Spicy Clam Dip

Spicy Clam Dip

In this chile-flecked take on a classic 1950s clam dip, the cream cheese-based mixture is spooned into a gratin dish, sprinkled with Parmesan and baked until the topping melts and the dip turns molten and savory. Canned clams are traditional here, providing a gentle saline note and nubby texture without an assertive flavor. If you’re starting with cream cheese straight from the fridge, soften it briefly in the microwave before adding it to the bowl; cold cream cheese is a lot harder to mix.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, using a fork or rubber spatula, stir and mash together the softened cream cheese and sour cream until smooth.
  2. Step 2

    Add clams, mozzarella, parsley, scallions, jalapeño, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, fish sauce or a teaspoon of reserved clam juice, and lots of black pepper, and stir until well combined. If the mixture seems thick, stir in a little more reserved clam juice.
  3. Step 3

    Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. If you think it needs salt, add it lightly, or try adding a little more fish sauce or more clam juice instead. Dip can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking.
  4. Step 4

    Transfer mixture to shallow 1-quart ceramic baking dish or gratin dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with sliced scallions, and serve hot or warm with potato chips.