Baked Clam Dip is a warm, creamy dip that features all of the flavors of baked clams with much less work! Chopped clams are cooked with onion, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and spices for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Last week I posted a recipe for struffoli, which stands as my favorite dessert we enjoy every year at Christmas. So it’s only fitting that I share a family recipe that we absolutely devour as a Christmas Eve appetizer – baked clam dip. It features all of the savory flavors that people have come to love in baked clams – including the clams themselves – in a much easier to prepare version.
Basically, it feels a little dangerous to have a speedy shortcut way to indulge in an appetizer classic. This dip is that good.
Canned chopped clams are what make this baked clam dip much simpler to make. Now I’ll admit that what began as a once-a-year Christmas Eve recipe has slowly crept into an appetizer that makes an appearance on multiple special occasions, so keeping two (or more likely, four) cans of clams in the pantry is the norm around here. All of the other ingredients like onion, olive oil, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, and spices are always on hand, so throw in cans of clams two at a time, and you’re less than an hour away from a warm, creamy, and crowd-pleasing dip. My appetizer secret weapon.
This baked clam dip recipe yields about 20 oz of dip, making it a great size for a gathering. If the craving hits when it’s just you and a small crowd (or…just you), leftover dip can be refrigerated and reheated no problem. Or you can make half the recipe! Thankfully the ingredients are easily halved.
When my mom makes this recipe, she bakes it in some sort of oven-safe crock dish that I cannot find online no matter what I Google. I used this dish, which has a 17-oz capacity. Because there’s NO way I can let any bit of this baked clam dip go to waste, I filled exactly one greased muffin cup in addition to this dish and baked them at the same time. At first I was bummed, but you know what? It’s genius. If you’re preparing this dip for a get-together, you can enjoy your own personal portion before guests arrive without mussing up the main dish. 😉
Baked Clam Dip
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 6.5-oz cans chopped clams in clam juice (retain the juice)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp hot sauce (optional)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp dried parsley
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Add olive oil to a skillet and set over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute for a few minutes until the onion is golden.
- Turn off the heat and add the two cans of clams, including the juice. Add Parmesan, hot sauce, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, parsley, and thyme and stir to combine.
- Add breadcrumbs and stir as the mixture thickens.
- Transfer dip to a greased baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the crust around the edges is golden brown. Serve warm with crackers.
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