Clams With Chorizo and Tomatoes
Clams With Chorizo and Tomatoes

Clams are a quick and easy meal, perfect for a weeknight family dinner or a weekend with guests. Spanish chorizo ​​adds just enough of a smoky, spicy kick. Make sure to serve these bouillon-packed mussels with crusty bread to soak up every last bite!

In this recipe

  • The best mussels
  • Tips for fresh mussels
  • Clean mussels
  • What is Spanish Chorizo?
  • Swaps and Substitutions
  • Cook mussels
  • Side dishes
  • warm up

Although clams are available year-round, I eat most clams during the summer months. After all, clam pies are a consummate summer affair, and chowder is a staple of the season for me.

Since most of us are staying close to home right now, I figured a big pile of seashells would be a perfect way to do a bit of easy chair travel. The inspiration for these simmering mussels comes from Spain, thanks to the smoky chorizo ​​essential to the dish. When cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes and wine, the chorizo ​​adds incredible flavor to the broth. Then all you have to do is add a bunch of mussels, simmer until they open, and serve them in shallow bowls with plenty of broth.

The fact that mussels are on the affordable end of the seafood spectrum makes this recipe a budget-friendly way to travel the world.

What are the best mussels for this recipe?

The first order of business is to get fresh clams.

This recipe was created specifically for littleneck mussels. They are a medium-sized, hard-shelled clam that is both fleshy and tender. If you can’t find Littlenecks, other varieties such as Cherrystones, Steamers, and Manila will also work.

This is how you know if your mussels are fresh

One bad clam can ruin an entire pot, so when you’re ready to cook, give your clams a chance. Mussels should be closed. If any are slightly ajar, pat them on the counter. If they close, they’re good to go. If not, toss them along with any cracked or broken ones.

Mussels should be alive when you buy them and stay that way until ready to cook. Therefore My goal is to cook mussels within a day or so of purchase, although they can keep for several days in the refrigerator. At home, rinse under running water, place in a bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and refrigerate until ready to cook.

How to clean clams

There is no shortage of opinions on the best way to clean mussels. Clams can be gritty creatures full of the sand they filter for food.

Today, most commercially sold mussels are stored in tanks after harvest, where they “clean” the sand before going to market. In this case, no additional cleaning is required.

If you dig up clams yourself (or buy them from a small supplier who may not clean them for you), place them in a bowl of seawater or cool, salted water, covered with a dishcloth, for 30 minutes. You can keep these on the counter or put them in the fridge. It doesn’t matter either way. Then rinse well before cooking and loosen dirt with your thumbs

What is Spanish Chorizo?

Spanish chorizo ​​is a hard, dried sausage that looks a bit like hot peppers. It has an appealing bite and a deep flavor that comes from smoked chilies (don’t confuse it with Mexican chorizo, which is usually fresh and requires cooking).

Spanish chorizo ​​is excellent sliced ​​and eaten out of hand, like hard salami, or incorporated into myriad dishes, from paella to patatas bravas. Although it’s a rich and fatty food, it’s so full-bodied that a small amount goes a long way.

Swaps and Substitutions

  • Canned vs Fresh Mussels: This recipe is for fresh mussels. That being said, if fresh clams are nowhere to be found, use two 10-ounce cans of whole baby clams along with the juice from one can. Want to learn more about cooking with canned mussels? Read our guide: How to cook with canned clams.
  • No pork, no problem: For pescetarians and those who don’t eat pork, make this with a few ounces of a vegetarian chorizo, like soyrizo. Crumble into the pan when you add the garlic and shred like taco meat until cooked through.

The best way to cook mussels

This recipe uses a fairly classic method of cooking mussels. You start by preparing a flavorful broth with onions, garlic, white wine and chorizo. Once that is done, add the mussels, cover and simmer until done.

Mussels make life easy for the home cook as they provide a built in signal of when they are cooked. Once the shells open wide, the mussels are done. Remove lid and serve.

What to serve with chorizo ​​mussels

A simple, crunchy salad with a vinaigrette and the rest of the wine you used with the mussels is all you need to complete the meal.

If you really want to go with the Spanish theme, serve up a pre-dinner bowl of romesco with crunchy veggies to nibble on.

How to reheat leftover mussels

You can reheat leftover clams in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat until warm. If you want to get creative with leftovers, remove the mussels from the shell and spoon them over cooked rice or spaghetti. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Precious!

More delicious mussel recipes!

  • How to cook and eat steamed clams
  • Linguine with mussel sauce
  • Baked stuffed mussels
  • Angel Hair Pasta with clams, cherry tomatoes and basil
  • Clam chowder with corn
  • Paella with seafood

Mussels with chorizo ​​​​and tomatoes

preparation time
20 minutes

cooking time
20 minutes

total time
40 minutes

4 servings


For the mussels:

  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 big yellow onionchopped

  • 4 cloves garlicchopped

  • 2 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) Spanish chorizoSkin (case) removed and thinly sliced

  • 2 Middle tomatoeschopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (Optional)

  • 1 Cup dry White wine

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 3 1/2 lb small shells

  • 1 tablespoon Salted butter

  • 1/3 Cup coarsely chopped parsley

For the bread:

  • 1 loaf Crusty Breadsuch as sourdough, baguette, Italian or ciabatta

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Kosher salt


  1. Sort mussels:

    Discard cracked or broken shells. When mussels are slightly open, pat them on the counter. If they don’t close, throw them away.

  2. Prepare mussels:

    If you harvested the clams yourself or bought them from a small supplier, soak them in cool, salted water, covered with a dishcloth to rid them of sand, for 30 minutes. Rinse mussels in the sink under cold water and rub off dirt with your thumbs.

  3. Prepare broth:

    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch Oven Set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chorizo ​​and sauté for a few more minutes to give the veggies a smoky flavor.

    Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, white wine and water and increase the heat so the liquid is gently simmering. Cook for a few more minutes to allow the tomatoes to soften and allow the flavors to develop.

  4. Cook mussels:

    Add the mussels, cover with a lid and simmer until the mussels open, about 10 minutes. Break the butter into pieces and add to the pan, stir and sprinkle with parsley. Turn off the heater.

  5. Toast the bread:

    While the mussels are cooking, cut several thick slices of bread (one or two slices per person is a good start), brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast on a hot grill or under a grill. This should only take a minute or two. When done, set aside and serve with mussels.

  6. Surcharge:

    Place the mussels and broth in shallow bowls and place a slice of bread next to them.

nutritional information (per serving)
1334 calories
31g Fat
122g carbohydrates
124g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!