Discover the Secret to Making Perfect Rhode Island Stuffies

Welcome to my kitchen, where today we’ll be making a classic Rhode Island favorite: Stuffies! If you’ve never heard of stuffies before, you’re in for a real treat. These stuffed clams, called “stuffies” for short, are a beloved dish in Rhode Island and throughout New England.

Growing up in Rhode Island, stuffies were a staple at family gatherings and summer barbecues. This recipe has been passed down in my family for generations and I’m excited to share it with all of you.

The key ingredient in this recipe is the quahog clam, which is native to Rhode Island and the surrounding areas. These hard-shell clams are larger and meatier than other clams, making them perfect for stuffing. They’re also packed with flavor, so you won’t need to add too many other seasonings.

I’ll guide you through each step of the process, from shucking the clams to baking them to perfection. Whether you’re a Rhode Island native or just looking to try something new, I promise that this stuffies recipe will not disappoint. So let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rhode Island Stuffies
Rhode Island Stuffies

If you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll definitely want to try out this Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe! These stuffed clams, also known as “stuffies,” are a classic New England dish that have been enjoyed for generations. But what makes this recipe so special?

First of all, the combination of sausage, onions, garlic, and green pepper creates a flavorful base that perfectly complements the briny taste of the quahog clams. And with a touch of paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, these stuffies have just the right amount of heat to keep things interesting.

But what really sets this recipe apart is the use of linguiça sausage. This Portuguese-style sausage adds a unique smokiness and richness to the dish, elevating it to a whole new level.

Of course, the star of the show is the quahog clams themselves. These hard-shell clams are called “stuffies” because they’re usually stuffed with a breadcrumb and minced clam mixture before being baked. But this recipe takes it to the next level with the addition of savory sausage and aromatic vegetables.

Overall, this Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe is a must-try for seafood lovers and anyone looking to explore the flavors of New England cuisine. Trust me, once you try these stuffies, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 Get ready to stuff your face with these delicious Rhode Island Stuffies!
Get ready to stuff your face with these delicious Rhode Island Stuffies!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make Rhode Island Stuffies:


  • 12 quahog clams, or 7-15 large clams (depending on the size)
  • 3 tablespoons clam juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 link linguiça sausage, removed from casings and diced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup margarine


  • 4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Clam Shells:

  • 12 large quahog clams shells, cleaned and rinsed of sand and grit

Note: Quahog clams are a type of clam native to Rhode Island and are commonly used in this recipe. However, you can use other types of large clams if you can’t find quahogs.

The Recipe How-To

 These stuffed clams are the perfect appetizer for any seafood lover.
These stuffed clams are the perfect appetizer for any seafood lover.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Prepare the Clams

Scrub and rinse the quahog clams under cold water. Boil them in a large pot of water for about 10 minutes, or until they open up. Remove the clams from the pot, and let them cool down. Then, remove the meat from the shells using a clam knife or a small spoon, and chop the meat into small pieces. Reserve the clam shells for later use.

Step 3: Cook the Sausage and Vegetables

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of margarine over medium heat. Add the linguiça sausage, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Remove the sausage from the skillet, and set aside. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of margarine over medium heat. Add the onions, green peppers, and garlic cloves, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.

Step 4: Mix the Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the chopped clams, cooked sausage, cooked vegetables, 2 cups of breadcrumbs, 2 cups of clam juice, 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon of paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.

Step 5: Stuff the Clams

Fill the reserved clam shells with the clam mixture, packing it down tightly. Top each stuffed clam with a small piece of unsalted butter.

Step 6: Bake the Stuffies

Place the stuffed clams in a baking dish, and bake them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 7: Serve and Enjoy

Remove the stuffies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley and diced green peppers, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy the authentic Rhode Island Stuffies!

Substitutions and Variations

 With a crispy breadcrumb topping and a savory clam filling, these stuffies are a crowd-pleaser.
With a crispy breadcrumb topping and a savory clam filling, these stuffies are a crowd-pleaser.

