Creamy Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe – Easy & Delicious

Are you a fan of hearty soups and stews? Are you in search of an effortless and delicious clam chowder recipe? Look no further! I present to you my Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy. Traditional New England-style clam chowder is known for its thick and creamy texture, tender potatoes, juicy clams, and a subtle hit of salty bacon. Lucky for you, this recipe has all of those components and more.

Imagine walking into your house after a long day at work to an aroma that immediately sparks joy in your soul. The easy slow cooker method allows the ingredients to blend together harmoniously over hours of low heat. This hearty and comforting soup is perfect for a chilly evening spent with loved ones or as a cozy dinner for one. Trust me, even if you’ve never made seafood chowder before, this recipe is so simple it almost feels like cheating. Better yet, it’s versatile enough to personalize with your favourite toppings or serve it on the side with some crusty bread, yielding endless possibilities for any eater’s preference.

So what are you waiting for? Join me in the kitchen as we set out on our culinary journey that brings us back to the warmth and comfort every time we eat it. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, this Easy Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe will be the star dish that will leave everyone impressed and asking for seconds.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder
Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

Mmm… Clam chowder. The mere mention of it makes me salivate! And when I tell you that this is a slow cooker clam chowder recipe, I hope to take your appetite to the next level.

Why you’ll love this recipe, you ask? Two words: convenience and flavor. Slow cooker clam chowder is one of the easiest and most convenient ways to make a classic New England clam chowder. You can’t rush amazing flavors, but with crockpot slow cooker clam chowder, you don’t have to wake up extra early or spend hours standing over the stove. All you have to do is gather the ingredients, toss them in the pot, set it and forget it.

Besides being easy to prepare, this incredible slow cooker clam chowder is loaded with tender clams and chunks of potatoes in a creamy broth that’s bursting with flavor. The addition of crispy bacon bits gives a smoky, salty taste that will leave your taste buds begging for more. Trust me; even if you don’t think you are a seafood fan or clam chowder aficionado, this recipe will convert you.

And since slow cooker clams cook low and slow, the flavors have plenty of time to mingle, resulting in an incredibly savory dish that will keep you warm on those chilly nights. Of course, there’s no need to wait for winter; indulge in this hearty bowl of deliciousness any time of year.

This easy slow cooker clam chowder recipe is an irresistible option for seafood lovers who adore the rich flavors of traditional New England style chowders but want an effortless way to make them. With just a few simple steps, you get all the flavors and comfort without having to work up a sweat in your kitchen. So what are you waiting for? Give it a try today!

Ingredient List

 Dive into a bowl of creamy, clammy goodness!
Dive into a bowl of creamy, clammy goodness!

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make this Slow Cooker Clam Chowder recipe:

For the Chowder:

  • 6 cans Minced Clams, drained and reserved juice
  • 2 cups Clam Juice
  • 1½ pounds Potatoes, diced (about 4 to 6 medium-sized potatoes)
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs Celery, diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups Half-and-Half

For the Salt Pork:

  • 8 ounces Salt Pork or Bacon, diced


  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch


  • Chopped fresh Parsley

These ingredients are readily available in your local grocery store. You might have some of them on hand already, such as onions, garlic, pepper and potatoes. Before starting, make sure you have all the ingredients ready so that cooking will be easier and more efficient.

The Recipe How-To

 Let the slow cooker do the work for you with this easy clam chowder recipe.
Let the slow cooker do the work for you with this easy clam chowder recipe.

Now, let’s get cooking! Follow these steps to create the delicious Slow Cooker Clam Chowder at home.


  • 4 cans minced clams, drained, but reserve the juice
  • 2 c. clams juice
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 lb. salt pork or bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Into the same pan with the bacon fat, add in clams, onion and celery then sauté until the onions are translucent.
  3. Combine clam mixture, potatoes, garlic, reserved clam juice, water, bay leaves and thyme into crock-pot.
  4. Cook on low for about 6 hours or high for about four hours or until potatoes are tender.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together half-and-half and cornstarch until smooth.
  6. In the last hour of cooking time stir in half-and-half mixture.
  7. Once done season with salt and pepper to taste.

