You can make this White Clam Pizza in 30 minutes with prepared pizza dough! Featuring canned clams, buttery onions, garlic and Pecorino Romano, it's a fabulous appetizer pizza that's perfect for holidays, parties or any Friday night!
My hubby hails from Connecticut, not too far from New Haven, where White Clam Pizza is a thing. A very good thing.
When I discovered people were searching for a clam pizza recipe on Cooking with Mamma C, I knew I needed to make it happen!
Of course, I had to add buttery, sweet onions to complement the garlic, chopped clams and Pecorino. It's similar to a clams casino pizza, minus the bacon.
My guys and I enjoyed testing this multiple times to get it just the way we love it.
We think you'll love it too!
Pizza Dough: You'll need 12 ounces of this Beer Pizza Dough, or you can purchase the dough from a pizzeria. Let it come to room temperature before using it in this recipe.
Canned Clams: We're using fully cooked, canned clams (affiliate link) for a convenient, economical option. Draining and rinsing them will get rid of unwanted chemicals and sodium.
Buy chopped clams, which will have the perfect size and texture for this pizza. Minced clams are too small for my liking, but use what you have.
Pecorino: Made from sheep's milk, Pecorino Romano brings salty, sharp, robust flavor to this White Clam Pizza. I don't recommend substituting Parmesan here, because the pizza tasted bland with it during testing.
If you need a substitute for the Pecorino, go with freshly grated, regular Romano cheese.
Onions: Sweet onions cooked down in butter bring amazing flavor to this pizza. If you need a substitute, use red onions.
Lemon: It wouldn't be a seafood pizza without a squeeze of lemon, right? A little goes a long way and brings a bright, fresh, somethin' somethin' to this white clam pie.
Basil: Aromatic, delicious, fresh basil ribbons provide the finishing touch here. Don't skip them!
How to make it
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
- Add chopped onions, then chopped garlic.
- When the onions are soft, stir in the drained and rinsed clams.
- Par-bake the pizza crust for five minutes, then spread the clam mixture on top. Add Pecorino and red pepper flakes.
- Bake until the crust is golden brown. Squeeze on lemon juice and scatter basil ribbons on top.
- If you're making pizza in a standard oven, a pizza stone (affiliate link) works better than a metal pizza pan. The stone will produce a browner, crispier crust.
- For a more decadent white clam pizza, drizzle it with olive oil before serving. Yum!
What to serve with it
Frequently asked questions
You can use fresh clams in this recipe, as long as they're cooked first. You can steam littleneck clams and chop them before stirring them into the onions and garlic mixture.
I don't recommend reheating clam pizza in the microwave, because the clams will become rubbery, and the crust will be too soft.
The best way to reheat any pizza is to place a few slices in an ungreased 10-inch or 12-inch frying pan. Cover the pan and place it over medium heat for six minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crust is heated and crispy.
I don't recommend freezing this, because the clams' texture will become too soft after thawing.
More clam recipes & seafood
- Pasta and Clams with White Wine Sauce
- Cheesy Baked Clam Dip
- Creamy Clam Chowder
- Crab Cakes without Bread Crumbs
If you try this White Clam Pizza recipe, please leave a comment and a rating!
White Clam Pizza
- 12 ounces pizza dough (at room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- ⅔ cup chopped sweet onion (about ¼ of a large sweet or yellow onion)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 13 ounces canned chopped clams (two 6.5-ounce cans)
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 6 medium basil leaves (fresh)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice (squeeze on a bit of juice from half a lemon)
- olive oil to drizzle on top (optional for serving)
Prep the Crust (starting with prepared dough)
- If you have a pizza stone, place an ungreased pizza stone on the center rack of the oven and preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. If using a round, metal pizza pan, don't add it to the oven yet. Just lightly grease the pizza pan with cooking spray and let the oven heat up while you get the dough and toppings ready.
- Shape the pizza dough to fit your pan or stone. It helps to grasp the dough by the edges, hold it up, and let it stretch out. Rotate the dough a bit and continue, pressing the dough with your fingers in the thick spots to thin it out as you hold it. If using a stone, you can shape the dough on a floured surface until it's time to transfer the dough onto the stone to bake.
- When the oven reaches 500 degrees F, bake the dough on the pizza stone or in a pizza pan for 5 minutes before adding any toppings.
Make the topping
- While the oven is heating, peel and chop ¼ of a large, sweet onion until you have ⅔ cup of chopped onion. Peel and chop the garlic. Drain the clams in a fine-mesh strainer in the sink. (If you see any green particles in the clams, remove and discard them.) Rinse the clams.
- Heat the butter in a 12-inch skillet on the stove over medium heat. When the butter has melted, stir in the chopped onions. After about 3 minutes, stir in the garlic. When the onions are soft (it should take 2-3 more minutes), stir in the drained clams and turn off the heat.
Assemble & Bake
- After the crust has baked for five minutes, top it with the clams mixture and spread it evenly with a fork. Sprinkle the Pecorino on top, then the red pepper flakes.
- Bake the white clam pizza for 8-10 minutes on a stone or for 10-15 minutes on a metal pan, until the crust has browned to your liking.
- Roll up the basil leaves into a cylinder and snip them into ribbons. Scatter the basil ribbons over the pizza. Squeeze on a little lemon juice. Slice the pizza and serve it with olive oil drizzled on top, if desired. You also can add extra Pecorino.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- I don't recommend reheating this in the microwave, because the clams will become rubbery, and the crust will be too soft.
- The best way to reheat pizza is to place a few slices in an ungreased 10-inch or 12-inch frying pan. Cover the pan and place it over medium heat for six minutes, or until the cheese melts and the crust is heated and crispy.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)