“These stuffed clams are a Rhode Island specialty! Large clams can be tough because of their size—but when steamed and chopped, they add bite and briny flavor to a soft, chorizo-vegetable stuffing. Finished in the oven for a golden Parmesan crust, this is a fun, satisfying appetizer to eat, straight from the shell.”
The version of these beauties I seek out the most, and that inspired this recipe, is the Rhode Island–style of stuffed clams known as quahogs, (pronounced; Coe-Hog), lovingly known in Li’l Rhody as “stuffies.” What makes this version unique to Rhode Island is the Portuguese influence with the addition of chouriço, which is smoked and cured and loaded with garlic and paprika. Along with the added sausage, garlic, paprika, and bell pepper are commonly found in chouriço stuffies. The briny clams combined with the smoky and rich sausage is, in my opinion, a perfect pairing.
It’s little surprise that Rhode Island–style stuffies would have a strong Portuguese influence. Rhode Island has the densest Portuguese population in the country. When waves of Portuguese immigrants came to Rhode Island in the late 19th century, they sought jobs working in factories, fishing, and later in clamming.
RI Stuffed Quahogs aka Stuffies
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20Minutes
20 whole quahogs shells washed to remove dirt
1/2 lb butter
1 lb chorizo diced
2 medium onions diced
2 large red peppers diced
3 cups celery diced
1 14 oz box Bell's Traditional Stuffing
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons tabasco sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1/4 cups fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cups parmesan cheese
Steam quahogs until they just open. Set the liquid aside (do not discard). Shuck the quahog meat (saving the shells) and roughly chop. Set aside.
Prepare the Bell’s Traditional Stuffing according to the package directions. Set aside
Add the butter and diced chorizo to a pot over medium heat. Cook until the chorizo begins to brown, and the butter gets foamy. Add the diced onion, red pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Add Old Bay, tabasco, red pepper flakes, and reserved quahog liquid. Continue to cook until the mixture has reduced and most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat and allow to cool
In a large bowl, combine prepared stuffing, vegetable mix, chopped quahogs, and fresh parsley.
Stuff the shells with the stuffing and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Bake at 350°F until stuffing browns on top, 15-20 minutes.
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CWT is not a certified dietician or nutritionist. Any nutritional information shared on this site is an estimate counted through measurements and package nutritional information used in each recipe. If calorie, macro counting and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend running the ingredients through your choice of nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary depending on national brands used per recipe.