You should have a nice creamy base for your chowder now! Remember that this recipe serves around four to six people so adjust your ingredients accordingly if you have more guests coming over.

Do not overcook the chowder as seafood is sensitive when it comes to temperature so keep checking throughout the cooking process.

I hope these instructions have been helpful!

Substitutions and Variations

 This clam chowder is so good, you'll want to lick the bowl!
This clam chowder is so good, you’ll want to lick the bowl!

As a culinary adventurer, I always like to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to suit my mood and preferences. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try with the Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe:

– Cornstarch: You can use all-purpose flour as a thickening agent instead of cornstarch.

– Half-and-half: To make the chowder lighter, you can use whole milk or 2% milk instead of half-and-half. Alternatively, if you prefer a richer taste, you can use heavy cream.

– Clams: You can use fresh clams instead of canned minced clams if they are available in your area. However, be prepared that it may take longer to cook the fresh clams.

– Salt pork: If you cannot find salt pork, you can substitute bacon diced into small pieces.

– Potatoes: You can use red potatoes instead of yellow potatoes for a slightly different texture.

– Bay leaves: If you do not have bay leaves, you can omit them or substitute with dried thyme.

– Vegetarian option: If you prefer a vegetarian version of the clam chowder, you can omit the clams and substitute with chopped mushrooms or canned corn.

– Seafood chowder: To make a seafood chowder, add scallops, shrimp, or lobster along with the clams.

– Corn chowder: To make a corn chowder, omit the clams and add canned or frozen corn kernels instead.

– Fish chowder: To make a fish chowder, substitute the clams with white fish such as cod or haddock.

By trying out different variations and substitutions, you can create your own unique version of the Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe that reflects your personal taste and creativity.

Serving and Pairing

Now that you’ve prepared this hearty and delicious Slow Cooker Clam Chowder, it’s time to think about how best to present and serve this delightful dish. I recommend you ladle the chowder into a bowl or a bread bowl and sprinkle some black pepper on top.

One of the great things about this classic New England clam chowder is that it pairs well with many types of side dishes. For instance, a side salad can help balance the richness of the chowder. A caesar salad or simple green salad with vinaigrette would make an excellent choice.

If you’re looking for something more carb-rich, consider serving the chowder with some hearty crusty bread, bread rolls, or biscuits for dipping. The soft texture of the bread complements the creamy texture of the chowder.

For a splash of color and extra taste, consider adding some freshly sliced tomatoes on top of your chowder or alongside. You can also make it fancier by sprinkling some chopped fresh parsley or scallions over top before serving.

As for beverages, white wine (such as Chardonnay) is an excellent choice for sipping during dinner since its acidity and mineral characters provide a perfect balance to the richness of the bisque. A pint of beer would also work well; choose an ale to complement the taste of both bacon and clams in your recipe.

Enjoy your delicious slow cooker clam chowder with any of these side dishes and drinks!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

The beauty of this Slow Cooker Clam Chowder recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. I recommend storing the chowder in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping and can be reheated easily for a quick and easy lunch or dinner option.

To reheat, simply pour the chowder into a pot and slowly heat it on medium-low heat on your stovetop. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent any burning. You could also reheat it in your microwave, but be careful not to overheat it, as this may curdle the half-and-half.

If you are planning to make this chowder for a crowd or have leftovers that you want to store, I recommend freezing it. To do this, let the chowder cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in your freezer. It will keep well for up to two months.

When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen chowder, simply thaw it in your refrigerator overnight and then reheat using one of the above methods. The taste may be slightly altered after freezing, but it will still be delicious.

