Easy Clam Chowder Recipe for a Delicious Meal!

If you are a fan of seafood and comfort food, then this clam chowder recipe is the perfect dish for you. As someone who has spent years exploring different culinary creations, I can confidently say that this is one of the best clam chowder recipes out there. With the perfect combination of creamy broth and tender clams, this dish will undoubtedly become a staple in your kitchen.

Originating in New England, clam chowder is a classic dish that has been enjoyed for generations. It has gained popularity not only in America but around the world as well. My version of this beloved soup includes traditional ingredients like minced clams, potatoes, and onions but with a few twists that make it stand out.

The recipe is easy to follow and can be adjusted according to your preferences. Whether you’re preparing it for a weeknight dinner or hosting guests over the weekend, you’ll find yourself excited to whip it up each time. Trust me; once you try my clam chowder recipe, it will quickly become your new favorite comfort food.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

My Very Best Clam Chowder
My Very Best Clam Chowder

Do you need a comforting and hearty meal to satisfy your cravings? Look no further than my very best clam chowder recipe! This classic New England dish has been a family favorite for generations, and I’m thrilled to share my own spin on this contest-winning recipe with you.

Whether it’s a chilly day in fall or you’re just in the mood for some delicious seafood, clam chowder is perfect for any occasion. What sets this recipe apart from others is the combination of silky smooth texture and bold flavors. The creamy broth is infused with the richness of minced clams, salty bacon, and aromatic vegetables like yellow onions and celery.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. Feeling a bit fancy? A splash of white wine or heavy whipping cream will make your chowder even more indulgent. Looking for something lighter? Simply substitute low sodium broth for bottled clam juice or add parsley as a garnish for a fresh and herbaceous touch.

And don’t worry, this recipe isn’t complicated at all! With ingredients readily available at your local market and easy-to-follow instructions, it won’t take long to whip up a big pot of chowder that will warm up your soul.

So whether you are an experienced cook or novice, I guarantee that everyone will love this dish. One spoonful of my best clam chowder recipe, paired with some crusty bread or oyster crackers, and you’ll find yourself transported to a cozy seafood shack by the ocean. Trust me; you won’t regret giving it a try!

Ingredient List

 A steamy bowl of comfort, ready to warm your soul.
A steamy bowl of comfort, ready to warm your soul.

Here are all the ingredients you will need to whip up my best ever clam chowder recipe in no time!


  • 4 x 6.5 oz cans chopped clams
  • 2 x 5 oz cans minced clams
  • 1 big or 2 small fresh quahog clams, steamed and shucked (optional)

Vegetables and Herbs

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Bacon and Pork

  • 4 thick-cut bacon strips, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 slices salt pork or bacon (optional)

Flour and Liquids

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 bottles (8 oz each) clam juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup dry white wine


  • Salt and black pepper
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)

The Recipe How-To


Step 1: Cook the Bacon and Onion

I start my clam chowder recipe by cooking the bacon. Take 2 slices of thick-cut bacon and cut them into small pieces. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add bacon pieces. Cook until they are crispy and brown, then use a slotted spoon to remove them from the pot and reserve them for later.

In the same pot, add one large yellow onion, finely diced, and cook until it turns translucent, for about 3-4 minutes. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds.

Step 2: Make the Roux

Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same pot over medium-low heat until it is completely melted. Using a whisk, gradually add ¾ cup flour stirring constantly. The mixture should resemble wet sand, but not be dry.

Stirring occasionally, let this cook for about 5 minutes until it’s light brown color, that nutty smell lets you know that you’ve accomplished making the roux.

Step 3: Add the Broth

Slowly pour in two cups of heavy whipping cream, whisking constantly – this helps avoid any clumps.

Next, add in 5 oz bottled clam juice, stir well until fully combined. New England Clam Chowder has its unique white color from this ingredient. Finally add in 2 cups of milk to make the soup creamier.

At the same time, warm up canned minced clams or clams prepared earlier at low heat with their juices (i.e., quahog clams or chopped clams). Use a fork to break up any large clumps of meat. Reserve this bowl for later use.

Drop in peeled diced russet potato into your pot along with onion & garlic that’s been cooked earlier so it will get coated by all the flavors we’ve introduced. Freshly chop celery stalks and also feed them into our soup mix. Stir well occasionally as your soup heats up to ensure ingredients stay together amicably.

Step 4: Simmer

Bring your soup to boil on medium-high heat setting to begin simmering. Your potatoes must have softened completely after around 10-12 mins into simmering; make sure you can slide a fork through with minimal resistance before proceeding.

