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Easy Clam Chowder

Easy Clam Chowder is the perfect comfort food meal on a cold winter night. Filled with tender clams, hearty potatoes and a creamy broth, it can be served in bread bowls or topped with oyster crackers.

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Clam chowder bread bowl.

Clam chowder is a classic for soup season and it’s actually easier than you think to make at home. Garnish with smoky bacon and serve with crusty bread for main dish that is sure to please.

Why You Will Love this Easy Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Restaurant-Worthy Clam Chowder: This recipe is very simple to make but the results are a creamy clam chowder recipe that tastes like you would expect from seafood restaurants. 
  • Simple Ingredients: This delicious chowder is made with canned clams and pantry ingredients. This makes it a budget-friendly meal and canned clams are easily accessible at most grocery stores.
  • Delicious Comfort Food: Traditional clam chowder is a hearty and filling meal that is so flavorful and satisfies a hungry crowd.
2 bowls of clam chowder, small bowl of chopped bacon.

Ingredients Needed for Traditional Clam Chowder Recipe

  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Minced Garlic
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes or Russet Potatoes
  • Chicken Broth
  • Bay Leaf
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Canned Clams
  • Heavy Whipping Cream or Whole Milk
  • Corn Starch
  • Dried Thyme
  • Dried Oregano
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Bread Bowls or Oyster Crackers – optional for serving

Step-By-Step-Directions for Creamy Clam Chowder

Collage cooking bacon in a dutch oven, draining on paper towels.
  1. Cut bacon into 2 inch pieces and cook in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until bacon is crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Collage: celery, onions, garlic, potatoes/ cooking in dutch oven, with broth.
  1. Keep about 1/4 cup of bacon drippings in the pan, reserve the rest for another use. Add diced onions, celery and minced garlic to the bacon grease. Cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened. 
  2. Drain Clams, reserving the juice. 
  3. Add chicken broth, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add bay leaf and small diced potatoes. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
Diced potatoes and cream added into clam chowder.
  1. Lower to simmer. Add Mix heavy whipping cream with corn starch with a whisk.
Collage making clam chowder, garnish with bacon.
  1. Mix into soup and add seasonings.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often until soup is thickened. Stir in clams, cook another 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard.
  3. Garnish with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.
Dutch oven of clam chowder, ladle of soup.
  1. Ladle into a bread bowl or soup bowls and garnish with oyster crackers if desired.
Bread Bowl of Clam chowder garnished with bacon and parsley.

Recipe Notes for Chowder

  • Using Fresh Clams: Use 1 cup freshly cleaned and steamed clams along with an 8 ounce bottle of clam juice. Make Manhattan Clam Chowder with a tomato broth instead of the cream.
  • Storage: Store leftover clam chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Place chowder in a pan and add a few tablespoons of milk, cream or broth. Cook over low heat, stirring until heated through.

More Delicious Homemade Soup Recipes to Try

  • Broccoli Cheese Soup is a favorite soup recipe for winter.  and it is even more delicious served up in bread bowls for a hearty dinner.
  • Sausage Potato Soup is a 30-minute meal that everyone loves, it’s a great recipe that is even better than Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana. 
  • Quick Chicken and Dumplings is a tasty comfort food dinner that is really quick and easy to make for busy weeknights. It’s one of the best creamy soups that everyone loves.
Clam chowder in a bowl with a spoon.

This is the best clam chowder recipe and can be on the table in under an hour; it makes a great weeknight dinner that everyone will love. 

Yield: 4 Servings

Easy Clam Chowder

Bread bowl with clam chowder.

Easy Clam Chowder is the perfect comfort food meal on a cold winter night. Filled with tender clams, hearty potatoes and a creamy broth, it can be served in bread bowls or topped with oyster crackers.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 - 3 cans clams, chopped or minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound Yukon gold potatotes or russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 bread bowls, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut bacon into 2 inch pieces and cook in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until bacon is crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  2. Keep about 1/4 cup of bacon drippings in the pan, reserve the rest for another use. Add diced onions, celery and minced garlic to the bacon grease. Cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened. 
  3. Drain Clams, reserving the juice. 
  4. Add chicken broth, clam juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Add bay leaf and small diced potatoes. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Lower to simmer. Add Mix heavy whipping cream with corn starch with a whisk. Mix into soup and add seasonings.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often until soup is thickened. Stir in clams, cook another 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard.
  7. Garnish with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley.
  8. Ladle into a bread bowl or soup bowls.

Notes

  • Using Fresh Clams: Use 1 cup freshly cleaned and steamed clams along with an 8 ounce bottle of clam juice. Make Manhattan Clam Chowder with a tomato broth instead of the cream.
  • Storage: Store leftover clam chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 2 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container up to 3 months.
  • Reheat: Place chowder in a pan and add a few tablespoons of milk, cream or broth. Cook over low heat, stirring until heated through.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    4

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 709Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 2084mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 33g

    Nutritional calculations are estimated and may not be accurate.

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