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Close up on a bread bowl with clam chowder.

Clam Chowder Recipe

Teri & Jenny
A delicious and warming creamy New England Clam Chowder Recipe, made in under an hour. Loaded with chopped clams, we love serving this simple recipe in hollowed our sourdough bread bowls for a truly decadent experience.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Amercian
Servings 6
Calories 319 kcal


  • 3 strips bacon chopped
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 leek cleaned and thinly sliced (white and light green part only)
  • 2/3 cup fresh corn (from 1 cob)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced
  • 1 1/2 cups new potatoes diced
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups clam juice
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped clams
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • sourdough bread bowls for serving


  • Place a large pot over medium heat and crisp bacon, about 5 minutes.
  • Add butter and melt.
  • Stir in onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add leek and potatoes and continue to sauté for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Once onions and leeks have sweat and are slightly translucent, add thyme and corn. Stir together.
  • Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and stir well to create a thick roux, about 3 minutes.
  • While whisking, pour clam juice into the mixture in a steady stream until fully incorporated and no lumps remain. Turn heat down to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for about 8 minutes or until the mixture thickens, stirring frequently to prevent burning on the bottom.
  • Stir in clams and milk and continue to simmer for an additional 12 to 16 minutes, continuing to stir frequently.
  • Adjust seasonings and serve hot (in hollowed out sourdough bread bowls, if desired).



Fresh, Canned or Frozen Clams?

As we mentioned earlier, canned clams are our preferred clam for this recipe. Nothing beats the convenience. Although there are a few different types of clams that can be used.

Fresh Clams

If using fresh clams for this recipe, we recommend cherrystone. They have a good flavor and meaty texture. This is a fine option, although using fresh clams will require some prep for our chowder. They will have to be steamed ahead of time and removed from their shells, before being chopped.

Canned Clams

This is our preferred type of clam to use. Due to the canning process, the clams are already cooked, so the canned just need to be opened and drained (although save the clam juice for the chowder!), before being used. Canned clams are not only convenient, they taste great and have a decent (a couple years) shelf life, if stored correctly.
Our preferred brand is Bar Harbor. They're easy to find at most grocery stores, each clam is hand picked instead of machine processed, they are all natural (with no preservatives), and are lower in sodium than other canned options.

Frozen Clams

Another clam option for our clam chowder recipe are frozen clams. Frozen clams can be found either in their shells or the meat only. Both types are usually cooked ahead of time, although we recommend using the ones already shucked. Frozen clams can be added to the chowder, frozen, although the texture will be softer than fresh or canned clams.

Make Ahead and Freezing Clam Chowder

This recipe can be both made ahead of time and frozen for later consumption!

Make Ahead

Our chowder can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. To make ahead fully make chowder and cool. Once cooled, transfer chowder to an airtight container and refrigerate.
When ready to use transfer clam chowder to a pot and heat over medium-low heat, frequently stirring. Gently simmer until chowder has heated through. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings as needed.


This clam chowder recipe can be frozen for up to 2 months. To freeze, make chowder but don't add the milk. Cool chowder and transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container.
When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, pour chowder into a pot and simmer over medium-low heat. Once chowder has heated through, stir in milk and continue to simmer until thick, creamy and hot. Adjust seasonings as needed and serve.


Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 9gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 562mgPotassium: 502mgFiber: 3gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2655IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 2mg
Keyword clam chowder, new england clam chowder
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