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The Ultimate White Clam Pizza Recipe: Bringing the Taste of the Sea to Your Kitchen

White Clam Pizza

Hey there, fellow food enthusiasts! If you’re on the hunt for a pizza that’s a little out of the ordinary, something that dances on your taste buds with the delightful flavor of the sea, you’re in for a treat. Today, we’re diving into the world of culinary creativity with a recipe that’s as unique as it is mouthwatering: White Clam Pizza. 🍕🌊



Hey there, curious culinary explorers! Today, we’re embarking on a journey that spans decades, uncovering the rich history of a dish that has become a symbol of creative gastronomy – White Clam Pizza. This delectable delight has evolved from humble beginnings to capture the hearts (and stomachs) of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Early Beginnings and Inspired Innovation

The roots of White Clam Pizza can be traced back to the mid-20th century in New Haven, Connecticut. Amid the buzzing streets and cozy eateries, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana introduced a groundbreaking creation that would forever change the pizza landscape. With a history steeped in tradition, Pepe’s began experimenting with their classic coal-fired pizza, adding fresh clams as a topping, and the result was nothing short of genius.

A Marriage of Land and Sea

The marriage of land and sea in White Clam Pizza was a novel concept that resonated deeply with pizza aficionados. The earthy flavor of the pizza dough merged seamlessly with the briny taste of the clams, creating a harmonious blend of tastes that delighted palates across the region. This pioneering combination marked the birth of a culinary trend that would eventually sweep across the nation.

From Local Legend to National Sensation

As word spread about the unique and tantalizing flavors of White Clam Pizza, other pizzerias took notice. The idea of combining seafood with a beloved Italian classic was met with curiosity and intrigue. Soon, variations of the recipe began popping up in different corners of the United States, each with its own twist on the original concept.

Creative Adaptations and Global Influence

The beauty of White Clam Pizza lies in its versatility. Chefs and home cooks alike embraced the dish, putting their own spin on it. Some added additional seafood like shrimp or scallops, while others experimented with different sauces or cheese blends. This adaptability allowed the dish to cross culinary borders, spreading its influence far beyond American shores.

A Modern Classic for Every Palate

In the 21st century, White Clam Pizza stands as a testament to the power of culinary innovation. No longer confined to coastal regions, the dish has earned its place on menus worldwide. It has found its way into food trucks, upscale eateries, and even home kitchens, where adventurous cooks gather to craft their version of this sea-inspired masterpiece.

A Dish with Endless Possibilities

What makes White Clam Pizza truly remarkable is its capacity to evolve and surprise. Chefs continue to explore new avenues, experimenting with diverse ingredients and techniques. The clam-topped pizza has become a canvas for culinary expression, allowing chefs to infuse their personalities and experiences into each slice.

Preserving Tradition While Embracing Change

Despite its evolution, White Clam Pizza pays homage to its humble beginnings. There’s an undeniable charm in savoring a slice that harkens back to the original Pepe’s creation. While the dish has taken on countless forms, it remains a culinary icon that reminds us of the power of innovation and the joy of experimenting with flavors.


Preparing the Perfect Dough20 minutes
Crafting the Creamy White Sauce15 minutes
Clams: The Star of the Show30 minutes
Assembling Your Masterpiece10 minutes
Into the Oven We Go12 minutes
Garnishing Glory5 minutes
Slice, Serve, and SavorVaries
Total Estimated Time1 hour 32 min

Please note that the “Slice, Serve, and Savor” step can vary depending on your preference and how many people you’re serving. Enjoy the journey of creating and savoring your delicious White Clam Pizza!


Pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)1 portion
Fresh clams1/2 pound
Olive oil2 tablespoons
Minced garlic2 cloves
Red pepper flakesPinch
Fresh parsley2 tablespoons
Mozzarella cheese1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese1/4 cup
Salt and pepperTo taste

This table includes the quantities you’ll need for a cozy 2-person serving of the delicious White Clam Pizza. Enjoy your culinary adventure!


Step 1: Preparing the Perfect Dough

A Floury Canvas

  1. If using homemade dough, ensure it’s properly risen. If using store-bought, allow it to come to room temperature.

Knead it Right

  1. On a lightly floured surface, gently stretch and shape the dough into your desired pizza size and thickness.

Step 2: Crafting the Creamy White Sauce

Gathering the Goodness

  1. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.

Blending to Perfection

  1. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the heated oil. Sauté until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
  2. Gradually sprinkle in flour while stirring to create a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes to eliminate the raw flour taste.
  3. Slowly pour in 3/4 cup of milk while continuously whisking to avoid lumps. Cook until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Step 3: Clams – The Star of the Show

Selecting the Freshest Catch

  1. Rinse the fresh clams thoroughly under cold water, discarding any that are cracked or open and won’t close when tapped.

Prepping the Clams

  1. Steam the clams until they open, about 5-7 minutes. Discard any that remain closed.
  2. Allow the steamed clams to cool slightly before shucking them from their shells, leaving a few intact for presentation.

Step 4: Assembling Your Masterpiece

Spreading the Sauce with Finesse

  1. Preheat your oven to 475°F (245°C).
  2. Place your stretched dough on a baking stone or sheet.
  3. Spread the creamy white sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.

Arranging the Clams and More

  1. Distribute the shucked clams evenly over the sauce.
  2. Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the clams for a burst of color.

Step 5: Cheese – Because Cheese!

Mozzarella Magic

  1. Sprinkle a generous layer of mozzarella cheese over the clams.

A Sprinkle of Parmesan

  1. Add a light sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top of the mozzarella.

Step 6: Into the Oven We Go

The Optimal Temperature

  1. Slide the pizza into the preheated oven and bake at 475°F (245°C).

Baking to Golden Perfection

  1. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Step 7: Garnishing Glory

Fresh Herbs for the Win

  1. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle additional chopped fresh parsley over the top.

