Easy Clam Chowder – creamy New England Style loaded with clams, tender potatoes and crispy salty, smoky bacon. The ultimate comfort in a bowl is on the table in 30 minutes.

black bowl of easy clam chowder, new england style

January is national soup month so I’m kicking it off with the ultimate in soup comfort. Easier to make than you may think this recipe is soon to be on repeat in your house.

Creamy white chowder bursting with flavor including bites of redskin potatoes, crispy smoky bacon and of course plenty of tender clams in almost every bite.

It’s a season for soup friends and I’m not at all upset about that.

black bowl filled with new england clam chowder topped with toasted croutons

I’ve been making this chowder for my family for more than 20 years to rave reviews and always use canned clams, like many restaurants do. It’s easier and way less expensive without sacrificing taste.

If you’ve been holding off making Clam Chowder at home because you thought it was hard or time-consuming, this recipe is for you.

what’s the difference between new england and manhattan clam chowder?

New England Clam Chowder is the thick, creamy style you see here in the photos. Manhattan Clam Chowder has similar ingredients – namely clams and clam juice – but has a tomato based broth and more vegetables.

what’s in easy clam chowder?

  • bacon
  • carrots
  • celery
  • onion
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh thyme
  • garlic
  • redskin potatoes skins on (may use yukon or russet)
  • clam juice
  • chicken stock (can sub vegetable or seafood)
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • flour
  • half and half
  • canned clams and their juices
  • parsley

how to make Easy Clam Chowder:

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat then add the bacon. Cook the bacon until it’s crisp then transfer to a paper towel lined plate, reserving one tablespoon of bacon drippings in the pot.

Add the diced carrots, celery and onion, lightly season with salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes or until the carrots have started to soften. Stir in the thyme and grated garlic and cook one more minute.

Fold in the diced potatoes, bottle of clam juice and chicken stock. Season with Old Bay then cover and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and half and half together then pour into the pot whisking to blend. Simmer uncovered 5-7 minutes or until it thickens, stirring frequently.

Add the clams and their juices then rough chop the bacon and fold it into the chowder (optional: reserve some bacon for garnish). Cook over low heat 2-3 minutes then stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper then serve hot with oyster crackers, fresh bread or these sourdough garlic croutons. Mmmmm.

overhead view of bowl of new england clam chowder garnished with toasted croutons

Looking for more soul warming winter soups?

Smoked Salmon Chowdercreamy hearty chowder packed with smoked salmon chowder and tender potatoes. 

Minestrone Souphearty, meatless Italian soup – way better than Olive Garden. Rich tomato broth, vegetables, beans and pasta.

Lasagna Soupslow cooker OR 30 minute cooking options. All the flavors of classic lasagna in soup form!

Cauliflower Soup – roasted cauliflower plus other vegetables in a creamy soup that brings all the flavor.

Enjoy!

pinterest pin showing bowl of new england clam chowder garnished with bacon bits and toasted croutons

If you tried this Easy Clam Chowder recipe or any other on the blog, then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or a bunch of stars!

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black bowl of easy clam chowder, new england style

Easy Clam Chowder

A Gouda Life
Easy, creamy New England style Clam Chowder loaded with clams, bites of potato and crispy smoky, salty bacon.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories

Ingredients
  

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon cooked crisp/1 tablespoon drippings reserved
  • 2 medium carrots diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme minced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes redskins (skin on), optional: yukon or russet
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock may use vegetable or seafood stock
  • 8 ounces clam juice bottled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cans diced clams 6.5 ounce each
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat then add the bacon. Cook until crisp then transfer to a paper towel lined plate, reserving one tablespoon of drippings in the pot.
  • Add the diced carrots, celery and onion, lightly season with salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes or until the carrots have started to soften. Stir in the thyme and grated garlic and cook one more minute.
  • Fold in the diced potatoes, bottle of clam juice and chicken stock. Season with Old Bay then cover and bring to a boil.
  • Once it's boiling reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and half and half together then pour into the pot whisking to blend. Simmer uncovered 5-7 minutes or until it thickens, stirring frequently.
  • Add the clams and their juices then rough chop the bacon and fold it into the chowder (optional: reserve some of the bacon for garnish). Continue cooking over low heat 2-3 minutes then stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Keyword easy clam chowder, new england clam chowder,
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13 Comments

  1. Damn good clam chowder! The Old Bay adds spark to my usual recipe. I didn’t have milk on hand, so I used half and half and added a russet potato to the mix for extra thickness. Thanks for posting this, it’s a definite keeper.