Finally, stir in crispy bacon bits (set aside at step-1) along with reserved canned clams – do not forget any left-over liquid they came in! Simmer another 3-5 minutes so flavors get acquainted before putting off heat.

Step 5: Final Touches

Sprinkle on freshly chopped parsley leaves as a garnish right before serving your creamy clam chowder hot. Season with salt and black pepper according to your preferences or enjoy as it is!

Try out this best-clam chowder recipe, let

Substitutions and Variations

 Top it off with crispy bacon for that extra crunch!
Top it off with crispy bacon for that extra crunch!

If you are looking to make some fun tweaks to this classic clam chowder recipe, there are a few substitutions and variations you can try out. Here are some ideas:

– Vegetarian: If you want to make a vegetarian version of this dish, simply omit the bacon and use vegetable broth or water instead of bottled clam juice. You can also substitute diced mushrooms for the clams.

– Manhattan Clam Chowder: If you prefer a tomato-based soup, you can try making Manhattan Clam Chowder instead. To do so, omit the heavy cream and add in diced tomatoes along with some fresh thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. You can also use beef broth instead of bottled clam juice.

– Corn Chowder: For a variation that’s perfect for summertime, try making a corn chowder instead of a traditional clam chowder! Use fresh or frozen corn kernels and add them in when you would normally add in the clams. You can use vegetable broth or water instead of bottled clam juice.

– Boston Clam Chowder: Boston Clam Chowder is another variation that is similar to New England Clam Chowder but uses salt pork instead of bacon and thyme instead of parsley. Some recipes also include diced carrots and celery.

No matter what variations you choose to make to this classic dish, don’t be afraid to get creative! There are endless ways to customize clam chowder based on your personal taste preferences. Bon appétit!

Serving and Pairing

 Just a pinch of Old Bay seasoning for that perfect flavor.
Just a pinch of Old Bay seasoning for that perfect flavor.

My Very Best Clam Chowder Recipe is a comforting and hearty dish that is perfect for a chilly day. This classic New England-style clam chowder can be served as an appetizer or as a main course.

For a complete meal, I recommend serving this creamy clam chowder with crusty bread or oyster crackers. The crunchy texture of the bread perfectly complements the smooth and creamy soup. You can also serve it with a side salad to add some freshness and crunch to your meal.

When it comes to pairing, you can’t go wrong with a glass of white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. The acidity in the wine helps cut through the richness of the chowder and enhances the flavors of the clams and herbs. Alternatively, if you prefer beer, a light lager or pilsner would also work well.

If you want to try something different, you can also pair this clam chowder with red wine, such as Pinot Noir. The fruity notes in the wine complement the smoky flavor of the bacon and add another layer of complexity to the dish.

Overall, whether you’re having a cozy night in or hosting a dinner party, my best clam chowder recipe is sure to impress your guests and warm their bellies. Enjoy!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
Trust me, your taste buds will thank you!

If you’re planning to make this clam chowder recipe ahead of time, it’s important to know that the longer it sits, the thicker it will become. This is actually ideal if you prefer a really thick and creamy soup. If you are reheating leftovers, you may need to add a splash of milk or cream to help loosen the consistency.

When storing your leftover chowder, it’s best to refrigerate it in a covered container and consume within 3-4 days for optimal freshness. Freezing is another option, but just be aware that dairy-based soups like this one can sometimes have a slightly altered texture once thawed and reheated.

To reheat your leftover chowder, you can use either the stovetop or microwave method. For the stovetop method, simply heat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until heated through. Just be careful not to overheat and scorch the bottom! Alternatively, microwaving in 30-second intervals while stirring in between each interval will also work well.

Overall, this recipe is quite forgiving when it comes to make-ahead and reheating scenarios, making it an excellent option for meal prep or batch cooking for busy weeknights.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Creamy, hearty and packed with tender, juicy clams.
Creamy, hearty and packed with tender, juicy clams.

Making a delicious clam chowder can be quite challenging. Luckily, with the right tips and tricks, you can achieve perfect results every time. Here are some tips that I have collected over my years of making clam chowder to help you make the best version of this classic New England dish.

First and foremost, using high-quality ingredients is key to achieving the best taste for your clam chowder. Be sure to use good quality fresh or canned clams, heavy cream, bottled clam juice, white wine, bacon, and unsalted butter for the most authentic flavors.