A Drizzle of Goodness

  1. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over the finished pizza for extra flavor and shine.

Step 8: Slice, Serve, and Savor

Cutting Like a Pro

  1. Use a pizza cutter to slice your White Clam Pizza into desired portions.

A Bite to Remember

  1. Dive into your creation, savoring each bite that melds the ocean’s essence with the warmth of the pizza.

Equipment Required

Nutrition Information

Nutrition InformationPer Serving (2-person)
Serving Size1/2 pizza
Calories380 calories
Total Fat17g
Saturated Fat6g
Total Carbohydrates38g
Dietary Fiber2g
Total Sugars3g

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. Enjoy your delicious and satisfying White Clam Pizza in moderation!


  • Freshness Matters: Opt for the freshest clams you can find to ensure the best flavor and texture.
  • Pre-Cook the Clams: Steam the clams just until they open to prevent overcooking, as they’ll continue to cook in the oven.
  • Stretch the Dough Thin: For a crispy crust, stretch the dough as thinly as you prefer.
  • Don’t Overload Toppings: A light hand with toppings prevents a soggy crust.
  • Even Distribution: Spread the sauce, clams, and cheese evenly to ensure each bite is harmonious.
  • High Heat, Short Time: A hot oven for a short duration ensures a perfectly cooked pizza with a golden crust.

Pros & Cons

✔️ Unique and flavorful fusion❌ Requires fresh seafood
✔️ Delightful ocean-inspired taste❌ Not suitable for shellfish allergies
✔️ Versatile toppings and variations❌ Some may find shucking clams labor-intensive
✔️ Creative way to enjoy seafood❌ Potential for a soggy crust
✔️ Beautiful blend of textures and flavors❌ Not suitable for strict vegetarians


In conclusion, the journey of crafting your very own White Clam Pizza is an adventure that brings together the richness of the ocean and the comfort of a classic pizza. With each step, from preparing the creamy white sauce to arranging the succulent clams atop the golden crust, you’re creating a masterpiece that tantalizes both the eyes and the taste buds.

This recipe isn’t just about creating a pizza; it’s about embracing culinary innovation, exploring unique flavors, and savoring a dish that has evolved through time. The White Clam Pizza is a canvas where you can blend your creativity and preferences, adding your own signature twist while paying homage to its heritage.

So why not dive into this culinary expedition and experience the joy of making something extraordinary? Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a pizza lover, or simply someone who seeks a delightful gustatory adventure, the White Clam Pizza has something special in store for you. With its aromatic aroma, oceanic flavors, and a slice of history, it’s a recipe that’s waiting to be brought to life in your kitchen.

Don’t hesitate; gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on this delightful culinary journey. As you create, remember that each bite of your White Clam Pizza is a celebration of innovation, tradition, and the pure joy of sharing an exceptional dish with loved ones. So go ahead, seize the opportunity to create something extraordinary and make memories that will linger on the palate and in your heart.


  • Fact 1: Pizza Fit for Royalty! 👑
    • Did you know that White Clam Pizza made its debut in the legendary Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut? It’s not just a dish; it’s a taste of history that’s fit for pizza royalty!
  • Fact 2: The Ocean’s Delight on Your Plate! 🐚
    • Imagine indulging in a pizza that captures the essence of the ocean. White Clam Pizza does just that, combining the briny goodness of clams with the comfort of pizza dough. It’s like a seaside vacation for your taste buds!
  • Fact 3: A Slice of Innovation 🧪
    • White Clam Pizza isn’t just a delicious bite; it’s a stroke of culinary creativity. The fusion of land and sea, dough and clams, sauce and cheese, paints a masterpiece that’s as imaginative as it is flavorful.
  • Fact 4: From Sea to Oven in a Snap! ⏱️
    • With its high-heat oven magic, your White Clam Pizza can go from assembly to golden perfection in just about 12 minutes. That’s quicker than most reality TV show commercial breaks!
  • Fact 5: One Pizza, Endless Possibilities! 🌍
    • Don’t let tradition hold you back! White Clam Pizza isn’t just about clams. Feel free to unleash your culinary creativity – add shrimp, experiment with cheeses, and make this pizza a reflection of your taste and style!


Can I use canned clams for this recipe?

Yes, you can use canned clams as a convenient alternative. Just make sure to drain them before using and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

What other seafood can I add to the pizza?

You have a world of possibilities! Try adding shrimp, scallops, or even a medley of seafood for a delightful twist on the classic recipe.

Is there a gluten-free dough alternative?

Absolutely! Many stores offer gluten-free pizza dough options, allowing those with dietary restrictions to enjoy this delectable dish.

Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

Of course! You can prepare the white sauce ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Just reheat gently before using for optimal flavor and consistency.

How do I prevent the clams from becoming rubbery?

To avoid rubbery clams, ensure not to overcook them. Steam just until they open and shuck them promptly. They’ll finish cooking in the oven.

Can I freeze leftover White Clam Pizza?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftover slices. Reheat in the oven to maintain the crispiness of the crust.

Can I add vegetables to the pizza?

Absolutely! Feel free to add sautéed spinach, roasted peppers, or other veggies to enhance both flavor and nutrition.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, you can get creative with cheese! Swap mozzarella for Gruyère, fontina, or your favorite cheese blend for a unique twist.

How do I ensure a crispy crust?

Preheat your oven to a high temperature (475°F/245°C) and ensure the dough is stretched thin. This high heat will give you that coveted crispy crust.

Can I use a different sauce for the pizza?

Absolutely! While the creamy white sauce is traditional, you can experiment with tomato sauce, pesto, or even a garlic-infused olive oil base for a different flavor profile.