While the Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe is a classic and delicious dish, there are a few substitutions and variations that you can make to switch things up and put your own spin on it. Here are some ideas:

– Sausage: If you’re not a fan of linguiça sausage, you can swap it out for another type of sausage like chorizo or andouille. You can also omit the sausage altogether for a vegetarian version.

– Margarine: If you prefer, you can use unsalted butter instead of margarine.

– Paprika: If you don’t have paprika on hand, you can substitute it with smoked paprika or cayenne pepper if you want to add some heat.

– Parsley: If you don’t have fresh parsley, you can use dried parsley instead.

– Crushed red pepper flakes: If you want to add some spice to the dish, you can add more crushed red pepper flakes or substitute it with a hot sauce of your choice.

– Garlic cloves: You can adjust the amount of garlic cloves depending on your preference for garlic.

– Green pepper and onions: You can add more or less of these vegetables depending on your taste.

– Clams: If you can’t find quahog clams, you can use other large clams such as littlenecks or cherrystones.

– Breadcrumb mixture: You can add other ingredients to the breadcrumb mixture such as chopped bacon, grated parmesan cheese, or diced tomatoes.

– Serving and Pairing: Rhode Island Stuffies can be served as an appetizer, snack or main dish. You can pair it with a side salad or some corn on the cob for a complete meal.

– Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating: If you have leftover stuffies, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, place them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.

Remember that these substitutions and variations are just suggestions – feel free to experiment and make the dish your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't be intimidated by the thought of making your own stuffies - it's easier than you think!
Don’t be intimidated by the thought of making your own stuffies – it’s easier than you think!

Rhode Island Stuffies are perfect for serving as a main dish or as an appetizer. They are a great addition to any party or gathering and pair well with a variety of sides and beverages.

To serve as a main dish, I recommend pairing Rhode Island Stuffies with a simple green salad or roasted vegetables. The combination of the savory stuffing with the fresh and crisp salad or veggies makes for a well-rounded meal.

As an appetizer, Rhode Island Stuffies pairs perfectly with a cold beer or a glass of chilled white wine. The chilled beverage complements the spicy and savory flavors of the stuffing and enhances the overall taste experience.

For a New England-style meal, you can serve Rhode Island Stuffies with a bowl of creamy and hearty clam chowder. This classic pairing is a popular choice in the region and is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

When serving Rhode Island Stuffies, I recommend garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a pop of color and an added layer of flavor. And don’t forget to squeeze a little lemon juice over the top for a bright and refreshing finish.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair Rhode Island Stuffies, be prepared for a delicious and satisfying meal that will leave you and your guests wanting more.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Fresh chopped clams are the star of the show in this recipe.
Fresh chopped clams are the star of the show in this recipe.

Rhode Island Stuffies are perfect for make-ahead meals and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To make the stuffing in advance, follow the recipe until the point of baking. Instead of baking, cover the stuffed clams with plastic wrap or foil and place them in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and bake the clams in the oven.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat the clams, remove them from the container and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.

It’s important to note that once the clams have been cooked, you should not refreeze them. If you have uncooked stuffing, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. To use the frozen stuffing, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then stuff the clams and bake according to the recipe.

Rhode Island Stuffies are a great dish to bring to a potluck or party, as they can be made ahead of time and reheated when you arrive. Just remember to keep them covered and chilled during transportation.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Make sure to spoon the stuffing into the clam shells generously for maximum flavor.
Make sure to spoon the stuffing into the clam shells generously for maximum flavor.

When making Rhode Island Stuffies, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure that you achieve the best possible results. Here are my top tips for making the perfect Stuffies every time:

Firstly, make sure you finely chop all of the ingredients. This will ensure that everything blends together well and creates a cohesive mixture. Use a sharp knife and take your time to chop everything finely.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes and paprika in the recipe to suit your own taste. Some people prefer their Stuffies to be spicier, while others prefer a milder taste. Experiment with the amounts until you find the perfect balance for you.

Thirdly, make sure you shuck the quahogs properly and remove all the sand and grit. This step can be time-consuming, but it is crucial for the final taste and texture of the Stuffies.