Adding russet potatoes is another important step in making perfect clam chowder. These potatoes have a high starch content that will break down during cooking, thus thickening the soup without flour. Dice them into small cubes to make sure they cook evenly and become tender.

Don’t forget to save some of the clam juice from your canned clams when you drain them. This juice will enhance the flavor of your soup and give it an extra boost of seafood flavor.

Make sure to cook your onions low and slow until they are translucent before adding them to your soup. This will keep them from burning or becoming too crunchy when cooked.

Bacon is also an integral part of a good chowder recipe. Use thick-cut bacon or salt pork that has been chopped into a small dice so that it cooks evenly.

When it comes to seasoning your chowder, it’s important not to overdo it with salt as bottled clam juice can already be quite salty. Similarly, avoid adding too much flour as this can make your soup overly thick and stodgy.

To add a pop of color and freshness to your finished clam chowder recipe, sprinkle it with chopped parsley just before serving. This bright green herb adds a touch of earthiness and provides a visual contrast against the creamy soup.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious batch of clam chowder that plenty of people would enjoy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust your seasonings according to your preference— after all, cooking is all about finding what works best for you!


As a culinary explorer, I know that questions may arise while cooking, especially when trying out new recipes. That’s why in this section, I have provided answers to some commonly asked questions (FAQ) about making the best-ever clam chowder. These FAQs will help you gain more knowledge about the recipe, its ingredients and how to achieve the desired results. So, let’s begin!

What is the most famous clam chowder?

Clam chowder has gained widespread recognition, but the most famous among them all is the New England clam chowder. This variation consists of a delightful blend of clams, onions, celery, corn, potatoes, and bacon or salt pork. It’s a classic recipe that has been savored and enjoyed by many.

How to make can clam chowder better?

For the recipe, you will need a large can of clam chowder, a 5 oz can of clams, and either 1/4 cup of milk or cream. If you choose to use a stove-top version, you will also need 1 tablespoon of either olive oil or butter. Additionally, chop up 1 rib of celery, 1/4 of an onion, and 2 slices of pre-cooked bacon. Sprinkle some Old Bay Seasoning and fresh parsley on top for added flavor.

What is the thickener in New England Clam Chowder?

According to Charlie Burke from The Heart of New England online magazine, truly authentic chowders from New England aren’t typically thick. Instead, they tend to use the natural starch from potatoes to mildly thicken the broth mixed with milk or cream.

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

New England chowder, also known as Boston-style clam chowder, has a creamy base which gives it a thicker consistency compared to chowders from other regions. Its key ingredients include clams, potatoes, onions, and pork which are cooked in a mixture of milk and butter. It is typically served with oyster crackers.

Bottom Line

In summary, my very best clam chowder recipe is the perfect New England-inspired dish to warm yourself up on a cool day. With its creamy texture, rich flavor, and thick cut bacon undertones, this chowder recipe will delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more.

By using high-quality ingredients like fresh minced clams, unsalted butter, and bottled clam juice, you can rest assured that your version of this recipe will be nothing short of delicious. And with the simple substitutions and variations provided in this article, you can easily make it your own.

So whether you’re feeding a crowd or just cooking for yourself, this chowder recipe is sure to please. Try it out today and experience why it’s considered one of the best clam chowder recipes out there. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Bon appétit!

My Very Best Clam Chowder

My Very Best Clam Chowder Recipe

My husband and I worked on this recipe for years before it came to this and it is wonderful. He doesn't like me to share it with anyone, but I know you won't tell!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine New England Cuisine
Calories 926.1 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled & diced
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans minced clams, in liquid
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon of better than boulion clam base
  • salt & pepper
  • bread, scooped out into bowls,to serve in
  • parsley, to garnish


  • Saute onions in a little oil until soft (7-8 minutes).
  • Add the potatoes to the onions and continue to saute a few minutes more and set mixture aside.
  • In a med-large size pot melt the butter over medium heat add the flour and mix well- but be sure not to burn.
  • Add bottled clam juice and the juice from the canned clams (set the clams aside).
  • Add the wine and clam base and mix well.
  • Add the potato and onion mixture and bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and bring it to a soft consistent boil.
  • Boil for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft checking them frequently as to not over cook.
  • Add heavy whipping cream and clams and reheat.
  • Add salt& pepper to taste.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 308gCalories: 926.1kcalCarbohydrates: 41.8gProtein: 49.8gFat: 59.1gSaturated Fat: 35.1gCholesterol: 311.1mgSodium: 585.1mgFiber: 3.1gSugar: 3.1g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Chowders
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