Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth

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Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth is a delicious appetizer or entree that will bring the taste of the ocean right to your plate.

It was early. A strip of red visible on the horizon. I made my way out the door with anything I could throw on. I didn’t want to miss it. Out of breath and still trying to shake off the nights’ sleep, the ground beneath shifted from pavement to a soft crunching. Transfixed, I stood watching the subtle shift in clouds as they gave way to the morning sun. There’s nothing like a beach sunrise. A winter beach sunrise to be exact.

I did a 360 sweep and noticed I was the only one on the beach. I sat in the sand oblivious to the cold, lost in the rhythmic lapping of waves. The beauty of this place bewitches me, leaves me tormented and euphoric every time. I wanted to take it in as much as I could in the short time available.

Emotions flowed through me ranging from elation to melancholy, knowing that in just a few short hours, I’ll have nothing more than videos and photos of this place. I tried shaking off the woeful feeling and started walking. Naturally, the thing that comes up most in my repertoire of thoughts, is food. Last night’s food. In particular the chorizo and littleneck clams appetizer that left me wanting more. It was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.

 Chorizo with little neck clams and pepper broth

One of the obsessive things I do when going out to eat is trying to figure out how the chef made a certain dish. What’s the key ingredient? What makes it stand out? I decided to seek validation…I wanted to know; was it dry basil? When the waitress returned nodding cheerfully, I nearly exploded with excitement. Perhaps it was the two glasses of wine that made me chattier than normal, but I had an entire discussion with her about basil. My husband half-embarrassed, took advantage of my being deep in conversation to polish off the last of the chorizo and littleneck clams.

So there I was, frozen on the beach and hardly realizing it, about a mile from the hotel, thinking about chorizo with littleneck clams. The only good thing about leaving would be getting to recipe test this thing at home. I was excited about its simplicity and rich taste.

This Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth recipe is: 

  • Paleo
  • Whole 30
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Ready in 20 minutes 
  • Perfect as an appetizer or entree

Ingredients for Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth?

  • Chorizo Sausage
  • Littleneck clams
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Onion
  • Red pepper
  • Garlic
  • Dried basil
  • White wine or broth
  • Italian parsley 

Tips and substitutions 

Littleneck Clams 

You can usually find clams at any seafood store or local market and my experience has been that they come in a 50 count bag. So for this recipe, you’ll need roughly 50 of them. 

Chorizo sausage 

You can find chorizo sausage pretty much anywhere and for this recipe, you’ll need a fully cooked sausage that just needs some warming through. 

If you’re following a paleo or whole 30 lifestyle, be sure to look for a brand that is marked compliant or that does not have any added sugar.

Dried Basil

While I absolutely love fresh basil, this recipe needs the earthy taste you can only get from dried basil. It’s a key ingredient in this simple dish and available everywhere. 

An appetizer or entree? 

That’s for you to decide! You can use this Littleneck clam dish as an appetizer or convert it to a main dish by simply adding the pasta of your choice. I find it works wonderfully with chickpea spaghetti or angel hair pasta. It needs a delicate noodle to go with the delicate flavors.  

Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth

Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Chorizo and Littleneck Clams in Red Pepper Broth is a delicious appetizer or entree that will bring the taste of the ocean to your plate.


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 link organic cured chorizo cut into small pieces
  • 50 littleneck clams
  • 1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 organic red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely mined
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dry white wine or 1 cup broth if whole 30
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley


    1. Preheat dutch oven. Add olive oil, onion, red pepper, and salt and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes until onion is slightly caramelized and pepper is soft.

    2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

    3. Next, add dried basil, chorizo, and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high, and clams. Cover and cook on high heat for 7-8 minutes. Do not open the lid during this time. Once cooked, discard any clams that haven’t opened.

    4. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately. Pairs very well with an Albarino.

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Do you find this recipe helpful? Your shares would be much appreciated! You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram . If you make and like a recipe, tag me on Instagram and I'd love to share your posts in stories! x - Daniela

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  • Reply
    Lindsey Dietz
    April 3, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve never had a meal like this! But I love chorizo!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      April 3, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks Lindsey! I do love chorizo too…so delicious!

  • Reply
    Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica
    April 3, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Loved your story. I hear you re mixed emotions of torment/euphoria in a beautiful place. Also when I get caught up in herb ingredient-type conversations with restaurant servers/chefs while my beloved tries to ignore me. (lol)
    Not often but a few times yearly, I do make a simple clam dish and will pin this one to try next time. That IS so interesting re the dried basil — not something I use often (prefer fresh) but it does impart a subtle ‘other flavor’, doesn’t it? Thanks for a great post/recipe Daniela!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      April 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      Thank you Carol! I so appreciate that! And I’m with you there, I always prefer fresh basil and don’t use dry basil much at all but this I could pick out because it was subtle…it gave it just a hint of something….

  • Reply
    April 3, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Hrm, |I’m not a big clam person but I do adore the sounds of that red pepper broth!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      April 3, 2018 at 5:38 pm

      It can certainly work with other dishes!

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