What to Serve with Fried Clams -A Guide to Creative and Delicious Sides

Fried clams are a classic American dish that many people love. They are an all-time favorite, especially during the summer months.

Their crispy exterior and tender interior make them a classic comfort food. The crunch of the perfectly fried batter paired with the tender, juicy clams is unbeatable.

However, deciding what to serve with fried clams can be a bit of a challenge. If you are tired of serving fries or coleslaw every time you prepare fried clams, you have come to the right place.

While a side of fries is always a safe bet, there are plenty of other options that can take your fried clams to the next level.

In this post, you’ll discover some delicious and creative sides that are perfect for pairing with fried clam.

In Short - what to serve with fried clams

Corn on the Cob, Watermelon Salad, Roasted Vegetables, Creamy Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Hush Puppies, French Fries, Tartar Sauce, Rice Pilaf, Spinach Salad, Garlic Bread, Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans, Onion Rings, Caesar Salad, Grilled Vegetables

What are fried clams? What do fried clams taste like?

Fried clams are a classic New England seafood dish made of small clams (usually whole bellies) that have been battered and deep-fried.

Fried clams have a crunchy, golden-brown exterior with a juicy, salty interior full of the flavor of the sea. The taste is unique and delicious, with an irresistible combination of briny sweetness and savory goodness. Enjoyed with lemon wedges or tartar sauce for even more flavor!

18 Sides to serve with fried clams

1. Corn on the Cob

The sweetness of freshly cooked corn on the cob complements the savory and crispy fried clams beautifully.

Corn on the cob

Add some butter and seasoning to corn, and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer side dish. You could also try grilling the corn to add a smoky flavor.

2. Watermelon Salad

On those hot summer days, a light and refreshing watermelon salad go excellent with fried clams. Add cubed watermelon to a bowl, crumble some feta cheese, and add a few basil leaves. 

Watermelon Salad

Toss with a light vinaigrette to make a delicious salad that will cut the richness of the fried clams.

3. Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables are always a crowd-pleaser with their caramelized, crispy edges and rich flavor.

Roasted Vegetables

Toss some onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini together, season with herbs, and roast them in the oven until they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 

The roasted vegetables will provide a delicious balance to the fried clam’s rich and deep flavors.

Know More: Best vegetables to serve with coconut shrimp

4. Creamy Slaw

If you want something cold and refreshing to contrast the heat and crispiness of the fried clams, creamy coleslaw is an excellent choice. 

Mix cabbage, carrots, and red onion with a creamy and tangy dressing to make a refreshing and complementary side dish.

5. Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries go excellent with fried clams. They are an excellent alternative to traditional fries. 

sweet potato fries

The sweet potatoes provide a slightly different flavor from regular potatoes that pair nicely with the savory deep-fried mollusks.

They are crispy, sweet, and packed with nutrients. Plus, their bright orange color provides an appealing contrast to the golden brown color of fried clams.

Discover More: Delicious Accompaniment to Fried Potatoes

6. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a classic side dish that completes fried food very well. The cool, creamy texture of the coleslaw works perfectly with the crispy and hot fried clams. 


You can make your coleslaw using a variety of ingredients, including cabbage, carrots, onions, and mayo. Make it ahead of time so that it has time to chill in the fridge before serving.

7. Potato Salad

Potato salad is another popular side dish that works well with fried clams. This creamy and flavorful salad pairs well with the salty and crunchy flavors of the fried clams. 

You can make your potato salad with a variety of different ingredients, including mayo, mustard, celery, onion, and hard-boiled eggs.

8. Hush Puppies

If you want to go all-in on the fried food theme, consider serving hush puppies with your fried clams.

Hush Puppies

These savory, deep-fried balls of cornmeal batter are a classic Southern side dish that goes perfectly with seafood. 

They add an extra layer of crunch and flavor to your fried clams.

9. French Fries

Crispy, golden fries are the perfect complement to fried clams—they are both fried and crunchy, so they work well together.

Plus, the salty flavor of fried clams is balanced out by the starchy potato.

Check Out: What to serve with Chili Cheese Fries

10. Tartar Sauce

This creamy fish condiment is a must-have for any fried clam dish. The tangy flavor of tartar sauce helps to cut through the richness of the clams, making them even more enjoyable with every bite.

11. Rice Pilaf

If you’re looking for something heartier than potatoes or coleslaw, then a side of rice pilaf could do the trick!

Fluffy grains of basmati or jasmine rice are simmered in a savory broth until they become tender and flavorful—a great pairing for fried clams.

12. Spinach Salad

For something lighter yet still satisfying, consider serving up a spinach salad alongside your fried clams.

Spinach Salad

With its mix of bitter greens, sweet vinaigrette, and crunchy toppings like nuts or croutons, this salad will provide a balance to your meal without taking away from its flavor.

13. Garlic Bread

Who doesn’t love garlic bread? This classic side dish is forever a hit when served with seafood dishes like fried clams because it has a subtle but delicious garlic taste that stands out against all that crispy batter coating your clams.

14. Macaroni & Cheese

There’s nothing quite like mac ‘n’ cheese when it comes to comfort food pairings!

The rich creaminess mixes well with the salty batter on these clams while the cheesy flavors help emphasize their taste even more—definitely worth trying out at least once if you haven’t already!

15. Baked Beans

Another classic option for summertime meals (or any time, really!) is baked beans. They eat well with fried clams.

