Dirty Rice with Clams


Dirty Rice with Clams

Dirty Rice with Clams

Arroz con Almejas

Recipe Yield

4 to 6 servings

Cooking time

1 hour 10 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.41 from 5 votes


  • 5 dozen littleneck clams
  • 2 dried Colorado, New Mexico or guajillo chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 1 pound ripe roma tomatoes
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt divided, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped leeks white and light green parts
  • 2/3 cup peeled and finely chopped carrots
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1 to 2 cups water or your choice of chicken, vegetable or seafood broth, or as needed
  • 2 cups Mahatma® Rice white rice or jasmine white rice
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro leaves or a combination of both for garnish

To Prepare

  • Rinse and scrub the clams under a thin stream of cold water. Discard any that are open or broken. Drain well.
  • Place the chiles, tomatoes and garlic cloves in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chiles have plumped and rehydrated and the garlic and tomatoes are fully cooked, soft and mushy, but not falling apart. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes, chiles and garlic to a blender, along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and allow to cool slightly. Add the cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree until completely smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a large wide casserole or lidded sauté pan. When the butter begins to foam add the onion, bell pepper, leek and carrot, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables have fully softened and begun to lightly brown along the edges. Stir in the wine or beer and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and simmer until the wine or beer has just about evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes. The vegetables should be quite soft and moist but not wet.
  • Pour the tomato puree over the vegetables, bring to a boil and add all the clams. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the shells open. Turn off heat and leave undisturbed for 5 more minutes. Uncover and, using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove all the clams and place in a bowl. Transfer the sauce and vegetables to a bowl or a large heatproof measuring cup and wipe the casserole or sauté pan clean. Add enough water or broth to the sauce to measure 5 cups.
  • Remove about 3 dozen clams from the shells and discard the shells.
  • Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in the casserole or sauté pan until hot but not smoking. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until it crackles, becomes milky white, and feels heavier as you stir it, about 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t let it brown. Stir in the reserved sauce and veggies and the remaining teaspoon salt. Stir well, add all the clams, both shelled and those still in their shells, bring back to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice has cooked. Taste the rice, and if it seems a bit too dente or not fully cooked and all of the liquid has almost evaporated, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or broth, scrape the bottom, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  • When ready to serve fluff with a fork, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro or both and dig in.


26comments inDirty Rice with Clams

  1. Robert in TX

    May 11

    Pati – you are amazing. If you ever need a driver, please let me know!! I love this recipe and the beautiful, delicioso photo! It reminded me of eating Paella at a small family restaurant in Costa Bravo Spain watching Mr. Bean for the first time. Do you think I could throw in some deep-sea scallops and gulf shrimp into this amazing dish? Timing would be the challenge so I don’t overcook the shrimp or scallops. Unless I pan fry the scallops.

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 15

      Thanks so much Robert! Of course you can add shrimp or scallops or both! And also check out this other recipe I have for rice with seafood 😉 http://patijinich.com/seafood-rice-stew/

  2. Elsa

    Apr 09

    Can I use canned clams and use the broth in the can you substitute for fresh clams?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 12

      Of course Elsa, go ahead and enjoy!

  3. Angel Mitts

    Nov 02

    Hey Patti, I’m sure it would be OK for me to use mussels instead of clams right ? Thank You
    Love the show

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 02

      Of course Angel, enjoy!

  4. Chris McCarthy

    Mar 31

    This recipe is fantastic! I saw you make this on television and I made it tonight. I did add some chorizo when I toasted the rice. This is a keeper and will definitely make it again. Thank you!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 11

      Uy, what a great idea Chris, I love the combination of clams and chorizo, yummy, in fact I have this pasta recipe with both, you may want to try it 😉 http://patijinich.com/spicy-clam-chorizo-pasta/

  5. Andy

    Mar 07

    We don’t have access to many kinds of chilies so what can I substitute jalapeño?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 20

      Serrano would be the best substitute for jalapeno Andy 🙂

  6. TK

    Feb 20

    Hi Pati, I saw the episode today and this dish looks amazing. I am curious whether 5 dozen clams is correct. That is 60 clams! It doesn’t look like you have more than half of that in your pot, and I wanted to make sure. Maybe it was the camera angle? Thank you, I love your show!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 20

      Hi TK, thanks for your message, so glad you are considering this recipe, it is one of my favorites! 5 dozen clams is correct, because at some point you are going to remove the shells from 3 dozen and just leave 24 on the shell for presentation. Believe me, you will see how 60 clams are just perfect for this rice. Enjoy 🙂

  7. Sandra

    Jan 29

    What size pan do you use?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 31

      This is a big pan Sandra, I believe it is a 6 3/4 Qt.

  8. Jackie

    Jan 12


    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 16

      Hi Jackie!

  9. Hilda Meyer

    Jan 12

    Hola pati, me encanta tu cooking show.
    Gracias a mi hija Reyna que me dijo de tu página.
    Ahora estoy “ hooked”😉 “enganchada!!
    De tu programa y tus deliciosas recetas!!
    Especialmente que muchas están hechas en mi Sonora. 💕
    Gracias por compartir, saludos & abrazos 🤗

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 17

      Muchas gracias por tus palabras Hilda, que alegria que te gusten mis recetas, sobre todo que eres de Sonora! Un abrazo 😉

  10. Christina Constantine

    Jan 11

    Can I used plum canned tomatoes? Tomatoes from supermarket here in Massachusetts have no taste!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 17

      Of course Christina, go ahead!

  11. Ron

    Dec 15

    Made this for family tonight. Excellent! Well worth the effort. Whole family loved it!
    Thank you Pati for sharing this dish and the show.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 21

      Thanks to you for tuning in Ron! So glad the family approved this recipe; keep cooking and having fun 😉

  12. Rika

    Nov 21

    As I am not a big fan of clams, could I replace them with for example shrimp?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 22

      Of course Rika, or with chicken, yum!

      1. Ann from Alaska

        Mar 06

        Chicken! Yay! Mom dislikes seafood. (Something to do with dead freshwater fish in Minnesota lakes during hot summer days. That would kill my love for seafood, too.) But I never thought to try chicken. Thank you so very much for the substitution suggestion!

        1. Pati Jinich

          Mar 08

          Happy to help 🙂

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