Creamy Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe – a Seafood Delight!

As I sit here, pondering the perfect dish to satisfy my cravings, my mind begins to drift towards the comfort of a warm bowl of clam chowder. And not just any clam chowder, but Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder.

If you’re anything like me, you know that finding the right seafood chowder can be tricky. But look no further than this recipe to provide an incredible mixture of flavor and texture. With fresh clams, diced vegetables, and a creamy broth that will leave you wanting more with each spoonful.

This recipe is more than just a culinary treasure, it’s a taste of history tucked away in California. You can find it at the Walt Disney parks or the Pacific Wharf Cafe in sunny Anaheim. But why travel so far when you can easily make this delicious seafood chowder in your own home?

So before you say “no chowda” here’s all you need to know about making Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder recipe right from your own kitchen.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Disney's Monterey Clam Chowder
Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder

Picture a chilly evening by the fireplace, or a windy day at the beach. Imagine yourself wrapped in a cozy blanket while enjoying a warm bowl of rich and creamy clam chowder. This Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder recipe is not just any ordinary clam chowder recipe; it is something special indeed.

Firstly, this recipe boasts a perfect balance of flavors that will make your taste buds dance with every spoonful. The addition of Tabasco sauce, white pepper, salt, and fresh thyme contributes to the harmony of flavors that awaken your palate.

Secondly, this recipe is packed with hearty ingredients that make it a satisfying and hearty treat. Imagine biting into juicy clams, tender potatoes, celery, and green pepper all swimming in a delicious creamy broth made with heavy cream. Its combination of textures will make you want to dive in again and again.

Lastly, this recipe is versatile and accommodating. As long as you have the essential ingredients like clams and potatoes, you can easily substitute some other vegetables or seafood to cater to your liking. You can even throw in some corn for added sweetness or bacon to add savory depth.

In conclusion, whether you’re an expert in the kitchen or a beginner looking to impress your friends and family; this Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe will not disappoint. It’s the perfect comfort food that brings people together over fantastic flavors and enjoyable gatherings. Get ready to warm up your soul on the next chilly evening by indulging in this fantastic dish.

Ingredient List

Here is a list of all the components you will need to make Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe a reality! Make sure to check your pantry beforehand and have everything on this list ready and available:


  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt to taste (around 1 tsp.)
  • White pepper to taste (around 1/4 tsp.)
  • 2 cups of clam juice (from canned clams or bottled)
  • Four cans of chopped clams or fresh clams, cleaned and shucked – reserve some for the garnish if desired. (Around two pounds of fresh clams)
  • Levels of Tabasco sauce or hot sauce that you prefer
  • Heavy cream, around one cup

With these ingredients at hand, the cooking journey will be smoother for Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe. In the following section, I’ll walk you through how to cook this delectable seafood chowder so that you can enjoy it in no time.

The Recipe How-To

Step 1: Sauté Vegetables
In a large pot, sauté the diced celery, green pepper, and onion in 5 tablespoons of butter until tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil for extra flavor.

Step 2: Add Flour Mixture
Stir in 5 tablespoons of flour and cook for 2 minutes. This will create a golden-brown roux for your clam chowder base.

Step 3: Add Potatoes
Add 2 cups of peeled and diced potatoes, the reserved clam juice, and enough water to cover the vegetables by about an inch.

Step 4: Simmer Ingredients
Simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender, then add the canned or fresh chopped clams until just heated through.

Step 5: Mix in Dairy Products and Seasonings
It’s time to add some richness to our Monterey Clam Chowder. Stir in 2 cups of heavy cream, fresh thyme leaves, dried thyme, a pinch of white pepper, and a few dashes of Tabasco sauce for some heat. Let the flavors meld together over low heat for about fifteen minutes.

Serve hot with a crispy side of sourdough bread or try it with our personal recommendation, chowder in a bread bowl.

Substitutions and Variations

Let me tell you, my dear foodies, that this Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder recipe is versatile enough to cater to your liking with simple substitutions and variations.

If you’re looking for spins on the classic recipe, you may opt for a seafood chowder casserole. For this variation, replace the clam meat with diced salmon or codfish. You can also add in shrimp and scallops to jazz up your seafood chowder casserole. This gives your dish an added sea-like taste and texture.

For those avoiding dairy, replace the heavy cream with coconut milk or almond milk-based cream. These plant-based options provide a subtle nutty flavor and a healthier take for individuals who are lactose intolerant.

Now let’s talk about some additional ingredients that can be added to enhance the taste profile natural of the Monterey Clam Chowder recipe. Diced carrots and green peas are great additions if you want some additional texture and color to your soup. Moreover, a few drops of Tabasco sauce can impart its heat without being overwhelming while white pepper adds more spiciness than black pepper without altering flavor profiles.

Another idea is to switch out the butter for vegetable oil or olive oil for a healthier take on the dish. And why not try adding dried thyme instead of fresh thyme? A pinch of thyme goes a long way in adding a pungent explosion of earthy flavors to any dish.

