Linguine with Clam Sauce

We do think that our Linguine with Clam Sauce recipe is the best! A creamy, lemony sauce made with white wine and tons of chopped clams. Finish off with a pinch of red pepper flakes for a mild, background heat.

Making restaurant worthy pasta dishes are so easy to do at home, just a few simple ingredients is all you need to get started. Also try our Classic Beef Lasagna and our family favorite recipe for Eggplant Parmesan!

Linguine with clam sauce in a grey bowl with bread

Easy Linguine With Clams Recipe

Sure there are those fancy versions of Linguine with Clams Sauce that you get at restaurants. They have those beautiful whole clams tucked in the pasta, usually in a broth bases, wine infused sauce. Delicious.

But when we make Linguine with Clam Sauce at home, we make it this way. With canned, chopped clams, tons (I mean tons) of garlic and the most addicting lemon cream sauce you’ve ever tasted.

A bonus is that this pasta recipe only takes about 25 minutes from start to finish so it’s as perfect for an everyday dinner as it is for date night or a dinner party.

How Do You Make Linguine with Clams?

Start by cooking a lot of garlic in olive oil. This pasta dish is definitely one that calls for a good amount of garlic, in my opinion, but you can cut it down if you must.

The key here is to cook this garlic over low heat for a couple of minutes. Don’t let the garlic get brown or else the flavor will be bitter, and that won’t make for a delicious Linguine with Clam Sauce.

garlic cooking in olive oil

Now add the drained chopped clams to the garlic and cook them for about 3-4 minutes to blend the flavors together. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour, cook for a minute and then pour in your favorite brand of white wine.

We’re looking for a dryer wine here, not a sweet wine like a Riesling. Anything like a chardonnay or pinot grigio, even a dry champagne like a brut will work. Scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet and let the wine cook out for a minute.

Now it’s time for the good stuff, pour in heavy cream, a pat or two of butter, clam juice and parmesan cheese. Finish the sauce off with salt and crushed red pepper to taste and a splash of fresh lemon juice.

linguine with clams in a pot with tongs

Can You Use The Clam Juice From The Canned Clams?

You can, but it does tend to get a little gritty. Some recipes for Linguine with Clam Sauce call for draining and reserving the clam juice but I find that just grabbing a bottle of clam juice is a safer bet.

I’ve done it both ways and even after careful straining you’ll still get some sand with the juice that’s drained from the can. And since clam juice is really an inexpensive purchase it’s an easy fix.

Pasta recipe with chopped clams in a creamy, lemony sauce

Can You Use Fresh Clams For This Pasta Recipe?

If for some reason you have fresh clams laying around, or just prefer using fresh clams the answer is of course, yes. You’ll need about a pound of fresh clams that have been cleaned, steamed and chopped.

I’ve even seen fresh, chopped clams at some seafood counters sold in pound or half pound containers which his an excellent choice if you don’t like using canned clams.

One tip that I have when using canned clams is to drain them and give them a good rinse to take off any of that tinned flavor that may be left behind.

Linguine with Clam Sauce in a bowl with toasted bread pieces

Looking For More Pasta Recipes?

Pasta recipe with chopped clams in a creamy, lemony sauce

Linguine with Clam Sauce

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Linguine with Clam Sauce is so easy to make at home! We love this version that has a creamy, lemony sauce with tons of chopped clams!



  • 1 pound linguine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 29 ounce can chopped clams, drained
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup clam juice (see note)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Fresh black pepper to taste (optional)
  • Kosher salt if needed
  • Grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley for garnish


  1. Cook the linguine according to the package directions. Drain and return back to the pot with just a little olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes while stirring so the garlic doesn’t brown. Add the chopped clams and cook for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stir and cook 1 minute longer.
  3. Carefully pour in the wine, scraping up the bottom of the skillet as you stir. Let the wine simmer for 1 minute to reduce, then add the clam juice, heavy cream, butter. and parmesan cheese. Stir to combine the sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Add the lemon juice and crushed red pepper then taste the sauce for seasonings. Add salt and black pepper if desired.
  5. Pour the sauce over the cooked linguine and stir to combine. Add fresh chopped parsley and more parmesan cheese for serving.

Recipe Notes

I prefer to buy clam juice in a bottle instead of saving the drained juice from the clams as it can be gritty, even after straining.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

You Might Also Like:

9 Responses
  1. Lis

    I just made this and came to say thank you. This is delicious 😋 I didn’t change anything except topped with cooked shrimp. Oh!

  2. Colleen

    Been searching for years for a recipe that simulates my husband’s favorite restaurant version… and this is it!!! Did not have wine, so substituted with chicken stock, otherwise no changes as instructed. Yummy!

  3. Melinda

    BEST EVER! We have ordered out and gone to dinner to enjoy this dish. Have not had a better flavored version than this. We will continue to make this recipe every time we want Linguine & Clams! In fact we are making this tonight. Thanks again

  4. Megan

    Absolutely delish!!! Made it exactly as the recipe states and wouldn’t change a thing – except that the yield I believe serves 4 as we all wanted more clam sauce!!

  5. David

    I just made and ate this. OMG!!! Heavenly!
    Better than in any 5 star restaurant I’ve had it! I have half of it left and am going to freeze it, no way am I gonna waste this masterpiece. Im drinking some of the Chardonnay with it. Thank you so much for posting this. I’ll be add this to my repeat recipes.

  6. Sherri

    This is a great recipe! I use chopped and minced clams for a variation. I’ve been making it like this for yrs with the exception of the wine? What was I thinking lol! Great addition and taste!!

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Cocktails and Drinks

Side “Bar”

Try some of the cocktails and drinks we’re mixing up this week!