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Favorite Clam Chowder Recipes: Quick And Easy New England Clam Chowder

Updated on June 13, 2011

Let's Talk Chowder!

Chowder is another form of soup that is really in my opinion like a stew as it usually has large chunks of vegetables and meat in it. Traditional New England clam chowder is a lovely combination of carrots, celery, clams, bacon and potatoes and is made with milk whereas its opposite would be the Manhattan variety with a tomato base.

Both clam chowders in my opinion are equally delicious - and equally easy to make from scratch. If you look at the amounts of sodium in commercially prepared soups, it is astounding and for that reason alone, I learned to make these chowders homemade. They are surprisingly easy. You can also go as far as to use fresh clams - those you dig yourself, clean and cook or purchase them at the fish market. Serve with a green salad and a good loaf of french bread (or serve in a bread bowl) and you have quite a spectacular meal!

New England Clam Chowder

Makes 6 servings about 1 cup each


  • 1-2 slices of center cut bacon (substitute turkey bacon)
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup of chopped celery
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or marjoram
  • 1 garlic clove crushed/minced
  • 3 6-1/2 ounce cans of chopped clams undrained
  • 2-1/2 cups diced red potatoes (skin on or off)
  • 2 8-ounce bottles of clam juice (substitute 2 cups fish stock or vegetable stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup flour


  1. Cook bacon in a large stockpot/dutch oven over medium heat until bacon is crisp.
  2. Remove bacon, drain on paper towels and pat dry of grease. 
  3. Reserve 1 teaspoon of the bacon drippings in the pan.
  4. Crumble bacon and set aside.
  5. Add onion, celery, salt, herb and garlic to bacon drippings and cook 4 minutes over medium heat or until the vegetables are tender.
  6. Drain the clams reserving the liquid. 
  7. Add clam liquid from canned clams, potatoes, clam juice and bay leaf to the pan.
  8. Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  9. Remove bay leaf.
  10. Combine milk and flour with a whisk until smooth.
  11. Add the flour and milk mixture to the pan and bring to a boil again.
  12. Cook about 10-12 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.
  13. Add clams and cook 2 more minutes.
  14. Sprinkle with bacon bits and serve.


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Husky1970 - You are SO right! We dug clams in the Puget Sound many times and yum! I think all recipes are open to interpretation and I'd love to actually love to sample ALL clam chowders because they are just so darned good!

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      Husky1970 7 years ago

      Rhode Islander is right if we are talking about "New England" clam chowder. The ultimate is replacing the cans with digging your own clams or quahogs. However, preference is what matters most!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Thanks for your comment Rhode Islander but I guess it is all about preference and all that. My recipe has those things in it and we love it that way and it is served this way in the Pacific Northwest.

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      Rhode islander 7 years ago

      new england clam chowder shouldnt have bacon, celery, onions or carrots. there should just be clam, potatoes and "broth"

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 8 years ago from Washington

      Yes I know - we've been freezing here in Central Oregon and made this just last night after writing about it! Thanks for stopping by....Audrey

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Yum! I love clam chowder! This is my favorite kind. Just the right thing for these cold winter days and evenings.