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Wishing for a seaside vacation? Well, you can get yourself partly there with this clam chowder recipe! Don’t buy that canned goo…make this authentic clam chowder and your family will swoon. My husband and kids actually cried when we polished off the last of it and promptly begged me to make more.

Best Clam Chowder Recipe

The best clam chowder is full of real ingredients with fresh veggies and little pieces of clam thrown about. Don’t forget the bacon for that rich and delicious taste. It’s so easy to make too that once you do, you’ll never go back to canned again.

Clam Chowder Ingredients

  • Canned clams – You’ll need the 18-20oz size for this clam chowder.
  • All-purpose flour – Helps to make your clam chowder soup thick.
  • Heavy whipping cream – And this makes it creamy and dreamy.
  • Bacon – What could be better?
  • Potatoes – Russet potatoes work the best here.
  • Celery – Chop it up finely so it distributes through the soup.
  • Garlic – Mince it fresh.
  • Butter – Adds more richness.
  • Chicken stock – To help create the base.
  • Clam juice – Adds more of that seaside flavor to your clam chowder soup recipe without being fishy.
  • Chicken bouillon – Rounds out the broth base.
  • Clam chowder seasoning – You’ll need red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, bay leaves, and salt and pepper.
  • Fresh herbs – With fresh parsley and sage, you’ll really make this clam chowder rock!

Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

Would you believe that it only takes 15 minutes to put this easy clam chowder recipe together? It’s true! And 50 minutes total before it’s ready to ladle into bowls for everyone. Make it tonight!

How do you Make Clam Chowder from Scratch?

You’ll combine the clam juice that comes from the clam cans with the bottled clam juice. Then in a soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon to render the fat off. Remove part of the bacon and drain it on a paper towel. Add butter to this and then put in the celery and onions. Then add potatoes and red pepper flakes. Add some flour, then chicken stock, chicken bouillon, clam juice, seasonings, and bay leaves and get it boiling. Once that happens put it down to a simmer, simmering uncovered until potatoes are fork tender. Now, take out the bay leaves and add the heavy whipping cream. Take the pot off the heat, add the clams and season the soup with salt and pepper. You can adjust the consistency here if you prefer or go ahead and serve it with chopped bacon, fresh parsley, and oyster crackers.

Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Clam Chowder Every Time

  • Don’t overcook the clams. You don’t want them to be like pieces of rubber. This is why you add them at the end.
  • Ditto for the potatoes. You want them fork tender and that’s it. From there, get a move on with the rest of the soup so they have the perfect texture.
  • And speaking of texture, go easy with the flour. At these measurements, 1/3-cup is plenty to give it enough thickness.

You had me at clam chowder.

What is the secret ingredient in clam chowder?

Bacon is perhaps the secret ingredient that you need in this. Then again, all those seasonings and the fresh herbs really pull it all together too.

What are the best canned clams for clam chowder?

The best canned clams for clam chowder are the ones you rely on for your recipes. Bumblebee makes some of the best though whatever you like is the best one for your clam chowder.

What is clam chowder broth made of?

The broth for this clam chowder is made from chicken stock, clam juice, and heavy whipping cream to form the rich and creamy base.

What is the key ingredient of a chowder?

For this particular chowder, the key ingredient is clams. You can’t make clam chowder without them. And if you do, everyone will wonder where the clams are!

What is the difference between Boston and New England clam chowder?

There is zero difference except in the name. A Boston clam chowder and New England clam chowder recipe are the same.

What is the difference between clam chowder and New England clam chowder?

Clam chowder, also known as Manhattan clam chowder, features a tomato-based broth that is more clear in nature. Meanwhile, a New England clam chowder recipe is thick and creamy.

Who makes the best clam chowder?

Well, with this recipe YOU will make the best clam chowder, that’s for sure! Make it and you’ll see it rivals the clam chowder at famous seafood places in New England.

What to add to clam chowder to make it better?

Clam chowder should have an array of seasonings, vegetables, and of course, clams in it. If you follow this recipe, you won’t have to add anything else. All the flavors are balanced and so is the texture giving you a delicious clam chowder that tastes restaurant-quality.

What are the best toppings for Clam Chowder?

We love fresh parsley on our clam chowder along with chopped bacon pieces. The kids love oyster crackers too.

What goes well with Clam Chowder?

You can’t go wrong with bread, a nice salad, corn on the cob, bacon-wrapped scallops, mussels, and fries. All of these things in addition to the toppings go well with clam chowder.

How to Store Clam Chowder?

You must let clam chowder cool, then it needs to go into your fridge in an airtight container, that is if you have any leftover.

How Long Does Clam Chowder Last?

You’ve got 3 to 5 days to slurp up that clam chowder from your fridge.

Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

Yes, you can and it should keep for 3 to 6 months. However, be mindful that the texture may be a little different when you go to heat it up.

How to Reheat Clam Chowder?

Let it thaw in your fridge overnight if it’s frozen. Then heat it up slow and low on the stove.

Watch How To Make Clam Chowder (Video)

Classic Clam Chowder Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 530
This classic clam chowder recipe is easy to make and delicious! If you've never made homemade clam chowder then this recipe will teach you how to make an outstanding chowder packed full of flavor for your family that warms the soul and makes excellent leftovers!


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 thick cut bacon slices (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 stalks celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 large white onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups russet potatoes (diced into 1/4" cubes)
  • 3 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups clam juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 18-20 oz canned clams (drained and chopped)

Clam chowder toppings

  • Oyster crackers, fresh parsley, bacon bits


  • Reserve the clam juice from the cans into a measuring cup. Combined with the bottled clam juice, you should have about 3 cups total. Set aside.
  • In a dutch oven or soup pot, render the fat of the bacon on medium to medium-high heat. Remove half the bacon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add the butter to the remaining bacon and fat to the pot. Increase the heat and add the celery and onion. Saute the veggies over medium-high until the onions are slightly translucent. Add the potatoes and red pepper flakes, then the sprinkle in the flour. Add the chicken stock, clam juice, chicken bouillon, bay leaves, and seasonings and bring to a boil.
  • Once the mixture is boiling, reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are fork tender. Once the potatoes are fork tender, remove the bay leaves and stir in the heavy whipping cream. Remove the pot from heat and add the clams, seasoning the chowder with salt and pepper too taste. If you prefer the chowder to be thinner you can add more heavy cream or chicken stock. Serve hot topped with chopped bacon, oyster crackers, and fresh chopped parsley.
Calories: 530kcal
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 847mg | Potassium: 783mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1019IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg

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Author Megan Miller

I’m a mom of two, food and wine lover, and recipe creation enthusiast. Good food brings families together. Which is why I’m devoted to sharing my best recipes that are simple enough for even the beginner cook that your family will love!

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