Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

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Indulge in this Easy Clam Chowder recipe, where a lusciously creamy base meets generous chunks of clams, smoky bacon, and soft, perfectly seasoned potatoes. Every bite is so yummy, it turns this into a restaurant-worthy clam chowder!

Craving more ideas for this soup season? Try this Easy 30-minute Chicken Noodle Soup, Cheeseburger Soup, Olive Garden’s classic Pasta e Fagioli soup, or this amazing Lasagna Soup.

Don’t forget to serve this with my Easy garlic bread – it’s a match made for dipping!

2 bowls of clam chowder are served on a table.

Nothing says comfort quite like a bowl of our creamy New England Clam Chowder. Each spoonful is a celebration of flavors, from the briny sweetness of delicious clams to the earthy goodness of tender potatoes, all swirled in a creamy, savory broth. This dish is like a hug in a bowl, offering super creamy goodness that’s perfect for the times you’re craving warmth and a little extra comfort. Plus, it’s a great way to bring the tastes of the seaside right to your kitchen, any time of the year. 

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • EASY TO MAKE – This clam chowder is straightforward and simple, making it ideal for cooks of any skill level.
  • RICH & FLAVORFUL – Packed with succulent clams and creamy goodness, it’s a taste that’ll win everyone over.
  • ULTIMATE COMFORT FOOD – Think creamy, full of tasty clams and cozy potatoes. This chowder’s like a warm hug on a cold night.

Recipe Ingredients

You’ll need the following ingredients to make The Best Clam Chowder Recipe:

INGREDIENT NOTES:

  • Minced Clams: I used SNOW’S Bumble Bee Wild Caught Chopped Clams in Clam Juice
  • Clam Juice: I used SNOW’S Clam Juice
  • Potatoes: I used Russet potatoes, but any potato will work
  • Heavy Cream: If you prefer thinner chowder, you can use whole milk instead

HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY CLAM CHOWDER Recipe: STEP-BY-STEP

Check out the quick visual guides below. For full instructions and ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the end.

STEP 1: Cook Bacon: In a Dutch Oven, or large pot, cook chopped bacon until crispy. Remove bacon, set aside, and leave 1-2 tablespoons of grease in the pot.

STEP 2: Sauté Vegetables: In the same pot, sauté diced onion and chopped celery in the bacon grease until tender, about 5 minutes.

STEP 3: Add Flour: Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stirring well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

STEP 4: Potatoes and Bouillon: Add diced potatoes, water, and crumbled chicken bouillon cubes to the pot. Stir well.

STEP 5: Simmer with Bay Leaves: Add bay leaves, bring to a boil, then simmer covered on low heat until potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes.

STEP 6: Add Liquids: Pour in clam juice and heavy cream, stirring to combine.

STEP 7: Add Clams: Stir in undrained minced clams with their juices, heating the chowder on low without boiling.

STEP 8: Final Touches: Remove bay leaf, serve hot, garnished with cooked bacon and fresh parsley.

clam chowder in a large pot with a wooden spoon

 Recipe Tips

  • Bacon Fat: Don’t skip using the bacon grease for sautéing the vegetables. It adds a depth of flavor that enhances the overall taste of the chowder.
  • Flour Coating: Ensure the vegetables are well-coated with flour before adding liquids. This step helps thicken the chowder.
  • Potato Choice: Use starchy potatoes like Russets or Yukon Golds, as they break down slightly and help thicken the chowder.

Pro Tip:

Simmer, Don’t Boil: When adding the cream and clams, gently heat the chowder. Boiling can cause the dairy to separate and the clams to become tough.

Storage and Reheating

Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator, in an airtight container. It can be kept for up to 3 days.

Reheating: To reheat individual portions, it’s best to use the stovetop over low heat. This method helps maintain the texture and flavor. While the microwave can be used for convenience, be cautious as it may unevenly heat and potentially alter the texture of the dish

Freezing: While you can technically freeze homemade New England Clam Chowder, it’s not typically recommended due to the potatoes in this dish. Freezing may cause the texture of the potatoes to become slightly softer, but the overall taste should still be good.

Additions & Substitutions

ADDITIONS:

  • Vegetables: Carrots, leeks, or bell peppers can add sweetness and color.
  • Herbs and Spices: Fresh thyme, dill, or a pinch of cayenne pepper can enhance the flavors

SUBSTITUTIONS:

  • Chicken Bouillon Cubes: The easiest substitute is to replace chicken or vegetable broth for bouillon cubes. When using broth, you can omit the water called for in the recipe and make a one-to-one replacement. Crushing the bouillon cubes in this recipe can give your clam chowder a quicker flavor boost, and even distribution.
  • Clam Juice: If clam juice is unavailable, you can use fish or seafood stock as a substitute.
  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Minced Clams: If you prefer fresh clams, you can use them instead of canned minced clams. Steam the clams until they open, remove the meat, and chop it before adding it to the chowder.

FAQs about this creamy clam chowder recipe:

Yes, fresh clams can be used. Steam them until they open, then chop the meat and add it to the chowder. Remember to strain the clam broth and use it in the soup for added flavor.

If your chowder is thinner than you’d like, you can thicken it by mixing a bit more flour with water to make a slurry and stirring it into the chowder. Alternatively, mashing some of the potatoes can also help thicken it.

Starchy potatoes like Russets break down slightly and help thicken the chowder, while waxy potatoes like Yukon Gold hold their shape well. Both types work, so it depends on your texture preference.

What Can I Serve with this Classic Clam Chowder?

Pair this Easy Clam Chowder recipe with a simple green salad, a crusty chunk of sourdough bread, a thick slice of homemade white bread, inside bread bowls, or with the classic oyster crackers.

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Did you make this recipe?

I’m excited for you to try this Easy Clam Chowder Recipe! After you make it, please leave a rating to let me know your thoughts on it – I’m eager to hear if you loved it as much as we do!

New England Clam Chowder in a large pot with a soup ladle.

Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

Vicky@LittleChefWithin.com
Enjoy a bowl of our Easy Clam Chowder Recipe, made with canned clams, it's quick and perfect for those cold nights.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course 30 minutes meals, dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 1810 kcal

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven or Large Stock Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 5 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup clam juice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cans 6.5 ounces minced clams undrained
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside on paper towels to drain. Leave about 1-2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.
  • In the same pot with the bacon grease, add the diced onion and chopped celery. Sauté them over medium heat until they become tender, which should take about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the sautéed vegetables and stir well to coat. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to remove the raw taste of the flour.
  • Add the diced potatoes to the pot and pour in the water. Crumble the chicken bouillon cubes into the mixture. Stir well to combine.
  • Drop in the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, pour in the clam juice and add the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  • Add the undrained minced clams (with their juices) to the pot. Heat the chowder over low heat until it’s heated through, but be careful not to let it boil.
  • Season the chowder with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that the bacon and bouillon cubes can add saltiness, so taste before adding too much salt.
  • Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve hot, and garnish with crispy bacon.

Notes

Simmer, Don’t Boil: When adding the cream and clams, gently heat the chowder. Boiling can cause the dairy to separate and the clams to become tough.

Nutrition

Calories: 1810kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 18gFat: 174gSaturated Fat: 110gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 44gCholesterol: 539mgSodium: 2925mgPotassium: 725mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 7398IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 369mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Dinner, easy, one-pot meal, soup
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7 Comments

  1. You had me with soup and clam chowder – the best, especially with the winter storm we have, so pinned it. The moment I can dig my car out from under a 30cm snow dump, I will shop for these ingredients.
    Thanks so much for participating and sharing at SSPS 293. See you again next week!

  2. Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – see you again tomorrow!

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