Clam Chowder Recipe

There are so many things that we love about our Clam Chowder Recipe! It’s so easy to make, deliciously creamy and comforting, and it’s a soup recipe that we enjoy all year long!

We’re a soup obsessed household – we enjoy different soup recipes all year long, no matter what the temperature is. Our popular Beefy Tomato Soup is always on the menu, or more chowder recipes like this Chicken Corn Chowder!

clam chowder in a blue bowl with crackers

New England Clam Chowder Recipe

This creamy classic chowder is one of our favorite dinners to make! Serve it in the summer with corn on the cob or bunker down with a big bowl in the winter with lots of fresh bread and extra crackers on the side.

We use canned, chopped clams in this soup recipe to make it easy. You can, of course use fresh clams too if you have them on hand, but we find that grabbing a few cans of clams works just as well!

How Do You Make Clam Chowder From Scratch?

Start by cooking a few slices of bacon, right in the soup pot. Drain off all but a few tablespoons of the bacon drippings, and then cook your onions, garlic and potatoes right in there.

Once the vegetables have softened, add flour to make a roux (this is what helps thicken the chowder) and the pour in chicken stock and clam juice. Bring to a simmer while scraping up the bottom of the pot and whisking out any lumps.

After the potatoes have softened a bit, pour in the milk and heavy cream along with three cans of chopped clams and their juice. Simmer the Clam Chowder for 20-25 minutes, partially covered over medium low heat.

clam chowder in a pot with bacon

Stir the chowder often so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pot as it cooks. The chowder will thicken more as it cools slightly.

Serve with crackers or bread on the side for dipping.

clam chowder in a ladle over a pot

What Are The Best Potatoes To Use For Clam Chowder?

You definitely want to use a russet potato to make New England Clam Chowder. The starch in russet potatoes helps to thicken the chowder, unlike a more waxy potato like red potatoes or Yukon Golds.

But if those potatoes are what you have on hand, of course go ahead and use them up. You might have to thicken the chowder a little more as it cooks but it’s going to be delicious either way.

Can I Use Fresh Clams To Make Clam Chowder?

Definitely. If you’d prefer using fresh clams then you’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of chopped, cooked clams. You can steam clams on the stove top or in a tray in the grill, or bake them in the oven.

clam chowder in a bowl from the side

How Long Does Clam Chowder Last In The Fridge?

Homemade clam chowder will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat the chowder in the microwave or on the stove top for an easy lunch or dinner! If the chowder gets too thick as it sits in the refrigerator, just add a splash or two of chicken broth and thin it out.

Can You Freeze Clam Chowder?

Like most cream based soups, clam chowder doesn’t freeze well. You could make the chowder up until the part where you add the cream and milk, then freeze and finish the soup after thawing.

But as far as saving leftover chowder, you can store it in the refrigerator and enjoy it for up to three days.

Looking For More Soup Recipes?

clam chowder in a blue bowl with crackers

Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Our Clam Chowder Recipe is going to be on your dinner menu all year long! A creamy chowder loaded with potatoes, bacon and chopped clams!



  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups diced russet potatoes (about 2 large or 3 medium sized potatoes)
  • 12 tablespoons garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 8 ounces clam juice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 11 1/2 cups heavy cream (start with 1 cup and then add more if desired)
  • 3 cans (6.5 ounce each) chopped clams with juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook the bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Add the onions, potatoes and garlic to the pot, stirring with the bacon and drippings. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper to taste, then add the thyme. Cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to make sure the flour is absorbed.
  3. Pour the chicken broth and clam juice into the pot, scraping up the bottom of the pot as you stir. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. Stir in the milk, cream, clams and clam juice.
  4. Bring the chowder to a simmer and cook partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir the chowder often so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Pierce a couple of the potatoes with a fork to make sure they are tender. If the potatoes need a bit more time, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Uncover the chowder and simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken. The chowder will thicken more as it cools slightly.
  7. Serve with fresh, chopped parsley for garnish and crackers on the side.

Recipe Notes

Since clam juice and bacon are both salty ingredients, you can skip the salt until the end if you like and then season as needed.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

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1 Response
  1. Rick Conrad

    This is a good basic Clam Chowder. Hearty, delicious, and simple. What it is not is the best Clam Chowder. With that said I made it by the recipe and found it to be a good hearty clam chowder

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