Baked Beans

The sweetness from the molasses blends deliciously with the saltiness from those crispy clam shells for an amazing combination of flavors! 

Plus, they’re incredibly filling, too, which makes them ideal if you plan on having guests over who don’t eat seafood very often (or at all!).

16. Onion Rings

Onion rings have been around forever as an accompaniment to many different types of foods, including seafood dishes such as fried clams! 

Not only do they match up nicely in terms of texture, but they also add extra flavor thanks to their distinctive onion taste, which complements those big briny mollusks nicely indeed… yum!

You can also look at Best Condiment for Onion Rings

17. Caesar Salad

Something light yet still packed full of flavor? Go for Caesar salad!

Caesar Salad

This popular classic features leafy romaine lettuce coated in creamy dressing and Parmesan cheese, croutons, and sometimes bacon bits – all excellent accompaniments for fried clams! 

Plus, it also provides some healthy vegetables into this otherwise heavy meal.

18. Grilled Vegetables

A selection of grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini slices, mushrooms, etc., eat well with fried clams and also an addition for much-needed nutritional value and color contrast. 

Grilling brings out vibrant flavors from many vegetables, which works especially well when combined with those juicy little deep-fried morsels.

Plus no need for extra sauces either since these will already have been pre-seasoned before hitting the grill!

What are the best flavors to go with fried clams?

Fried clams are a classic seafood dish and can be enjoyed with various flavors; for a traditional New England-style fried clam, tartar sauce pairs nicely.

A light citrus flavor from lemon juice or zest is also a great accompaniment, as it allows you to cut through the richness of the fried seafood. 

For something more adventurous, some people enjoy the combination of fried clams and hot sauce. Chili-garlic sauce, salsa verde, or even sriracha can add complexity and heat to this classic dish. 

Additionally, fresh herbs like dill or parsley can help bring out the flavor of the clams even more.

Finally, nothing pairs better with fried clams than malt vinegar on top, just enough to give it a nice kick without overpowering the flavor of the shellfish.

How do you jazz up fried clams?

To jazz up fried clams, you can try adding garlic and spices to the breadcrumbs before coating the clams. You can also try marinating the clams before cooking them for additional flavor or using flavorful oils such as chili oil or garlic-infused oil when frying. 

For an extra crunch, sprinkle some crushed crackers on top of your fried clams after they have finished cooking.

Finally, consider incorporating interesting toppings such as pesto or aioli for an added zest of flavor. Enjoy!

How do you display fried clams on a platter?

Fried clams can be presented on a platter in an appealing way.

For example, the clams should be arranged in the center of the plate and then surrounded by a variety of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and celery. The vegetables can be cut into thin strips or diced cubes. 

The platter can then be garnished with fresh herbs such as parsley or dill to give it a vibrant appearance. A light lemon or lime dressing can also be drizzled over the top to add flavor and texture. 

Finally, a sprinkle of sea salt is essential to bring out the flavor of the fried clams.

In addition to the presentation, it’s important to ensure that each clam is cooked properly and served hot so that guests don’t miss out on its delectable taste.

Wrap Up on What to Serve with Fried Clams

Fried clams are delicious on their own, but pairing them with an equally tasty side dish takes it to the next level. 

Whether you prefer classic sides like coleslaw and corn on the cob, or more unexpected options like hush puppies and watermelon salad, these delicious sides are sure to impress your guests and take your fried clam game to the next level.


How many fried clams per person?

A generous portion of fried clams is approximately six clams per person. This amount of fried clams can be served as an appetizer to share or as part of a main course. 

The size and quality of the clams will vary depending on the source, but typically each clam is around two to three inches in size.

Fried clams are deep-fried in a light, crispy batter that creates a savory flavor with a crunchy texture. They are often represnt with a side of tartar sauce for dipping, adding even more flavor to the dish.

What side dishes go with clam bake?

When planning a clam bake, it is important to consider what side dishes to include. Some popular side dish options for a clam bake are creamy potato salad, coleslaw, fresh fruit salad, sweet corn on the cob, garlic bread or rolls, and green beans. 

For an even more flavorful experience, consider adding grilled vegetables such as zucchini, squash, and bell peppers to the menu. Baked beans are also a classic side dish that pairs well with clams. 

If you’re looking for something lighter with your clam bake meal, try serving a simple arugula salad with olive oil and lemon juice or a spring mix salad topped with cranberries and nuts.

With so many great side dish options available, it’s easy to create a delicious and varied menu for your clam bake. Enjoy!

What vegetables go with clams?

Some popular vegetables that go well with clams are potatoes, corn, green beans, leeks, celery, peppers, and onions.
You can also add a variety of herbs for additional flavors, such as thyme, oregano, or parsley. Depending on the recipe you’re making and your personal preferences, any combination of these vegetables will pair nicely with clams! 

For an extra touch of flavor, consider adding some garlic or a splash of white wine to the mix. Allowing all the flavors to combine and simmer together is sure to bring out the best in this delicious seafood dish!

What is one way to serve clams?

One way to prsent clams is steamed with garlic, butter, white wine, and herbs. Clams can also be served over pasta or in a classic New England-style clam bake. 

Other great options include pan-fried clams with bacon and potatoes, barbecued clams with chorizo and tomato sauce, or simmering them in a flavorful broth for a soup or stew. Enjoy!

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