meals.

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Wonderful! Thank you, Vicki!

  21. Aimee says:

    5 stars
    This is my favorite recipe for this dish now. Thank you!!!!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We’re so happy to hear it, Aimee!

  22. Jean E. Forbes says:

    5 stars
    This is probably the 10th or so time I have made this particular recipe. Today I used local homemade linguine and shaved parm and high quality pino Grigio. It was sensational. I wished I had company. I serve it with buttered bread crumbs on top, local baguette. A favorite!!!j

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      That sounds incredible, Jean! Thank you for sharing!

  23. Judy says:

    Hi Blair, what brand of white wine is your preference for your Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe and do you also have a preferred brand for the chopped clams? I’d love to know.

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Hi Judy! We just recommend using a high-quality dry white wine that’s a good quality for drinking, such as Sauvignon Blanc, pinot grigio, or Chardonnay. We don’t have a particular brand preference. For the clams, we love Snow’s chopped clams! Hope this helps!

  24. Wendy S says:

    This recipe is delicious! The second time I made it, I made a couple changes while doubling the recipe (16 oz. of pasta). I added an extra can of clams. I don’t drink wine, so I added a half cup of extra clam juice instead of the wine and then 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for acidity. Used dry parsley, two teaspoons. My family loved it!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We’re so glad you were able to make it work for you, Wendy! Thank you for trying it out.

  25. Catherine Hankerson says:

    5 stars
    Excellent bear I’ve made!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      Thanks, Catherine!

  26. Anita says:

    I made this exactly to the recipe only I used palm noodles. It was fabulous! We loved it. Thank you!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Anita!

  27. Steve Dill says:

    I add my personal touch by using shallots instead of onion, and I add a pinch of red pepper flakes while the sauce is cooking. Then, right before inserting the clams and linguine, I add some Philadelphia cream cheese, and allow it to melt and blend into the sauce. YUMMY!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Sounds delicious, Steve! We’re so glad you’re able to make the recipe your own.

  28. Liz Bulasko says:

    5 stars
    Well, I just made this and it was quite yummy! And fast. I also liked that it didn’t call for a ton of garlic. Now I did *not* add the Worcestershire. Since that’s so strong-tasting to me and also leaves an afterstaste, I thought it was an odd ingredient for a seafood dish. But I did add a pinch of red pepper flakes toward the end and definitely topped it with some freshly-grated Parmesan before serving. (There’s one school of thought that says Parmesan doesn’t belong on seafood pasta dishes such as this one or scampi but I don’t understand the “no-cheese” mindset.) I also had some baby clams from Portgual in the freezer and some bottled clam juice so I used those instead of canned clams. And I have leftovers!

    1. Blair Lonergan says:

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed it and that you were able to make it work for you, Liz! Thanks for your note!