Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter Recipe

Mesh bags are traditionally used at clambakes. For this recipe, however, we have added the classic low country boil ingredients of shrimp, potatoes, corn, and smoked sausage, such as Conecuh. We prefer using foil packets because they act as pockets, catching the seasoned juices and buttery sauce—perfect when used as a dipping sauce with a hunk of bread. You can quickly assemble the foil packets in the morning and store them in the fridge, then head out for a day in the sun and surf. When you come in for the evening, simply toss the packets on the grill for about 20 minutes and you have a wonderfully fragrant clambake.

Grilled Clambake Foil Packets with Herb Butter
Photo: Linda Pugliese; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 serves


  • 1 1/2 (12 oz.) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 1 lemon)

  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, divided

  • 12 small red potatoes (about 2 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 3 ears corn, husks removed, each ear cut into 4 pieces

  • 24 unpeeled raw medium shrimp (about 2/3 lb.)

  • 24 littleneck clams in shells, scrubbed (about 1 lb., 3 oz.)

  • 1 pound smoked sausage (such as Conecuh), cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices

  • 3 lemons, cut into quarters

  • 6 thyme sprigs

  • Grilled French bread


  1. Stir together butter, shallot, parsley, dill, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon of the Old Bay seasoning in a medium bowl until well blended.

  2. Combine potatoes and water in a medium-size microwavable bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH until tender and a knife can be inserted easily in center of potatoes, about 5 minutes. Drain and let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Preheat a grill to medium (400°F to 450°F). Cut 12 (12-inch) square pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place 6 squares of the foil in a single layer on work surface. Divide potato wedges and corn evenly among foil sheets. Top each with 4 shrimp and 4 clams. Top evenly with sausage slices and lemon wedges. Dollop each with about 1/4 cup butter mixture. Top each with 1 thyme sprig, and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Old Bay. Top each with 1 foil square, and crimp all sides to seal tightly.

  4. Grill packets, covered, until shrimp are done and clams open, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating packets on grill halfway through cooking time. Discard any clams that do not open. Serve with grilled French bread.

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