Savoury Manhattan Clam Chowder – Easy Homemade Recipe

Welcome to the world of delicious soups, where the aroma of freshly steamed soup takes over your senses and makes you crave for more. Today, I bring you a classic and mouth-watering Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe that is bound to tickle your taste buds.

This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family and has become a household favorite. Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe is rich in flavor and full of hearty ingredients that will keep you warm and satisfied on a cold winter day.

Whether you are looking for a comforting meal or want to entertain guests with an impressive dish, this chowder won’t disappoint you. From its tangy tomato-based broth to its tender clams and perfectly cooked potatoes, this recipe is sure to transport your taste buds straight to New York City’s bustling seafood restaurants.

So put on your apron, grab your ladle, and let’s dive into the world of Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Uncle Gary's Manhattan Clam Chowder
Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder

Are you in search of a recipe that is both comforting and hearty? Look no further than Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe! This delicious and satisfying soup is sure to warm your heart and soul on a cold evening.

Made with fresh clams, diced potatoes, tender celery, and a flavorful Ragu tomato sauce, this chowder is a twist on traditional clam chowder: it features a tomato-based broth instead of a creamy base. But don’t let this fool you – it’s still creamy and rich, with the perfect balance of savory flavors.

The addition of garlic powder, thyme, pepper, and salt truly bring out the robust flavor of the clams without overpowering them. And with the option to add bacon for added depth of flavor and texture, you’ll be left with an unforgettable dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.

This chowder recipe has been passed down through generations of seafood lovers in Uncle Gary’s family. And it’s no surprise why – every spoonful bursts with flavor and comfort. So gather your loved ones around and enjoy a bowl (or two) of this classic soup.

Ingredient List

 The perfect bowl of warmth for a chilly night!
The perfect bowl of warmth for a chilly night!

The Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe requires a few key ingredients that are easy to find in the market. The recipe calls for clams, which give the chowder its distinct flavor, and clam broth as a base for the soup. Other main ingredients include potatoes, celery, and small onion diced 1 to add texture and flavor. For added richness, use butter and flour to create a roux that will thicken the soup. Ragu tomato sauce, tomato paste and clam juice give this chowder its signature dark-red color and improve the overall taste. Don’t forget to season with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder to elevate the flavors further.

Ingredient List

  • Clams
  • Clam broth
  • Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Small onion diced 1
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Ragu tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Clam juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Garlic powder

The Recipe How-To

 One hearty spoonful, and you'll be in chowder heaven.
One hearty spoonful, and you’ll be in chowder heaven.

Now, we get to the fun part – whipping up a delicious pot of Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder in your very own kitchen. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a steaming bowl of goodness ready in no time.


  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups clam broth
  • 2 cups Ragu tomato sauce
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 stick butter
  • 4 Potatoes diced
  • One (28) oz cans red clam or fish chowder
  • One (6.5 oz) can clam juice
  • Two (6 oz.) cans tomato paste

Step-by-step Instruction:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until nicely browned, then transfer it onto a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Once cool, set it aside to be used later as an irresistible chowder topping.
  2. Using the bacon fat that remains in the pot, sauté the onions and celery until they’re softened.
  3. Next, add garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, clam broth and Ragu tomato sauce to the pot.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil before decreasing heat to low and simmering for around half an hour.
  5. While the soup is simmering away beautifully, put a second pot on medium heat.
  6. Melt the butter in the pot and slowly whisk in flour until it turns into a smooth paste or roux.
  7. Add diced potatoes into the main soup pot while roux is being made on another burner for about five minutes or until potatoes are soft but firm yet not cooked through.
  8. Gradually pour two cups of soup from the first pot into second pot with roux while whisking continuously until all of it is combined well.
  9. Put contents of second pot back into first soup pot that contains everything else; increase heat setting to medium-high again till it boils again briefly.
  10. Add canned clams (and their juice) as well as tomato paste to main soup pot after breaking up any lumps using fork, whisk etc.; stir or whisk mixture properly and cook all down together for at least another ten minutes till you’ve reached your desired consistency.

That’s it! Your Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder is now ready to be devoured by you and your lucky family members or friends.

Substitutions and Variations

 This Manhattan Clam Chowder will have your nose in love and your taste buds craving more!
This Manhattan Clam Chowder will have your nose in love and your taste buds craving more!

Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe is a classic and delicious dish that doesn’t need many variations. However, if you’re looking to experiment with the recipe or make some substitutions, below are some ideas to consider:

– Red Clam Chowder: If you prefer a tomato-based chowder, swap out the Ragu tomato sauce for tomato paste and add more clam juice to the mix.

– Fish Chowder: Although this recipe calls for clams, you could easily use any type of fresh fish or seafood that you have on hand. You may want to make a seafood broth instead of using clam broth, and consider adding some white wine for extra flavor.

– Manhattan Style Clam Chowder: If you’re not a fan of cream-based soups, this version removes the milk and cream in favor of a thinner broth. It tends to be more tomato-heavy than the New England style version.

– Herb Variations: Feel free to experiment with different herb combinations to add depth and complexity to your soup. Thyme is used in Uncle Gary’s recipe but other herbs such as oregano, basil, or parsley can be used as well.

– Vegetable Substitutions: If you’re out of celery, try using fennel instead. If you’re not a fan of green bell peppers, use red or yellow instead.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation and finding what works best for your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and try new variations on this classic chowder recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 A burst of oceanic flavors in every spoonful.
A burst of oceanic flavors in every spoonful.

