Chorizo, Clams and Mussels Recipe

Looking for a wonderful, low effort, high payoff dish that will knock the socks off your guests no matter the season? Pop a little of our Red Cactus-USA salsa into this dish and watch as the flavors come alive with garden-fresh ingredients that not only compliment this gluten-free dish, but help accentuate the compelling flavors already found in chorizo. As one of the most flavorful meats on the market, chorizo is almost a secret ingredient all its own which compliments nearly any dish. Add a little acidic flare and sweet heat from your favorite style of Red Cactus salsa and you will surely impress whoever is lucky enough to join you at your table. Sure, you can eat chorizo by itself grill-charred on a skewer and come away with a happy belly, but why not spruce it up a bit? The smoked paprika, garlic and pork fat in chorizo is the perfect addition to a seafood dish.

Rendered in olive oil with garlic, onions, mussels and clams, add a jar of Red Cactus-USA salsa, some white wine, parsley and let the aroma of steam fill your home. Add some white beans to soak up the flavor and add a bit more hearty depth on a winter day. And do not forget the grill-charred crusty bread to soak up the best part – the amazing broth!

But enough of this chit-chatting, let’s get down to business.


Serves roughly 4

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 links of Spanish chorizo, cut lengthwise and then into ¼ inch pieces on the bias
  • 1 Spanish onion, cut through the stem, then again into half-moon slices
  • 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic
  • (Optional) 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4-5 pounds of mussels and clams
  • 1 ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopping until leaves are not recognizable
  • 1 jar of your favorite Red Cactus-USA salsa, we like the subtle kick of the medium


  • In a large bowl or your kitchen sink, soak your clams for 20 minutes in fresh, cold water as you prepare and begin cooking the rest of the ingredients. The clams will push salt water and sand from their shells during this process.
  • Find a decent sized, heavy-bottomed pot that you might use for a stew or stock
  • Heat the olive oil in the pot on medium heat until thin
  • Add the chorizo to the pot
  • Saute chorizo until the red of the paprika begins to combine with the olive oil and the sausage begins to crisp
  • Turn the heat to medium-low
  • Add onions and continue to saute until fragrant and translucent
    • We like to push this to nearly the point of caramelizing the onions as they will produce a fantastic flavor which complements the chorizo
  • Clean and debeard mussels
  • When the onions are nearly finished, add the garlic
    • By adding the garlic towards the end, it builds the flavor without browning it, which causes the garlic to be bitter
  • Add the clams to the pot. Clams take slightly longer than mussels to cook
  • Add white wine and crank up the heat to high, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low to medium-low heat
  • Add one jar of Red Cactus-USA salsa
  • When the clam shells begin to open, add the mussels to the pot
  • If you are adding beans, this is the time to throw them in the pot
  • Cover and simmer until all the shells have opened

Once the shells have opened, transfer the pot into a large bowl and serve with generous portions of crusty bread for soaking up the broth. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to accommodate larger numbers. It is the perfect recipe for an outdoor summer gathering.

At Red Cactus-USA all of our products are gluten and trans-fat free. This means that each product can be used in countless ways, from dips to toppings to the base of a delicious meal. The history of Red Cactus-USA began in April 1995 when Steve Lehenbauer had a minimal budget and maximum hope. His family always had a salsa around the table and with a happy accident, his Aunt Gracie added some sorghum syrup to a recipe one day. Years later came the very first line of Red Cactus-USA salsa. Our recipe page shares some of our favorite plates we have made or that our fans have shared with us over the years. Food is about sharing which is why we encourage our customers to send and share your recipes with us! Have a great recipe or two? Send them over to our team for a chance to win a case of salsa and share your specialty meals with others! Red Cactus-USA salsa can be found in major grocery stores around the country.

From our gluten free salsa products based out of Hannibal, Missouri to our community outreach, Red Cactus-USA cares about our customers through support and service. At Red Cactus-USA, it is not just about our products or our business, it is about continuing to help others. We are passionate about outreach and visiting your church or meeting place to speak and share stories. It is all in the name of encouraging others to serve. If you or someone you know is interested in having Steven speak to your group, church or at a conference, he can be reached at 217-653-8147 or by email at To learn more about Red Cactus-USA and our mission, be sure to check out our About Us page and keep up to date with the latest and greatest on our Facebook page. Next time you are in your local grocery store, keep an eye out for one of our products, from queso dip to three types of salsa.