No matter how far you live from the beach, this rain-or-shine stovetop clambake is easy to make and the perfect solution for seafood lovers everywhere.

For most people, the mention of a traditional New England clambake conjures quintessential images of a coastal summer – an empty beach, rolling waves, a smoky fire and an abundance of fresh lobsters and clams.

Fortunately, you don’t need to live near the beach to experience those great flavors when you follow our guidelines for preparing a clambake on top of the stove.

It’s easy to do, surprisingly quick and a great casual meal to enjoy with friends.

Stovetop Clambake

How to Make a Stovetop Clambake

Our stovetop clambake includes all the elements of the classic seaside version; mussels, clams, smoked sausage, potatoes and fresh corn and simple instructions to ensure all those great ingredients are cooked to perfection in about thirty minutes.

Here’s a quick overview of how the clambake is prepared. Details on ingredient quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found in the printable recipe below.

Steamed Lobster

What You’ll Need

  • Live lobsters
  • Mussels
  • Littleneck clams
  • Ears of fresh corn
  • Red potatoes
  • Smoked sausage
  • Butter
  • Lemons
  • Large stockpots with tight-fitting lids
  • Cheesecloth
  • Nut crackers, seafood picks, seafood forks

To begin preparing your clambake, par-cook the potatoes, rinse the clams and trim any “beards” from the mussels.

Once that’s done, lay a combination of mussels and clams out on some cheesecloth, pull up the corners and tie them to fashion a little bag.

Next you need to begin layering the ingredients into the stockpots in the following order:

  • Chunks of smoked sausage (putting the sausage on the bottom infuses all the other ingredients with a hint of smoky flavor).
  • Mussels and clams (they will give off liquid that to steam the other ingredients).
  • Potatoes (par cooking ensures they’ll be done when your seafood is ready).
  • Corn (the corn serves as a shelf to rest the lobsters on to ensure even cooking).
  • Lobsters (when the lobsters are done you can be sure everything else is properly cooked).

Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes until the lobsters turn bright red and you’re ready to serve.

Classic New England Clambake

What to Drink With Your Clambake

Our favorite wine to serve with this meal is a dry Rosé, but other good choices include food-friendly whites like Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.

If you prefer beer, go with a summer shandy, your favorite summer ale or an all-round classic like Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

New England Clambake - Clams, Sausage, Corn, Lobster
New England Clambake - Lobster, Clams, Mussels
Stovetop Clambake

Stovetop Clambake

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

A large stockpot is all you need to make a delicious, New England-style clambake complete with lobster, clams, mussels, sausage, potatoes and corn.


  • 6 lobsters (1 to 1-1/4 lbs each)
  • 3 lbs mussels
  • 6 lbs littleneck clams
  • 6 ears fresh corn, husked
  • 1-1/2 lbs red potatoes
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 3 lemons, cut into wedges

Equipment required:

  • 2 very large stockpots with tight-fitting lids
  • Cheesecloth
  • Nutcrackers, seafood picks & forks


  1. Scrub the potatoes and depending on their size, either halve or quarter them to make 1-1/2-inch chunks.
  2. Place them in one of the stock pots and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of salt, bring the water to a boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Slice the sausage into 3/8-inch thick rounds and scatter in the bottom of the stockpots.
  4. Rinse the mussels under cool running water and trim any "beards" with a sharp knife. Rinse and inspect the clams in the same manner.
  5. Lay out 2 large squares of cheesecloth and divide a combination of mussels and clams between them. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and tie to form a loose-fitting "bag."
  6. Lay the "bags" on top of the sausage rounds, then scatter the potatoes on top. Add the corn next, then lay the lobsters on top.
  7. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lobsters turn bright red. Note: It is not necessary to add water.
  8. While the seafood cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan and keep warm.
  9. To serve, transfer the seafood and corn to a large platter and the sausage and potatoes to a bowl.
  10. Set out the lemon wedges, and pour the butter into individual ramekins for dipping. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 877Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 342mgSodium: 1823mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 89g

Note: Nutrition information is estimated and may vary from your actual results.