When it comes to serving and pairing Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder, you have several options to explore. On a cold winter day, this hearty soup can make a fulfilling main meal for lunch or dinner. To complement the savory flavor of the chowder, pair it with a crispy baguette or warm sourdough bread on the side. The bread can be used for dipping it in the soup or soaking up the broth.

If you’re looking for ways to elevate the flavors of Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder, consider serving it with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, or Chardonnay. These wines will contrast the tomato-based broth with its fruity acidity and a hint of oak flavor.

For those who prefer beer instead, an amber ale or Belgian-style saison can be great choices to balance out the saltiness of clams and bacon in the chowder with a touch of bitterness and tartness. The effervescence of beer also makes it great for washing down your food and cleansing your palate between bites.

If you’re hosting a dinner party and serving Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder as one of many dishes, consider placing breadsticks or oyster crackers on the table as alternative sides that tie in with the seafood theme.

Remember, between wine and beer pairing, everything is about balance: you don’t want anything too overpowering that will ruin your experience of enjoying this delicious soup. Choose something that brings out the best in Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder without stealing all of its show.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The rich tomato broth is sure to entice any appetite.
The rich tomato broth is sure to entice any appetite.

When it comes to making meals ahead of time, Manhattan Clam Chowder is an ideal soup to prepare in advance. You can store it in the fridge or freezer, and then just reheat when ready to serve.

To make ahead: Prepare the recipe as instructed, let it cool down to room temperature, and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To freeze: Ladle the cooled chowder into freezer-safe containers, leaving enough headspace for expansion. Seal tightly and label with the date. The clam chowder can be frozen for up to 3 months.

To reheat from fridge: Gently heat the soup on low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.

To reheat from frozen: Thaw completely in the refrigerator overnight. To expedite the process, you can thaw it in a microwave on defrost mode or using a cold water bath. Once thawed, transfer it to a pot and gently heat up on low heat while stirring occasionally.

It’s worth noting that clam chowder tends to thicken as it sits in the fridge or freezer. If your chowder ends up too thick after reheating, add more clam broth or water to thin it down to your desired consistency.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe any time you want, even when you’re short on time.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Have a warm hug in a bowl and feel right at home.
Have a warm hug in a bowl and feel right at home.

To ensure that your Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe comes out perfect every time, here are a few tips:

Firstly, make sure that you check the quality of the clams before using them. Discard any clams that have been open for more than 15 minutes, as well as any with broken shells or that don’t close tightly when touched.

Next, when cooking the bacon, cook it until it’s crispy but not burnt. This will make sure that the bacon isn’t soggy when added to the chowder.

When sautéing the vegetables, be sure to cook them until they are translucent and tender. This step is important because it releases the flavors and aromas of the vegetables into the chowder.

To prevent lumps from forming in your chowder, make sure to whisk together the flour and butter mixture thoroughly before adding it to the soup.

When adding the clams, make sure not to overcook them as they will become rubbery and tough. Add them just before serving so they don’t get overcooked.

Lastly, let your chowder simmer for at least 20 minutes to allow all of the ingredients to combine their flavors thoroughly. Remember that like most soups, chowders taste better when left to sit for a while before serving.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious Manhattan Clam Chowder recipe every time that’ll leave everyone asking for seconds!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe is a must-try for seafood lovers and soup enthusiasts alike. This recipe offers a unique twist on traditional clam chowder by featuring a tomato-based broth that infuses the dish with a rich flavor profile. The combination of clams, potatoes, onion, celery, and thyme creates a savory and satisfying meal that is perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re in the mood for a comforting dinner at home or want to impress guests at your next dinner party, this recipe will not disappoint. It’s easy to make, customizable to your preferences, and can be stored and reheated for leftovers throughout the week.

Furthermore, if you are looking for the best restaurants near you to try an authentic Manhattan clam chowder or any other seafood soup, we recommend checking out places like Brenda’s French Soul Food or Scott’s Chowder House. Their menu features some of the most exquisite seafood soups in town.

Overall, given its delicious taste and ease of preparation, it is safe to say that this recipe is definitely worth trying. So don’t hesitate to give it a try at home or look for some of the best chowder houses in town – discover for yourself why Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe is such a beloved dish!

Uncle Gary's Manhattan Clam Chowder

Uncle Gary’s Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe

While working in Rhode Island,one of my co-workers husband introduced me to his version. It is awsome. Hope you enjoy as well as I did.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 270.1 kcal


  • 10 potatoes, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 8 -10 baby carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup clam base or 2 cups clam broth
  • 1 cup Ragu tomato sauce
  • 2 (6 1/2 ounce) cans chopped clams, reserve juice from the cans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • thyme


  • Peel, rinse and dice the potatoes.
  • Start potatoes in water, bring to boil and set timer for 15 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside.
  • In soup kettle, add diced onion, celery and carrots, add the butter or vegetable oil and saute for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
  • Add flour to thicken mixture.
  • Fill kettle half way with water and 1/4 cup of Clam Base or 2 cans of Clam Broth and bring to a boil.
  • Add the cup of Ragu, tomato sauce.
  • Add the 2-6.5 oz. cans chopped clams along with the juices.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme over the chowder and add the potatoes.
  • Simmer for 1 hour on lowest heat.
  • ENJOY.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 251gCalories: 270.1kcalCarbohydrates: 43.2gProtein: 9.7gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2.1gCholesterol: 18.5mgSodium: 187.6mgFiber: 5.4gSugar: 3.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beginner Cook, Chowders, Easy, European, Potato, Stove Top, Vegetable, Winter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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