There is nothing quite like a big bowl of piping hot clam chowder to put a smile on your face. This easy and delicious recipe is bound to become your favorite soup year round.
New England clam chowder has long been my favorite soup. I prefer the white clam chowder over the red Manhattan variety.
I give you options for using canned clams or fresh clams for this recipe. I often buy the large 51 oz canned clams at Costco. Which is about 3 lbs with liquid, so fresh 2 lbs would work.
If clam chowder is on the menu I typically order it. But as a true soup lover, I make it often and I’m so glad my whole family loves it as much as I do.
- clams, canned or fresh
- chicken bouillon
- salt and pepper
Main ingredients in chowders?
What can I add to make the soup richer and creamier?
What is a good substitute for Clams?
What to serve with Clam Chowder?
What other flavors can be added to kick up Clam Chowder?
Add in a cup or two of frozen corn for more texture and a fun corn chowder taste.If you’re looking for more veggies to add some finely slivered brussels sprouts are a great option.
Get my tips on making great soups and soup recipes here.
- 1-51 oz canned clams (I get the 3lb canned clams at Costco, you can buy smaller cans and use less if it’s costly) or 2 lbs fresh diced clams soak in a cup or more of water with a ½ teaspoon salt.
- 8 oz bacon, chopped small
- 1 cup white onion, diced small
- 1 cup celery, diced small
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 1 quart (32 oz, 4 cups) whole milk (or half milk and half heavy cream)
- 6 cups peeled and diced potatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth (or water and 2-3 teaspoons chicken bouillon)
- 2-4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to taste.
- Drain canned clams and reserve juice for later, or save the juice if soaking fresh clams.
- In a 5 quart pot.
- Cook bacon in a tablespoon of oil.
- Remove bacon and add onion and celery and stir to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add flour and stir to combine.
- Slowly pour in reserved clam juice and potatoes into the pot.
- Potatoes should be under the liquid, if needed you can add a cup of water.
- Cook potatoes until fork tender.
- Add in the clams, and then slowly pour in the milk or a combination of milk and cream, keeping it at a simmer, not a full rolling boil, cream soups can separate if boiled.
- Simmer until desired thickness.
- Add in the cooked bacon, reserving some bacon for the top of the soup
- Serve with oyster crackers or garlic bread, and fresh parsley is a nice touch too.
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