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Best Spanish Clams Recipe [Almejas a la Española]

Seafood is one of the richest and most sophisticated cuisines in the world, but some people simply do not grasp it or love to eat it but find it very difficult to cook.

If you are a seafood lover and want to start cooking it yourself, or if you still don’t find its charm but want to give it a try, then you are in the right place. 

In this article, we will tell you everything about the famous Spanish clams.

Best Spanish Clams Recipe [Almejas a la Española]

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From how to cook clams to how to eat clams, here we will cover all the points of this recipe and you will find all the necessary information to make it and be able to eat some delicious almejas.

Background of the Dish

almejas a la marinera

Spanish clams are one of the oldest and most characteristic recipes from southern Spain. 

Although in Spain there are different recipes with clams, this one has the peculiarity that it does not have tomato, only onion, garlic, and wine to accompany the clams.

If you are wondering what are clams, they are the bivalve mollusks that live buried in the sand on the sea coast, and for that same reason, there are so many in Andalucia.

The recipe unites the region’s best flavors, with a large presence of garlic, onion and clams, and white wine (or sherry to make it more Andalusian). 

Nowadays, you can find it in any restaurant as a tapas or as a main dish.

Pin for later!

Are you looking for a Spanish clams recipe? The almejas a la marinera is a simple and tasty clam recipe from Spain that will change the way you are cooking clams. This is the best clam recipe, all thanks to its savory, Spanish-style sauce that accompanies these clams. The clams recipe can be done in under 1 hour and you won't need a lot of ingredients for the sauce, and you can make the recipe with whatever types of clams you like. #spanishclams #clamsrecipe #clams #almejasalamarinera #seafood

Things You’ll Need for Spanish Clams

To make the best clam recipe, you only need clams, wine (which can be replaced with broth), onion, and garlic. 

The equipment is just a pan, that’s how easy it is to follow this recipe.

clam recipe

Ingredients

  • 500g clams
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine (replaceable with fish broth)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make Spanish Clams – Step by Step Guide

how to cook clams
  1. The first step in this clams recipe is to put the clams in the sink and clean them with cold water, soak them for a couple of minutes in the water to release all the sand they may have. If you bought them frozen they usually come clean, but if you fished them yourself or bought them at a fish shop, you will have to clean them more carefully.
  1. Since this is a recipe for almejas marinera, you have to chop an onion and mince the garlic. Put some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion with the garlic cloves for a couple of minutes.
  1. Once they begin to brown, add the flour and cook while stirring with a spoon (better if it’s wooden) so it doesn’t burn. Remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds, and add the paprika then you can continue mixing.
  1. For the next step, put the pan back on the fire (at medium to high heat), and put the wine in. If you don’t want to use alcohol you can substitute it with fish broth.
  1. When it warms up a bit, add the clams. As the clams open, that means they are ready to be eaten. You can remove them as they open and put them in a bowl. The almejas usually take between 5 to 15 minutes to get cooked with this method.
  1. If the clams do not open, then you will have to discard them because it means that they are bad. The remaining liquid in the pan will be the sauce, so pour it over the tray with clams and put some fresh chopped parsley on top when serving.

Substitution of Ingredients

clams dishes

This clams recipe has clam as its main ingredient, so it is the only one that should not be replaced. 

The clam used here is the typical quahog that is sold in all stores, but if you want you can replace it with different types of clams (adapting the cooking time).

If you are looking for small clams, the ones called manila, or the typical mussels can be a good option.

Being a recipe for Almejas a la Marinera, it has onion and garlic, which also gives it a very Andalusian flavor. 

In any case, you can choose to remove it if you don’t like it and add another seasoning so that it doesn’t lose flavor.

You can also add more vegetables that add flavor, such as chopped peppers, and chives, or add a larger amount of onion and garlic.

If you loved this recipe, we encourage you to try other seafood recipes from Spain such as the Spanish seafood stew, Gambas al pil pil, or the fried baby squid.

Tips on Serving Spanish Clams

spanish clams dish

This is one of the best clam recipes because after making them they are more than ready to be served. 

This is because you do not have to make a separate sauce since the broth or cooking juice itself is transformed into a sauce thanks to the tablespoon of flour.

You can put it on top when serving, or if you want the sauce to be thicker, add one more tablespoon of flour. 

Now if you want it to be more liquid, or transform it into a Spanish seafood soup, add more broth or water.

This clam dish can be served for lunch or dinner, and you can use it as the primary protein (if you accompany it with chips or salad) or as a side dish, a tapa, or a starter for the main dish.

How to Store Spanish Clams

How to Store Spanish Clams

As with other clam dishes, storing them can be the most tricky part. Not because it is impossible, but because you must do it carefully.

You should always let the Spanish clams come to room temperature before any type of storage, otherwise, they will take on a musty taste and may form fungi.

So once you’re done making the clam recipe, let it sit at room temperature if you’re not going to serve it right away. 

Then put it in a Tupperware or cover it with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag.

Then you can store these Almejas in the freezer for up to 30 days, or in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you freeze them, then let the Alemjas thaw overnight in the fridge before eating them. 

Recipe Card: Spanish Clams Recipe

Yield: 4

Spanish Clams Recipe

spanish clams recipe

Seafood is one of the richest and most sophisticated cuisines in the world. You might be one of those people who love to eat them but find it too difficult to prepare them at home.

If you are a seafood lover and want to start cooking it yourself, or if you still don't find its charm but want to give it a try, then you are in the right place.

Learn how to cook and eat Spanish clams, plus other tips and secrets to make the best dish ever.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g clams
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 cup (240ml) white wine (replaceable with fish broth)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the clams in the sink and clean them with cold water, let them soak for a couple of minutes with cold water to release all the sand they may have. If you bought them frozen they usually come quite clean, but if you fished them yourself or bought them at a fish shop then you will have to clean them more carefully.
  2. Chop an onion and mince the garlic. Put some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion together with the garlic cloves for a couple of minutes.
  3. When they begin to brown, add the flour and cook while stirring with a spoon (better if it's wooden) so it doesn't burn. Remove the pan from the heat for a few seconds and add the paprika and continue mixing.
  4. Put the pan back on the fire, and put the wine in. If you don't want to use alcohol you can substitute it with fish broth.
  5. When it warms up a bit, add the clams. As the clams open, that means they are ready to be eaten. You can remove them as they open and put them in a bowl.
  6. If the clams do not open, then you will have to discard them because it means that they are bad. The remaining liquid in the pan will be like some kind of sauce, so pour it over the tray with clams and put some fresh chopped parsley on top when serving.

Notes

Although there are different types of clams, this recipe is made with the typical quahog in mind.

You can use another, but you will have to check the cooking time to adapt it.

Paprika is the best seasoning for this clams dish, but you can use smoked paprika, turmeric, more pepper, onion, or garlic powder, basically anything you like.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 196Total Fat 7.5gSaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 458mgCarbohydrates 21.1gFiber 1.9gSugar 6gProtein 5g

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