What to Serve with Clam Chowder –  top 10 delicious side dishes to enjoy with creamy New England Clam Chowder.

what to serve with clam chowder overhead view of clam chowder

A bowl of chowder is one of the first things I think of making on a cold winter day.

Creamy, hearty, loaded with clams, tender potatoes and crispy smoky bacon.

It’s a favorite soup in my house and this recipe is ready in just 30 minutes.

what to serve with clam chowder - black bowl with clam chowder garnished with croutons

This creamy clam chowder is a classic American soup loved by any seafood lover.


This is an easy and really good New England style Clam Chowder recipe (sometimes called Boston Clam Chowder) from simple grocery store ingredients.

I always use canned clams. They’re delicious and cost efficient and readily available in any grocery store making them a great option.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon cooked crisp (reserve 1 tablespoon of drippings)
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme removed from stems and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes (can use redskins, yukon or russet – I like leaving the skin on)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock may use vegetable or seafood stock
  • 8 ounce bottle of clam juice
  • 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


Though only a small amount of Old Bay seasoning is used, it’s a key ingredient in this recipe.

  • Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat then add the bacon.
  • Cook bacon until crisp then transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Reserve one tablespoon of the 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 minute.
  • Add diced potatoes, clam juice and stock. Season with Old Bay then cover and bring to a boil.

  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer 5 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Whisk the flour and half and half together in a medium bowl then slowly pour into the pot stirring to combine.
  • Simmer uncovered 5-7 minutes or until thickened, stirring often.

  • Add the clams and their juices then rough chop the bacon and add to the chowder.
  • Continue cooking over low heat 2-3 minutes then stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot with any of the side dish suggestions below.

black bowl with clam chowder - what to serve with clam chowder


  • Heavy cream can be used in place of half and half for even more rich texture.
  • Add lump crab meat for a creamy seafood chowder.
  • Sweet corn can be added to the creamy soup – for a sweet/salty taste with the bacon.


Below you’ll find some perfect side dishes to compliment any bowl of clam chowder.

  1. Oyster crackers
  2. Crispy fried onions
  3. Crusty buttery bread
  4. Bread bowl with chowder served in it.

(5) Fried Lake Perch

(6) Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

(7)Air Fryer French Fries

(8) Beer Bread

(9) 4-Ingredient Coleslaw

(10) Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Salad


Any leftover chowder can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days (I prefer single-serve storage containers – perfect for lunch).


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what to serve with clam chowder overhead view of clam chowder

What to Serve with Clam Chowder

Top 10 best side dishes to serve with New England Clam Chowder
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • Oyster crackers
  • Crispy fried onions
  • Slices of crusty bread
  • Bread bowl with chowder served in it
  • Fried Perch
  • Cheesy Breadsticks
  • French Fries
  • Beer Bread
  • Coleslaw
  • Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Salad


  • Choose one or more of the above sides.
  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Make the side in under 30 minutes.
Keyword clam chowder, best clam chowder, new england clam chowder, best sides with clam chowder, what to serve with clam chowder, easy clam chowder
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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