There you have it! Each substitution and addition will take your soup in a new direction, so make sure you experiment with your preferences till they blend just right into your own unique recipe – Clam Chowder is an excellent base for creative cooking after all!

Serving and Pairing

The Disney Monterey Clam Chowder is the perfect dish to warm you up on a chilly day. Served hot and fresh, this rich and creamy soup is best enjoyed in a sourdough bread bowl from the Pacific Wharf Café, located in Disney California Adventure.

To add some flair to this already delicious entree, pair it with a side salad or some garlic bread. And for those who like it spicy, top your chowder with a dash of Tabasco sauce for an added kick.

If you’re looking to pair this dish with a beverage, a crisp white wine or a cold beer would complement the flavors of the rich clam chowder perfectly.

This seafood chowder is also versatile enough to be enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer. It can even be transformed into a mouth-watering chowder casserole by adding some diced celery, green pepper, and other vegetables alongside the potatoes.

Overall, there’s no better way to end your day than snuggled up with friends or family and tucking into some delicious Monterey Clam Chowder – it’s a perfect comfort food!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

When it comes to Monterey Clam Chowder, the flavors only seem to get better with time. Therefore, it’s an excellent dish to make ahead of time or store as leftovers. I always enjoy a big batch of this chowder because it makes meal planning so easy.

If you want to make the chowder ahead of time, prepare according to the recipe instructions but skip adding in the heavy cream. Let the soup cool down completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat and add in the heavy cream gradually until it reaches your desired consistency.

If you have leftovers, transfer them into an air-tight container and refrigerate them for up to three days or freeze it for up to two months. When reheating frozen clam chowder, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on low heat on the stove.

However, remember not to boil the chowder as this can cause curdling of the dairy ingredients like cream. Instead, put on medium heat until warm enough.

Also, don’t forget you can pair your clam chowder with some sourdough bread or crackers for a hearty meal that will leave everyone satisfied.

Tips for Perfect Results

Here are a few tips to ensure that your Monterey clam chowder comes out perfectly every time.

Firstly, ensure that your vegetables are diced uniformly so that they cook evenly. Try to make them bite-size pieces, i.e., not too large or small.

Secondly, while cooking the vegetables in butter or oil, stir them occasionally to prevent them from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Thirdly, when adding flour to thicken the chowder, make sure to whisk it continuously to avoid lumps. You can also sift the flour before adding it to the saucepan for even better results.

Fourthly, use high-quality clams and clam juice for richer flavors. You can find canned clam juice in most supermarkets near the seafood section.

Fifthly, don’t overcook the clams; otherwise, they’ll become rubbery and lose their flavor. Add them towards the end of cooking and simmer only until they’re heated through.

Sixthly, add Tabasco sauce gently and slowly until you reach your desired level of spiciness. Some people prefer it mild while others prefer it hot, so adjust accordingly.

Seventhly, allow your chowder to rest for a few minutes after cooking before serving. Doing so will thicken it and allow the flavors to meld together more effectively.

Lastly, serve your Monterey clam chowder with sourdough bread or oyster crackers for an authentic coastal experience. And voila! You have a hearty and delicious dish that could rival even the best seafood restaurants in town!

Bottom Line

Monterey clam chowder is a classic dish that has delighted seafood lovers for generations. The Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe that I presented to you is the perfect way to recreate that magical experience in your own home. By following the detailed instructions and using fresh, high-quality ingredients, you can create a mouthwatering clam chowder that will rival any restaurant.

Whether you’re cozying up on a cold winter evening or enjoying a summer afternoon lunch, this dish is versatile and perfect for any occasion. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also nutritious and packed with healthy ingredients like fresh thyme, celery, and potatoes.

So what are you waiting for? Head to the kitchen and start cooking up a batch of this fantastic clam chowder. Trust me; your taste buds won’t regret it!

Disney's Monterey Clam Chowder

Disney’s Monterey Clam Chowder Recipe

I found this recipe in the "Disney Magazine." It comes from the Pacific Wharf Cafe at Disneyland and is one of their most-requested recipes. I pre-cut all the vegetables and store, covered, in the fridge until I'm ready to make the soup.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer/Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 472.3 kcal


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup red pepper
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 2 1/4 cups clam juice
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup clam, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • sourdough bread, slices (optional)


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and then add the flour to make a roux. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring often, then set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the potatoes, onion, peppers and celery over medium heat until the potatoes are just barely tender, about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Add the heavy cream, clams, thyme, salt, pepper, tabasco sauce, and roux. Whisk well to blend in the roux.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more seasoning to taste.
  • If you like, serve slices of sourdough alongside.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 306gCalories: 472.3kcalCarbohydrates: 27.4gProtein: 9.3gFat: 36.9gSaturated Fat: 20.5gCholesterol: 118.3mgSodium: 771.5mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 4.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chowders, Easy
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