For a low-key but festive Labor Day dinner, try Ina Garten’s easy clambake recipe—all done on the stovetop.
Labor Day is finally upon us which means this is the perfect weekend to get your clambake on before the summer comes to a close. Of course, you can take the traditional route for this classic New England seafood spread (which, despite its name, is prepared through steaming, not baking) but that has its drawbacks.
For one, you need to be in the vicinity of a beach—a real deal clambake involves the use of a giant, makeshift oven in the sand. Needless to say, this requires plenty of digging, plus the effort spent preparing a fire, gathering and then setting down layers of seaweed, and completing the build-out of the oven, not to mention the several hours required for cooking. It’s quite the undertaking, especially for a holiday where you’re supposed to be rewarded for your labor, not engage in a whole lot of it.
Related Reading: The History of the Clambake
But if the thought of serving up a steamed shellfish feast sounds too tempting to pass up this weekend (and you’re also not about to make grilled paella), there is another option that offers plenty of flavor with minimal work and, best of all, it can be prepared in the comfort of your own kitchen in only 30 minutes. No surprise, this quick and easy clambake hack comes from the woman, the myth, the legend herself, the pride of East Hampton, Ina Garten.
All you need is a large stockpot, a bounty of clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobster, plus a few extras like potatoes, kielbasa, and dry white wine—take Ina’s advice and only use a bottle (or can or box) of vino that you’d want to drink. In about the time it takes to watch an episode of “Barefoot Contessa” your ultimate Labor Day meal will be ready to share with your friends and family.
Le Creuset 8-Quart Enameled Stockpot, $94.95 at Sur la Table
A plain stainless steel stockpot will do the job, but an enameled one will do it in style.
Visit the Barefoot Contessa website to get Ina’s Kitchen Clambake recipe in full.
For more laid-back Labor Day ideas, check out our make-ahead Labor Day recipes, easy side dishes to bring to a BBQ, more hot dog alternatives, and no-bake desserts for a sweet, stress-free finish. How easy is that, indeed.