New England Clam Chowder is a hearty and flavorful soup made with chopped clams, crispy bacon, potatoes, onions, and celery with a creamy base. It is a wonderful recipe from Spend With Pennies. It will surely fill and warm you up, especially on cold winter days! Don’t forget to add some oyster crackers to your chowder bowl, too! If you love robust and substantial soups, I also have Corn Chowder you will want to try.

Ladle full of New England Clam Chowder hovering over the pot from overhead.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Clams: Look for cans of chopped clams in clam juice. Canned clams are pre-cooked, so you simply add them near the end of the cooking time, just to warm them up. You will need both the clams and clam juice for this recipe. If using fresh clams, you will have to steam them before removing them from the shell and adding them to the chowder.

Clam Juice: After draining the clam juice from the canned clams into a measuring cup, add more clam juice to get about 2 1/2 cups.

Bacon: I prefer thick-cut bacon for its more substantial texture. I don’t want it to get lost in the chowder!

Potatoes: In this clam chowder, I added Yukon gold potatoes. They have a creamy texture when cooked and a lovely golden color. Russet potatoes would also work.

Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is added to the chowder to give it some richness and creaminess.

Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper flakes, or crushed red pepper, give each bite of the chowder a subtle kick. You could leave it out if you don’t want any heat. Or, add a little more for more of a kick!

Steps for making New England Clam Chowder in a pot on the stove.

How To Serve Clam Chowder

When serving clam chowder, make sure each bowl has plenty of clams, potatoes, and other ingredients. I recommend serving the chowder in a bread bowl! Or, provide sourdough bread or dinner rolls to sop up the delicious broth. You could also offer garnishes like oyster crackers and extra crumbled bacon. And, off to the side, have lemon wedges available to squeeze into the chowder. The acidity of the lemon juice can brighten up the flavors of the soup.

Pouring New England Clam Chowder into a bowl on a wooden table.

New England Clam Chowder vs. Manhattan Clam Chowder

This is a New England clam chowder, which is different when compared to Manhattan clam chowder. Generally, New England clam chowder has a creamier, dairy-based consistency while Manhattan clam chowder has a thinner, tomato-based broth. In addition, Manhattan clam chowder has the addition of tomatoes for a slightly tangy and sweet flavor.

Can I Thicken Chowder?

Yes, you can thicken clam chowder. If you want a thicker chowder, simply add more flour. If you want it a little thinner, add more chicken broth or cream.

Bowls of New England Clam Chowder on a wooden table from overhead.

How To Store New England Clam Chowder

To store clam chowder, first, let it cool completely. Next, store the chowder in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in a saucepan on the stovetop or microwave.

Pot of New England Clam Chowder on a wooden table from overhead.
5 from 1 vote

New England Clam Chowder

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
New England Clam Chowder is a hearty and flavorful soup made with chopped clams, crispy bacon, potatoes, onions, and celery with a creamy base. It will surely fill and warm you up, especially on cold winter days! Don't forget to add some oyster crackers to your chowder bowl, too!

Ingredients

  • 3 cans (6.5 ounces each) chopped clams in clam juice
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
  • 6 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • cup (42 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups (480 g) chicken broth
  • 3 medium (about 1 ¼ pounds) Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into ¼-inch cubes, about 3 cups cubed
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (238 g) heavy cream
  • fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Into a measuring cup, drain the canned clam juice. Then, pour in the bottled juice. You should have a total of 2 ½ cups of clam juice. Set aside.
  • To a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add bacon. Cook until crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot (discarding the rest).
  • Add butter. Once melted, add onions and celery. Stir to combine and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add flour. Stir to coat. Add chicken broth, clam juice, potatoes, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 12-13 minutes.
  • Add heavy cream, chopped clams, and bacon (reserving a small amount of bacon for garnish). Stir to combine. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until everything is cooked through.
  • Garnish with the remaining bacon and parsley. Serve warm.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

There's nothing quite like a piping hot bowl of classic clam chowder on a chilly day! This soup did not disappoint. It was rich, full of flavor, creamy but not too thick, and the crispy bacon added a really nice touch. I definitely went back for seconds!

Elizabeth

This is an easy, but delicious clam chowder recipe. I would serve this with a slice of crusty bread for dipping in the broth. Yum!

Selena

Really delicious! I loved the creamy texture of this, and the clam flavor is subtle, pairing so nicely with the potatoes and bacon in this soup.

Bella

A nice bowl of warm, comforting, and creamy clam chowder! I enjoy the crispy bacon that is added afterward!

Rachael

Creamy and delicious! The bacon adds such a nice smokey flavor to the soup, and I like it with some oyster crackers. It was so good!

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