Easy Winkles Recipe

How to Cook periwinkles

Winkles are little black shellfish that look like snails. They may be enjoyed as part of a seafood platter or fruits de mer, or you can enjoy them as a snack by themselves, or with some bread and butter, as an easy winkles recipe appetizer.

Another name for winkles is periwinkles, although in the UK (where I grew up enjoying them) they’re simply known as winkles.

You can buy them cooked or live but if you’re shopping for fresh ones (or picking your own) to make an easy winkles recipe, first you should check the smell.

Good winkles smell slightly sweet and like the sea. They might move visibly. Live ones need to be rinsed in plenty of cold water before being soaked in salted water for half an hour before you boil them.

Very Easy Winkles Recipe Ideas

They take 3 or 4 minutes to boil in salted water and then it’s best to roll them in oil to make the shell shiny. Serve them with salt and vinegar, and don’t forget the little pins to extract the meat from the shell. What an easy winkles recipe this would be.

These are time-consuming to eat because they are very small, but honestly they are worth the effort because the flavor is amazing. Discard the hard foot at the top end but the rest of the winkle may be eaten.

Winkles RecipeSo how do you cook winkles? Well the best way is to just prepare them by soaking in fresh and then salted water, and then just simmer them for a couple of minutes. That’s all you have to do.

How to Serve an Easy Winkles Recipe

Keep things simple and serve them with melted butter or garlic mayo, and some bread and butter. You can serve them with regular pins (like you use for sewing) as long as they are sterile, or you can get special winkle pins instead.

When you’re eating them, first remove and discard the small disc thing and then you can get the winkle out of the shell. If this is your first time eating them, you will be amazed how delicious an easy winkles recipe can be.

I first tried these as a small child. My grandparents used to forage for them. And lately I’ve been enjoying them as part of fruits de mer platters. About that: I find it odd they aren’t more widely available though (well depending where you live of course) because they’re so nice.

You can add them to chowder or prepare them like clams or escargot. When cooked they pop out of the shell and are divine with melted parsley butter.

How Many Periwinkles Per Person?

There are about 90 winkles in a pound (450g). I recommend serving between half a pound (225g) to one pound (including shells) to each person, depending whether they’re an appetizer or the main dish.


Easy Winkles Recipe

Winkles, or periwinkles, are a small, black type of sea snail and they may be bought or foraged. Although it’s time-consuming to eat them, they are worth it because the flavor is yummy.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 mins
  • Total Time: 14 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Appetizer


  • 30 live winkles
  • Crusty bread and butter, to serve (optional)
  • Garlic mayonnaise, to serve (optional)
  • Malt vinegar, to serve (optional)
  • Pins, to get them out of the shells


  1. First soak the winkles in cold water for 10 minutes.
  2. Then soak them in salted cold water for 30 minutes.
  3. Now you can bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  4. Add the winkles and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
  5. Serve hot, perhaps with crusty bread and butter, malt vinegar and/or garlic mayonnaise.
  6. Don’t forget the pins to get them out of their shells.