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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Creamy Clam Dip

This creamy clam dip is a perfect party appetizer. It comes together quickly and is a perfect make ahead snack.

bowl of creamy cream cheese clam dip with chip being dipped in baby carrots and cherry tomatoes in the background

    Flavorful cream cheese based clam dip has been a favorite in my family for more decades than I've been around. It has vintage roots but is perfectly at home on a modern spread with plenty of chips and vegetables for dipping. A huge double batch is whipped up every time we all get together.

looking down on tray with bowl of creamy clam dip, baby carrots, potato chips and cherry tomatoes

     According to the experts at Wikipedia, the recipe for clam dip was first televised in the 1950s. It is said that all of New York City was sold out of canned clams within 24 hours.

     I think it's safe to say it made an impression. I know it definitely made a mark on my family because we're still eating it almost 70 years later.

bowl of cream cheese, clams and seasoning for making creamy clam dip

      At this stage in the game we rarely measure, we just add the basic ingredients until it feels right. It may be slightly different each time but it's always yummy.

     This time I slowed down and measured so I could share it with you. Of course you should taste as you go and adjust to your preferences.

looking across a glass dish of creamy clam dip with vegetable and chip dippers in background

      As with most chilled dips, the flavor comes together over time. So whip it up a few hours ahead of the party and all you have to do when it's time is pull it out and grab some chips and veggies.

Great dipping options for creamy clam dip

  • Ruffled chips
  • Baby carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Raw broccoli florets
  • Raw cauliflower

ruffled potato chip freshly dipped in creamy clam dip

Yummy variations on this clam dip recipe

Stir in a little extra lemon juice
Add a little Old Bay
Give it extra hot sauce

clam dip, cream cheese clam dip, cold clam dip, vintage clam dip
Yield: 12 servings

Creamy Clam Dip

This creamy clam dip is a perfect party appetizer. It comes together quickly and is a perfect make ahead snack.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M


  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 8 ounce can clams, reserve the juice
  • 16 ounces softened cream cheese*
  • 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • a dash or two of hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper


How to cook Creamy Clam Dip

  1. Drain the can of clams, but do not discard the juice. Set it aside for later.
  2. Mix together the clam chunks, garlic, cream cheese, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  3. Add a little of the reserved clam juice and mix in. Continue to add a bit at a time until you get a nice dipping consistency.  About 1/4 cup usually does it for me. 
  4. Adjust seasoning to you liking, the refrigerate until ready to serve. 


*I usually use either all full fat cream cheese or half full fat and half neufchatel (or reduced fat) cream cheese
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Created using The Recipes Generator

dipping chip into bowl of clam dip


  1. You had me at creamy. Looks delicious! Dip lover I am, I’m always in the market for new dip ideas! xo

    1. This one gets my family excited every time it comes out!

  2. This dip looks so good and great app for a party!

  3. I'll definitely try this dip! It looks delicious and like something my aunt used to make. Thank you for posting it!

    1. It is likely similar! This recipe (or slight variations of it) has been around for ages and was really popular.

  4. Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchenSeptember 5, 2019 at 9:27 AM

    This sounds a lot like my family's recipe for clam dip, except I have no idea of the proportions for ours because I never measure (and no one else does either!). It's great to see it written out!

    1. We don't usually measure either, but I did this time so I could share the recipe. My whole extended family loves clam dip!

  5. Your Creamy Clam Dip look delicious! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,448 and hope you will come back soon!
    Miz Helen


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!