Fourthly, when baking the Stuffies, make sure you don’t overcook them. Keep an eye on the internal temperature and remove them from the oven as soon as they are cooked through. Overcooking can result in a dry and tough stuffing.

Fifthly, consider using different types of sausage in the recipe. Linguiça sausage is commonly used in Rhode Island Stuffies, but you can experiment with other types if you prefer.

Lastly, serve your Stuffies with a side of fresh parsley and lemon wedges for a burst of freshness and flavor. Enjoy your delicious Rhode Island Stuffies!


Now that we have gone through the various sections of the Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe article, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions that you may have. These FAQs will help you understand the recipe better and give you some tips on how to adjust it according to your preferences. So, let’s dive into the FAQs of the Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe.

What are stuffies in Rhode Island?

Stuffed clams, also known as stuffies in Rhode Island, typically involve a stuffing made with minced clams and breadcrumbs, baked on the half-shell of a hard-shell clam. However, there are numerous variations of this classic recipe, each with its own unique twist.

What are the ingredients in Matlaw’s stuffed clams?

For this recipe, we’ll need some basic ingredients like water and bread crumbs. The bread crumbs we’ll be using are made from enriched wheat flour, which includes a blend of flour, malted barley flour, reduced iron, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid. To prepare the bread crumbs, yeast, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, and dough conditioners like sodium stearoyl lactylate, ammonium sulfate, calcium sulfate, and L- will also be added.

What are Rhode Island clams called?

Rhode Island is known for its popular shellfish, which is often the subject of jokes. This shellfish is called the quahog, or quohog, and was historically used by Native Americans to make wampum. While outside of Rhode Island, this shellfish is commonly referred to as hard-shell clams, and people often use the terms clamming or clam digging to describe the activity of harvesting them.

What should the internal temperature of stuffies be?

To ensure the safety of all frozen, stuffed, and raw poultry products, it is crucial to cook them to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F (73.9°C).

Bottom Line

If you’re a fan of seafood and love trying new recipes, then Rhode Island Stuffies should definitely be on your to-do list. This delicious dish is a true representation of Rhode Island’s cuisine and culture, and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. With its unique blend of herbs, spices, and ingredients, Rhode Island Stuffies are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a backyard barbecue, a family dinner, or a special event.

So, what are you waiting for? Head to your local seafood market, pick up some fresh quahogs, and get ready to experience the taste of Rhode Island. With this easy-to-follow recipe and helpful tips, you’ll be able to make Rhode Island Stuffies like a pro in no time. Plus, with the ability to customize and experiment with different ingredients, you can make this dish your own and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.

In conclusion, Rhode Island Stuffies are a must-try dish for anyone who loves seafood and wants to experience the flavors of New England. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to be a hit. So, gather your ingredients, put on your apron, and get ready to enjoy the taste of Rhode Island!

Rhode Island Stuffies Recipe

My Dad makes these and I love them! Quahogs are a hard shelled type of clam. If you can not find them, 1 can of minced clams and 1 bottle of clam juice will work as a substitute. Chourice can be found in Portuguese markets, some chain grocery stores or online at such places as

  • 15 quahogs, shucked and then chopped
  • 2 loaves Italian bread (day old bread)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • paprika
  • margarine
  • 1/2 lb portuguese chourice sausage (optional)
  1. Open quahogs, placing meat and juice in separate bowls. Save shells.
  2. In a large bowl, break bread into small pieces and add enough quahog juice (clam juice) so bread is well moistened, but not soggy.
  3. Add chopped quahogs (clams).
  4. In a frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, green pepper and garlic until soft, but not brown.
  5. Add sautéed onion, green pepper, garlic, and crushed red pepper to bread mixture; mix well.
  6. Wash shells and separate.
  7. Mound shell halves with stuffing.
  8. Sprinkle top with paprika and parsley.
  9. Dot tops with a small amount of margarine.
  10. Set in a pan and bake in preheated 375°F oven for about 25 minutes or until heated through.
  11. OPTIONAL: You may add ground Chourice to onion while sautéing.
< 60 Mins, European, For Large Groups, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Portuguese

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