Overall, this Slow Cooker Clam Chowder recipe is a perfect option for busy weekdays or lazy weekends, as it can easily be made ahead of time and reheated when needed. Plus, its creamy texture and rich flavors will leave your taste buds craving more!

Tips for Perfect Results

In order to make the best slow cooker clam chowder, it’s important to follow a few guidelines to ensure the perfect result. Here are some tips that might come in handy next time you decide to cook this delicious recipe.

First of all, when cooking with a slow cooker, it is crucial not to lift the lid too often. With crockpot clam chowder, the lid should only be lifted once or twice during the entire cooking process. Each time you lift the lid, you let out heat and moisture which can cause your chowder to dry out or cook unevenly. Trust the process and let the slow cooker do its job.

Another tip is using good quality bacon or salt pork. These ingredients add an incredible amount of flavour to traditional New England clam chowder. To avoid a greasy texture in your chowder, it’s recommended to cook the bacon until just crispy and remove any excess rendered fat from the pan before adding more ingredients.

When adding half-and-half or heavy cream near the end of cooking, slightly warm it up first by microwaving it for 30 seconds or heating it over low heat in a pot on your stove. This step will help prevent curdling, giving your chowder a silky-smooth consistency.

An essential ingredient in any clam chowder recipe is clam juice. Do not drain it out when opening the cans of minced clams as it adds depth of flavour and enhances the seafood taste in your chowder. If you don’t have access to fresh clams or clam juice, you can substitute for chicken broth, fish stock or a combination of milk and vegetable or chicken broth.

Lastly, if you want your potatoes and vegetables to maintain their shape while cooking in your slow cooker, cut them into uniform pieces that are roughly half an inch thick. This will help them cook evenly without turning mushy.

By following these simple tips, you’re sure to make an incredible batch of slow cooker clam chowder that will be loved by everyone at your table!

Bottom Line

This Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe is undoubtedly one of the most delicious, easy-to-follow recipes that will make you an instant culinary explorer. The chowder is thick, creamy, and hearty with bits of juicy clams and crispy bacon, seasoned with all the right ingredients. This recipe can be modified to suit your taste and preferences, so don’t shy away from experimenting.

If you’re feeling adventurous, I highly recommend trying out different substitutions and variations to elevate the flavour profile of your chowder. Pair it with some crusty bread or oyster crackers to complete the meal.

Additionally, this recipe comes with several tips to ensure perfect results every time – from choosing the right type of slow cooker to prepping the ingredients correctly. And if you have any concerns or questions about making Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe, the FAQ section is there for you.

This recipe is bound to impress your family and friends, whether you’re hosting a gathering or just looking for a comforting meal on a chilly night. So go ahead and give this recipe a try; I promise you won’t regret it!

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder Recipe

Living near the outer banks of North Carolina I've taken this indigenous recipe for clam chowder and added a northern touch, to the chagrin of the locals. All those here on the "Crystal Coast" (as this area is called) love the added touch. I hope you do also.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 7 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 791 kcal


  • 51 ounces ocean clams (3 lbs, large can)
  • 46 ounces ocean clam juice (large can)
  • 1/2-3/4 lb salt pork
  • 1 large white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 -4 large potatoes, peeled and cube
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups half-and-half
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch


  • In a skillet saute the salt pork(cut into cubes).
  • Add chopped onions last few minutes and fry with pork.
  • Put all ingredients in a 6 qt crock pot EXCEPT milk and corn starch.
  • Cover and cook approximately 6-7 houirs in a slow cooker.
  • During the last half hour mix cold half and half with the corn starch.
  • add to crock pot slowly mixing well.
  • Cook for another half hour.
  • Goes well with white wine and French bread.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 622gCalories: 791kcalCarbohydrates: 66.1gProtein: 39.3gFat: 40.5gSaturated Fat: 17.4gCholesterol: 127.6mgSodium: 2417.8mgFiber: 4.7gSugar: 8.5g
Keyword Chowders, Easy, Inexpensive
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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