Spring is in the air, and I love dining al fresco when we can.  I recently made a simple one-dish meal of clams and linguine, which we enjoyed outdoors with a glass of crisp white wine, admiring the spring crop of herbs and veggies we recently planted.

Now I must admit upfront, this is more of a product review than a recipe.  And that’s because the box of frozen clams at Trader Joe’s comes fully seasoned and is delicious as-is.  I added a big squeeze of lemon and a heavy sprinkling of herbs because that’s what I usually do with seafood, but you could make it even easier on yourself and still impress guests.

I learned about Trader Joe’s Steamed Clams from my Japanese hairdresser.  I usually chat with her about best places to get fresh sushi, her favorite sake brands, or travel.  But on my latest visit, we started talking about Trader Joe’s and she went on and on about the frozen clams and how they’re as good as any you’d get at a restaurant.  She keeps them constantly stocked in her freezer.  I hadn’t even noticed the clams until she mentioned them (and how many thousands of times have I shopped there?), but I knew I had to try them.

Trader Joe's Steamer clams

You’ll find Steamer Clams in the freezer case next to other seafood items.  They come in a sealed tray with garlic butter sauce.  Toss all the contents into a frypan and voila!  Done in about 6 minutes.  I chose to squeeze a whole lemon into the sauce for an extra burst of freshness, and I also chopped up some fresh basil leaves from our herb garden.  I think you could also stir 1/4 cup heavy cream into the sauce for extra creaminess.  I also tried a version with Fresh Bruschetta Sauce (one of our favorites!) stirred in, but I felt that the strong tomato & garlic flavor of the bruschetta overpowered the delicate clams.

I served the clams on a bed of linguine pasta.  There was enough sauce in the pan to lightly coat the pasta, but if you like lots of sauce on pasta, you’ll probably need to make extra sauce.  Or you could serve these clams on their own as an appetizer.

Linguine and Clams


  • 8 oz linguine or other pasta
  • 1 (16 oz) box frozen Steamer Clams in Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese (optional)


  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water.
  2. About 5 minutes before pasta is done, cook clams in a frypan according to package instructions.  Drain pasta while clams are cooking.
  3. Add lemon and stir into clams.  Pour clams over pasta, and sprinkle liberally with basil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves 2-3