Clam and Tomato Stew Recipe

Recipe From Dr. Mercola

A rich and hearty bowl of stew brings warmth and comfort to anyone who eats it. Cook it with fresh clams and tomatoes and you’re sure to eat one healthy meal. If you love seafood, then this clam and tomato stew recipe is perfect for you.

Did You Know?
  • If you love seafood, then this clam and tomato stew recipe is perfect for you
  • Littleneck clams are the most expensive among other variety of clams, due to their sweetness and tenderness
  • Avoid refrigerating tomatoes as it changes their taste and texture, and also reduces their volatile nutrients

Clam and Tomato Stew Recipe

Serving Size: 4


  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 11/2 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 24 littleneck clams, scrubbed and chipped (instructions follow)

    Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced  into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 20 whole peeled tomatoes
  • Salt to taste


Chipping clams:

It is no fun biting into a clam and chewing on sand. Chipping clams gets them to expel sand that is in their shell. Place the live clams in a large bowl and cover with water. Add 2 tablespoons of corn meal and let stand for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes gently shake the bowl. The clams think they are being fed and end up purging any sand that was in their shell. Carefully lift the clams out of the water so the sand stays at the bottom of the bowl.


  1. To prepare the tomato sauce: in a 3-quart saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until softened and light brown, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add thyme and tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer until thickened a bit, about 30 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Keep warm until ready to add the rest of the dish.
  4. In a large heavy-bottomed pan, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat until it is glistening.
  5. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add tomato sauce, apple juice, and clams, and then cover. Cook until clams are open, about 8 minutes.
  7. Adapted from Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type).

Clam and Tomato Stew Cooking Tips

When selecting freshly caught clams, pick those with shells that are still tightly closed. If some are slightly opened, choose clams that close after tapping. Do not pick clams with broken or cracked shells. Clams will usually open up after cooking so discard those that don’t open.1

Although it has been common practice for some people to eat half-cooked shellfish, health authorities still consider this as a potential risk for developing foodborne diseases, especially for those with chronic illness. So be sure to only eat cooked clams or any other seafood.

I don’t advise refrigerating tomatoes as it reduces their volatile nutrients. Refrigerating them also changes their taste and texture. Ideally, you should store tomatoes at room temperature ranging from 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why Is Clam and Tomato Stew Good for You?


The sizes of clams may vary depending on the region from which they are harvested. Usually, littleneck clams are the smallest and the most preferred in the shellfish market. They are also the most expensive due to their sweet flavor and tenderness.2

Generally, clams are rich in selenium, zinc, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and B vitamins such as niacin and vitamin B12. These vitamins are essential for better immune system, and loading up with vitamin B12 can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.3,4  

Clams are low in fat but full of omega-3 fats which are good for your body. They help in regulating your cholesterol levels and in maintaining a healthy heart. A 3-ounce serving of clams offers 117 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and about 174 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).5

Clams are also a good source of high-quality protein,  providing 22 grams of protein per 3-ounce portions (when steamed), which is equivalent to 44 percent of the daily recommended value based on a 2,000-calorie diet.6


Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, which is an important antioxidant for your body. When tomatoes are cooked, their lycopene content increases, which makes everyday meals even more nutritious.

Lycopene protects your skin from the dangerous ultraviolet rays that might cause skin cancer and helps eradicate destructive free radicals in your body. This antioxidant also significantly reduces the risk for osteoporosis and maintains bone health.

Remember that it is best to make your own organic tomato sauce as canned tomatoes contain bisphenol A (BPA), which is known as an endocrine-disrupting chemical.

Apples are rich in B vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine that boost your metabolism. They also provide vitamin A that helps eliminate free radicals and protects you from infections. 

Eating an apple helps keep your heart healthy and maintains your blood pressure, as it contains iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Consuming it, especially when unpeeled, provides you with high levels of antioxidant. According to a research,7 its high flavonoid content helps reduce risk of colorectal cancer.

However, do note that apple juice is high in fructose so I recommend consuming just 25 grams of fructose each day. Those with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or any other chronic illness must limit their fructose intake to 15 grams per day. Also, store-bought apples and tomatoes may be pesticide-laden so be sure to buy only organic ones.

+ Sources and References